The Trading house is situated on the former site of the Bank of New Zealand, with splendid high ceilings, immaculately crafted wood-panelled walls and an assortment of curious eccentricities like a stuffed albino peacock; you could be forgiven for thinking you walked into the world of Phileas Fogg and a time when Britain still had an empire.
The Trading house is still one of our favourite places in the city for catch up drinks with friends and a quick bite. Their incredible anthology of ales contains over 80 types of ale and if you can’t find it at The Trading House, there is a strong possibility it isn’t worth trying. We tried lagerbier hell, which is from Munich’s oldest independent brewery dating back to 1328. It tasted of bread malt and grassy hops, which is what you would expect from a top German brewery.
The food menu consist of simple home comforts, but it was certainly not an afterthought compared to their detailed beverage menu. All the classics you’ve dreamed of are probably on the menu. The gambas pil pil we savoured had plump prawns which were simply and effectively flavoured with garlic and chilli, whilst the creamy truffle mushrooms dish soaked invitingly into a pillowy bread roll. Scotch eggs were not overcooked so that the yolk was still runny and it came with some piccalilli that contrasted well with the taste of the eggs.
The main course came in the form of well executed 8oz fillet steaks. The meat was lean, had a decent amount of chew and cooked just to the right timings, as my guests had asked for rare and medium rare. It was generously portioned as it came with seasoned chips, roasted mushroom, plum tomatoes and watercress. The same could be said of their butternut squash, goat’s cheese and mushroom pie which came with healthy portions of mushy peas and mashed potatoes. It was perhaps too filling and I would have preferred less of the squash and more of the mushrooms inside the pie.
Desserts is a not to be missed affair here. High on the popularity list, is their melt-in-your-mouth warm chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream. Before I had a chance to ask my guests, if I can try the delectable looking cakes, they were demolished in double quick time. It is also worth trying their beer and cheese board, as it brought out much debate on the dining table as to which cheese matched which beer ideally. It included their home-brewed specialty and for a £3 upgrade for 3 half-pints of beer, this is a no-consideration required bargain.
I don’t work in the City but I feel the Trading House will be seeing a lot more of me as I attempt to work my way around their tremendous ale and cocktail offerings in hopefully under 80 days.