Name: Pulp Kitchen
Location: Ainslie Shops
Food et: Oven baked camembert, sourdough toast, radish and watercress salad. Side of fries with saffron aioli.
I’d walked past Pulp Kitchen, located around the corner out the back of the ever-trendy Ainslie Shops, a few times and thought “what a brilliant name, must give that a try”. Luckily, I managed to lure a friend in to coming along with me to check out the restaurant, our decision cemented by the promise of an Earl Grey Crème Brulee, listed on their online menu.
Touted as a “European Brasserie”, the restaurant is simply laid out with a modern, classic feel. Tables near the wall length window are set for parties of two, with the chairs facing outwards towards the street. Sadly the view is of the side walk, tables outside and some poor random persons front yard. But it’s great for people watching…well, watching people get their groceries.
Special mention about the music, which was awesome swing and jazz music that you can’t help but sign along to.
The fair at Pulp Kitchen is indicative of the name, everyday food. It’s the same kind of food you’d find in a bistro, but a posh bistro.
The menu we were presented (both on paper and on the giant blackboards adorning each end of the restaurant) was, sadly, not the one up on their website and the meals I had already decided I wanted were not on this new list – including the main attraction, the Earl Grey Crème Brulee.
After lamenting the loss of such an amazing sounding dessert, I cried in to my lemonade for a bit and then decided on something simple for my main – ovenbaked camembert with sourdough toast and a radish and watercress salad. And a side of fries with saffron aioli – because I love me some fatty potato.
It’s pretty much a melted cheese toasty – but with class. The camembert was baked to a gooey perfection, easily spread on the toast. Toasted sourdough was lovely and crunchy. Salad was not much to speak of, since there was only about three bites worth on the plate, but it did a nice job of balancing the strength of the cheese.
My friend J, went for the classic french steak and pommes – beef tenderloin medallions and shoe string fries, served with a mustard béarnaise.
J was really happy with her meal, and said that the meat was of good quality and well cooked. She also made special mention of the béarnaise sauce, which she like a lot.
As I’d set my heart on the crème brulee, so I enquired about the “chef’s choice crème brulee” for the night, which was apparently white chocolate. I don’t have a photo of the dessert – there isn’t much other than candle light and I hate taking photos with a flash…
I was quite disappointed with my dessert, it tasted like the custard-powder-custard my Mum makes – although the toffee top was perfectly crunchy.
J had the Dark chocolate mousse with pear sorbet and ricotta doughnuts – which she said was amazing.
We had our dessert with Earl Grey tea, cos if we weren’t gonna get it in a brulee, we still were gonna get it! The tea was actually really nice, and tasted like it was a decent loose leaf.
Service at Pulp Kitchen was a bit all over the shop. Very attentive to start with, but after they delivered the dessert and tea – not a peep. We ended up having to go over to the register and pay on our own, after sitting at our table for over 30 minutes after we finished.
Verdict: Essentially, Pulp Kitchen serves good quality traditional meals, without the wank and pompous of some other establishments.