Tucked away underneath the Phoenix Theatre in the heart of London’s West End, you will find the famous Phoenix Artist Club. This charming restaurant and bar just so happens to be down the same side street as the opening sequence of Harry Potter, and is frequented by several famous faces from London’s theatre scene.
Walking down the stairs to the restaurant we were amazed at the décor, with a grand staircase, gorgeous chandelier, an impressive statue and theatrical paintings.
Once we entered the restaurant area we were surprised at how lively it was for a Wednesday. Hardly a table was available and the crowd at the bar was getting ready for a merry night.
The theme of theatrics continued downstairs with an abundance of signed theatre posters and headshots lining the walls inside. Once seated we were introduced to our waiter for the evening, who told us we were in for a treat with cabaret starting promptly at 9pm. I love a bit of cabaret so I couldn’t wait!
To get into the theatre mood we jumped straight in with some theatre-inspired cocktails. With my favourite musical being Wicked, I just had to try the Emerald City. A sweet melon explosion with a shot of chilli vodka kicked the evening off for me. My dining partner however, opted for Trunch’s Sour, an adaptation of the whisky sour, accompanied by a cute lizard sweet.
After much deliberation, and admiration of the theatre-themed menu, for the first act I opted for the tiger prawn bruschetta. This was a generous portion of flavoursome prawns on lightly toasted sourdough bread – simply delicious and a refreshing start.
My dining partner, unsurprisingly, chose the seared scallops. The sear on the scallop was beautiful, with the fresh softness of the scallop kept inside. The smooth cauliflower mousse and crispy carrots created a perfect accompaniment to the subtle scallop.
For act II we went meaty. With so many delicious dishes to choose from, it was hard to decide, but I eventually chose the roast duck. Again, a generous portion, and I’m not complaining! The duck was cooked to perfection. The crispy skin was gorgeous and it was tender and succulent on the inside. The dumplings were an exciting addition, smooth and very tasty! The sweet and sour cabbage creating a flavoursome addition.
My dining partner opted for the chargrilled rump of lamb placed on a bed of smoked aubergine and peppers, with a tangy and garlicky yoghurt on top. As with the duck, this was cooked excellently and perfectly medium rare. My dining partner thought he’d won the battle of the main courses but I’m not convinced, my duck was pretty delicious!
To quench our thirst between bites of our luscious dinners, our waiter recommended the Domaine de la Janasse. A flavourful, red wine from the Rhône wine region in France. This intense red paired perfectly with both our dishes.
What’s a night out without dessert? For curtain call my partner, a sucker for anything creamy, chose the crème brûlée. It was then time for the crème brûlée test, would it have a crunchy layer of caramelised sugar on top? It certainly did! It was smooth and creamy with little surprises of vodka-marinated sour cherries throughout that made my dining partner exclaim: ‘ooh, that has quite a kick!’
I went out with a bang as well. The white chocolate cheesecake was deliciously smooth with a crunchy and firm base. I hate it when you dig into a beautiful cheesecake and the base crumbles. This did not happen and I was a very happy customer.
After stuffing our faces, it was time for cabaret! We didn’t know quite what to expect, other than what we’d heard from the waiters, but if that was anything to go by, as well as the never-ending crowd of people entering the restaurant, we were in for a treat indeed!
The cabaret artist was fabulous, funny and incredibly talented. Jumping from Nicki Minaj to Bon Jovi, with an amazingly talented pianist by their side. Ending the night on Bohemian Rhapsody is no mean feat! The whole restaurant was singing along and everyone looked to be having a great time.
Sadly, we had to leave at some point but we had an absolutely fantastic evening. From the beautiful and mouth-watering food, to innovative cocktails, fantastic entertainment and the attentive and knowledgeable staff, the evening was on a whole other level. This really is a hidden gem.
Not sure if you can tell, but I loved it! So much so, I’ve already taken my friends back for a West End Singalong session… So, if you’re looking for a fabulously fun evening, with equally excellent food and cocktails, The Phoenix Artist Club is for you.
The Phoenix Artist Club
1 Phoenix Street, London, WC2H 8BU