All reader reviews by TerenceJolley
THE CITY may be a hustling,bustling place with many eat-on-the-hoof,grab-a-bite takeaways and sandwich deli's but if "time should leave you here awhile" certainly pay a visit to the wonderful PRISM Restaurant in Leadenhall Street.
A mere stones throw from the Lloyds building and a short walk from the Bank of England and Royal Exchange,PRISM is a vibrant and happening venue,yet seems a haven of calm from the buzz of the City.
We visited to partake of some splendid and varied fayre,in the most amazing ambient surroundings of the former Bank of New York building,boasting Neo-Classical columns and an amazingly high ceilings has been converted by architects Liftschutz to create an elegant 1920's feel to moden 21st Century Dining.
Harvey Nichols the owners of PRISM certainly have come up trumps with this amazing location in which to situate a restaurant and bar. Not only is the venue for dining,but private-dining and receptions can be catered for on a splendid mezzanine level with wndow overlooking the main restaurant below.It is reached by a delightful winding marble staircase. As is the additional bar in the cellar of the restaurant which used to house the vaults of the Bank of New York.
We were greeted by an attentive and very caring,bubbly and professional staff at the restaurant and were allowed time to partake of a cocktail from the wide variety to choose from on the menu,before dining.
As one would expect PRISM cater for all clients with a very substantial range of beers,wines,spirits,champagnes and cocktails-So there is something for everyone.Even the teetotal have a delightful selection of soft drinks,tea and coffee.
On the point of taking tea-PRISM also offer an afternoon tea menu which can be taken in the conservatory which is a corridor on the ground floor,exposed to natural light from its glass ceiling and is set out with astroturf and artificial though authentic looking clematis climbing the trellis to give a real outdoors-indoors feel.
Onto the restaurant and dining itself-On the evening of our visit we were entertained by a wonderful pianist/singer which added a marvellous feel to the place. PRISM also has varied entertainments throughout the year.Mondays host film nights,there are regular musical evenings.Details can be found on the Prism website for these details.
We started by choosing a selection of canapes from a very reasonable £3.95 for 4-ranging to around £5.95 of Mini Chorizo and Aioli,which were very tasty. Spicy Peppadew peppers filled with Goats Cheese and Lemon were next and last ,but by no means least were freshwater Prawns Marinated in Lemon and Chilli. These made ideal starters from the menu selection titled "Little Picks" as most were served on cocktail sticks.
Following this for the Starter my guest chose Smoked salmon,served with delicately sliced radish,cucumber and a lemon creme fraiche.Which was prettily arranged and tasted as good as it looked. I chose Poached Duck Egg,Celeriac Remoulade with Parma Ham and a watercress Sauce. The most attractive thing about my choice was the variety of colour and texture,a gorgeous vivid green Watercress sauce,smooth and creamy went well with the grated textures and sweet taste of the Celeriac and the smoothness of the egg with a bright yellow yolk.The Palma Ham was crisp and added a splash of red-colour to the plate-Almost a colour palette of tasteful beauty!
For the choice of wine,we were guided by the Somellier to go for a delicate and yet fruity and mellow Harvey Nichols Sauvignon Blanc,AC Bordeuax 09.At £22.50 per bottle.
There is one should say a fantastic wine list in which Harvey Nichols house wines feature starting from a very reasonable £5.95 per glass/£15.50 per carafe.
Looking at the Menu-PRISM serves both a la carte and set meals-Set Meals coming in at a very modest £24.50 for two courses and £29.50 for three.
For the main course,of which there are again several wide ranging choices,of fish,meats,poultry and even vegetarian in the choice of lasagne -Mains starting from around the £15 mark,My guest chose Roast saddle of Rabbit,Pan Fried Baby Artichoke,Carrot and Nutmeg Puree and Rabbit Jus at £18.50. I opted for Red Mullet,Saute Baby Squid,Oven Roasted Tomato,which Chargrilled Curly Kale,Fennel and Saffron Aioli at £21.95. The rabbit was superb,tender,delicate-Amazing textures and flavours complementing each other in the delicate artichokes,carrot and the fragrant yet almost subtle nutmeg overtones.
To accompany a varied selection of side dishes is available at around £2.75.Our choices being Chantennay carrots with VBlossom Honey and Thyme,giving a gorgeous sweet and delicately herby taste.
Moving onto dessert,which our waiter told us was "the MOST important part of any meal" and I have to agree with him,being a sweet-toothed sugar fiend myself. My guest-not being as sweet-toothed as I chose Frozen Praline Parfait with fresh Kentish Cherries.She described it as "simply splendid" and the cherries in a rich sauce as "Delicieux!" I went for the Spiced Plum Fool with Vanilla Cream which was equally splendid,the Plums just sweet and complimenting the Shortbread layer and Vanilla.The spice flavour not in the least overpowering-Just right.
PRISM is a place I can highly recommend.Service is efficient,friendly,thorough and professional.The ambience is amazing,fantastic Neo-Classical surroundings-In fact it is rumoured that,but not confirmed that the former Banking Hall was the one used in the Mary Poppins film as the set of the "Dawes,Tomes,Mousley,Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" when the public surge forward to withdraw their deposits in the interior scenes.I'll certainly be watching more closely the next time this film repeats!!
The food offer is truly awe-inspiring,We took far longer than we should just trying to choose from the menu of mouthwatering delights and we will most definitely be back to try more in the forthcoming months.The set menu given its reasonable pricing makes the affordability factor really count and this should enable not only the City client base enjoy a great meal but also it should appeal to courting-couples,ladies who lunch and even the tourist discovering the City to pop in to savour a gastronomic treat!
5/5 Excellent-Give your taste buds a treat today,and make your stomach smile!! Remember the acronym PRISM... Prism Restaurant is Simply Magnificent.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9