This place sounded right up my street. A restaurant in a former chocolate factory? Say no more, I'm sold.
I'd been tasked with finding a restaurant for lunch before we went to see The Comedy of Errors at The Globe (more on that soon) on Friday. We needed to be close enough to dash off to our seats once we'd eaten our fill, didn't want anything too expensive and didn't want a chain. That narrowed our selection down quite significantly so after some Googling and Try This For-ing, I laboriously booked the Menier Chocolate Factory for our pre-theatre dining.
It was never going to be easy though, was it? My mum's train was delayed which meant we had to push our table back (which was fine) and hotfoot it down the packed South Bank to Southwark. Finally arriving at Menier, we were greeted with a beautiful old warehouse building that, true to its name used to be the site of a chocolate factory, now houses a restaurant, bar, rehearsal room and theatre. We had just over forty five minutes to order and eat which was always going to be a push, despite the very friendly and accommodating staff, so any expectations of a relaxing lunch went completely out of the window.
Mum went off-piste and ordered the burger (£11) - patty, bacon, cheddar, relish and lettuce - served with chunky chips and a small pot of ketchup on the side. Predictably, the behemoth that arrived was vast and a little on the dry side but for someone who doesn't tend to order burgers that often, devoured in double quick time.
I went for the carne sharing platter, the size of which is in the name. A vast plate of chorizo, parma ham, teruel lomo was fringed with two slabs of duck and ham hock terrine (dry but I soldiered on), tzatziki (underlyingly fizzy but also soldiered on), olives and huge amounts of warm khobez bread. At £15, the portion size of some of the elements was more than ample but the ingredients themselves were a little lacking in flavour, taste and finesse. I didn't manage to finish as time was against us so I felt a little bit done in when handing over my card for the bill but reassured that we hadn't opted for a pricier menu.
Saying our goodbyes, we fled back to the river just in time to take our seats for what, of course, would be the showstopper of the day. Shakespeare, of course, can do no wrong. Menier Chocolate Factory, on the other hand, gets a two and a half out of five from me.