Editor of This is Cabaret and One New Change Style Council member Franco Milazzo visits Bread Street Kitchen to soak up the unique flavours and community atmosphere before heading up to the Roof Terrace for a cinematic night with the stars...
No-nonsense British brasserie
There’s nothing academic about the food when you visit Bread Street Kitchen, but still there’s a nagging feeling that you’ve found yourself in the dream where you’re back at school. BSK sets out its stall as a restaurant that understands its local clientele, offering City diners a no-nonsense British brasserie menu served at speed and with a smile. There’s an open kitchen which allows all and sundry to gawp at the skilled workers as they find their way around the cavernous but elegant space with comfy green banquette seating.
Perhaps it is the lab-bench wooden stools and actual gym apparatus which makes up the bar area downstairs, or the teak tables that you have to fight the urge to write your name upon with a compass; either way, there’s definitely a sense of the classroom around the place.
And then you spot the life-size gorilla in the corner that asks you to “Handle With Care” and you may need to make sure you are, in fact, awake.
With more than two hundred covers, the focus of the comestibles in this kitchen is quality food with an emphasis on local produce and flavour over frills.
The focus of the comestibles in this kitchen is quality food with an emphasis on local produce and flavour over frills.
Those wanting to perch and eat can enjoy flatbreads with gourmet toppings or some smoked cheese balls but, for the real deal, we recommend grabbing a table.
The starters run the gamut of favourites that are guaranteed to offer nostalgic comfort, including the well-executed prawn cocktail, an accomplished Caesar salad and a chilled pea and mint soup serviced with cockles that will leave your own cockles feeling, if not warmed, then content and refreshed.
Some of the dishes are designed more to galvanise, such as the tuna tartare with kick of chilli to snap you back to attention, served with delightful wonton crisps. The potted beef brisket stands out as an incredibly well-balanced dish that, with its sharp sauce that silkily envelopes the meat, makes you sit up in your seat a little straighter, with a huge smile on your face. Then again, the scallops served with sweetcorn purée and Bloody Mary salsa may prove to be slightly too rude an awakening for some.
Simple, good quality ingredients elevated to the highest status.
The signature fish dish, roasted cod with a red wine sauce, was particularly satisfying and deserves its pride of place on the menu. It is an honest piece of fish that’s given room to speak for itself, with a complementary chorus of capers, burnt butter and artichoke.
Comfort and class carries through to the main Sunday fare, with a roast rib of beef that shows what this One New Change restaurant sounds like when it hits the high notes: simple, good quality ingredients elevated to the highest status. The texture of the 28 day rib-eye steak melts in your mouth with a tarragon kick that is both a surprise and delight.
BSK does anything but skimp on the portions for the main courses, so it was almost a relief when the desserts proved to be lighter and more delicate. The exquisite praline parfait delivered on nuttiness and chocolate indulgence while the strawberry trifle felt like the perfect way to round off an evening.
On top of great food, Bread Street Kitchen also has a fantastic community feel. Sundays are family days at BSK, with their Sunday Loaf Menu and it’s easy to see why parents would feel comfortable bringing the kids along after a shopping trip at One New Change. As well as warm service, there are countless workshops to teach children how to prepare dishes.
On top of great food, Bread Street Kitchen also has a fantastic community feel.
Kids eat free from the Children’s Menu and there are many activities to get involved with, from face painting to magician shows. What’s more, a summer installation called The Allotment offers a great conversation point and a way for the kids to learn about what they are eating and relate what’s on their plate with the greenery around them. Food wasn’t like this when we were at school.
The furthest star we can see, V762 Cas in Cassiopeia, is over sixteen thousand light years away. Or, to put it another way, if you spot the star, the light coming from it will have been travelling to your eyeball since the days of the woolly rhinoceros, a fearsome creature which stood two metres tall and weighed in at around two metric tonnes.
If you want to see something by starlight which is a little more modern than that rhino but still just as impressive, Luna Cinema may just be the ticket.
The roof terrace at One New Change has always had one awe-inspiring sight in the cupola of St Paul’s Cathedral but, thanks to this open air movie experience, there’s now another reason to lie back and enjoy the view.
Luna Cinema has been a feature of the One New Change roof terrace for the last few summers. If you've only seen St Paul's Cathedral at the ground level, have your camera at the ready as the epic views of this iconic landmark from One New Change's rooftop terrace make for the perfect Instagram and a mesmerising backdrop to this unique cinema opportunity.
Another perk is a visit to the Luna cinema at One New Change can even be combined with a spot of shopping or a bite to eat.
The choices for this season have been equally eclectic and exciting. Classic treasure hunt movie The Goonies kicked off affairs in July followed by the latest cinematic addition to the Potterverse in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. There were adult kicks too with the exhilarating Drive featuring Ryan Gosling and (on 20 August) the dark and delicious Tom Cruise flick Cocktail. Those romantically minded can look forward to the ultimate lovefest that is 1990’s Ghost on 17 September.
This isn’t your normal cinema experience – not by a distance. If a film catches your imagination, feel free to get dressed up; at a past One New Change Luna screening of The Big Lebowski, some of the audience arrived in dressing gowns. The doors open when there’s still light so maybe bring a picnic, your own popcorn and refreshments or splash out and enjoy the food and drink from Madison's Restaurant and Bar.
Those who want a premium experience can expect a decent bang for their buck. As well as a free drink from the bar, there’s your own seat from which to see Hollywood’s finest doing what they do best.
Even without paying the extra, though, there’s plenty to enjoy here as the views from all over the One New Change roof terrace are equally exquisite. Catch Luna Cinema while you can and enjoy the sight of stars both above and in front of you.