It’s not so much a case of where but what to eat at Westfield Stratford City, the new multi-million pound development enjoying its own notoriety in the East End ahead of the Olympic games in 2012. As you’d expect, there are the usual suspects who will always take up residence in a shopping centre no matter it’s magnitude or relevance and then there are the newcomers, from the coziness of a local business model this is the kind move that could make or break them.
Step forward Bumpkin. They’ve two restaurants in West London and locals have been enjoying their seasonal British menu in Notting Hill and South Kensington. It’s a nicely set dressed restaurant, red brick and hand painted signage with an open kitchen, ensuring you see what’s being prepared and how. They’re all about seasonal food, sourced from all over the UK. Former restaurant manager of the Edinburgh hotel Le Monde, Keiran Cusker is managing this place and dispatching his foodie knowledge and restaurant know-how with great aplomb.
A delivery problem meant that some breakfast items weren’t available which was fine for selfish old me, as I wanted the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Smoked in-house, the Loch Duart salmon was thickly sliced and there was plenty of it. Wrapped, unsalted butter allowed me to spread it thickly on a fennel-seeded home made bread. Good, strong coffee arrived with hot skimmed milk and the waitress service was attentive but not overbearing.
The menu didn’t lack choice. Interesting salads, sandwich platters, fish, meat, stews, burgers and a great pudding list, I can’t remember the last time, if ever, if seen an egg custard tart with stewed fruit on a menu and I’m really glad to see it. Browsing the starters the ingredients included pigeon, cobnuts and smoked bacon. Mains include Dingley Dell roast pork, fish and chips in a gluten-free batter and a rabbit stew.
They’re now selling home-made seasonal jam, chutney, mustard and pickle as well as oils and bio-dynamic wines. Worth knowing as these little jars made an excellent addition to home made Christmas hampers.
They’re fortunate to have a terrace, which stretches, down the sunnier side of the restaurant.
The interior is well appointed and the upstairs area has comfy winged chairs for a decent Sunday paper trawl. It’s here those private parties and those all-important after work drinks will become a staple. With Christmas on the way, it’s a great space for the Christmas party – shame our office is on Regent Street.
Bumpkin, 105/106 The Street, Westfield Stratford City