Where: The Platform restaurant, London Bridge
When: The festive period 2012
Why: First date
It was just a few days after Christmas that I went on a first date with a friend I’d been casually perving on for a number of months. He’d set the challenge to introduce me to something I’d never tried before, so after I chose pheasant, he replied I know just the place (hurrah to spontaneity). Meeting at London bridge station I was a jangling bag of nerves (first time with pheasant, it was a big deal) and battled a plethora of butterflies on the walk to the restaurant.
Stepping inside, my apprehension melted away as the ambience overtook me. The festive season was in full swing and the restaurant was alive with hundreds of hungry Londoners all letting their hair down. Whilst I hate to admit the comparison, the décor, spacious surrounding and overall atmosphere was reminiscent of the places shown on my TV marmite, Made in Chelsea.
The gorgeous restaurant is fashioned in the manner of a hollowed out platform, drawing upon the architectural structure of the iconic station whilst revitalising the retro feel with contemporary artwork. In the midst of the high ceiling lay a gloriously over the top spinning disco ball. The incongruity somehow worked as we were seated next to a man that looked a lot like Spencer of Chelsea fame. Surrounded by city professionals, the energy of the capital emanated around the venue. Choosing to dine on a busy Saturday night, the restaurant was bustling and comfortably loud. I made the mistake of ordering a cocktail laden with coffee (I don’t drink coffee) in the hopes of appearing mature and refined. Unfortunately I looked more like this:
My date reluctantly sacrificed his cocktail to me, in the hope that I would never, ever pull that face again. When our waiter came over he informed us that they had just finished serving pheasant, as the festive menu was no longer available. I wept inside and chose venison instead. To my detriment I asked for the steak to be cooked well done, to which my date raised his eyebrow. Perhaps I was proving to be quite rebellious, as he looked rather alarmed. Memory fails me and I can’t remember what he ordered but I do recall fighting the urge to distract him while swallowing his plate whole. Whilst he had chosen the dauphinoise potatoes I had opted (ridiculously) for the fries. I think this was a ploy to exhibit ‘jenny from the block’ credentials but my heart yearned for the slices of layered carbs soaked in double cream and cheese.
The flavour of the venison was exquisite but I would definitely recommend going with medium, maybe even medium rare if you’re brave enough. I’ve been raised to have an unnatural fear of pink meat but the flesh would have been deliciously tender and would have retained its natural, signature richness. My peppercorn sauce was delicate without intruding on the flavour of the venison, served with baby leaf spinach.
I didn’t know how much anything cost but owing to the location and clientele it probably wasn’t student friendly. Skipping dessert we left the restaurant on the high you can only get from exceptionally good food and preceded to re-enact the music video for ‘The way you make me feel’ in the streets. The Platform was the perfect venue for one of the best first dates I’ve ever had. It’s difficult not to concoct all manner of cringe-inducing metaphors whilst dining in such a beautiful, impressive masterpiece, with a date that you’re disturbingly attracted too, so I’ll spare you the brie that surged through my brain. In short, The Platform is a restaurant that oozes sophistication without the pretentious stuffiness of other London establishments.
If you have a date on the cards anytime soon, I would definitely recommend trying this restaurant. Gorgeous goodnight kisses are guaranteed!