Last Updated on November 19, 2019
Perfect Barbican Centre Pre-Theatre Dining for all tastes at Chiswell Street Dining Rooms.
Part of the ETM group of bars, pubs and restaurants, Chiswell Street Dining Rooms restaurant and bar is situated in the historic Whitbread Brewery building near to Moorgate in the City of London and just a few minutes walk from sister restaurant, The Jugged Hare. Those who are not committed carnivores may find better options at Chiswell Street, where there’s a good range of fish and vegetarian dishes on the menu. Offering modern British cuisine and a strong wine list they mostly work with family-run artisanal suppliers to ensure the quality of the produce. In a building that also houses the Montcalm Hotel as well as five private dining rooms, the handsome interior features sage green panelling, banquettes and chairs with dark oak tables and flooring, with contemporary prints on the wall and attractive curved bay windows creating a cosy but smart ambience. During the week Chiswell Street Dining Rooms opens at 6.30 am with a midnight closing time (1 am on Fridays) and it is perfectly placed for the Barbican Centre with a pre-theatre menu that runs from 5.30-6.30 and 9.30-10.45 pm (2 courses £14.50, 3 for £18). We came through the buzzing bar to the dining room to review the a la carte and the pre-theatre menus with all the pre-theatre dishes also featuring on the a la carte. Whilst looking at the menu we tried some excellent pesto bread and whipped butter with some piquant Padron peppers. Our bottle of Albariño, Castro Valdez, Rias Baixas from Spain was crisp and fresh with flavours of peach, apple and apricot. Our starters both came from the pre-theatre menu. Sweet potato and coconut soup was deliciously creamy and given a bit of bite by some pickled ginger and texture from big blobs of hazelnut and coriander pesto. A pretty-in-pink perfectly seared fillet of grilled mackerel came with a crunchy selection of pickled vegetables and beetroot and sat in a delicately vinegar-spiked tomato broth. The pan-fried salmon fillet was served with battered white anchovies, cauliflower purée, crunchy green beans, samphire, and a preserved lemon and green olive dressing that cut through the oiliness of the fish, giving it a salty citric kick. A tender breast of butter roast Castlemead chicken sat in a rich jus with broccolini alongside delicious gnocchi nuggets and a rich truffled mushroom sauce. Our side of Raclette-topped mash was the ultimate cheesy carb fest! It was difficult to find room for dessert but we did… a firm yoghurt pannacotta with some lightly poached rhubarb and coulis along with the crunch of a pistachio biscuit was a plate of textural contrasts and it was great with an Irish coffee. I loved my intense dark chocolate torte with a luscious, soft whole caramelised pear and cocoa nibs. It was perfectly matched with the ripe fruits notes of my glass of Ferreira Tawny 10 years old port. Chiswell Street Dining Rooms offers something for everyone, whether you want a post-work drink, a business or a date meal, and if you need to cater for a larger party there are the suite of private rooms. Lots of menus read well but at Chiswell Street, the kitchen delivers with an emphasis on flavour, texture and presentation and the pre-theatre menu makes it an obvious stop off for the Barbican.
No. 56 Chiswell Street London
020 7614 0177