Monday, 10 October 2011

The Folly, The City

"Tuesday is the new Thursday," said the hunky Australian waiter as he took us to our table. And judging by the number of people out celebrating in the Folly on this particular Tuesday, I think he was right.

The Folly is part of the Drake and Morgan group that has brought us The Refinery, Parlour, Anthologist, and The Drift. And of the group (barring the Parlour in Canary Wharf, which I have yet to visit), The Folly is by far the prettiest.

It's located across the road from Monument Station, right next to the House of Fraser. An unlikely location, you might think, but we’ve learned from their other venues to never underestimate this bar group. Situated in what was most likely a retail shop, the Folly is spread over two levels. At street level is the bar and restaurant, which has gone for Victorian garden chic, with its garden lounge and flower shop, hanging chairs and birdcage enclosed cocktail bar.

The Folly also has a more intimate subterranean level built around its cork-fronted bar, with raised vault seats making it feel very Shoreditch-like. It even has a ‘pop-up’ shop offering all manner of seasonal delights.

I met the Devon lass there, and we decided to take advantage of the autumn menu. So after a couple of delicious cocktails mixed by yet another resident hunk – a gin an elderflower mix each followed by a whisky sour (bourbon) and amaretto sour each – we went to our table.

To start we had the crispy squid with ginger-pink peppercorns and citrus mayo – which was the perfect combination of spice and sweetness, crispy and moist – and duck confit and Dijon mustard toast - which was chunky, rich yet not too heavy. For mains, the Devon lass went for the skinny beef burger, which practically meant it came without the bread or the fries. So in my mind not a burger at all, but it was mighty tasty nevertheless. I tried the Thai green fish curry with coconut milk, ginger and lemon grass. It was a hearty portion that included two fillets of fish – one was salmon and I think the other sea bass, it was hard to tell. But that’s not to take anything away from the dish, which was delicious. For desserts we went for the lemon peel crème brulee, which was subtle, light and citrusy, and the chocolate fondue with marshmallow lollipops and shortbread biscuits, which was the complete opposite. More like something you would expect at a children’s birthday party. It was very well executed, but a little too sweet for my tastes.

We washed it down with a bottle of NZ Pinot Noir Pencarrow Estate Martinborough, 2009 which worked wonderfully with our courses.

The waiting staff were charm personified, and as my companion noted, rather easy on the eye. The numerous punters were a mix of City types on a Tuesday night bender, and pretty young things out on the pull. Which makes you think that perhaps our waiter was right. Tuesday is the new Thursday.