We left the chaps at newly opened Marmalade to bed in for a few weeks then popped in for lunch to see how they were getting on.
The launch party had been a cracker, so we were pretty excited. The first thing to note is that the interior is a gem. The furniture is an eclectic mix of comfy tartan chairs and leather banquettes with thick solid tables, slick copper pendant lighting and a fabulous bar. We visited on a Friday lunchtime and the place was busy and not with pre-theatre diners either. It seemed predominantly smart office folk on their lunch break with a few yummy mummies with babes in buggies and ladies who lunch too, so a nice mix.
We were offered the a la carte menu or a special lunch deal. We opted for the a la carte, but the lunch menu was terrific value. A sandwich – and we’re not talking your average sarnie – plus soup of the day or fries or salad and a drink including a glass of wine if you fancy for £6. You’d struggle to buy lunch anywhere for that price and the sandwiches looked great. The a la carte menu featured appetisers, small and big plates and included some intriguing dishes. We took the friendly waitress’s advice and opted for two appetisers and two small plates which was the perfect amount. Crab and cod korokke (fishcake basically) with mango salsa and celeriac remoulade was very tasty and lamb rump with coffee, a prune glaze, sweet potato puree and edamame beans was delicious too. We couldn’t taste the coffee, but perhaps that’s no bad thing. A venison carpaccio served with a punchy parsnip and walnut salad was the stand out dish along with a plate of flavourful duck samosas with a sticky marmalade and a hoisin sauce. We were a bit puzzled as to the difference between appetisers and small plates as they were served together and were the same size. A nostalgic pud of chocolate brownie sundae rounded off lunch nicely – big chunks of gooey brownie, ice cream, toasted marshmallow and cream served in a kilner jar. Naturally Marmalade will benefit from the Rep’s pre-theatre footfall but we think it’s good enough to appeal as a foodie destination in its own right day or night.