11 April 2012
56-58 Tooley Street
020 7403 6388
Mum and me had to fight our way through ghastly ghosts and gruesome ghouls to reach Platform. Not in some fight to the death battle between good and evil but merely trying to get past the queue at the London Dungeon to reach the restaurant.
Platform is in an arch under London Bridge Station and its mish-mash of furniture, and mix of bare brick and decorated walls give it a lot of character. The high, vaulted arch has been utilised with a grand, central staircase that leads to a mezzanine gallery, thus doubling the space.
Me and mum were given a window table from where we could watch the Saturday afternoon Tooley Street crowd while discussing the exciting menu. Exciting, as there were several dishes that made the mouth water and a decision difficult.
We were both drawn to the Pork Belly, Braised Pig Cheeks and the Steak & Kidney Pudding but there was also a first course to choose and with so many delicious options our waiter had to return three times before we had our minds made up.
After ordering a Kernel Pale Ale for me and a Merlot for mum, we eventually went for three ‘Sharer’ dishes that were absolutely delicious. The starters were served on a long board placed between us: Dorset Crab on Toast, Salt & Pepper Squid and Braised Lamb Shoulder.
The squid came with a homemade sweet chilli sauce that had the kick of an irate donkey, none of that jam-like confection that comes in a bottle. The lamb was braised to perfection and would have been just as good as a main course. It did not really need the red pepper tart that it came with, although they combined very well.
Platform is run by a win double of a restaurateur and a Devon farmer, and the food is all sourced as locally as possible, making good use of Borough Market and Maltby Street. The beers, too, come from the Kernel Brewery just around the corner, and Meantime of Greenwich.
The chef, Richard Teague, has taken good, traditional cuts of meat and old school dishes, then given them a real 21st century feel. He has a space in Druid Street where all the stocks and stews are made, and where all the meat is cured and braised. Because of the farm connections the menu is predominantly meat based with just one fish and one vegetarian option, which is fine by me, though there are several of each in the Sharer and starter section.
Our main course arrived looking exceptionally good. Mum had the pig’s cheeks with mash, peas and carrots. She gave me a little taste and again the braising had been carried out perfectly. I had the suet steak & kidney pudding because I just had to! It is not a dish that you often find, and not one that I cook at home, so given this rare opportunity I grabbed it with both hands – which is, actually, how I would’ve ate it if I wasn’t in a restaurant!
The pudding was not a big, thick stodgy affair but a light, thin piece of heaven encasing the tenderest of beef and juicy kidney. Writing this the morning after I can still taste that beautiful pudding as if I was having it for breakfast, which I would do if I could.
And so it came the time for dessert. I wanted the Sticky Toffee Pudding but that really would have been a pudding too far so opted for the Chocolate Fondant instead, and what a good call that was. It was so light it almost disappeared as you bit into it, leaving just the soft, warm, oozing chocolate in your mouth. I cannot remember having a better chocolate fondant. Mum had the Panna Cotta with Poached Rhubarb which she dispensed with in several lip-smacking, well-enjoyed spoonfuls.
Platform delivers excellent food that changes with the seasons. On May 2nd they have a 3-Courses with matching wines evening; and their Express Lunch Menu of 3 courses for £12.95 looks just about unbeatable. On April 18th they are celebrating their 2nd birthday with a special £12 buffet evening, and I can see them having a lot more birthday parties in the years to come.
Sharing Board (3 dishes) £12.00
Braised Pig’s Cheeks £13.50
Steak & Kidney Pudding £13.00
Panna Cotta £5.50
Chocolate Fondant £5.50
Kernel Pale Ale £5.00
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