Parts & Labour, London

6.20.2015

I searched high and low for a place to celebrate Mr. T's birthday along with few friends that would not break our wallets. So when I saw a special offer for hot-dinners.com readers for the new quirky restaurant, Parts & Labour inside the contemporary Qbic Hotel in London's East end I know it could not be missed. A short walk from Aldgate East and Whitechaple station, the area is full of amazing curry houses but for a change the modern Biritsh cooking is bringing a different approach to the multicultural diversity of food.

The decor shouts Scandinavian simplicitic but bold primary colours retro elements. There was live music playing on the day, with people flooding the main lounge area and drinking, it was indeed going to be a noisy night which at a volume that was impossible to have a conversation during dining.

Squid, Chorizo, Chick Peas, Coriander

Pulled Lamb Shoulder Croquettes, Mint Mayonnaise

Hansen & Lyderson Smoked Salmon, Lemon, Buttered Brown Bread

The all day menu has a Jewish influences to it with items such as salt beef sandwich, chicken soup with dumplings and etc. Bread was served after the decision on food, it was a mistake to have the bread. It was awful, brown sliced bread left out too long thus it was dried and cold. What came with bread was a tasteless green dressing like a mayonnaise consistency which no one can work out what it was. One of the worst bread I have had in a restaurant.

I opted for the smoked salmon as my starter, the bright colour fish is smoked locally in Islington was indeed very good and was sliced thickly. I liked the idea of wrapping the half lemon in a muslin cloth so when you squeeze it the pips does not fall onto the food. Again the bread was disastrous, at least it buttered this time which is a slight improvement in taste. Mr. T happily munched away on his squid and chorizo, the squid was tender and the whole dish balanced well. Squid and chorizo are always a fantastic combination. Rest of the party had the croquettes which they all seemed to have enjoyed.

6oz Cheeseburger, Pickles, Caramelised Onions, Chips 

Glazed Beef Short Ribs, Fennel & Radish Slaw

Pork Belly, Fennel, Apple, Olive Oil Jus

It was just before 8pm, we were informed there was only two portions of the beef short ribs left which the party was fighting over it beside me. Evidently, Mr. T got a portion because it was his birthday. I thought the dish looked unappetising, the ribs looked dried and like it was lacking a sauce. Mr. T commented on it being an average dish. Others that lost the fight had the burger instead, it was not brilliant nor exciting. I dared to be adventurous and I had the pork belly. It was one of the most forgettable dish of the night, the meat was tender but dried and bland, the taste of olive oil did not come through (I don't know if it was supposed to be?).

Chips 

Purple Sprouting Broccoli 

Whilst everyone else had chips as their sides, I wanted to feel healthier by having the sprouting broccoli and it was overcooked. There is nothing that I can fault on the chips, there are just chips after all and are perfectly edible. I was also the odd one out drinking cocktails and the rest had beers.

There was not one item of food that had been prefect or even just done well. It is such a shame since I read many praises on this new restaurant and I really liked the quirky decor. The service was appalling, I think it was because of the distraction from the live music and the crowds that was surrounding it. At the beginning they gave of impression that they did not know about our reservation and inattentive since we waited a long while before we got what was asked for. 

Score Rating: 2/5
Price: £10-30/head (50% discount, ~£100 for 5 people)

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