4 May 2015

Bull In A China Shop

Blink and you'll miss it. A small, black fronted restaurant opposite BoxPark and The Tea Building, Bull In A China Shop is a new opening from the guys behind dim sum favourites, The Drunken Monkey. Described as a rotisserie chicken restaurant and whiskey bar, we headed down a couple of days after the launch to check it out.

The bar itself is beautiful. Polished brass extends along one side with a bustling back bar filled to the brim with prime Japanese and Scottish whiskey bottles. At the far end, there's an open kitchen showcasing the spinning chickens and a prime photography spot for plates. Seating tucks around the corner and accommodates up to 40 apparently but it may be a bit of a squeeze.

We kicked off with complimentary wings, butchered from the rotisserie with one hell of a cleaver. Sticky and sweet, these were a nice intro - and I usually shy away from wings. Onto the mains, we each went for something in their charcoal buns. I went for the halloumi and red pepper offering which was a tastier combination than I was expecting but ultimately let down by the dry and tasteless bap - a gimmick too far perhaps? Matt's fish burger was so-so but Ella enjoyed her chicken burger so one for the team there.

Accompanying these we had six of the salads - they do medium and large sizes but if you ask nicely, they'll squish all six into two dishes for you. On paper they sounded great but in reality, they were a bit hit and miss with a bizarrely dry quinoa offering but a good slaw to counteract it. The unanimous showstoppers, however, were the deep fried cauliflower cheese bites that I could have eaten all evening.

Dessert was a bread and pudding offering with charcoal bun running through it and a gloriously sweet, cinnamony custard over the top that was then finished with a blowtorched sugar. A nice thing to share although I don't know if they're planning on it putting it on the menu.

Where Bull In A China Shop really excels, as you may expect, is their whiskey. Carefully curated, they have an extensive list and are more than happy to recommend. We were given a taste of their 12 year old Nikkai which isn't arriving in Europe until October and Hibiki's Japanese harmony, a blend of two of their more popular offerings. Smooth and rich, these tumblers along with the accompanying cocktails were the stars of the show.

Would I go back? The food was suffering some teething problems I think but the whiskey hits the mark so definitely one for the liquor lovers.

All photos via Matt The List because they are quite frankly incredible

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