Porter's -English restaurant and bar, Covent Garden, London.
The Daddy and I were faced with a challenge : where to dine in London? Before we left, we had booked a table at a posh English restaurant (Rules, also in Cvt Gadn), but finally decided to leave that aside and decide spur-of-the-momentish, whether to go for Indian food, or to a pub, or somewhere else. We did head for Covent Garden, as we hoped to have a drink in a bar afterwards, and there are many possibilities there, not to mention that it's a very lively area, not like our dull residential town. So it'd be a nice change.
I strongly believe that you can only plan so far and you must eventually let the odds decide for you, especially in a strange city (though I must say I used to know London like the back of my hand, but then again, Paris too and things change so fast when you've turned your back for like ten minutes...). The night before that, I had hoped for dinner at Chartier in Paris, but we arrived too late and so missed our chance. We ended up in a funky-looking bar/restaurant around the corner (Le Brebant) having a mediocre meal and worse Bourgogne, being only rescued from annoyance by the conversation of friends long unseen.
Well, back to Porter's, which is done up to look like an Victorian place, but is only dating back to the 1980s. The staff is young and friendly, and the punters are quite varied in age and status. The menu is solid English fare at affordable prices, but surprisingly good. OK, that salad looked a tiny bit frayed at the edges, but everything else was tasty. Fishcakes with spicy tomato relish and fried button mushrooms with a cheese dip.
Real, fresh mushrooms hiding underneath what may have looked like frozen stuff.
The steak, ale and mushroom pie was fantastic, the crust really fluffed up high and the stew underneath had perfectly tenderized meat. The Daddy had shepherd's Pie that was fine too.
The chocolate pudding, which was ordered with two spoons just for a taste of tradition, was sadly kind of a let down. The "chocolate" custard was only spiked with cocoa, and bland as hell, without a trace of sugar, or salt for that matter! The sponge was dryish, with only a couple of chocolate chips in it.
But, hey! It happens! Perhaps that's supposed to be like this? This wasn't a fondant after all.
The guy behind me was boring the hell out of his mum and two kids. I hoped that one of the twins falling asleep on the dining table would have been enough to send him on his way home but he had to entertain the waitress with some obscure story of his own before he paid.
We went for a drink later, at a bar/club drinking hole right in the midle of the theater area. Felt very old and tired all of a sudden. Rode the tube back to the hotel. Fell asleep as my head hit the pillow. Never happens to me usually.