The Union (Regent's Place)
your comments review this restaurant and win a bottle of champagne
We decided to give Union Bar being newly opened with an offer on their Sunday Roast. It is located conveniently near Warren Street Station at Regentís Place, a busy commercial eatery area for the business diners and unsurprisingly quiet on the Sunday we went. The whole area was pretty deserted other than the busy traffic connecting people to and from Oxford Street so we were pretty surprised that they opened on Sunday. What made it harder for the public to be aware of its existence was that it was not on a main road but enclosed inside of Regents Place which is a paved area.
But once found it stood out amongst all the offices it surrounded with the big ĎUnioní glass on wooden panels behind tall glass windows. I was even more impressed with the inside decor. A big open space, decorated sleek black with a uncovered ceiling allowing the pipes to be part of the design with fairy lights wrapped around it creating an outer space look, very cool. It definitely set the right mood to unwind on the comfy padded leather seatings at the back. Shame it was empty but it was nice to get the whole venue to ourselves.
When we entered we thought no one was there to serve us until this one guy just casually popped up from his seat and guided us to our table. He turned out to be the only guy to serve that evening which was strange in such a large venue as it looked like he was prancing around. When not needed he would recline back into his table with his friends and continue to behave like another customer. I suppose it is a bar and not a restaurant to expect any more service than required and he seemed friendly enough.
At six oíclock we were warned that the steak had ran out and only one more chicken was available. So not a good start but we were easy going and just went for something else on the menu that was available. Food took long but luckily we had a good company so just used the time to chat over the house wine which was surprisingly good. When we thought things were going to get better when the beautifully presented generous serving of food arrived, we were wrong.
So I decided to order the last half roast chicken with all the trimmings which included a pot of gravy, roast potatoes, a big yorkshire pudding and broccoli florets. Funny enough everything succeeded except the chicken and the gravy. The potatoes were perfect actually, better than one of the better roasts Iíve had. Seasoned and flavoured well with herbs and roasted to crisp. The inside were one of the most fluffiest kind Iíve had. Yorkshire light and airy, roasted well just maybe lacking some flavour but was fine. Broccoli cooked well, still had its crunchiness and sweetness. Shame that all this was wasted to accompany such a dry tasteless chicken. The meat was dense and had a horrible dry texture in the mouth which made it hard to finish. The gravy was tasteless too, no flavour and so sadly did nothing to the dish.
Well weirdly it was the same with all the dishes, great sides ruined by the main thing itself and its sauce. So the same goes for the rump of steak accompanied by the same lovely fluffy chips and fresh rocket as the side. The rump itself however was really tough with chewy muscle fibers right in the middle separating the steak into two small pieces. It was tasteless too even with sauce which had no depth of flavour in it.
The belly of pork with crackling was just as unsuccessful. Drowned in sauce it did not make up for the dry gritty pork itself. The pork was wrapped round in stuffing but you really couldnít taste the stuffing taken over by the dense thick layer of dry pork. It was again flavourless without the sauce and the crackling wasnít even crisp but soggy due to the sauce. That was no fat in it to tenderise the meat or make it succulent. It was actually the poorest pork belly I have ever eaten. The mash and spinach that accompanied was fine though. Mash mixed in with mustard added a real depth to the fluffiness and spinach seasoned perfectly, moist, fresh and sweet.
The last hope was in the red snapper but the results were just as disappointing. It was actually the driest out the lot. I must say, presentation and abundance of sides surrounded it won it extra points though. A beautiful red snapper on top of soft grilled sweet peppers, onions in a fresh carrot and tomato sauce with soft polenta layered on top of it all. It was like a mini jenga presented to me. But it was only a fool to the eye as taste wise, it was pretty much tasteless. The polenta didnít do it for me although was cooked fine and firm. I just didnít feel it went well with the texture of the dry and tough fish. Even though impressed with the freshness of the sauce, it definitely needed seasoning and more flavour. The grilled vegetables were fine though, very high quality and sweet.
The whole meal confused me as it seems they invest in very high quality vegetables and sides but low quality meat, presented everything beautifully but all was a fool to the eye as most of it was tasteless.
Although it was a bar I did expect it to be easier to get someoneís attention. e.g.for condiments and the bill but instead I felt I was interrupting the waiterís conversation with his friends on the other table. In the end I did most of the service myself except the bill of course, They were all smiley though, quite friendly and relaxed so there was nothing wrong with their attitude.
Although the Union Bar was less successful on our visit Iím sure it succeeds better for a casual place for drinks and socialising. Just donít expect a high quality lunch or dinner although Iím sure a few side dishes of their chips would be fine.
Comment on this reader review
- View all reviews by this user
Food 3 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 3
Wednesday, April 18, 2012