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B A R B I C A N L I F E


excellent quality of the Searcys food has not been diminished under the new Gin Joint branding! There is a fairly small wine list


with a number available by the glass of half litre carafe. Bottles range from around £21.50 (A Chilean sauvignon and merlot) up to around £75. We had a carafe of the sauvignon and a glass of rioja. Both good. There is a pre-theatre menu,


restaurant’s charcoal fired Bertha grill, which is designed to bring that chargrilled special flavour to meat and fish prepared on it. The bar area remains much as was


– perhaps a few tweaks. It does seem to be doing reasonable trade, but then perhaps gin is the spirit of the moment. Also one should point out that Gin Joint does indeed serve other spirits and other cocktails which are not gin based, as well as wines and beers. Our experience with the new


menu was, for the most part, positive. For starters we had a half lobster and crab cakes – both excellent. Crab cakes can be a bit hit or miss at a number of even top rated restaurants, but the ones served at Gin Joint were packed with crustacean meat and nice and moist in the middle and served with a great jalapeno salsa. The half lobster was succulent and really tasty. Other starter options include smoked salmon, prawn cocktail, foie gras, a cucumber and gin gazpacho, veg salad, mushroom and shallot tart and a seafood platter to share which we understand from other reviews to be ample and excellent. From the grill there is a selection


of steaks available at reasonable prices by London standards, rack of lamb, a couple of fish options and whole lobster. We chose a rib eye steak, medium rare and the rack of lamb. Both excellently cooked and very good. They come with triple cooked chips, or new potatoes and a


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choice of a variety of herb butters or sauces. Perhaps worth ordering a side as well. We had baby spinach and nutmeg – very well prepared. In addition to the grills there is an


interesting selection of ‘main’ courses available, although in a way some of these could almost be described as ‘pub food’, although no doubt prepared and presented rather better. For example there is a take on bacon, egg, beans and chips, although there are some more traditional sounding dishes too: grilled pork collar, chicken and three vegetarian options – cauliflower cheese rarebit, braised artichokes or a beetroot falafel. And so to dessert. Again a good choice from sticky toffee pudding to baked spiced pineapple, plum and almond crumble, a gin and tonic granita, ice creams and sorbets and a good cheese serving. The usually


served from 5 pm to 7 pm, which comes in at £16 for 2 courses and £20 for three with a reasonable selection of dishes available – all off the main menu. There is also a special express lunch menu at £10 for the main course and £5 for either starter or dessert . There is also a Sunday night


dinner menu served from 5 pm to 10.30 – again with starters at £5, mains at £10 and desserts at £5, and this provides a choice of five starters, five mains and five desserts.


Opening hours are from 12 noon to 2.30 for lunch Monday to Friday and from 5pm to 10.30 pm Monday-Sunday for dinner. The restaurant is in the Barbican Centre on level 2. Call 020 7588 3008 for reservations. Barbican residents may request a 10% discount.


S


Game on at the Jugged Hare


ince its opening nearly two years ago, The Jugged Hare, on the corner of Silk Street and


Chiswell Street, at one end of the old Whitbread Brewery buildings which now house the Montcalm City hotel inside its listed façade, has developed


Spit roast grouse at The Jugged Hare


The booth tables at Gin Joint


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