Sit down lunch break lunches are never relaxing. They are an operation in expert clock watching, timely ordering and course condensing and for all of those reasons I more often than not keep a wide berth.
However, a visit to the Lang Toun from my mother, desperate to make good use of her newly acquired bus pass, forced my hand and we ended up in Legends of Society.
You enter from Charlotte Street through the beer garden into what feels like the fire exit but the dining room holds more than a few surprises.
Plush, upholstered, solid chairs caught my eye first.
I admit it is an odd signifier but to me a chair says a lot about a restaurant. Investment in the furniture diners will spend their meal sitting on, shows that proprietors understand their customers.
I am a sucker for lighting and the gastro brasserie has hit the illumination just right. A tricky beast in the middle of the day in winter, the high ceilings could create a challenge against atmosphere but twisted fairy-like globes above the bar, deep chestnust signature wall and tiered down-lighters give off the perfect additional warming glow.
We were greeted warmly if a little hurriedly by the sole waiter who did a commendable job at that. It was a Tuesday lunchtime and seemingly a little busier than anticipated.
The menu is equally as unexpected. Printed on old vinyl LP covers, the quirky designs tie in the premise of musical ‘Legends’. And it’s not even a gimmick. So often the downfall of a feature is a drearily uninspiring menu hidden beneath the quirk, prepared with a similar level of half-hearted gusto.
But the confidence of the culinary team at Legends of Society emanates through the food with bold, unconventional and very appealing options on every ‘track’ such as the seafood cone (£4.50), Thai green cod curry (£9.50) or Legends lamb kebab (£13.50) appear through playlists of the past.
My light flatbread pizza topped generously with chicken, rocket and mozzarella punctuated by little pockets of pesto, is ideal for lunch. Tasty it definitely was and filling – undoubtedly, if a little soggy from the cheese and tomato residue. It also could have benefitted from a larger plate ... or a smaller flatbread but I would favour the plate option!
Mother’s mozarrella and tomato bloomer was filled to the brim and balanced well despite an exceedingly overripe (read black) avocado addition and was accompanied by crispy edged fries with a chippy-esque smoothness. A commendable attempt and a colossally well-judged gap in the market for people looking for interesting food, done well in elegant but comfortable surroundings.
And with a soupçon of tweaks and tightening of chords on the finer details, Society’s brasserie could go down with the ‘Legends’ it champions.