July 22nd, 2020
When Gabrielle sang ‘dreams can come true, look at me babe I’m with you’ she presumably didn’t foresee a mask-wearing Howard Hughes impersonator humming this on the top deck of the 55, eyes closed, thinking of a plate of bread and butter. But 2020 is a hell of a year, and that was our journey back to Noble Rot.
The most perfect street in the world.
What we’ve said before:
“Everything from the food, to the atmosphere, to the cartoons in the toilets is spot on. Noble Rot calls itself a wine bar and restaurant but it feels more like a public member’s club, if there is such a thing.”
Wow. It sounds like you want to marry this place?
Sure, yeah, why not? If Tracy Emin married a rock in her garden, then we may as well go all in with Noble Rot. We love it. Yep, we said it.
I’m so happy for you. And how was it being indoors?
Thanks. Everything felt the same, but different. We sat in the front bar area (which is now booking-only) in one of the banquettes, and had lots of space. It was also 5:45pm because we’d left the plants with a sitter and were feeling nervy. There were quite a few tables taken out, so it was positively roomy. All the staff wore masks and, all in all, it felt 99% as comfortable and natural as it always does. The champagne probably (definitely) helped.
It does that, doesn’t it?
Yup, especially when combined with the best bread plate in London.
The best bread in London?
Yes, yes, and yes. Three types of bread, six slices of pure, unadulterated, comfort. The sourdough, soda, and focaccia is an impolite plate of carbs. And we’re not talking in calorific terms. We’re talking in greedy, grabby terms. This bread is so good that British niceties go out of the window. The focaccia and the soda, in particular, are so perfect, so moist, that your eyes will well if the last pieces don’t find their way into your needy pie hole.
Oi oi. How about the rest?
We decided to go pescetarian, so it was more ahoy ahoy.
Anyway, yeah, a hot, early summer’s evening - fish. Specifically the signature slip sole with smoked butter. Smoky, soft, superb. Apologies for the alliteration. There was smoked mackerel with a celeriac remoulade too - an ideal sourdough vehicle if we’ve ever seen or eaten one. In between was a deity-like ball of burratina, surrounded by sweet, adoring tomatoes. And for main: monkfish on Provençal pistou.
Oh. Pistou is a garlic-heavy sauce. But this was more of a cold summery soup, full of herbs and peas and perfect little cubes of potato and carrot. It was completely delicious and utterly anti-social. Green bits in our teeth, breath ponging. Truly the food of summer 2020.
And what was it like when you left?
Busier, but not that busy. Buzzing, but also not as buzzing as usual. Nowhere is going to be quite the same: that’s just the nature of metres and masks. But we’ve spent a lot of time inside and outside of Noble Rot, and the most noticeable thing was how happy everyone was to be back. Ourselves included.