Just before Christmas I had a lad's night out with Big Matt and villa Steve. Steve had booked us tickets for the very funny Jim Jefferies so the plan was to eat up near Leicester Square. Now the obvious choice would be to go for chinese but I have been caught out too many times by bad China town food and indifferent service. Steve suggested Gaby's a long standing kosher deli up in threatreland. It has an eat in area but is open late so a lot of the trade comes from the 2AM takeaway crowd. I wasn'y undully concerned as an old favourite from my Marble Arch days "Ranoush Juice" would turn out great food whatever time of the day you rocked up.
After a couple of beers at "The Toucan" where we spotted Chris O'dowd who looked happy despite appearing in the a film with Jack Black and then "DeHems" which was full of some very inebriated patrons we headed up to Gabys. Inside it was very spartan you walk past the deli counter into a small back room of old school formica tables. There were lots of show posters on the wall denoting it's link to theatre land. It reminded me of the sort of great places you find in New York. Unfortunately this was more Newport than New York. I ordered the salt beef platter and a latke on the side. Now kosher food is tricky to get right, when it well cooked and sourced it is extremely hearty and tasty, if is badly prepared it is just heavy stodge. This was sadly the latter. My salt beef was pretty tasteless, lots of it but that didn't help. The bread it was served in had seen one too many winters. The falafel on the side was OK but not as fresh as "Ranoush Juice", the coleslaw was horrible. However worst of all was my microwaved latke, no, no, no,no. Latke's need to be fried drained and served straight away, this was disgusting. You can't have lots of posters up on the wall saying how wonderful your restaurant is and serve micowaved latkes.
The boys meals were OK, Big Matt had a lamb kleftiko which seemed nice enough but looked stodgy. Villas Steve had Fallafel's which he finished but I could from his face that it was not all he had hoped for. This was food that probably tasted OK at 2AM after 6-8 pints but at 8PM on a Wednesday night there was nothing to convince me this wasn't a glorified kebab house. On the plus side it was cheap but you know you get what you pay for. Service was quick but then how long does it take to stick a latke in a microwave. It's a real shame as in my experience low key places like this often have great food like the "Brick Lane beigel Bakery" and "Costa's". All in all not an experience to be repeated and I pity those who get taken in by this place and it's theatreland connections. at least the comedy gig was good and Villa Steve's girlfriend picked us up afterwards.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Food 2 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 2