One of the perks of my job is the occasional work lunch. Really breaks a day up and let’s face it I like to eat out, so its just another excuse :)
So last week I was more than a little excited to have a lunch at Raffles pencilled in my calendar. It was a blue sky autumn day so a bite to eat by the river was sure to be delightful. It wasn’t overly busy on this particular Tuesday and we had a booking, so were shown straight to our table. Our group of 5 was sat near the door to the outside area, which view wise, was a nice spot, but there was a bit of a breeze which was slightly chilly and being a hero that day I hadn’t packed a cardigan (which I know have reaffirmed that I should never leave home without! Or at the very least like a pashmina or something!) Anyways though I digress….
The menu is split into their tapas offering and then the usual entrees, mains, dessert. We decided we’d share some tapas dishes. I’m always on board with that as you get to try more from the menu than just having one dish to yourself. And hey sharing is caring right? And to take the pressure off anyone having to make a decision we asked the friendly waitress to bring us out a selection of 5 or so tapas to start. As well as this, the group order a dozen Kilpatrick oysters and some Turkish bread.
I’m not a huge oyster fan, but I did try one and the bacon definitely helps, but I just can’t fall in love with these salty goobers just yet….. maybe one day….. could be like my love affair with blue cheese, took me ages to get on board, but now that I am, I can’t get enough! From all accounts from other people around the table, they were lovely oysters and quickly devoured.
The serve of bread they brought out was a little skint, which was disappointing given that it was nice bread. It came with a home made hommus style dip, which was tasty, but a lot more was given that was required for the 4 small slices.
Our tapas then arrived and the first round included tempura prawns, which came with a coriander aioli style dressing. The prawns were quite nice, a decent size and a nice flavour. There was also some chorizo, which I enjoyed, a good amount of spice to it and not crazy oily. There was also some salt and pepper squid, another well cooked dish, and then there was some battered fish, would assume it was whiting filets, which was served with a harissa dip. They were all nice dishes, probably just too many fried options. Had hoped that perhaps the waitress would have mixed it up a bit more, but I suppose that’s what you get when you let someone else do the choosing.
We decided we’d go for round two and asked another waiter to bring out another 4 tapas. Probably would have been worthwhile asking the original waitress for this request as we ended up with 2 we’d already had – the prawns and more chorizo. Both were tasty so I didn’t mind too much reliving the experience. The other two was a bowl of incredibly chunky chips….. don’t know if I’d say chips were tapas, unless they were parading as potato bravas, which was a bit of a stretch even if they did come with aioli…. So I wasn’t too fussed on those, but the other dish was a pork belly and it was really good. Melted in your mouth and had a delicious sticky sauce.
In all I thought downstairs at the Raffles wasn’t a bad outing. Fairly casual at lunchtime (as opposed to night time when a lot of the trendy’s come out to play) and the food was tasty. In all I think the one thing I’d remember for next time is to order a salad along with the tapas, just a bit too much deep frying on this visit.