By May Yin Lee of Red Velvet London
I am no stranger to Warren Street and Great Portland Street as my work place straddles between these two stations. Regents Place has changed a lot over the years with new eateries popping up and The Refinery was one of the latest additions to the local square. I work around the area 5 days a week so grabbing a bite to eat at lunch or Thursday/Friday drinks after work will always be a local one. For where it is located; it sure is a hit with the businesses within the square. They are definitely not short of customers considering each building is sky high with tens of thousands of employees; not to forget the visiting clients too! I walk past The Refinery every day…literally every single day and I have decided to check it out with a very good friend of mine who’s also a work colleague. The restaurant is part of the Drake and Morgan’s collection of bars and restaurants -a destination for dining in style, comfort and after work socials.
“natural timbers, reclaimed brick and warm colours provide a stylish setting for all-day eating & drinking, while floor-to-ceiling windows make for a light, bright backdrop. a mix of furniture, from low-slung chairs & high stools to soft leather sofas, offers a variety of spaces to drink & dine. our statement bar is the ideal spot to see and be seen – perch as you catch-up over cocktails. the spacious terrace, bedecked with potted plants, will delight al-fresco diners throughout the seasons.”
I barely had any lunch that day as I was saving my appetite for the epic dinner at The Refinery. I love a cosy decor and this restaurant has a warm, fuzzy feeling when I walked in! We couldn’t decide whether we wanted to sit inside or outside, inside or outside! In the end; we settled for inside as I wanted to take pics of the decor inside. First up; the menu! I have to say; the menu looked delicious and I found it really difficult to choose what I want. As for cocktails; I love a good surprise so I asked the friendly waiter to surprise me of his pick of a cocktail with my hint of “I like something sweet and or refreshing” *big smiles*. Decisions decisions; I really do not like being indecisive and I like to live a little and go for their recommendations and surprises. In the end; I am happy with the choices:
We we ordered for our Starters:
salt & pepper squid, lemon mayonnaise: I love battered squid for starters; it’s the comfort food I love when going to any restaurant so I am chuffed they served this. It was flavoursome, light and deliciously chewy.
Prawn lollipops, sweet chilli & soy: I picked this one out because it sounded interesting and cute on the menu! I bet it’s a hit with the kids ( I am such a kid at heart). When this arrived; I knew it would be on a skewer but I got really excited when the skewers were all standing up on the wooden board! Dipped my prawn lollipops in the sweet chilli and soy sauce – mmmm it complimented so well! I know I was sharing the starters but I wanted the prawn lollipops all to myself! But no, must compose myself for the big main and desserts.
Main course was up next and before we dived into the main-to-come, we ordered our first round of cocktails. Again, loving my surprises so the lovely waiter ordered a Mimosa for myself and Old Fashioned for my friend (eurgh, such a bloke’s drink). Honestly, one of the best Mimosa’s I’ve ever had, I could have easily ordered another round but NO! It’s Monday, getting tipsy already and I must compose myself!! So here’s what we ordered for our main course:
Sirloin 8oz steak with chips and watercress: This is what my friend ordered; he loves a good steak and as I was taking a picture of it; I tried to make it justice as it was as delicious as it looked with my eyes. Yes, my eyes said yummy and so was my appetite when I had a cheeky bite from his plate. The bearnaise sauce really complimented the steak very well.
Roast rump of lamb, caponata with mint jus: Again, I was indecisive with my decision for the main so I asked the waiter to recommend again ^^ and great choice once again as I asked what was the popular main that people enjoyed. It was very juicy and succulent with a decent portion size. It was a well recommended dish and now I can see why the locals love to order this plate. I literally took ages trying to take pictures of the food and my friend wasn’t too pleased that his steak was starting to get cold (sorrry!). It was all worth it; we chatted for ages as we tucked into our main and sipping my fruity cocktail.
Finally, we saved our second stomach for the desserts…my favourite part of the meal. We ordered our second round of cocktails; again we went for the recommendation as he seemed to be doing so well and know what we like so he ordered pimms for my friend and pisco bay sour for me 😀
The pisco bay sour was very very strong and was on the verge of getting very tiipsssy oops! I like a good kick and if it was Friday; I would definitely had let my hair down.
For our desserts we ordered:
Eton Mess with Strawberries: This was a no brainer for my friend; he loves a good ol’ eton mess and I can’t blame him. We had a good 1/2 hour of chitter chatter before we ordered our desserts just so we have room for some sweet treats. So simple yet so tasty; incredibly light after a heavy meal and a great end to the evening.
Lemon Tart with Creme Fraiche: I went for the lemon tart; I wanted that sour and sweet kick to end my evening which matched the creme fraiche deliciously. I was down to my last 2% of stomach capacity but I made it through the plate and finished what I could!
I think we were at the restaurant for 2.5hours and how time flew by! The Refinery is located in the heart of Regent’s Place; the social hub between skyscrapers of buildings (well they aren’t that high but high enough) in the area. The restaurant is situated perfectly for all the hungry locals, businessmen and women who work within the area for after work drinks and social. As they are 2 minutes from my work place; there’s nothing like it around. So glad they opened…if I remember correctly, that empty space was vacant for a while which was used as bean bag and deck chairs storage! nice.
For more info of The Refinery; check out their menu here: The Refinery Menu
monday – wednesday 7:30am – 11pm
thursday – friday 7:30am – midnight
5 Brock Street
tel • 0845 468 0106