What’s the vibe?
Simon & The Whale is the flagship restaurant of the newly opened Freehand Hotel in Flat Iron, which also features the insanely popular Broken Shaker rooftop bar (and constant queues). Simon & The Whale is also a hard table to secure at popular times, and when we visited one Friday night it was absolutely packed with some pretty excited people – we wouldn’t say it was a cool crowd exactly, but it was definitely a crowd. It’s a gorgeous room, with a central walnut bar (great for solo dining), dark green tiles, pale green leather booth seating, and gold art deco inspired light fixtures.
What to order?
It’s one of those menus that’s pretty hard to choose from, as everything jumps out at you but we can definitely recommend starting with a cocktails and a couple of snacks. We loved the smoked mussels which came in a little jar of pickle juice and some wheat crackers to plop them on to, plus the cheese croquettes.
We were there on a hot summer evening so were drawn towards the lighter dishes. English peas with lardo, shrimp, and mint was especially satisfying, light but full of deep rich flavour, and asparagus with rye crumble, egg and choron sauce was another winner. We then went for the whole trout ‘for two’, which actually fed three of us very happily, and came on a bed of couscous, and charred carrots.
The only let down of the night was the dessert of brioche doughnuts, which promised a lot but only delivered dry, stodgy dough. Best avoid these but other than that Simon & The Whale is a great dinner option for the neighbourhood.
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