Dining al fresco at Heddon Street Kitchen

Happy days being able to get out and about a bit more. And when the Chancellor introduced Eat Out To Help Out (EOTHO) for the month of August it seemed only right to try and help. So I headed to Heddon Street, one of my favourite secret restaurant enclaves in London. Actually it’s now officially called the Regent Street Food Quarter. I was meeting up with Fiona, a fellow blogger and friend who I met on a gulet cruise around Greece and Turkey about five years ago. How that all seems like a dream now.

Our destination was Gordon Ramsey’s Heddon Street Kitchen. Sat at the top of Heddon Street as you come in from Piccadilly Circus, it’s a stylish set up with a lovely big terrace. Love a terrace and it was a lovely warm day, so we settled in with a glass of sparkling English wine.

I recently met a journalist who writes about wine and climate change (separately and yes, an interesting combo) and he said even as recently as 15 years ago it wouldn’t be possible to make decent sparkling wine in England. Now vineyards are popping up everywhere which is largely due to climate change. Sounded like a good thing to me but with his incredible knowledge he is seriously concerned about even the medium-term future for our planet.

Something to ponder on…while I take you through the more cheerful prospect of a lovely lunch in Heddon Street.

What’s on the menu

There’s plenty to choose from. Gordon has made his influence felt here and it all sounds delectable. First up we both opted for the steamed mussels in a broth of lemongrass, chill, coriander and coconut milk. Fresh mussels and a wonderful Thai-style broth which is one of my favourites.

Haddon Street Kitchen: mussels
Beautiful mussels in a perfectly balanced spicy broth

For mains Fiona went for the 28-day dried fillet steak with cherry tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and watercress. With a bernaise sauce and triple cooked chips. So beautifully presented. And she asked for it cooked rare which is quite unusual and she confirmed they often get it wrong. Not today, all cooked to perfection.

Haddon Street Kitchen: fillet steak
The prettiest of presentations with fillet and bursts of red and green

I’m very partial to a duck salad. Especially a crispy one. So I could’t resist the main course-size portion of this crispy duck salad. Served with watercress, mooli, chilli, radish, ginger and sesame seeds with an orange and soya dressing. I asked them to add extra avocado. Extra avocado make life better. It was nothing short of fabulous. Crunchy, sweet and flavoursome duck, a wonderful mix of ingredients and a lovely oriental dressing. So good that next time I go to Heddon Street Kitchen, and there will be a next time, I will order the same thing.

Heddon Street Kitchen: crispy duck
Crispy duck, crunchy veg, creamy avo and a dreamy dressing

With no room to even peruse the puds, there was still time for coffee. Bring on the cortado. My favourite after-lunch coffee shot. The frothy milk added to the espresso does it for me.

Heddon Street Kitchen: cortado
Frothy cortado for the perfect caffeine hit

Here’s the entrance to Heddon Street. My spirits lift as I turn in.

Haddon Street Kitchen: the Regent Street Food Quarter
Welcome to the Regent Street Food Quarter – Heddon Street to me

On a blue and sunny August day Regent Street was looking particularly splendid.

Loving the quieter times in Regent Street

Today’s price point

We paid £85.50 for two courses each.

Breaking it down, the mussels were £11.50, the duck salad £17.50 and the fillet steak £40. Triple cooked chips were £5.

The English sparkling wine was £12.50 a glass.

And we had a bottle of red wine from Languedoc-Rousillon for £30.

As we were helping out we got £20 off our bill. Happy days as I said earlier.

Heddon Street Kitchen is at 3-9 Heddon Street. Piccadilly Circus is the closest tube station.

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