The Frontline Club in Paddington is first and foremost the “London hub for a diverse group of people united by their passion for the best quality journalism“. Â Hosting more than 200 events per year with topics as diverse as for instance the upcoming talks on “Reporting from the World’s Deadliest Places“, “Iraq: Escalating Violence and Sectarian Division” or “Slavery Inc” (about the international sex trade) it is the place to go if you are interested in current affairs and intellectually stimulating discussion.
I ended up at a talk about the abandoned revolution in Bahrain which was very interesting, even for me whose newspaper study usually just focuses on the culture pages and cooking features (shame on me!).
That’s all good, but then there is the restaurant associated with The Frontline Club. We went for a pre-talk dinner there, out of convenience and also because I don’t know many restaurants around Paddington. I am planning to be back to attend talks at The Frontline Club in the future (there may be hope to make me into an intellectual), but I will never ever eat at their restaurant again. I don’t know anything about current affairs, but I know a fair bit about food and, at The Frontline Club Restaurant, the food was bad.
No one should be allowed to dress a Heritage tomato salad with Buffalo Mozzarella (8) with red wine vinegar! All I tasted was pungent acidity, which at least hid the fact that the heritage tomatoes were unripe and rubbery (?fridge storage) and the buffalo mozzarella had nothing of the lush creaminess that I would usually associate with this delicacy. Fail. A genius was at work creating Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Salad (8). Take beetroot out of a jar, cut into pieces, put onto some random tasteless leaves and drop a piece of low quality goat’s cheese on top. That’s it. Wait, I forgot the entirely unsuccessful mustard vinaigrette. Â I have doubts that there is a trained chef in the kitchen at The Frontline Club.
I just had a small bite of the Frontline fish cakes with aioli & herb salad (12) but this was enough to made me belch (and suffer) for the next 3 hours. I don’t know if the fish was slightly off or just too smoked, whatever it was, it was just horrible. Some more wasted tomatoes on the Heritage tomato tart with goats cheese & black olives (12) which consisted of soggy and far too thick pastry with some more of the above described goat’s cheese. Interestingly the dish tasted mainly of oregano, in fact I couldn’t taste anything else.
I assume The Frontline Club Restaurant has enough regulars by the likes of journalists and punters that frequent the high quality speaker events so that they don’t have to make any effort. How lovely is would be though if the food would match the standard of the talks!
- Food: 3/10
- Ambiance: 7/10
- Service: 6/10 (friendly but very confused)
- Value for Money: 2/10
- Chances of Returning: 0%
- Verdict: The worst bistro-style food I had in a very long time. I can’t warn you strongly enough!