We finally got to check out highly-anticipated new restaurant-come-bar School For Scandal, a true hidden gem on Jack Rosenthal Street (part of First Street). This intimate yet everyone-welcome spot has a jungle-style bar and the most stunning interiors – and boasts a new menu to make the former Laundrette absolutely pale in comparison…
What are the vibes like?
You’d be forgiven if you struggle to find the restaurant on the corner of First Street, as the venue, though large with a wonderfully open terrace, is not immediately obvious. But once you’ve found it you’re sure to return again and again…
Here you’ll munch on steak frites, spicy chicken burgers, pulled pork tacos and the most heavenly beef skewers money can buy.
The newly-rennovated School For Scandal is unapologetically stylish, with round wooden tables crooning out for groups/communal dining, and a few cosy tables by the wall for two.
The extensive drinks and cocktail menu is categorised in line with the school theme, with naughty ‘detention’ options offering an extra-kick, alongside a range of pre-school non-alcoholic choices, but the venue itself and the food is far from a school canteen.
Luxurious lime and gold lilts plume into the restaurant giving it a relaxed daytime feel. We popped along at lunchtime but you can imagine if you visit in the evening it would be heavenly romantic with a plant-rich, exotic looking bar serving out A* candyfloss and white-chocolate kissed cocktails strong enough to land anyone in detention (sorry.)
What’s on the menu?
Throw some tangy pan-Asian flavours into a pot with the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, add in a creative mix of locally sourced steak, fish and veggies, and you have the bare bones of the delightful menu at School For Scandal.
This is the sort of place where you look at the starter options and ask the people you’re eating with if ‘we should just get one of everything?’, and guys if you’re hungry enough then please do, because each dish is a delight.
We went with the pork tacos, the chicken lollipops (my personal favourite), the marinated beef skewers and the succulent sizzling prawns to chomp on first, and I had the extra spicy chicken burger tower with truffle and parmesan fries for my main.
I have to say the spice level wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (anyone that knows me will be aware I pride myself on my spice capabilities and always like a challenge), but the buttermilk-style chicken was deliciously succulent and long after the crumbs have been gobbled up you’ll be using your finger to scrape any last swirls of the vibrant salsa that’s served with it.
I consider myself a bit of a pudding connoisseur so naturally I demanded to try a bite (or two) of everyone else’s choices – for review purposes only. My favourite by far was my own (I opted for the classic British sticky toffee pud) and I noticed it seemed to be everyone else’s favourite too.
Hot, oozy sauce on a light and bouncy sponge, I would go back again and again for this on its own.
And now, for the cocktails…
I ordered my go-to favourite (pornstar martini.) I find it provides a great barometer from which to shed judgement and this one had deviated slightly with a school yard twist with the addition of white mozart chocolate. It was full of flavour but perhaps a little too much on the creamy-rich side if you’re having a full-blown meal to accompany it. My advice – have it as a boozy dessert instead 😉
My favourite by far was Ron’s Love Juice – a potent Ron de Jeremy based punch-style concoction that’s sure to blow your little school socks off (word of warning: only for the brave.)
School For Scandal is the kind of place I wish I lived next door to, so I could pop in every day and just be fed blindly whatever they feel like cooking on-the-spot – I’ve been dreaming about those succulent beef skewers since our grievous, slightly drunken departure and I’d happily eat in pure faith that it was gonna be yum whatever is coming out of that creative kitchen.
Check this spot out before the hordes descend. You won’t regret it.