155 Bar & Kitchen, Farringdon Road, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word: Designer
Food:  Modern classics
Service:  Attentive and friendly
Presentation:  Beautiful interiors, I love the decor – think modern take on 70’s chic
Ambience: Very quiet when we first visited, it’s now picked up the pace and has a real buzz
Location:  Clerkenwell, just a hop-skip and a jump away from Farringdon station
Value for money:  Standard London  prices
Worth a visit?:  If the intro offer was still on, I’d say YES GOGOGO NOW…but It’s not.  Good modern food in a beautifully finished restaurant

I’m loving 155 Bar & Kitchen, the new(ish) kid on the block in Farringdon, set into the Clerkenwell Collection, a newly refurbed ‘out-of-the-box’ retail and gallery space.

I stumbled across 155 Bar & Kitchen via the wonders of Opentable‘s map search; freshly opened and with a couple of really good reviews, 155 Bar & Kitchen looked like somewhere we needed to check out, with the added bonus of being just round the corner from hubby’s work.  Making it perfect for those (frequently occurring) ‘can’t be arsed to cook’ Friday evenings.

The view across the restaurant

The view across the restaurant

Looking into the kitchen

Looking into the kitchen

From the street

From the street

Branded as the place to share wine, food and stories – there is certainly plenty of space to do exactly that, with three areas – the main bar & dinning room, a more relaxed lounge bar and the downstairs area which looks like the perfect place to while away an evening with booze and jazz, plus there is a private dinning space down there.

Food:

I’ve been quite a few times now and eaten pretty much everything on the menu (which wasn’t particularly extensive and didn’t change in the first few months of the restaurant opening back in late summer 2015), and I’m happy to say we’ve been impressed every time!

The bread bowl with super tasty cheesy dough balls

The bread basket with super tasty cheesy dough balls

I love the bread ‘basket’ here, always a weakness for me, but it’s the warm cheesy dough rolls, divine for the taste buds although i’m not sure they’re doing my arteries much good!

The Chicken Liver Pate

The Duck Liver Parfait

The Duck Liver Parfait is a big serve for one, I’d recommend this as a sharer, especially when you’ve already consumed the bread bowl [reminder to self: must not eat all the bread].  The pate is served in the classic mini-Mason jar on a slab of wood, and accompanied by a super cute little brioche loaf and bowl of tangy chutney.  Almost looks too good to eat, but it tastes fab so I’d recommend eating it not gazing longingly at it!

The Scallop starter

The Scallop starter

The King Scallop start comes with Nerone rice, pistachio salsa and lavender poached apricot and is absolutely delicious!

The Trio of Sliders

The Trio of Sliders

The Trio of Sliders; three mini burgers, one beef with Little Hereford cheddar cheese, one lamb with Windrush goat’s cheese and harissa, and the other pork with caramelised apple and brie.  A great bar snack in my opinion for the carnivores amongst us.

The steak

The steak

I really enjoyed the steak – stark presentation, but by no means stark on taste!  Beautifully cooked to my liking (on the rarer side of medium rare), juices flowing and perfectly sized.

The full sized burger

The full sized 155 Burger

The 155 Burger comes in a lovely soft brioche bun laced with pancetta and your choice of cheese, and is served with handcut chips and sauces.  Great burger; well cooked, juicy and flavoursome.

The Quinoa salad

The Asian Quinoa Salad

Roasted shiitake mushrooms, hijiki, sea aster, edemame, quinoa with a zesty ginger and soy dressing make up the Asian Quinoa Salad.  A little on the small side for a main, however, I think the price reflects this.

The Buckwheat Pancake

The Buckwheat Pancake

The mushroom and asparagus Gallette is an origami’d buckwheat pancake enclosing chestnut and porcini mushrooms and asparagus with a cheesy béchamel sauce.

Some sort of yummy dessert

The deconstructed cheesecake

The cheesecake is delicious and not quite what we were expecting; a tangy and cheesy mix of blue and Chevre cheeses served with shortbread biscuits and smothered in a coffee caramel sauce.

More yummyness

The Coconut milk panna cotta

The Coconut milk panna cotta is a delicious vegan alternative to the traditional panna cotta, served with a nice big dollop of sharp sour cherry compote.

The menu has changed since our visits back in the early Autumn, so check out 155 Bar and Kitchen’s website for the latest sample menu to drool over!

Service:

The service is great, super friendly, up for a chat,  and I didn’t notice any of the more common teething problems you get with new set ups.

I did feel that our first dinning experience was slightly rushed, with an eagerness to move to the next course – perhaps this was because the restaurant, and hence kitchen, were quiet when we visited.  On the positive, there was no waiting around for food!

Presentation:

Nice big wine glass and mini terrarium

Nice big wine glass and I love the mini terrarium

The Lounge bar - retro 70's chic

The Lounge bar – retro 70’s chic

Record collection in the lounge

Record collection in the lounge

The DJ booth in the lounge

The DJ booth in the lounge

I love how this restaurant has been styled.   I adore the mini terrariums on the table, they’re a chic alternative to the succulent in a jam jar so popular a couple of years ago (and still rocking it in my opinion!), and the sheepskin rugs draped over some of the chairs in the restaurant.

I especially love the lounge bar area, it just screams 70’s living room to me, it’s like going back in time.  Hats off to the interior stylist (and when I say hats, I mean one of those classic 70’s wide-brimmed fedora style hats).

The food looks great; presented on matte black or earthenware plates, or on the classic wooden board, which I’m not yet tired of, although it does get a little bit messy with burger juice dribbling down the side!

Value for money:

The bill for two people with 50% off! BOOM!

The bill for two people with 20% off! BOOM!

When the 20% off deal was running to entice in new business, value for money rated extremely highly!  I seriously doubt that they need to repeat this offer!

Without the discount, it’s standard London restaurant prices; between £6 and £10 for a starter, mains between £10 and £20 with sides at £4 each, desserts are between £5 and £10.

Contact:

155 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3AD

Tel: +44 (0)20 3675 8847

Email: 155barkitchen@clerkenwell-london.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/155barandkitchen

Website: www.155barandkitchen.com

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday: 7.30am – 11pm

Saturday: 10am – 11pm

Sunday: Closed

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