My pops visited me on Tuesday as his busy schedule led him to Borough one afternoon. Being the caring (freeloading*) father that he is, he decided to spend some quality time with his favourite daughter (use my sofa for the night). After meeting him at the pub next door to my office, “what’s a Gandt?” he asked (he had text me previously to ask what I wanted to drink), I led him past the Tate, over the Millennium Bridge and out to St Paul’s Cathedral.
I explained to him that I had been trying to visit a pop-up restaurant called Disco Bistro for some weeks and had never quite got round to it. “You were waiting for my wallet then?” quipped Dad. No, I wasn’t. But it sure as hell makes the whole thing a lot more fun when you don’t have to look at the damage.
We were both a little bemused to enter the Rising Sun and be greeted by a crowd of whooping and hollering suits. The bar maid mouthed “Horse Races” at me. I mimed an understanding Ahh! having no idea what this meant. We ordered a wine each and were told to head on up stairs when we were ready. Upstairs was a stark contrast, low lit with candles on little wooden tables with mis-matched chairs (old bus seats for the larger tables) whilst soothing reggae played. We sat and took to the menu straight away. We ordered and surveyed the room a little more. An achingly cool couple sat behind us, who pulls off a scoop back and top knot on a Tuesday? “Is that a Squirrel?” I had read about him in Grace Dent’s review. “It looks punk, but they are playing reggae, that’s a little annoying” dad threw out there. As a man of many hair colours, motorbikes and tattoos I take my old man’s opinions on the punk genre very seriously. Above our heads a huge conglomeration of trumpets were gathered to create a huge sphere of golden splendour and on the wall a blackboard chalked out a number of issues. Are you serious here? I’m sat on an old school chair eyeing up a questionable piece of taxidermy and trying to decide between beef or fish, should I begin conversation on eradicating malaria? Probably, actually, yes.
We chose a grilled half scallop with black pudding and apple to start. Cooked to perfection and the unexpected brit twist of black pudding was surprisingly delicious, I’m not usually a fan of it. For main: Mr Knight then went for a flat iron steak bun with peppers and I for deep fried Pollock in a buttermilk roll with fennel slaw. Both served with fries cooked in Aged Beef Fat. The food hit the table, “no” he cried and shook his head in pure disbelief at the young girl. What had she done, I panicked. I looked at my dad with that withering stare only a child can give their parent; please don’t embarrass me in front of the cool girl dad. I spotted his outstretched index finger. He was pointing at the tomato sauce and mustard. Ok, now I’m confused. “no” he repeated and laughed. Oh I get it, he thinks its a joke getting condiments straight from the bottle, where are the poncy little tubs they usually come poured in he’s thinking. I dismiss the bemused hipster and quickly explain to dad that that’s the the thing to do now. Heinz its a cult, its a statement, its widely perceived as the best despite its mass production, its not even equal to the coca cola/Pepsi debate because it has no rival. “it’s like getting your wine served in a tumbler glass, you like a good sauv blanc but you don’t feel the need to pour it into an actual wine glass.” His nose crinkled; not such a fan of that then.
Now, I previously had reserved my “best chips of my life” status to Bread Street Kitchen, a mere spit from our then destination. But I’m sorry Gordon, Carl Clarke’s genius has knocked you off my little respected list. THESE CHIPS ARE INCREDIBLE! Meaty, crispy but still having that pillowy soft potato inside, I wouldn’t shut up about them. Pretty embarrassing as I gushed and threw my head round to see Clarke himself sat with a couple of hotties (media types I suspected) urgh am I food groupie now? How he creates this carby miracle I don’t know but I need more! Anyway’s after all that excitement and drained wine glass, we decided to order another, this time from the restaurant itself and not the pub downstairs. A respectable and tasty house white appeared…in glass tumblers.
All in all the bill came to about £50, I think. Being the true gent, Dad picked up the tab obvs. I am only posting the below image because I took it whilst he was telling me a cheesy joke, I showed it to him and he exclaimed “I’ve got old”. Love ya Old Man Knight.
*naturally I must add that the only free loader present for the 18hr visit was me. Obviously.