My first lunch as part of the #clerkenwelllunchers – a group of foodies/food bloggers who work in and around Clerkenwell -led me to Giant Robot, last Friday.
Giant Robot is billed as a Bar-Café-Deli-Diner and is owned by the guys behind Milk & Honey, The Player and what was the East Rooms (very sad this is no more!).
It therefore isn’t your regular American Diner, you still have the informal seating, diner style bar and open kitchen but being a Rushmore Group operation it is very stylish and tasteful inspired by the American diner without being a slave to it.
Although there was once a Giant Robot erected at the end of the street, the nearest I get to a Giant Robot is the futuristic light fixture which becomes a centrepiece for the room and the robotic spot lights that appear above you – perhaps a little too brightly – once you’ve been served.
While taking water waiting for the rest of the crew I was pleasantly surprised to find the water seemed to be infused with a refreshing cucumber tang, nice touch – it’s always the little things…
The menu took a bit of explaining but the waitress clearly knew her game and was more than happy to fill us in and give us a bit of background on the place to boot.
The food is a mix of Italian-American tapas-style treats where you can tailor your dishes to your appetite and tastebuds. The dishes then come out as and when they’re ready and are designed to be shared.
I went for the Tortelloni – which was a sumptuous mix of fluffy, melt in your mouth roast butternut squash & ricotta – walnuts, pecorino and apparently purple sprouting broccoli. I say apparently as it looked like regular broccoli to me with some sort of purple flower/leaf?!? If you can make out it what it is, do fill me in.
The large portion was an ideal size for lunch for one, although I can see how a few of these dishes could make a great feast to share.
Now for the Giant Prawns, a treat for lunch at £23.60 – but they came so highly recommended we had to give them a try.
Cooked in garlic, chilli and oregano, the shells peel off with ease and you are left with a succulent meaty prawn that I managed to devour in seconds.
The bill came with helpful tip suggestions and had already worked out 5% ‘OK’, 10% ‘good’ and 15% ‘brilliant’ – really handy for me as my mental arithmetic is known to be a little shocking.
Service was indeed ‘brilliant’ – not suprising since many of the East Rooms staff have been transferred across. I’ll definitely be back, perhaps with a client in tow.
Another opening from the group called ‘Red Hook’ is expected imminently (1st July is the official launch date). Can’t wait to hear more about it, said to be more formal than Giant Robot, will champion Seafood & Steaks and be based just round the corner. Excited!
Since writing the review, I’ve discovered Giant Robot are running a EC1 Local loyalty card to give special deals to those who live/work in EC1, check out http://www.ec1local.com for more info. Clever move – locals are so very important to a new launch, and this will certainly help create some new fans and advocates – just waiting for my card to come through in the post.