There was much consernation amongst my friends with the demise of the orignal Builders Arms back room, complete with soggy carpet and disco ball. Daggy dancing is being pushed aside for yuppie dining in many inner city premises. It’s taken me some time to try the new fine dining room, but I finally made a booking last Friday night.
The interior is all retro futuristic late 1960s 2001 A Space Odyssey combined with large prints of punk chickens. It’s similar in some ways to the Palace Como Cinema foyer.
Serious interior design needs serious food, otherwise the restaurant will face endless accusations of style over substance. The food was mostly excellent. Firstly, we chose the olives and white anchovy appetizer.
Entrees are probably the weakest part of the menu. What we chose were good, but not exceptional, and a bit fussy. The meatballs were good but hard to go wrong with and the parcels did not have great deal of flavour. The wine list had a few good Victorian wines but could do with some more available by the glass.
Happily the main meals were delicious and generous in size, and we were extremely satisfied with the salmon with baba ghanoush and the pork chop with sweet potato mash. The skin was perfectly crisp and the meat tender.
The room became extrmely busy and somwhat loud, but the service was good until it came time to pay. The woman who took my girlfriend’s card in the folder to process the payment returned it to me. She smiled at me, said thanks, and completely ignored my girlfriend. I’ve written previously about the sexual politics of paying for dinner, and it seems the problem is widespread. Even when a woman obviously produces the credit card and pays for dinner, the staff assume the man is paying.