Friday, 25 February 2011

Restaurant Review: CityPoint Club

Here's a restaurant review originally written for Follow Londonist on Twitter to keep up with their daily posts on all things London.

CityPoint Club is a private healthclub, gym and spa tucked around the back of Moorgate station. It’s a place where City types who’ve forked up the membership go to relax, work-out, escape the office and maybe get a wrinkle-decreasing injection or two. Now that the club has unveiled its new CityPoint Restaurant, it’s throwing open its doors to non-members on the lookout for a spot of breakfast or lunch and a retreat from the hectic streets outside.

The brasserie-style restaurant is ran by Cooks & Partners, a catering group whose impressive credentials includes feeding guests at the Natural History Museum and The Orangery at Holland Park. The menu is short and simple, predominantly featuring soups, salads and sandwiches which have been put together with an awareness of healthy eating, yet refuse to conform too much to the self-restrained ways of a health spa.

An antipasti platter is standard though enjoyable fare, making a good starter to share or a light main course for one. Olives, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and a selection of meats each do their bit alongside some bread and olive oil. The quality of ingredients certainly comes through, though it’s interesting to note that particularly subtly flavoured varieties have been chosen. Perhaps too strong a chorizo slice or too peppery an olive oil would offset the carefully balanced calmness of the room?

The same story continues with the mains. While a fillet of seabass is perfectly cooked, with juicy flesh and crispy skin, the creamy parsley sauce which accompanies it distinctly lacks in herb flavour. A ‘superfood salad’ packed full of nutrient rich vegetables, seeds and quinoa is a beauty to behold and offers a pleasing variety of textures, but it needs some oil, vinegar and salt adding at the table before it comes to life.

The freshly made smoothies and juices certainly aren’t lacking in oomph, and need no additions. The less virtuous selection of cakes, brownies and flapjacks is impressive, too. Tea, coffee, wine, beer and bodybuilding supplements are also available, depending on your inclination.

At £3.50 for a glass of wine, £2 for a slice of cake and £8 for a sharing platter, the prices aren’t going to make you frown – though frowning seemed to be unlikely anytime in the near future for the majority of the post-cosmetic, dressing-gown-clad diners lunching there last week.

If you’re in the area and on the lookout for a lunch with built in de-stressor, then it’s certainly worth calling in. Though bear in mind that a place to have a conversation much louder than a whisper, this certainly ain’t.

CityPoint Club is at 1 Ropemaker Street, EC2Y 9AW (map). Visit the CityPoint website for full menus and more on the club, or click onto the Cooks & Partners site to for their range of catering options.

>> originally published on Londonist

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