It’s all very well having a boyfriend to accompany you to every restaurant that takes your whim, but sometimes you just need a girl date, am I right?
When a work friend of mine offered me his table at the soft launch of Percy and Founders in Fitzrovia, I figured it was high time I took my BFF Kate on a girl-date and so on Wednesday after work we headed over (via a mediocre, but cheap, mojito at Simmons). Soft launches, by the way, are fast becoming my favourite ever thing. Generally, restaurants give you 50% off food if you go in the couple of weeks before they “officially” open, when they’re still testing the waters for the menu & feeling the service out. It is a great way to try out London’s hottest new restaurants while saving some money (or, if you’re like me, you can spend the money you “save” on cocktails and wine instead)
The restaurant itself is one of the most gorgeous I’ve ever visited. Inside it’s huge and feels decadent and special without being pretentious or stuffy. Kate and I were led to our table at the bar, which was great for us but I wasn’t sure I would have wanted to be seated there if I was on an actual date.
The menu is pretty small but ticks all the boxes, with about 6 starters, 6 sides, 6 mains and a few salads in there for good measure. We kicked things off with some bread and some wine, and skipped starters in favour of going straight for the main event.
Kate went for a very gourmet looking fish finger sandwich, and myself for the seabass, which came with charred broccoli and samphire and was one of my favourite fish dishes I’ve ever eaten. The samphire gave a gorgeous fresh lemony zest, and the skin of the fish was perfectly crispy. I didn’t try Kate’s sandwich because I have an aversion to tartare sauce, but it certainly looked great.
On the side, we had charred vegetables with sunflower seeds (a hit) and Jersey royals in butter & mint that came in an adorable Le Creuset-style pot. New potatoes are one of my favourite things ever and although there was slightly too much butter for my liking, they were still delicious.
The dessert menus came on branded clipboards that I loved. There were a few things that caught my eye, but in the end I was too tempted by the idea of a “crepe souffle.” Our waiter didn’t disclose much about what this was (when I asked what a “crepe souffle” was he just looked at me and said “crepe souffle”), but as it turned out it was literally a crepe with a cloud of fluffy souffle in the middle. It was delicious, so unbelievably light – like eating a cloud.
Kate had the “whipped chocolate,” which turned out to be a small mountain of chocolate mousse with huge slabs of honeycomb and brownie in it – as she put it, it was like a grown up kids’ dessert. I sampled and can confirm it was very good (although I probably couldn’t have managed the whole thing).
Having sat at the bar for all that time, and with service so fast we were done eating in about an hour, we couldn’t resist prolonging the evening with a cocktail each. My “La Vie en Rose” tasted exactly like jellybeans and was the most gorgeous colour, while Kate’s was a warming, nutty affair that tasted faintly like Christmas.
To be honest, even without the soft launch the prices at Percy & Founders aren’t bad at all and I think I’ll definitely be back. They do a weekend brunch menu and it seems like exactly the sort of place I could while away a good few hours with some good friends. They have a couple of sharing dishes on the menu that are already popping up all over my Instagram – a chicken Wellington and a sharing beef dish – that I’d love to get my hands on!