Did you know that it's National Grilled Cheese day today? Could there ever be a better day! To celebrate this and all things cheese today's post is a review on the the Cheese Bar LDN in Camden.
For my birthday last week there was obviously nothing I wanted more than to go and eat at the newly opened Cheese Bar in London! Having followed their cheese truck,Archie, around the festival circuit over the last couple of years I was so excited when I heard a permanent base was being opened.
After being so well publicized I didn't want to take any chances and so I facebooked them asking what time the husband and myself should arrive to guarantee a seat for lunch. They responded within 20 minutes (which was very appreciated!) saying to arrive for 11.30am for a 12pm opening time, so I was right about the buzz surrounding this place. We actually turned up at 11.40am and were the first ones in the queue that quickly formed behind us. The sun was shining and glinting off the very yellow picnic benches and shiny new sign and we watched the front door like a hawk. At 12pm prompt the door opened and we were ushered inside. There are only about 20 seats in the whole place, with the main seating area taking form in a bar in the middle of the room where waiters/waitresses stand serving the patrons.
We were greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic woman called Maria, who seemed just as excited to be serving us as we were at being there. We were given a menu which we perused and we were told that dishes are meant for sharing, and so we settled on Mozzarella Sticks, a Rosary Goats Cheese, Honey, Walnut and Rosemary Grilled Cheese and Young Buck Raclette with a pint of Pilton Cider to wash it all down.
The Mozzarella Sticks arrived first with a side of marinara. You get 3 for your money and we had great fun pulling them apart because they are the stretchiest sticks I have ever had! We quickly realised were were going to have to cut them with a knife if we wanted to share them (which I didn't...)
Next up came the grilled cheese! I was so torn between the Goat's Cheese or a Cheddar but as goat's cheese is one of my favourite of the cheeses I wanted to give it a shot. Of course I wasn't dissapointed, the cheese was creamy and perfectly complimented by the honey and the softness of the cheese paired with the bite of the walnuts worked exceptionally well.
In the time it had taken for us to eat these two dishes the place was now full with a queue by the door and once again I thanked my organised self for checking times as it was only 12.20pm!
The last dish to be bought to us was the Young Buck Raclette, which was piping hot. We sipped our cider and let it cool slightly before digging in. Young Buck is a stilton, so I was expecting quite a strong dish but the taste wasn't overpowering at all, and you could still pick out the flavours of salt beef and potato that made up the dish. After we had finished I spent ages trying to scrape up every last bit with my fork, which proved challenging, as it was a sauce. I resisted the urge to lick the bowl clean as we were in public.
I was so desperate to try everything on the menu but instead settled by asking for pud! We shared a Blue Cheese Ice-cream sundae, I didn't know what to expect but as always am willing to try everything once. It was like a Willy Wonka concoction, it should not have worked! Why would you ever think that savoury ice-cream would, but for some reason it just did! The honeycomb and pear finished it off perfectly.
Despite the queue out the door at no point did we feel rushed to give up our seat and finished our drinks in peace before grabbing the bill and paying up much to my disappointment as I could have stayed eating cheese all day!
I honestly don't think I have anything bad to say about this place, apart from maybe the toilet cubicle in the bathroom was a bit on the small side and you aren't exactly eating in there anyway so if that's my only critique I think they've done quite well! The staff were happy, helpful and knowledgeable, I listened to several staff members explaining the different cheeses and which they recommended. The atmosphere was pleasant and the surroundings gleaming, you could smell the new paint as you walked through the door. The food was so delicious and moreish as only cheese can be, and I am so looking forward to a return visit so I can try out some more of their dishes.