I’d come across Bird of Smithfield online a while ago, and had been meaning to pay it a visit, but I don’t tend to find myself in the Clerkenwell area very much any more, since we moved from East to South London. Bur I recently got the chance to try it out with Ceri, and was really looking forward to it.
Bird of Smithfield is set in a contemporary 5 floor Georgian town house, right opposite Smithfield Market. Now I’m going to say right now that my photos from the evening weren’t great – the restaurant was very dimly lit, and as this was a particularly ‘nice’ place, I didn’t want to ruin the evening for other diners by getting a second light out to try and get better shots. So I’m going to include a mixture of some of my photos and some taken from the website, to show the place off in the best light possible. But trust me, each plate of food was beautifully presented!
While we were there, it was evening and so everything was darker than in the above photo. What it really could have done with was some more ‘mood lighting’ and candles to make it that little bit cosier. But that would be my only complaint, and it’s a small one at that!
We started with a G&T to go with our starters, which were:
London gin and herb cured organic salmon, pickled cucumber, fennel and capers
Lambton and Jackson smoked eel, potato and parsley puree, melted nduja and herb oil
Both of these were delicious, especially the eel, which I realised I’d never actually tried before. I remember Tim once buying a jellied eel on Brighton Beach and almost being sick (!! seriously, it was vile!), so I’d never touched one since. But I knew this would be excellent and considering I love all other seafood, I couldn’t see why I wouldn’t like eel. This was such a clever dish – I would never have thought to pair it with something meaty and spicy like nduja, but it worked so well.
We then ordered a bottle of red, the Porter Mill Station Pinotage, which was lovely, and perfectly suited to what we ordered to eat for main course.
Ceri ordered the Market Steak of the day, served with portobello mushroom and tomato. It was absolutely huge!
I went for the Ox Cheek Pie, which I was very pleased to see was a ‘proper pie’ – i.e. a full pastry pie, not just a lid. This seemed to be quite a controversial topic of conversation last week during British Pie Week!
It was beautifully cooked, with wonderful rich flavours and a very generous portion – I couldn’t get through it all!
We managed to make some space for dessert, and I ordered the chocolate pudding with seville orange marmalade and vanilla custard, while Ceri went for the salted caramel, banana and coconut cake, with rum and raisin ice cream.
I’m pleased to say the desserts were just as great as the rest of the meal – just look at the shine on that chocolate pudding! If anything I felt that the orange marmalade took over the flavour of the chocolate a little bit, but that’s only a very minor niggle.
The whole meal was gorgeous and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Before leaving, we learned that apparently there were a number of private parties going on in the building, so they were at pretty much full capacity. You would never have known in terms of waiting times or the quality of the dishes. The food and service was excellent.
It would appear that they host quite a lot of private parties, so if you work in events or if you plan parties for your company, Bird of Smithfield is definitely worth checking out. They also have a pretty roof garden with impressive views!
You can find out more on their website here.
I was invited to review Bird of Smithfield, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.