The Rotisserie, restaurant review

[Ed: This restaurant closed in early 2012]

Arriving in a a busy restaurant raises expectations. Attractive lighting glints off the metallic menus and bounces off the exposed brick pillars. First impressions are good and enhanced by the meaty aromas wafting through the restaurant. This is, after all, a steak restaurant. The menu however has ample choice, and even vegetarians are well catered for. The variety of other diners certainly suggests that most people are going to find something they can eat.

We all chose from the £16.95 for two courses menu, which still offered plenty of choice including two different (vegetarian) soups of the day. Tom had the asparagus soup (“a real richness to the croutons” and “souper” (he punned)), while Louise tried the mixed vegetable soup, which was also a hit. Brad and Jerry opted for the gravlax, which both deemed good but perhaps overly generous for a starter portion. Not the worst criticism. Jo and Jane stuck to the tried and tested avocado, mozzarella, tomato salad. Opinion was divided on the quality of the mozzarella, but unanimous on the unripe tomato. Arguably not a dish to serve if you can’t get all three ingredients right. Lulu and I opted for sausages – chicken peri peri for her, lamb merguez for me. Verdict: exactly what I would expect.
It is hard to stay away from steak at a steak restaurant and indeed several of us went down the rib-eye route. Everyone seemed happy with how their steaks were cooked although the bearnaise sauce on Jo’s plate was more a sort of grey butter and was sensibly left alone.
Louise was confronted with an enormous lamb shank, which she enjoyed. Brad and I had the peri-peri chicken. Another enormous portion of well-flavoured chicken although the breast was slightly dry. All main courses come with pommes frites, and most of us had a green side as well in salad or asparagus form.
It is refreshing to go somewhere as a party of 8 and for there to be no mistakes in the order – from my own predilections on salad dressings, to the various combinations of steak sauces and doneness of steak, everything was right first time.

As plates were cleared and thoughts turned to dessert it seemed only Tom had the spare capacity. Puddings tend to the heavy and with two already off the menu that night it was hard to get inspired. Not that this stopped Tom who merrily dived in to the cheesecake with gusto. “It takes a big pudding to get the better of me,” he said, grinning. “That’s both quality AND quantity.” This was after an astonishingly deft manouevre by Louise to pinch his(laughably unripe) strawberry garnish.

With service, and three bottles of perfectly decent red, the bill came to £31 each. After two disappointing local meals, it was great to go somewhere with both decent food and a good atmosphere. The Rotisserie may suffer ever so slightly from style over substance but is definitely worth having on the list or reliable local restaurants.

Food 7.8
Service 8.8
Value 7.6
Overall 8.5
Good for: steak
Bad for: weightwatchers
The Rotisserie Restaurant
82 Fortune Green Rd
West Hampstead
London, NW6 1DS
T: 0207 435 9923

Rotisserie on Urbanspoon