by Maryam Zanouzi, Special Correspondent
Smith’s Bar and Grill is described as a traditional British and modern-European eatery with a modern edge. Located in Paddington Basin overlooking the Grand Union canal. It has a large light-filled restaurant and an all year terrace with outdoor heaters.
We visited in the evening after sunset, when Paddington Basin comes alive in the evening and is a perfect place to enjoy the waterfront and people watch. As the weather was ambient my guest and I opted to sit outside for our dinner and move inside for our dessert. The outside terrace is spacious with canopies covering guests and the option to switch on the heating. The restaurant was busy, it was nice to see people going out and enjoying themselves again after everything we have all been through.
Smith’s offers customers everything from breakfast all the way through to dinner. If one was minded to spend the whole day eating then Smith’s can deliver!
The menu is vast, perhaps a little overwhelming, breakfast includes freshly made croissants, bacon and maple serum stacked pancakes and a full english breakfast. There is a lunch menu served between 12-4pm which is offered as a two or three course meal at a fixed price of £15 and £18 respectively. The A La Carte menu begins at 12 until late. If you are a fan of surf and turf then at this point your eyes should light up. I should warn you though fish and meat are served separately, but this is the joy of a dinner for two sampling a taste from your partner’s plate. On the seafood end of the spectrum expect, tuna steak, a selection of fresh fish of the day, seafood platter, roasted octopus and seafood risotto. For meat lovers, 10oz rib eye steak, beef fillet and beef burger. For the health conscious there is a good selection of salads and sides. If you are strictly vegetarian or vegan then this is not the place for you. They make a modest effort but I would not bring any vegetarians here.
My partner and I had been invited to sample the new Sunday roast menu which was newly launched on the 18th July 2021. Lunch is served each Sunday 12-5pm. Our menu was reduced to the one available on Sundays. Our waitress took our drinks order, the cocktail list is vast. We ordered two Mojitos (£10ea), which were refreshing with just the right kick of alcohol.
We asked the waitress to recommend starters and mains suitable for a pair of pescatarians. Tuna Tartare (£9) and Scallops (£14) were recommended.
The tuna tartare was delicious. I almost forgot to swap half way through so that my partner could sample it. Raw tuna served with an umami dressing presented with flatbread crisp. The scallops and pea puree looked wonderful and again my partner had to be reminded to leave me a scallop to try! The scallop was perfectly cooked, still moist in the middle but charred on the outside.
For mains my partner had the whole sea bass (market price) with roast potatoes and green beans and I had the mushroom parcel (£15) which included roasted chestnuts mushrooms and field mushrooms wrapped in filo pastry served with truffle gravy, roasted potatoes, tender stem broccoli and maple syrup carrots.
It is not often that one gets to say this; but I honestly did not miss eating the meat option. The mushrooms were very meaty and the vegetarian gravy – I need that recipe. The vegetables cooked with a slight bite – I would have preferred larger roast potatoes. As is customary in our partnership, half way through we swapped and I got to experience the delights of this perfectly cooked whole sea bass, which melted in the mouth. The sauce, which was made with parsley but no cream, was excellent.
As the weather was getting cold we opted to go inside for our last course. Smiths is vast on the inside with moody lighting, a large central bar and dark wood.
We noticed that there was a very young crowd this evening and thus the music was turned up loud enough that my partner and I could no longer comfortably speak to one another. As we both went in we pointed to the lavatories, I always like to check the facilities. The bathrooms were well decorated, clean and spacious.
When we returned to the restaurant we were met by Mushtariy Abdukodiriy, the public relations manager, who I thanked for assisting me in finding a parking spot and the picture book directions which worked perfectly – I am usually not good at following directions!
We asked her what she would recommend for dessert. She directed us towards the peruvian creme brulee (£6.50) and shortbread biscuits with dulce de leche filling (£4).
Both desserts were beautiful with the peruvian shortbread having the edge. I asked Mush why persuvian? She advised me that upstairs they have a japanese/peruvian fusion restaurant. I am a big fan of Japanese and South American food so I told her she would be seeing me again.
Having only managed to eat half of our desserts we asked if we could have doggy bags which they kindly gave us so that we could enjoy the taste of Smiths the next day.
25 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EY
020 7286 9458
smith’s bar and grill.co.uk,
Hours Mon-Fri 8am – 11pm