Friday, 5 August 2011

Blueprint Cafe

The afternoon before dining at the Blueprint Cafe, I happened upon an interesting conversation with a friend whose boyfriend is a chef. Apparently he HATES people who come into his restaurant and order the set menu. This irritated me.

Sometimes *steps up on to her soap box* people want to eat in fancy restaurants and sometimes those people can’t afford to pay £30 for a main course. So what *raises her voice an octave* is wrong with getting part of the experience. Surely better than no experience at all.

I realise that I fall into the above category, so my opinion is a little one sided, but I do loathe the shame that taints the set menu, which is why the experience that followed it was so sweet.

The Blueprint Cafe is housed on the second floor of the Design Museum, just past Tower Bridge, on the river, rewarding diners with some rather lovely views. The interior is cute; round tables, big windows, the odd stripe (my friend said that it felt a bit 90s in a good way).

The food was good. Not get up and do a little dance good, but definitely do a little smile at the first mouthful good. The website tells me that Scottish chef, Jeremy, has been there for 16 years and is much praised for his 'seasonal, uncomplicated cooking' (which is exactly how I would have described it had they not got there first).

Lettuce and Loveage Soup

I would never usually order soup in a restaurant, particularly one containing only vegetables but this was brilliant. Vibrant green, it couldn't have looked more pleasing and it tasted like a summer garden. It did need a generous shake of salt but this was forgiven once I realised it came with fresh sourdough and a slab of creamy butter. Mmmmm.

Leg of Lamb with a Mustard Crust

I was surprised when this turned up in a mini casserole dish. Not that I minded, but I had expected something more akin to a steak than a stew. The slow cooked lamb was studded with sweet peas and topped with a tangy mustard crust. We splashed out and ordered a side of vegetables (£4) and were delighted with the huge bowl of minted courgettes and runner beans, and an equally large bowl of crispy new potatoes.

Raspberry Shortcake

I didn't actually get to taste this but it looked pretty which is always a good start. Mouth full, my dining companion informed me 'the raspberries are nice and tart, the shortcake light and buttery and the cream not too sweet'.

This was a good meal, and perhaps it would have been a great meal had I ordered from the main menu but so what. The staff are clearly well schooled because I was never made to feel like a tramp, I got to enjoy a gorgeous sunset in one of my favourite parts of the Thames, and I got to eat a meal in a restaurant I might think twice about visiting if I had to pay full price. So, until I can afford to stop being a cheapskate, I've found a place where it just don't seem so bad...

Set Menu: £15 for two courses, £22 for three courses

Butlers Wharf
28 Shad Thames
020 7378 7031

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