When we think of the combination of football and food I would imagine that the majority of us would conjure images of pies.
But stop right there……… this is definitely not another pie post.
Kaleido has by no means generated the kind of fervent anticipation of other recent openings but the team of Executive Chef Paul Riley, General Manager Franco Caroleo and figurehead Frank Bordoni are keen to match the ambition of the museum beneath them.
After being greeted on the ground floor and escorted via the lift to the 5th my initial thoughts were that the place looked good – a little bit 1980s – but good. All white leather and a feature wall reminiscent of one of those toys we all had as a kid………. you know that you looked into and twisted and…………. oh. Decoration aside the name is a nod to the kaleidoscope of people who play, support or are involved in football.
I have to be honest and admit that at this point I was a little pessimistic. I am so much more at home in homely feeling restaurants so I began to feel that this may have been a case of style over substance or “all fur coat………” to pick a more colourful expression.
However after a warm, if slightly nervous welcome from our waitress we got down to the business of deciding what to eat. The first thing to grab our collective attention were the prices. For a city centre restaurant sitting in a landmark building they seemed all too reasonable, again, creeping doubts.
I opted for the jellied ham hock terrine with (deconstructed) piccalilli and sourdough while The Mrs went for the oak smoked salmon with gribiche and crispy capers. Both were beautifully presented and whilst I didn’t try the salmon, the terrine was delicious, the piccalilli lovely and tangy.
Mains were Hereford oxtail and kidney pudding with feather blade, cabbage and carrot puree for me and spring chicken with ravioli, truffle vinaigrette, baby leeks and smoked bacon for my better half. Again there were no complaints about how well our eyes were being fed. The pudding and it’s contents were delicious and moist, the small amount of kidney (a good thing in my opinion) just adding that lovely depth of flavour. The feather blade fell apart, however was a little dry but when combined with the pudding gravy this was easily forgotten. I didn’t sample the chicken but The Mrs commented that she’d have liked a stronger taste to the vinaigrette as the chicken, whilst wonderfully cooked came off a little bland.
Then came the desserts, caramel apple tart with tonka bean ice cream and a cheese board, both to share.
Gorgeous caramelized appley bits with a cool, smooth ice cream that had a hint of vanilla but also the faintest element of spice, perhaps cinnamon? With regard to cheese, I’ll confess to being a bit of a luddite (more to come soon on this) but all were very tasty and set off beautifully by the quince jelly.
After dinner we also checked out the 6th floor bar, just, you know, because why not? The Key West Cooler was a treat after a lovely meal.
So what of the overall impression of Kaleido? While there may not be the sea change that you may get in the images in that ubiquitous kids toy when it comes to the dishes on the menu, it is apparent that there is a dedication to create an experience. Where, as each course is served, there are “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” from the assembled, reminiscent of a great fireworks display. I think it is fair to say that this is no damp squib. Vibrant but cool and with some fantastic views across our city this place is sure to go off like a rocket.
Football and food just got interesting.