White City has come a long way since I went to school in the area many moons ago. I couldn’t have foreseen Westfield, never mind the huge £8 billion regeneration that has opened up the old BBC Television Centre to the masses. Such an iconic setting and the new development has created apartments, a new outpost of Soho House (White City House) and is home to the second branch of the very well known (and loved) Bluebird Café.
Sitting on a terrace adorned with a beautiful floral swing and pastel deck chairs, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a selection of Fever Tree inspired serves, including the Regal Rogue Pink Spritz, this summer. On our recent visit we sit outside and admire the sign of the new Westfield Extension. Perfectly located, you can shop your heart out and then stagger a short way under the weight of your bags to the terrace and enjoy some relative peace and quiet with a refreshing drink in hand.
The interior inside the restaurant is funky and 1950s inspired, with curved leather booths perfect for group dining, ice-cream parlour-style bar stools and abstract floor tiles. The service is slick and friendly without being over the top and we are handed our menus as we sink into our leather booth.
On the Menu
My dining companion this evening is my 12 year old son and to keep us from any tween ‘h-anger’ issues we quickly order some Cornish chorizo bites from the excellent bar snack menu to keep us going while we make the actually quite difficult decision about what to order. My son wants the beef carpaccio followed by the rib-eye steak so we have a quick chat about how variety is the spice of life and he opts for the pork belly to start with instead.
Served cold and thinly sliced it’s deliciously tender and matched perfectly with some apple sauce and as one would hope, a sprinkle of crackling. I opt for the stone bass ceviche which is accompanied by guacamole purée. As light, fragrant and tasty as can be, it’s wolfed down very quickly. I choose a glass of Chablis to match it and it’s a fine pairing.
In the Main
For our mains, yes it’s the dry aged Angus rib-eye steak served with a garlic butter sauce and really great chips. In a world where chips can so sadly go so wrong, it’s always a pleasant surprise to enjoy fluffy yet crispy home cooked chips. Quoting my son here too, the steak is “the biggest and best steak I have ever eaten”. I have similar praise for my choice, the yellowfin tuna. Coated in a spicy ‘nduja crumb and cooked medium rare, it’s unusual and super tasty. My sides are demolished swiftly too; delicious partly baked new potatoes and spinach and garlic.
We are, not surprisingly, too full up to eat dessert, but we pride ourselves on being resourceful and decide to ask if we can order a summer fruit pavlova and cheesecake to go. The staff happily oblige and bring them out in cardboard containers to enjoy later at home.
The regeneration of the TV Centre has brought a once rather jaded area back to life in such a positive way, and the new Bluebird Café has made absolutely the right decision to open its second home here. There’s a danger it might become my second home soon too!