Covert Garden is a hotbed for tourists, and most of the time it’s a no-go area for me as I’m someone who rolls her eyes when people stand on the wrong side of the escalator. But I was enticed to the area by Monmouth Kitchen, who were offering 50% off food during their soft launch. The restaurant is located in the heart of the Seven Dials and serves Italian and Peruvian-inspired small plates. I’ve never tasted Peruvian cuisine, so I was excited to see what was on offer.
It’s happened to all of us when we have had our hopes so high for a restaurant, just for them to be knocked down as soon as you walk through the door. Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived at 9pm, and Scott and I quickly exchange an eyebrow raise of ‘but it’s way past peak dining time, how are you not ready for us?’ – so were quickly seated in their bar area. The restaurant was very sleek everything was white or black and all the table tops were marbled. Once seated I ordered the only Rosé on the menu, and I was immediately disappointed, I found it too tart for my taste buds.
We were taken over to our table in the main dinning room only to be greeted by a DJ, so the only way Scott and I could commute to each other or the service staff was by shouting at each other. Our waitress explained the menu perfectly to us and we order a range of bites and nibbles. In total we were served by a least 10 different people and I would so much prefer less people at the table.
Now eating here doesn’t come cheap and the portions are small. We ordered some of the chicken tacos and our waitresses warned us that they were mini, but they were the size of a 2p piece. All I could taste was spice which completely downed all of the other flavours – a real shame. The only bright side of the dish that they they weren’t a mess to eat like normal tacos.
Our next dish was the mushroom and ricotta ravioli which was served with a sage butter. It was lovely, however we only had one raviolo each – I wouldn’t suggest ordering this dish if there’s more than two of you wanting to eat it.
I love Pardon Peppers and I have them quite a lot at home as a simple starter, so I thought this dish was ridiculously over priced for what they offered. Unfortunately they were under-cooked and quite chewy.
Next came the King Prawns, which were served butterflied with the shell on. I felt like it’s the type of place where people would judge you if you used your fingers instead of your knife and fork, so this dish just didn’t work for this restaurant.
We were then brought the Chicken Lollipops, and so I had to use my fingers to eat these and I was past caring what my fellow diners thought of me. What annoyed me about this dish was that it wasn’t easy to spilt between two. Again, I thought this were overpriced for what is just flamboyant chicken wings.
Our last dish was the Calamari – which they had completely forgotten about and had to remind twice to bring. Now, you can’t go wrong with deep fried food and this dish was pretty tasty and we were brought a decent portion size.
We decided not to stick around for dessert as the food we had so far was a not of good enough quality to charge the prices asked. The type of food served here is appropriate for a bar or standing dinner, but it’s just not right for a sit down dinner.
Monmouth Kitchen, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street, 20 Mercer St, London WC2H 9HD