Menier Chocolate Factory Restaurant
Part of the arts complex. Pre-theatre deals available.
Address: 51–53 Southwark Street
Tel: 020 7378 1712
More online: http://www.menierchocolatefactory.com
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You don’t have to go to the theatre. You don’t even have to like chocolate. All you have to do is to enjoy eating well at reasonable prices within a short walking distance from our Estate.
I’m talking about eating in the restaurant that is part of the Menier Chocolate Factory complex at 53 Southwark Street (between Redcross Way and Southwark Bridge Road). It opened in 2004 in a building that used to house a chocolate factory (hence the name!) and maintains the original exposed wooden beams, unusual cast-iron columns and bare bricks. If you want to read more about the theatre’s past and present productions, take a look at their website (www.menierchocolatefactory.com).
I have eaten in the restaurant several times in the past few years, both before performances and on evenings out with friends. I have never been disappointed either by the service or the quality of the food and cooking. There is a pre-theatre set menu (if you want to eat early – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm) which is tailored to the current show and is priced at £12 for two courses or £15 for three. And there is a more extensive a la carte menu.
My most recent meal was before A Little Night Music (excellent – catch it on its West End transfer) and between us we sampled both starters and both mains. You will note the Swedish theme in what follows: I very much enjoyed my crayfish tail and pickled beetroot salad with gherkin and horseradish cream; Lesley went for the petit pois and fennel potage with dill creme fraiche and had no regrets. Moving from seafood to meat I then had cranberry and sage meatballs with fragrant rice and a rich tomato sauce, while Lesley stuck with the vegetarian option (for a change) and had pea and caramelised onion linguini with pistachios and parmesan. We could have gone on to chocolate and pistachio tart with vanilla ice cream and raspberry puree or a trio of sorbets, but chose not to.
Reviewer: Richard Exton, posted: 11 June 2009