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16 March 2007

Blooms: the redecoration

Jewish Mean Time is a bit like Greenwich Mean Time, but a bit less accurate. JMT is the excuse usually given for the genetic tardiness of my co-religionists. JMT can often be GMT +2 hours, more of course if it is British Summer Time. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been used as an excuse for being early. I was therefore gobsmacked to see Blooms reopen after its refit. It wasn't due to open until Sunday.

Sorry to get all AA Gill on you, but I am not keen on the redecoration. They've dumped the drawing of shtetl life for a much more contemporary frieze, which was not completed at lunchtime today, but looks like a scene of the (Israeli?) countryside. They've upgraded the tables and chairs and cutlery and crockery. They've got the waiters in black smocks, rather than their grubby white numbers. They have even gone for an spidery light fitting in the take-away bit and stone-effect tiling in the toilets. To me, it simply does not match the food. I was also a bit disappointed to see that they haven't bothered to update the website yet to reflect the new interior design.

But that doesn't matter because the salt-beef sandwich I had was outstanding. It was nice and moist, the flavour was subtle, not too salty and with a hint of sweetness. I would guess this is a reflection of the stock it was cooked in, although could owe a lot to the cow itself. (Although, given that most kosher beef is not from prime herds, I wouldn't expect much in that department.) The rye bread was as good as ever, with a decent punchy English mustard.

I did not have the opportunity to have a full meal, but I took a look at the menu and things don't seem to have changed much. Old favourites like wurscht and eggs or liver and onions are still there. From the the handwritten scribble at the bottom of the menu, it looks like someone forgot about the veal and chicken schnitzels, but other than that, everything is present and correct.

The menu is pretty lengthy so you have to question just how freshly cooked everything is, but despite that, on the basis of today's tasting, they do their stock-in-trade very well indeed. I'll be back for dinner soon, the livers and onion are calling.

Blooms, 130 Golders Green Road, London, NW11 8HB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8455 1338

Google Maps
Google Earth (download)

What others think

At the time of writing, there are no other reviews post re-furb. I'll post them when I see them.

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Sounds like they've modernised from the 50's to the 80's?

I'd say mid 90s more than 80s. At the very least it is a real change.

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