Leicester Square is overwhelming. It is packed full of bars, restaurants, cinemas and clubs, smothered with tourists and locals wandering around aimlessly. You need a solid reason or strong disposition to come here or you will be swept up by the wave of never-ending humans.
The cinema is my draw, specifically the Prince Charles Cinema. A staple of the area, it stands out from the crowd by showing cult, arthouse and classic movies alongside the big releases. Although it does not favour showing the back-to-back movie blockbuster, it still stands up to the chains with comfortable and spacious seating, a cute little bar and a regular sing-a-long, currently, The Sound of Music.
I was surprised with a ticket to see Interstellar recently and as the showing did not start until 7.30pm, we were on the lookout for some quick pre-cinema dining.
Ruby Blue is literally across the road from the cinema so was convenient. We made our way up the staircase to the restaurant, passing the bar. Ruby Blue is well known for its night life, it is essentially a bar-come-club, for drinking and dancing. This shows in the simplicity of the food.
We were welcomed by a small but friendly team. A triallist was working and looked after us for most of the evening (hope she got the job). The food menu reads like many grill style restaurants. Your central selection of steaks and burgers, with an outer circle of cod and chips, sausage and mash, etc. There are no huge surprises on the menu, but that’s not what Ruby Blue is about. It is about no-nonsense, stomach lining food to kit you out for a nights drinking in the bar/club.
For our starter, we opted to share a platter. It listed chicken wings, crab cakes, garlic bread, sticky BBQ ribs and tortillas with a selection of dips. The crab cakes were swapped with breaded calamari, which is not a problem, however we should have been given the heads’ up. Some people are allergic and may assume it to be onion rings, chow down and then boom, you have an inflamed throat and you can’t breathe. That said, all of it tasted fine.
For our mains, my dining partner had the burger which he liked. It was served well done (no one asked how he preferred it) with a selection of extras, one of which included jalapeno peppers which did not materialize. I opted for the pan fried chicken breast with new potatoes, wilted spinach and spicy tomato sauce. The chicken was excellent. The sauce was to die for. I am not sure what they put it in but it was very moreish and I could have been happy with just that and the chicken. The potatoes were plentiful, but at that stage I was too full.
It would have been tempting to have a hot chocolate brownie for dessert, but the clock was ticking and we had to get to the movies.
Ruby Blue is affordable, simple food to start your evening of partying, or like us, grab a quick bite before the movies. Being a member of tastecard, you get a whopping 50% off the already reasonably priced food. Do check the drinks bill though, as we were charged for two bottles of wine as opposed to two glasses. It was all very quickly resolved and the guys were very helpful.
1 Leicester Place
T. 020 7287 8050