I don’t think you’ve ever really lived until you’re sat in a buffet restaurant watching a man sing a stripped back, samba style version of Hotline Bling, whilst a skewer of garlic breads is whipped on to a nearby table. It was like a dream sequence from a David Lynch movie, one where the heads of the other bloggers at the table morph into demons whilst the soft sounds of Drake gently hum in the background. The restaurant in question is Rodizio Rico, the starting point of our evening of an organised tasting of The Cube. No, not the TV program with Philip Schofield, silly. The beautiful geometric glass building that constantly steals the limelight from The Mailbox.
I have a couple of Negronis in Rodizio Rico and consider why I haven’t been for years. My conclusion is that the venue is fun and I am not. Still the drinks are decent and the singer is genuinely making my year. Upon finishing these we move to Shogun Teppan-Yaki, a restaurant I am very familiar with. I used to come here when I was young and undamaged, back in the days when the food mattered less to me. They put a right show on; balancing eggs on the hot plate, shouting foreign words loudly, and feeding us. We have platters of sushi, vegetable tempura, and then an entire ocean with a bit of cow cooked on the hot plate in front of us. Sitting on the stool brings back happy memories and now, just writing this, I wonder why I don’t detach myself more frequently from this blog. Some bits of the fish are a tiny bit overcooked and the beef could have been rested for a minute longer, but frankly who cares? If you want a gastronomic experience you’ve walked through the wrong door, but places like Shogun Teppan-Yaki exist to give their customers a different kind of evening. I’ll probably regret typing this sentence for the rest of my life, but it is okay to go out and not eat great food all the time. Just as long as you are in the company of a wacky Japanese fella making you flick eggs in the air with a paddle and catching them one-handed.
Stuffed with fish and prosecco we head to Haig Club for the final bit of the night. Cocktail masterclass in the shadow of David Beckham and his whiskey brand. Honesty bit upfront; I don’t like Haig Club whiskey. I purchased two bottles when it first came out and gave them both to my Dad for him to drink with coke. We make three cocktails, two are very good. I get to show my stirring skills, which are fabled in these lands. I leave drunk, the sign of it being one of the seven nights of the week.
And that concludes the last PR invite I am going to accept. And knowing that is the case I can be as honest as I like here without fear of alienating anyone. I don’t go The Cube very often despite it being one of my favourite buildings in the city. I don’t go because I tell myself that the places it houses aren’t to my taste. The truth is I’m missing out. It is a building that serves a purpose, with restaurants that are not aimed at taking themselves too seriously. Places like Rodizio and Shogun are ideal spots for dates or work nights out; casual and fun with food decent enough to not offend anyone, and looking at the prices now, very fairly priced too. Come the next time someone asks me for a suggestion for a group night out I’ll be throwing these names into the mix. They are purpose built for it.
I was invited to this event.
Transport provided by A2B Radio Cars