Trays and trolleys
|Starters selection from a tray|
Magpie is a brand new restaurant by the same people behind the Michelin starred Pidgin. Located in Oxford Circus, Magpie is a modern British restaurant offering a rather unusual dining concept, with guests getting to pick their starters and desserts from trolleys and trays that goes around in the dining room. Diners have the chance to see the look of all the dishes before deciding, the trolley dish sizes are similar to dim sum and tapas, ranging from £3 to £8. Magpie also offer main courses in a more traditional manner, cook to order with about 5 choices.
|Beef tarter and beetroot|
Out of the trolly selections, the beef tartar was the stood out dish, it was well seasoned with the mustard dressing, it offered a very flavoursome depth of sweetness and freshness. I was also a fan of the beetroot, light and refreshing, with a hint of pleasant bitterness. From the mains, the lamb was the winner, it was moist and worked wonder with the nutty taste of the pesto and yoghurt, even the broccoli was cooked perfectly. The hanger steak with lobster, the most expensive dish on the menu, was a let down. The beef was under seasoned and extremely tough, with a very average lobster salad on the side. I know the kitchen can do so much better than that.
|Cod, cockles and cucumber|
|Beef, lobster and gem lettuce|
|Lamb, miso polenta and pesto|
The cooking at Magpie was generally good and I felt it was somewhat overshadowed by the whole trolley idea. The whole concept of ordering your starters from trolley sounded fun at the start, but there were some critical issues for me at the same time. As the dishes are already pre-cooked, hot food would get cold, also what is the restaurant going to do with unsold hot dishes, reheat then resell them again to new diners? Also, considering the trolley waiters were going around every table trying to sell the dishes, that is a lot of talking over the food.... which is pretty questionable from a hygiene point of view.
What I paid:
£27 per head
Average cost without drinks and services: