Eat Here: The Piano Works, FarringdonBy Francesca Brooking
Looking for a restaurant with live music in central London? It’s about time you discovered The Piano Works, an all-in-one music venue, restaurant and bar located under the streets of Farringdon. We popped down on a Wednesday evening and it was packed with after-work revellers, music lovers and foodies, here’s why:
The Piano Works is a Victorian listed warehouse venue in the heart of Farringdon. Set in an underground space below Farringdon Road, it’s the perfect spot for a date night or an evening out with friends. Head down the stairs into a wide open-plan space complete with glitzy multicoloured lighting and a small stage in the middle of the room.
It’s a simple space, stripped back and versatile with a disco ball hanging from the ceiling and tables dotted around the edge of the stage. The bar is at the far end of the space under a slightly lower ceiling and there you can find high tables for dining and lounging in perfect view of the stage. To the right, nestled behind archways, a space with plush sofas and soft furnishings makes an ideal spot for private functions.
The Piano Works caters for pre-theatre dinners, bar food, brunch and dinner with menus that would delight meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans without being overly complicated. I greedily opted for a three-course dinner (although a two-course is available). I tucked into a plate of sweet potato tostada, for starters, served with black beans, charred corn salsa and vegan cheese.
It was vegan, as you’ve probably already guessed, and I was surprised at how large it was for a starter. It was delicious though, delicate and melt-in-the-mouth but full of sizzling flavour. My friend opted for a nutritious salad topped with spinach, goat’s cheese, walnuts, pomegranate and tomato with balsamic and strawberry dressing. It went down a treat.
I decided to stick to the vegan theme for my main, opting for a healthy Buddha bowl. It promised a selection of no less than twelve superfoods served with a vegan dressing and it didn’t disappoint. Size was once again a standout feature. It was an enormous bowl filled to the brim with sliced avocado, roasted peppers, sweet potato, asparagus, aubergine, lettuce, baby tomatoes, a sprinkle of quinoa and much, much more.
It was the perfect balance of healthy and filling but after an hour of solid work, I had barely made a dent. Still, I was pleasantly full, unlike the drowsy, heavy feeling you get after eating too much Sunday roast.
My friend ordered the salmon; it was a huge pink fillet, beautifully cooked, resting atop a mound of fluffy mashed potato. It came with a creamy marinière sauce with delicate mussels and peas. ‘Heavenly’ was her verdict.
We were stuffed after course two but we couldn’t leave without ending on a sweet note. We sampled their gloriously silky vanilla ice cream and decadent chocolate brownie coated in icing sugar and chocolate sauce. All in all, the food at The Piano Works was good, hitting the spot for an evening out but if you want my advice, take it slow with one meal at a time because they’re not stingy with size.
It’s fair to say we drank well at The Piano Works, as did the surrounding tables. If you don’t fancy grabbing a bite then this venue is still a superb option for a drink after work or even a night out at the weekend. There is a Champagne and cocktail hour that runs from 5pm – 7pm daily offering selected cocktails for just £5.50 and a glass of Champagne for £6.50.
Gin lovers will be delighted by the fabulous gin cocktail menu inspired by music greats through the ages: think ‘Frank Ginatra’ and ‘Elton Gin’. We spent the evening drinking bottomless Italian sparkling pink wine (at £20 a head) and it was delicious – not too sweet and not too dry. It was the perfect accompaniment to our food and whenever our glasses ran dry a server swiftly appeared to fill them up.
The live music is a real asset at this venue. From Monday to Saturday, guests can enjoy their favourite requested songs performed by two pianists and accompanying musicians. It’s a prime spot to see talented up and coming and established artists from all backgrounds connecting with the audience, jamming away to best-loved tracks and creating an infectious party atmosphere that’s bound to get your feet tapping. Guests can even sip on cocktails inspired by the top ten songs requested by the audience. ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ anyone?
The Piano Works Review: Our Verdict
All in all, I loved The Piano Works. The food was good, the drinks were great and the entertainment was fabulous. The staff were friendly and our server was very helpful as we dithered a little over the wines. If you’re looking for a quiet meal out then The Piano Works may not be for you but if you want delicious food, fun drinks and a party atmosphere rolled into one then it will hit the spot perfectly. Great for date nights, after-work drinks and a night out with friends, The Piano Works is a top all-in-one venue in London and I highly recommend it.
To find out more about The Piano Works in Farringdon, visit the website here. Remember to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment.