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Bowling Bird: Hidden Gems of London – SEEN reviews

If there’s one thing about her job that SEEN really values, it’s the opportunity to go to parts of London that seem special and almost a best-kept secret. One such area is Smithfields, not far from Barbican and Blackfriars and currently undergoing huge changes as new housing appears and crossrail development ratchets up a gear. Even so, tucked away down the peaceful Cloth Fair and looking out onto a glorious churchyard and trees is a gem of a restaurant: Bowling Bird. They’ve been open for about 9 months, as co-owner Joseph Pelosi told SEEN. He runs the kitchen (with head chef Emiliano Gallegas) while John King (the other owner) runs front-of-house.

Joseph was out chatting to diners in a very friendly manner. Down-to-earth yet passionate about serving good food in elegant yet authentic surroundings (no brickwork and bare lightbulbs here, thank you), the restaurant is small, intimate, very much a neighbourhood dining room. Joseph and John have created such a welcoming ambience. What could be better in a time of austerity?

Sustainability and organic produce are at the heart of Bowling Bird’s culinary ethos, embracing freshness and seasonality. SEEN chose a lovely Exotic Mushroom Risotto with just the right amount opf ‘bite’. On Joseph’s advice, a glass of hearty red wine accompanied this, as did some delicious chargrilled broccoli and green beans with hazelnuts and a sherry vinaigrette. Joseph recommended the Crème Brûlée for dessert and also served some Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico, a heady combination. SEEN positively floated away into the night. It was, hands down, one of the best meals SEEN has had this year. it’s got everything right: good food, a warm and genuine welcome, decor that reflects the eclecticism of the owners, and its setting in a slice of old London. The area may be on the cusp of change, but SEEN bets you Bowling Bird stands the test of time.

www.bowlingbird.com

Bowling Bird
44 Cloth Fair
London
EC1A 7JQ