Sorting out through the photos on my computer, I found some from our trip to Searcy's, the posh eating option at the Barbican centre. Alas, our visit their took place back in December – as a prelude to watching their ingenious alternative to the Christmas panto. Since then the receipt has long been lost, the menu on their website has changed and the memory has blurred around the edges, so I shall largely let the photos do the talking.
The room itself plunges you straight into the 70s-80s era – the original rather than the revival -- with lots of brown and orange, and lots of angles. Luckily, any ugliness in the décor is made up for by great views across the pond and onto St Giles of Cripplegate.
Double luckily though they had finished celebrating the Barbican's 25th birthday, and had replaced the retro food menu (think prawn cocktail and black forest gateaux) with more modern and more appetising sounding fare.
Among other things, we sampled the fish soup, gloriously topped with a gigantic langoustine.
Then there was beautifully rare fillet steak with a creamy bernaise sauce and chips that were both crispy and thick, suiting most tastes.
And a crisp-skinned breast of guinea fowl atop a pile of tiny home-made, bacon-studded spatzle.
I also recall a rather good selection of British cheeses, a decent assortment of ales, and a wine list including the Chapel Down Bacchus -- though admittedly for a slightly extortionate 32.85, around double the cost of the cheapest bottle.
Food's also not cheap, but it's not bad value, with two courses for 24.50 or three for 28.50. If you have a Barbican card, you get 15 percent of the total bill (including drinks), so you could recoup your 20 quid annual membership in one or two visits if you come as a foursome and don't shun the wine list.
Searcy's, Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS; Tel. 020 7588 3008; Tube: Barbican