In a world where cooking food is an art form, restaurants need to impress on multiple fronts – having a great menu isn’t enough anymore and this is giving rise to trendy venues where the décor is as important as the dishes, writes Molly Dyson. Luckily for the City, places such as Forge are becoming the norm. Its unique steam punk industrial theme creates an iconic atmosphere that lends itself well to the establishment’s second life as a night club and bar.
The hostess guides me and my partner past an impressive desk that features a lamp made out of a gas mask to the dining area. She seats us in perfect view of the kitchen, where the head chef can clearly be spotted in his impressive top hat and goggles. For starters, we both go with chicken skewers, his with chorizo and mine marinated in a peanut butter and coconut sauce, both of them delicious.
I’m feeling ambitious, so I order the house special, a half rack of ribs coated in a Coca-Cole glaze with chunky chips and spiced corn on the side. The sauce definitely tastes of the fizzy drink, but it’s not overpowering and the meat falls off the bone in perfectly tender bites. Rather more modestly, my companion goes with a chicken burger and agrees to a helping of bacon on top, only to discover when it arrives that it’s the size of Texas. Our bottle of Château de Beaulieu Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rosé ideally complements both of our dishes.
When it comes to dessert, we’re nearly defeated, so we share the restaurant-recommended strawberries and cream sundae while we sip on coffee. Even between the two of us, we leave almost half of the sweet vanilla ice cream, smooth panna cotta and bits of fruit. Forge is available for private hire, but be sure to come hungry.
Forge, 24 Cornhill, London EC3V 3ND; 020 7337 6767; forgedinlondon.com