In the basement of a building on the Strand, tucked away out of sight of the tourists and the shoppers is Smollensky’s grill back where just last week I happened to have my office’s Christmas lunch. Inside it was a lot bigger than I was expecting and buzzing with festive cheer. There were a number of Christmas parties happening at the same time and despite our table being booked for 2pm it was closed to 3 by the time they actually sat us down. There were also some issues with drinks orders at the start of the night where they didn’t actually arrive (!) not great but understandable given how many people were in attendance. Thankfully the service improved from there and we all settled down to a nice three course meal. The restaurant was nicely decorated for the festive season, I particularly loved the below wall decorations – so simple yet effective, and the music wasn’t so loud that I couldn’t hear what people were saying. (Although there were some conversations I wouldn’t have minded NOT being a part of *yawn*)
For starter I had chosen the Goat’s cheese and Portobello mushroom, followed by a good ole turkey roast and finished up with their chocolate mud pie while the wine flowed a rather little too well. I didn’t drink too much as I had a train to catch that evening but I still had a bit more than I probably should have.
The starter was perhaps my favourite part of the meal although it was a tad on the cold side but the bread was lightly toasted and buttery without being greasy and the mushroom/goats cheese complimented each other. I was disappointed that I only got one pig-in-blanket, I mean who eats just one?, and that there were no stuffing balls. Also the turkey was kinda tough but then it is a tough meat. I didn’t finish it all anyway as I was leaving room for what I thought would be the piece de résistance: chocolate mud pie. It was, unfortunately, bland and disappointing. 🙁 I don’t think I’d choose to eat here again but their cocktail menu is varied and definitely worth a second look.