I reviewed No28 last year after spending many a Sunday night kicking off my alternative weekend, back when I worked in a bar and rarely saw sunlight. Anyway, now we’re grownups with efficient body clocks and salaries in our pockets, we headed back to No28, this time with the Saturday night crowd, to try the food.
The drink selection is so-so at No28. Since they took Briska off the bar, we usually opt for bottles of Estrella or another continental lager. I spotted an ad for ‘Cocktail of the Week’ for a fiver, so I decided to give that a go. I have since forgotten the name (surprise surprise) but it was a gin-based gingery cocktail with orange and rose petals, quite the treat.
The menu is pretty small – a range of tapas/bar snacks, a few desserts and roasts on a Sunday. As a big fan of tapas, I was keen to try a bit of everything No28 had to offer. The offer was four tapas for £12.50 or eight for £20, we went with the latter despite the ‘serves 3-4 people’ recommendation. From the exhaustive list, we picked: Buttermilk fried chicken skewers, pork and kimchi pot-stickers, pan fried halloumi cheese, cheesy Mexican quesadillas, Tuscan chicken Arancini risotto balls, mixed pepper and feta cheese tagine, chips with roast beef brisket gravy and curried butternut squash and cashew croquettes. And breathe.
The bar began to get increasingly busy, but we’d found ourselves a table tucked away to the side so it didn’t bother us too much. Staff were clearly torn between waiting tables and serving at the bar, so service was slow but we weren’t in a hurry. Eventually the tapas came, laid out on three huge wooden slabs. We weren’t offered plates, but we were too hungry to go and find a waiter so we dug in.
Despite the wide variety of dishes, every item was piping hot and perfectly served. Our favourites were the chips with brisket gravy, pork pot-stickers and Tuscan chicken risotto balls. The only dish that we both turned our noses up were the Mexican quesadillas, which were reminiscent of Findus crispy pancakes, not my favourite 90s delicacy.
Each item had its own individual flavour, and we pretty much polished off the lot. My only qualms would be that there was a lot of deep-fried/pan-fried food, and it got a bit samey but it could be because of our choices. A good salad or rice dish wouldn’t go amiss.
We paid at the bar and were charged for two sets of four tapas, rather than the eight for £20 deal and didn’t realise until we had left; a fault on our part, really. Overall, eating at No28 was a decent experience and I’d be keen to head back with a few friends to grab some snacks before a night out, but it’s the atmosphere and surroundings that make No28, not necessarily the food or drink.