|Not all plain sailing at Pacific Bar & Grill|
Restaurant's latest incarnation proves a little turbulent
When an establishment changes identity the number of times as this particular restaurant has, one hopes that each new incarnation will be an improvement on the last. Sadly this is not the case for the Pacific Bar & Grill.
Situated on the corner of Stamford Brook Road and Goldhawk Road, the former Café Med has been given a now tiresomely familiar minimalist overhaul and re-opened its doors a few weeks ago.
The interior, whilst being stylish, looks like it has been lifted from the pages of a Habitat catalogue. The bar area is spacious but was overly noisy and smoky in relation to number of drinkers. The attractive and ample courtyard entered via glass doors at the far end of the bar looked inviting but the chilly evening meant we had to admire it from inside.
After our pre-dinner drink we were led to our table through a maze of diners. To say that every inch of space has been utilised in the eating area would not be facetious. Considering the floor space of the bar and eating area would be on par, the latter felt terribly cramped with double the noise levels.
We were looked after by a lovely waitress whose attentive service did much to improve our humour. We ordered chargrilled calamari with sweet chilli jam (£5.75) and goat’s cheese with cranberry sauce (£5.50) to start. My calamari was chargrilled to perfection but was spolied by the sweet chilli jam which quite frankly tasted more like very spicy tomato ketchup. My partner’s goat’s cheese was substantial in size but hadn’t been cooked long enough to acquire the oozing consistency that he was anticipating.
The mains were considerably better. The filet mignon with béarnaise sauce (£16.50) was cooked superbly and going by what fellow diners were tucking into was by far the most popular dish on the menu. The crispy duck (£11.75) was dry but was saved heroically by the delicious butternut squash and fine green beans. We drank a passable Argentinean Shiraz (£13.95) but felt we hadn’t made the best choice on the wine list.
The bill came to £71.83 for dinner for two including wine and coffee but excluding pre-dinner drinks.
The Pacific Bar & Grill offer a weekend brunch menu between 11am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Their children’s menu presents good value at £5 offering a choice of sirloin burger, salmon fishcake, grilled chicken breast or pasta with tomato & basil sauce with a juice and an ice cream.
What the Pacific Bar & Grill lacks in culinary excellence and ambiance, it more than makes up for with excellent service from staff whose attitudes are beyond fault. On reflection, the real disappointment was that we had gone out to dinner to have a conversation but sadly the acoustics had rendered this virtually impossible.
September 29, 2005