DINNER & DECOR: THE REFINERY, REGENTS PLACE
A few weeks back I realised that I hadn't done one of my Dinner & Decor reviews in a while! Keen to get out and experience some more amazing food with stunning interiors I put word out and was lucky enough to be invited down the the brand new Refinery at Regents Place right by Warren Street station. I took along my mate Milly who is an absolute foodie. We also both turned up with matching makeup. We're so cool, I know. Anyway, to summarise there was a virgin lobster experience, and a lot of fur... intrigued?!
Ok so first impressions... I'd been to the Refinery near London Bridge a while back so I had an idea of the style, but this is a newer take on the concept. It's part of a new complex and the exterior is floor to ceiling glass with a neon sign (always a winner). There's a fair bit of outside seating, with cosy blankets included on every seat. It should be a rule that everywhere with outside seating does this! I loved the little vignette of typewriter and logs at the entrance, and it was a clue as to what was to come.
Let me just say one thing people. Urban ski lodge is THE NEW SWAG.
We were welcomed and shown to our seats. First impressions were that this was like an urban ski lodge in the heart of the city. Think fur, natural woods, wool, exposed bulbs, bricks, loads of greenery and industrial lighting. It's quite dimly lit, which I really like in restaurants, but the huge double height bar area and open kitchen are lit up, casting a warm glow over the seating area.
Midcentury modern style seating was lined with fur throws, which gave an amazingly cosy feel.
Alright so you know the drill by now. First things first - cocktails.
The 'sip menu' had a good selection of old favourites (safe bets as they call them, perfect for my mate Milly) and some more adventurous combinations. I went for the Lavender love, a gin based cocktail of Tanqueray gin, raspberries, lemon, egg white & lavender sugar. Very nice although I didn't get a huge hit of lavender. I'm quite keen on those type of fragrant additions so would have loved a bit more. Milly went for a Bellini. Now you see why I said she'd like the safe bets!
Milly chose the crayfish cocktail and I went for the tempura crispy squid with ginger and firecracker sauce.
I had major food envy of Milly's crayfish cocktail. The sauce was really well balanced and the crayfish plump and juicy. Perfectly sized for a starter too. My squid was a tiny bit on the chewy side, but the sauce was zingy and fresh.
It didn't take us long to get through those and on to the mains!
The food menu was really appetising. So much that I had a hard time deciding on what to get. Faced with a selection of great british style main, a through steak selection and a bunch of burgers it wasn't an easy decision! After much deliberation (not even a joke. At least 15 minutes), I went for the fillet steak and then made it surf and turf by adding half a Scottish lobster. Here's the revelation... I'D NEVER HAD LOBSTER BEFORE THIS POINT. I know, I live a sheltered life. My dilemma was to order something I knew I'd like (can't go wrong with a fillet steak) or be risky and go for the lobster? As you can see there was a reason I got both! FOMO.
Milly went for the rib eye steak and I shared my lobby with her. Cos I'm cool like that.
OMG why had I never had lobster before?! It was delish! Tender and meaty, covered in a lemon garlic butter... wow. I can taste it now. The fillet steak was beautifully cooked and so tender, the peppercorn sauce married the lot together so well. It got messy. I loved it.
Somewhere along the lines I ordered another cocktail (was having too much of a love affair with my food to remember what it was) but it turned up with a pink feather, which made me happy.
At this point we were both so full but knew we had to experience a little dessert action otherwise it wouldn't be a fair review now would it?! Wanting something a little refreshing after such a heavy main, we opted for the Wagon Wheel to share. A little combo of toasted meringue, raspberry sorbet and shortbread.
Oh and hang on I haven't even mentioned this yet... the service was AWESOME!
I did ask this guy's name and then promptly forgot it, but yeh. He's great. Payrise, hint hint.
A pot of lapsang souchong tea was in order to wash it all down well. If you haven't had lapsang tea before, it basically tastes like a bonfire. WHICH IS AMAZING.
While Milly finished off the dessert I went for a wander to the loos.
Obligatory selfie moment coming up!
The staircase and mezzanine floor that the Loos sit on is pretty cool. It overlooks the whole of the restaurant and also has a slightly different design feel, which married really well with the rest but is very different. Well played Refinery, well played.
And can we just have a moment for that matte black brushed wall finish? If anyone knows how to achieve similar please let me know! And that industrial staircase... the none? Come on! This is dope!
Alriiight alright! Here's my bathroom selfie.
I loved these big rectangular concrete sinks and the dark copper taps. Seriously those sinks though. TDF.
After finishing up my bonfire tea we headed out into the frosty night to take snaps on the really cool geometric sculpture thing outside.
The Refinery combines delicious, classic food with a really unique environment. It's a great place for drinks or food and the service is great. Well worth a visit!
What do you think of the interior? Do you think the urban ski lodge style works?
P.S read more of my Dinner & Decor restaurant reviews by clicking here.