Yesterday I stopped off after the Honey Festival, at the Refinery, a lovely restaurant at Southbank. I was greeted with a warm welcome and a huge menu of tempting treats. Here is the menu.
I plumped for the chicken club, which included chargrilled chicken, mayo, tomato, bacon, salad leaves with chilli jam on the side. I added a side of chips to go with the sandwich For dessert I ordered the chocolate brownie with vanilla icecream.
Pros: The sandwich was lovely, the ingredients were fresh, there was crunch as well as taste in the salad leaves, the bread delicious – pretty hard to fault this sandwich. The bacon was crispy, the tomato fresh and tasty and there was lots of mayo, but not too much to over dominate the sandwich ingredients. The chilli jam was a great addition, and went well with both the sandwich and the chips, far more interesting than plain tomato ketchup.
The chips were served in a quaint terracotta pot, seasoned well and very tasty. Nice and crispy without being too greasy.
The chocolate brownie tasted of chocolate, and not of cheap cocoa powder. The icecream had the right balance of vanilla, perfectly complimenting the brownie.
Cons: I was a little disappointed with the size of the sandwich, I wish it was a little bigger, it was kinda over way too quick. This was the only fault however.
I had the same fault with the chips, I could have done with a larger portion, especially when considering the price.
The brownie was a tad disappointing however. I love my chocolate, but I wish the brownie was warmed so that the icecream could melt over it. I also found the brownie a little dry and the melted icecream would have helped. Again the portion was a little small, but I liked the fresh strawberries they added. I was also surprised at the small number of desserts, compared with the rest of the dishes listed under the other courses.
Food presentation was unusual – the food was served on thick wooden slabs, apart from the chips as explained earlier. OK for the sandwich, but eating the dessert proved a little tricky and would have prefered an ordinary dessert plate. I’m also not sure how hygienic it is to constantly use these slabs and wonder if cross contamination could be a possibility.
The service was faultless, really friendly, non-pushy. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing, and I liked the decor – airy but still with a cosy feel. The wine list is pretty extensive, so ideal for wine buffs!
The refinery has an excellent website ( http://www.therefinerybar.co.uk/ ) and is an ideal venue for business meetings, social gatherings, and for the sole diner. I had a great time, there were a few niggles with the food, but otherwise I would be happy to revisit.