Several years ago now I used to work in the City. In the interests of full disclosure I had nothing to do with finances, nor did I wear a suit. I worked for an event management company that just happened to have an office squirrelled away in the historical back streets area of the City of London.
One of the best things about the job was the location of the office. Less than 20ft to the Jamaica Wine House (aka The Jampot) – still one of my favourite boozers in town- and a mere 5ft further to Simpsons Tavern. Simpsons is reputed to be London’s oldest chophouse and one of the most popular lunchtime haunts of the paunch-bellied, pin-striped City ‘gent’. It serves what I describe as ‘good ol’ English grub’. A menu that wouldn’t look out of place in some home counties private boys boarding school (hence it’s popularity with the audience it attracts no doubt), and everything swimming in 2inches of butter – particularly the veg. The main problem with Simpsons is that it’s only open for lunch, so now I work in deepest darkest West London, I stand no chance of eating there again for some time.
I’d often wished that there was somewhere like Simpsons that was open of an evening. Well, it would seem my prayers have been answered in Perkin Reveller. (please note- at time of writing Perkin’s website wasn’t live so I’ve linked to another review on The Independent website)
The first thing to note about this new Thames-side eatery is the view. Nestled right next to (and indeed partly underneath of) Tower Bridge, the contemporary but cosy restaurant has one of the best views in London. If you’re entertaining someone from outside of London, this is an obvious place to take them to show off some of the best sites in town. The Tower of London to one side, Tower Bridge to the other and the Thames alongside. An awesome location.
The menu at Perkin Reveller is just as impressive and British in sentiment as its surroundings. The list of dishes available promised hearty, warm and cosy English food that could warm you through to the bone at the same time as transporting you back to childhood memories of eating Roly Polys and the likes. Having spotted Jam Roly Poly on the dessert menu, the decision was made to skip starters and head straight to the mains to ensure there was room for a dessert. We hadn’t lost our minds entirely however and ordered a basket of their utterly delicious breads. In fact, the bread is so incredibly delicious we greedily asked for more after inhaling the first round in mere minutes.
For mains we ordered Pork Belly with Black Pudding Mash & Pork Croquette and the Pheasant Breast with Red Cabbage and Blackcurrant Sauce. We also ordered a selection of side dishes including Tender stem Broccoli with Boiled Egg Dressing, Green Beans and Buttered New Potatoes.
The food really delivered on the promise I had picked up from the menu. Full, warm, heartening flavours that left me wishing I could wipe the plate clean with my finger at the end. My pork belly was cooked to perfection, the black pudding mash was rich and delicious and the potato croquette was bursting with flavour. The veg was, encouragingly, drenched in butter, although not enough to send the health conscious running screaming for the nearest gym. I would advise however that you don’t eat a big lunch if you’re heading here for dinner, and be sure to take your time. This is food to be savoured and not rushed through.
Without a moments hesitation I ordered the Jam Roly Poly for dessert and D opted for the Prune and Almond Tart with Creme Fraiche Sorbet.
The Jam Roly Poly was suet heaven. If I was to pick holes in it however the one thing I’d say is that it could have used a bit more jam in it, but I hardly noticed as I hoovered it up in record time. Tasting D’s dessert I was filled with envy as his was seriously good. The Creme Fraiche sorbet was the highlight of the entire meal, and I was desperate to nag the chef for the recipe before we left.
Finishing up with a pot of English Breakfast from the Rare Tea Company, we reflected on a tremendous feed. I’m so delighted that Perkin Reveller is there to satisfy my hearty English grub cravings. Without doubt we’ll be heading there again. The longer this cold weather continues, the more justification I have for feasting on Jam Roly Poly of an evening.
Perkin Reveller is located at Tower Wharf, EC2. Nearest tube is Tower Hill.