The Black Sparrow is a grand hidden gem tucked into an unsuspecting underpass at Charing Cross. The out-side appearance is that of a traditional old pub- but this place is anything but traditional.
With ceilings that stretch to infinity, huge paintings and a classic mirrored bar, the restaurant is quite a visual delight. I had never heard of this place, but as my consumerist brain had taught me to believe that I must go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, me and my partner chose this as our restaurant of choice.
To start I had the mussels in a white garlic and parsley sauce and crusty soda bread. Mussels are an acquired taste and due to their fiddly nature many people are put off. However I would endeavour anyone – sea food lover or not – to try these beautifully cooked, fresh and mouth-watering mussels. I suggest saving the soda bread until the mussels are finished and soaking it in the garlic and parsley sauce. It was phenomenal.
I chose the venison casserole with braised red cabbage, and creamy mash as a main course. Choosing a main was the toughest part of the meal. With an impressive list of fine and interesting courses, even the fussiest of eaters are catered for. The casserole was delightful. It was hearty, rich and there was plenty of it. The venison was full of flavour and almost melted in the mouth, the cabbage was aromatic and crunchy and the mash was light and creamy. I couldn’t have asked for any better.
For dessert I had the apple and caramel tarte with cinnamon ice cream. The tarte it’s self was fairly mediocre but the cinnamon ice cream more than made up for the shortcomings of the tarte. The ice cream was thick, creamy and masterfully flavoured to allow the light cinnamon flavour to come through rather the bitterness you get tasting straight cinnamon.
I will most definitely be back.