After work on a cold London evening I went to have dinner at Smollensky’s on The Strand. It is a restaurant serving American cuisine although on the menu I saw that there was a few dishes which have an oriental or mediterranean twist to it.
The main restaurant and bar are located downstairs. It was a fairly contemporary designed restaurants which makes it great for parties. When we arrived there were groups of tables that look like they were having a dinner party – maybe company Christmas parties. But overall I have to say it was a fairly empty restaurant and we were taken to a table straight away for two people.
The menu is simple that it covered two A4 size papers, excluding the drinks and desserts which are all on a separate menu. So since the menu was short and simple, there should not be much difficulty in picking a dish to eat.
We started with sharing two different starters. One was the pan seared scallops with minted pea puree and crispy pancetta (£7.95). I have had various version at Italian restaurant but my first time having an American version. It was nicely presented with scallops cooked perfectly and the pea puree was a great combination to the dish. But we did question whether the pancetta was actually bacon.
Our second starters was the BBQ chicken wings (£5.95). The chicken wings you have the choice of going for either in BBQ sauce or spicy sauce. Although we had the BBQ chicken wings it was actually fairly spicy. So we did wonder if they gave us the spicy sauce but at the same time it tasted like BBQ sauce! The dish came with a blue cheese sauce which I have taste better than the one at Smollensky’s. According to the menu we were suppose to get celery which is what I would have thought the blue cheese sauce was there for, but instead we got some lettuce on the side.
The main course we ordered BBQ full rack of ribs (£15.95) which was expected to come with fries, slaw and corn on the cob. When we ordered we requested not to have any slaw and indeed we did not get any. But we did expect to not get the corn on the cob as well and instead we got some lettuce. On plate it was presented nicely but I would not say it was the best grilled ribs in London. We actually felt the rib was more boiled then grilled since the meat fell easily away from the bones.
I decided to go for the steak and there are a choice of fillet, rib eye, rump and T bone. I went for the 12oz sirloin steak (£19.95) which you can choose to have with chips, mashed potato or house salad. I went for the mashed potatoes and added with it Béarnaise sauce that cost an extra £1.25. To my surprise it came with a big flat mushroom and a sliced of grilled tomatoes. I think you need some vegetables with a steak. Overall, it was fairly nice dish and my steak was perfectly medium cooked.
There are a range of desserts that all sounded very American to me such as chocolate mud pie, peanut butter cheesecake etc. We choice to share a Banoffe Pie which was like an ice cream sundae that had fresh banana, toffee sauce, on a biscuit base topped with whipped cream. This dessert took about 20 minutes before it turned up on our table. But fortunately it was fairly nice dessert.
Since it was a cold evening and we sat at a table which seem to have draught or some sort of wind blowing around us, I had to order a hot chocolate to warm up.
Overall verdict is not the best American cuisines restaurant I have been. The space of the restaurant is big to cater for large party but in terms of food wise I personally think it did give me that WOW factor that I make me want to race back to dine there again.
(Prices correct at the time I was dining)
Smollensky’s (The Strand)
105 The Strand,