Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace (the bald one) has opened this restaurant inside the Bermondsey Square Hotel on a rather foodie friendly Bermondsey Street. Opening a restaurant here is no mean feat as there is plenty of incredible competition on the street from the likes of Pizarro, Jose, Zucca and Antico.
Before going I had read some horrendous reviews but had seen that a new chef had taken the reigns. The new chef has worked at restaurants like El Bulli in Spain. As we sat in the breezy and rather uncomfortable restaurant we wondered what such a talented chef was doing here.
We went on a Sunday for lunch and all that was on offer was their brunch menu. The likes of a full English breakfast, four different egg dishes, a vegetable lasagna and a pork belly salad made for an odd mix to choose from. The menu had no structure. There were no starters to choose from which I found irritating, just because it’s a weekend doesn’t mean everybody wants to eat a breakfast all day long.
Sticking out from the menu was a roast dinner (£12.50) which I opted for. The lamb was cooked to a nice pink but the two things I hate about a restaurant roast dinner were present in this dish. Not enough gravy and not enough roast potatoes. Underneath the meat was a smear of mint sauce that was absolutely tasteless. And why put it underneath the meat? The dish was topped with some rocket which seemed an absolutely pointless addition.
My gentleman companion opted for the vegetable lasagna (£10.50). It came in its own oven proof dish giving the illusion it had just come from the oven – it was however luke warm. I don’t know how exciting you can make a vegetable lasagna but it seemed like they hadn’t even tried. Diced Mediterranean vegetables in between some pasta sheets topped with tasteless cheese. It was hardly the stuff dreams are made of.
The service was slightly odd. All staff seemed very sweet but totally under-trained. A waiter took my gentleman companion’s dish away when he had finished but I was still eating mine!
Desserts were a mixed bag. When I asked my gentleman companion how his bakewell tart and candy floss ice cream was (£4.50), he simply replied “too hard and not enough jam”.
My chocolate bomb, mousse, ice cream, powder, couverture and white chocolate sauce (£8.50 and double the price of other desserts) was far more impressive. A chocolate dome is bought out on the plate and when covered with the white chocolate sauce it melts the outside and reveals the mousse inside. There were also some thyme leaves on the plate that went very well with the sweet chocolate but I found it odd that these weren’t mentioned as thyme and chocolate are an unusual combination. Upon asking the waiter what couverture was, he went off to find out. I now know it’s high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter, but I found that out for myself as he never returned with an answer. The white powder was intriguing and turned chewy when mixed with the sauce but no-one explained what that was either.
Maybe Gregg’s Table is still finding it’s feet but I don’t think I’ll be prepared to give it another go for a long while. It doesn’t break the bank, but pop one minute down the road and you have a wealth of lovely restaurants to spend your pennies in.