I thought I’d do a little post (haha, I can’t write short blog posts but I’ll try) on a lunch that I recently enjoyed at Saint Pauls House on Saint Paul’s Square. I think I pop in at least once a week, as I live and work just around the corner. However, it’s usually just for a coffee with my mom (they have been known to provide a mini brownie or some sort of biscuit with hot drinks, which I love), or for after work drinks with my husband. Last Friday my lovely sister in law, Jo, accompanied me for a well deserved lunch, and helped me get that FriYay feeling.
We sat down, out in the terrace; a lovely spot where the roof is opened on hot days (this wasn’t a hot day as summer has left for the southern hemisphere until next year). You can get a decent cup of coffee at Saint Pauls, so we both ordered one, and some water for the table. The service was friendly and efficient as usual, and I couldn’t fault the setting at all. We were brought our menus, with a choice of the a la carte and the prix fixe lunch menu; we went for the latter, and chose to have 2 courses for £15.
I think the choice for our first course was easy for the both of us; calamari. Does anyone else automatically choose calamari if it’s on the starter menu, or is it just me? A sizeable dish of those crispy rings arrived with baby gem lettuce leaves and a lovely dollop of aioli. The portion was perfect for a starter, and I loved the addition of crisp, fresh lettuce, and the creamy dip. All the textural bases were covered, it tasted great, and I think I inhaled the lot, with minor pauses to gossip with Jo (totally fuelled by caffeine and the fact I hadn’t seen her for a while). I should also mention that a basket was brought out before our starter, containing two warm bread rolls, with butter; a thoughtful touch, and perfect for carb addicts (oh hey!).
Next; I thought I’d stick to a nautical theme, and chose the Sea Bass Nicoise Salad. I’ve enjoyed the grilled tuna version of this dish in the past, so I was confident it would be a tasty choice. My confidence paid off (trust your gut guys) and I was thrilled when the dish arrived. The fish fillet lay on top of salad leaves, big juicy green olives (my fave), new potatoes, sun blushed tomatoes, green beans, and a boiled egg.
My mouth had a party, my stomach was more than satisfied, and the plate was clean by the end of the meal. The sharp olives were so delicious with the salty fish and sweet tomatoes. The only, tiny thing I’d change, would be the skin on the fish; I’d have liked it to be crispy and not soft. The egg, however, added richness, and the beans were crunchy, which complemented the rest of the textures. It was fresh and hearty all at once, and the portion size was generous; I would recommend giving this a try, or the tuna version, depending on what’s on the menu.
For £15; I think the fixed lunch menu was excellent value. The quality of the food was there, the portion sizes and flavours were a priority, and with the extras and setting; we had a great meal. Saint Paul’s have just updated their menu for Autumn and Winter; which I’m super excited for. Either sit in the terrace area, or grab a seat near a window looking out on to the Square; I love the sofas and the chance to people watch (in a non-creepy way). The atmosphere is always relaxed and warm, and the exposed brick and industrial touches are right up my street. I’ll be back on Friday with my parents in tow, for a coffee…
Peace, love, and big green olives, Fay x