The Old Bengal BBQ at New Street Grill
Barbecue season is well under way and the city is no exception with the reopening of the Old Bengal BBQ at the popular New Street Grill. Situated down a little alley away from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street in a stunning 18th-century warehouse, the courtyard garden adjacent to the main restaurant is a tranquil haven from the city.
Greeted by friendly and welcoming staff, the barbecue courtyard is immediately a place where you can relax and have a drink, which is exactly what we did. Resisting the Pimms and extensive list of cocktails on offer, we opted for the house white wine – Cuvée Jean-Paul, which was light, dry, fruity and deliciously drinkable. The attentive staff provided white cotton napkins (not long to last that way), cutlery and kept the wine topped up while we waited for the starter to emerge from the Big Green Egg barbecue – a big deal in the barbecue world apparently, it is a natural wood fire with a closed lid to control the temperature. We had seafood to start: The Salt & Pepper Squid and Brochette of Mediterranean Prawns, both accompanied with garlic mayo, were naturally presented, decent-sized portions and vibrant in taste. The prawns, fully shelled on a skewer along with slices of lemon, courgette and red onions, were cooked to perfection and had a lovely smoky flavour from the Big Green Egg.
Now very much looking forward to the main course, we had avoided the temptation of the Black Angus Burger, Glazed Milk Bun, Relish and the New Street Big Dog, Caramelised Onions, Lapsang Souchong Mustard (i.e. burger and hot dog) and gone for the sensible option of steak and fish, which New Street Grill is renowned for. However, the portions and presentation were rather disappointing in comparison to the starters. The Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass with Fennel & Dill Salad was cooked well but the bed of fennel, whilst fresh, was not particularly complementary. The 200g 28-day-aged Sirloin Steak, Chips and Garlic Butter was overcooked (not the medium-rare requested) and the accompanying butter sauce was oily and unappealing. Overall our main barbecue choices didn’t match up to the standards of the starters, and we would perhaps have been better off with the burger and hot dog after all.
Reasonably priced for its location in the financial heart of London, this walled city sanctuary feels exclusive yet accessible. However, with the limited opening time of Monday to Friday,5pm to 9pm, the Old Bengal BBQ is mainly recommended for city workers in need of a break after a long day at work.
The Old Bengal BBQ: 46/60
To book a table at New Street Grill, 16A New Street London EC2M 4TR, call 020 3503 0785 or visit here.