Bowling Bird Review


In the quiet Cloth Fair in Smithfields, a little restaurant has recently opened. If you like fresh, organic ingredients and excellent wine then head to Bowling Bird.

The restaurant was founded by and is co-owned by John King who manages front-of-house and Jospeh Pelosi who runs the kitchen. Prior to this venture, King was at Goodman City and Pelosi was a chef-proprietor in Glasgow, his home town.
They are joined by Head chef Emiliano Gallegos.

Given Bowling Bird specialises in fresh local ingredients and quality produce, it is no surprise that the menu is seasonal. There is a focus on using organically sourced vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The lamb is organic, the chicken and eggs are free-range and the fish is line-caught by sustainable sources. Specialist suppliers are also featured including: Abernethy butter,Seggiano rice and oils, Pujado Solana boquerons and Valrhona chocolate.

To start we had a salad and fruit dish comprised of tomatoes, water melon, kiwi fruit, zucchini and more. The textures, colours and light flavours was perfect for a summer’s evening. Blue Corn Tostada with chicken, corn, spinach puree and hibiscus (£5.5) was one of the crowd pleasing dishes. The crunch of the tostada and the purée of the vegetables was a perfect combination. I’d definitely have more of these anytime.

A prawn with crab claw and monkfish with beans in a sauce is perfect for seafood lovers. I’m not much of a seafood person but I did enjoy the slightly tangy sauce. Meat lovers will enjoy the tender medium-rare Cote de boeuf (650g) with roasted shallots and sea salt (£52) or the Châteaubriand (to share for £64).

Deconstructed apple crumble with kiwi fruit and rock melon was served as one of the deserts. Unfortunately, for our section of the table this felt as if we were eating two separate dishes and we felt more cohesiveness was needed. The richness and texture of the chocolate lemon cake served with pineapple slices and lavender cream was definitely more to our liking.

Other options from the menu we were unable to sample include: Tuscan sausage and Cavalo Nero tart (£6); Baby leeks with petit pois puree, fennel, soy dressing (£5.50); and Chargrilled octopus with beetroot puree, watercress, alfalfa sprouts (£13). Remember that the menu is subject to seasonal changes.

Over 250 wines are available. Wine is featured from all the well-known wine-producing provinces as well as some of the more unusual places such as Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland. There is a particular focus on Californian wine.Rare US bourbons and whiskies are on display along with boutique gins, runs and aged Armagnacs. Twenty-five beers from a dozen countries are also available.

Bowling Bird has a welcoming relaxed atmosphere. Thirty-six diners can be spread over two light-filled wooden floor rooms. Antique furniture, fixtures and mirrors that have been collected by Pelosi over twenty years contributes to the ambiance. Adorning the contemporary graphic wallpapered walls are two rare prints from woodblock masters Tadashi Nakayama and Rokushu Mizufune and an original lithograph by Salvador Dali.

Bowling Bird is an understated relaxed dining experience. An easy walk from Farringdon station makes it a great place for business lunches, intimate dinners, catch-ups with friends and solo diners.

Address: 44 Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ



Phone: 0207 324 7742



Or search #BowlingBird

Written by Caitlin Neal