Shepherd’s Bush has, for a very long time, been a culinary desert. Whilst Westfield offers your usual, prerequisite chains for those in need of a break from the crowds, and the area boasts a fair few pubs, the neighbourhood certainly isn't known as a destination for foodies. So, imagine my surprise when on top of the old BBC building came Pergola on the Roof, from the same people who are behind Feast and Little Feast. Launched back in May, I thought it was about time to try it out now the English summer is (finally) here.
The first thing we noticed upon arrival was that it was incredibly busy, particularly for a Wednesday night. The blessing of being on a roof is that it was outside, but I could still barely hear myself think, let alone concentrate on what I wanted to eat.
The second thing, after shouting over the noise at each other for a few minutes, was just how beautiful it all looked. We visited on a sunny evening, and that is when somewhere like Pergola on the Roof comes out on top (literally). The rooftop space is split into two areas; an open-air area and the flower covered terrace.
And of course, the food! They’ve partnered with some of the big dogs on the London food scene, who have in turn, created pop-up friendly, bespoke menus for the occasion. You can choose from Salt Yard, the charcuterie and bar with Ben Tish at the helm, famed Rotisserie LeCoq, foraging restaurant Rabbit, and Patty & Bun, with their legendary burgers.
The 30 deep queue for Patty & Bun was enough to put even the most devout fan off waiting, so instead we wandered over to Salt Yard. I love Spanish food – put me in a room with some pintxos and tapas and I will be a very happy woman. So I was content with my Grilled Spicy Chorizo and Piquillo Pepper Roll (£8), which came topped with a garlicky aioli and rocket. Simple but delicious.
My friend didn’t fare so well at Salt Yard, finding his Dry Aged Hereford Beef Burger (£8) ever-so-slightly dry, despite its delicious sounding toppings such as aged Manchego, onion rings, charred gem lettuce and onion marmalade.
But still, we moved on to Rabbit, where we nibbled on a delicious hand dived scallop, topped with a salty chorizo brioche crumb and garlic butter. The combination is of course faultless, the crumb adding some texture to the juicy, perfectly cooked scallop. We couldn’t decide if for £5 this was a good deal or not, but it was a highlight nonetheless so it must have been.
Drinks are served from the communal bar in the centre of the terrace, where you will find a short but sweet list of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. Much like the food, we found the bottle of wine we shared delicious, but slightly overpriced at £20 for the house white.
All in all, Pergola on the Roof is a great way to spend a summer’s evening. My advice? Go along, check out the stunning views and sample the wonderful food, but be prepared to pay restaurant prices.
My other advice – take the lift on the way down. Don’t fall down the concrete steps and break your leg like yours truly…