Monday 17 December 2007

Joe's Kitchen, the Glades shopping centre, Bromley, London

Substantial bistro which puts a lot of effort into attracting young families. The white t-shirted waiters and waitresses bring young diners a modest activity book and small toy, there are at least a dozen high chairs stacked in the corner and there is an unusually generous and extensive kids menu (£4.25). The cheesy pasta, served with chicken, broccoli and sweetcorn, is not bad, while the ice cream pudding is pretty good. A small drink, such as apple juice or coke, is also thrown in. Unfortunately, not all the adult offerings are as appealing. The potato and leek soup (about £3) can be bland and watery, while the bread in the cheese and ham toasties (about £4.50) is lightweight and anemic. The bizarre festive smoothie, which has a huge head of froth, lacks intensity and isn't worth the £3.25 price tag. Still, the sturdy pine furniture, an extended bare brick wall and the retro posters make for reasonably stylish surroundings. 6/10