We check out the latest addition to King Street's social scene
"Designed to bring a touch of elegance to the heart of Hammersmith" Ruby Grand certainly looks the part, but as they say the proof is in the pudding.
Formerly The Hampshire, the imposing building features a morning room, lounge bar and conservatory restaurant, and an attractive large walled garden to the rear. The interior has been decked out in the uniform 'contemporary cool' of its gastro pub peers; white walls and dark wood and leather furnishings to fill the sizeable dark wooden floor.
On the Thursday evening we visited, the bar area was buzzing with office workers and cinema goers, the garden packed with similar crowd but only three tables were occupied in the conservatory restaurant.
We sat at a table adjacent to the vast concertina doors and chose from a menu which claims to have its "roots in classic pub-grub and brasserie food" and that's "perfectly simple and simply perfect".
Only in my companion's case unfortunately. He chose duck salad (£6.50) to start which came in the form of a generous bowl of agreeably spiced strips of duck with cucumber and salad leaves. For his main course he opted for a hearty dish of beef and olive stew with a liberal helping of mash potato which proved good value at £8.50.
My choices were less successful. I chose grilled squid salad with citrus dressing (£6.50) to start which was disappointingly bland followed by a 'home made' burger which tasted about as home made as Bird's Eye accompanied by second rate fries. For £9.00 I expected better.
Disenchanted, we declined the offer of dessert in favour of polishing off an acceptable Santa Pueta Sauvignon Blanc (£16.00) and a bottle of sparkling mineral water (£3.50).
Service began well but quickly went downhill and we were unimpressed when the ice bucket for our wine had to be placed on the floor because there were no stands nor room on the table. That said we could have asked to move to a larger table seeing as so few were occupied but we did like the garden side one we had.
The bill came to £59.40 including service.
To surmise, cool funky bar perfect for after shopping / pre cinema drinks or meeting large groups of friends but needs to raise its game in the kitchen if it is to compete with nearby eateries.
October 1, 2007