Broadleaf is very much a product of its setting, offering the City sybarite pretty much everything one could ask for: good food, strong drink, and all the sports in the kingdom. Launched by the ETM Group, which runs some of the classiest pubs in the capital, Broadleaf has taken up residence adjacent to Tower 42 on Old Broad Street, and looks poised to become a standby for the local workforce.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows welcome in the scenery. In the summer it will be light and airy, however on a snowy winter evening it still retained a cosy ambience with dim lighting, candles and a friendly buzzy vibe. There‘s a ground floor bar and a restaurant on the first floor with a terrace and bar, with huge brass beer tanks perched above it. Otherwise, the room brings together modern inspirations with industrial fittings and tall standing tables for those popping in for a quick one.
We were quite impressed by the cocktail offerings at Broadleaf. The Violette Truth was our favourite, made with Tanqueray, violet liqueur, Procecco, tonic and egg white, and garnished with edible flowers. All of the food was of similarly high quality. The British menu comprises of a number of home-grown classics such as fishcakes and a rotating pie of the day on the blackboard. We kicked our meal off with scallops, roasted in the half shell with chilli, lemon and a wild garlic butter. The croquette roulette is quite a fun dish, featuring three different types of croquette filled with mac and cheese; shrimp and bacon; and black pudding respectively.
For mains, we demurred to tradition and opted for the pie, which had an incredibly sumptuous filling of chicken and leek served with creamed mashed potato and wilted kale. It was everything you could hope for, with a toothsome, buttery crust. Devon crab linguine served with chilli and garlic was a surprise, worthy of being served in a left Italian trattoria. We wrapped up our meal with a sticky toffee pudding - a hefty full stop to the meal. It felt like a requirement on such a frigid evening.
Broadleaf plays well as a laidback City pub and restaurant, and it‘s the perfect place to watch the big match.