Tanner & Co is a new restaurant on Bermondsey Street which serves “comfort food with a twist”. It replaces Delfina – a restaurant which always seemed to be empty even though the food was pretty good – well I thought so anyway!
Gone are Delfina’s stark white walls and art gallery atmosphere; instead they’ve completely transformed the space. It’s designed like an old fashioned school gym. Why you might ask? I’ve no idea really. There’s gym paraphernalia everywhere including a pommel horse and climbing bars. There’s also exposed pipes – very industrial-chic. The 80’s/90’s music in the background (which featured the Ghostbusters theme tune) was intended to add to the nostalgia I suppose, but me and my gentleman companion weren’t convinced; more nausea than nostalgia inducing.
We decided to order a selection of dishes from the lunch and dinner menu. Things started well with the ale braised oxtail and mushroom spring rolls with onion mayonnaise (£7.50). The crispy spring rolls were filled with a rich and intense beefy filling which was unctuously tasty.
The bacon and black pudding scotch egg (£3.50) was also delicious. The bacon and black pudding wasn’t too stodgy, the egg yolk in the centre was beautifully gooey and it was all encased in a crisp breadcrumb coating. Lovely.
It sadly went downhill from there. The crispy ‘spam’ fritter with piccalilli (£5.50) had retained much of the oil in which it had been deep fried in and the piccalilli was in no way tangy enough to cut through all that rich pork. It left me in need of a Rennie.
The king oyster mushroom carpaccio and truffled cauliflower fritter (£7) was one of the oddest things I have ever eaten – and one of the most unpleasant too. The cold mushroom carpaccio was like eating un-seasoned slugs; a texture I’d like to erase from my memory. The fritter was void of any real flavour and had the texture of an omelette. Very weird.
The hot smoked pork chop, sage and onion mousse, roast apple and crackling (£12) wasn’t hugely pleasant either. The pork chop had a smokey flavour which tasted a bit…fake, like the flavour of Frazzles . The meat was cooked tenderly but the fat was hard and chewy and the crackling was really sticky and greasy. The mousse was another item totally void of flavour. A side of fries (£3.50) were nice though – but the ‘vinegar salt’ (whatever that is!) didn’t appear to be present.
For pudding, we decided to share the chocolate sponge, chocolate chews and chocolate custard (£5). It was a stodgy and oddly chewy brownie that had Rice Crispies sprinkled on top – not exactly life changing. It lacked any sort of decadence that you might hope from such a chocolate pudding. And once the custard was poured over it looked a bloomin’ mess.
We visited Tanner & Co during their soft launch where it was supposed to be “pay what you think it’s worth”. When we paid the bill no mention of this was made by our waiter which I found rather irritating. I’m sure Tanner and Co will be a hit with the suited folk of London Bridge and maybe they’ll revel in the nostalgia – but it simply wasn’t our cup of tea. Who wants to eat in a gym and listen to Ghostbusters eh?