Aquarium

Homer: I like pizza, I like bagels, I like hot dogs with mustard and beer...
Editor: I get the picture.
Homer: I'll eat eggplant, I could even eat a baby deer! La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, who's that baby deer on the lawn there?
- Guess who's coming to criticize dinner

On Wednesday night, we tried out Aquarium for the first time. We're not very good at doing restaurant reviews, struggling to get beyond the "food good, drink quite good" template for which the BrocSoc Foxes are often lampooned. So here's our effort.

We shared a starter of deep fried brie, followed by peri peri chicken. Our wife had the gnocchi and our son had pizza. All were good - the chicken was more elaborate than we'd been expecting, but this too was good. Desert included ice cream and tiramisu, both of which were also good.

The decor is best described as being in a state of flux. It still has many of the features inherited from the days when it was Ecosium, but the furniture has been shuffled around, so the front room feels more like a bar. Indeed, although we sat on the sofas in the corner near the window (good for kids) for our meal, the people who sat next to us were a large group of people in their early twenties who were just enjoying a drink. We understand the plan is that the look of the place will change gradually and that's probably a good idea - currently, it suffers from an identity crisis.

The service was warm and friendly and the discussion between the chef and some of his customers at the bar added to the atmosphere of the place.

After the meal, we introduced ourselves to Halim, the new manager, who sent us this voucher offer for BC readers. He said that about a dozen people had already taken him up on the offer, which he was really pleased about, as he said one of his biggest challenges is to let people know about the changes that have taken place since he took over. Twelve sets of diners in just over two weeks is a great result and shows that BC readers will support local business.

We also took advantage of the free bottle of wine offer and in our view, the house red is perfectly fine.

We're currently taking soundings here about whether Aquarium should be the venue for Brockley Central Drinks V and it appears to be a popular option.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Our" wife? Poor girl!

Brockley Nick said...

On many levels.

Anonymous said...

How long did the food take to arrive?

Hugh said...

Any totty worty of mention?

Brockley Nick said...

@Hugh You mean aside from my lovely wife?

@Anon - Promptness: good.

The Cat Man said...

I paid this place a vist on my 'oh dear im snowed in and possibly couldnt get to work' day (monday).

I had the dips and pitta bread, and french onion soup. My friend had the sausages and mash.

The service was very good, food was completely fine but the best thing was the prices - In my opinion, it is cheaper then the Toads Mouth Too and the food is equally as tasty.

The waiter even cracked a few jokes with us when we left which is a good sign. I would most certainly recommend this place.

Brockley Central Drinks? Hmm. I'd be happy it was here, but I never really go to these events..

Danja said...

Hugh wanted warty totty, Nick. I don't think "our wife" counts.

Tamsin said...

"worts" are leaf vegetables (as opposed to "roots") - I've worked in a Tudor kitchen. Worty totty must be the size zero model type who lives on half a lettuce leaf for lunch.

Anonymous said...

"the house read is perfectly fine"???

Brockley Nick said...

fixed

jon s said...

I understand the use of plural pronouns for professionalism (and future potential for turning this into a revenue earning business) but may I suggest that instead of documenting polygamy in future you use "our reviewers' wife" and ask for volunteer copy editors ;-)

Brockley Nick said...

Anon just did volunteer his services as copy editor. BC applies the Google principle: get it 80% right and publish, then call it a beta.

Tamsin said...

It's still documenting polyandry - "our reviewers' ("s" apostrophe rather than apostrophe "s") wife"! - or else the need for still more copy-editing.

Brockley Nick said...

It is not for any of us to get on our moral high horse and mock others - wehther they be protestors, polygamists or poor spellers.

fred vest said...

moral high horse, lol

jon s said...

Tamsin, sloppy mistake of mine (plural posessive apostrope as opposed to singular possesive) so yes further copy editing required! Next time I should read my own comments before posting.

I could lie and claim it was a poor attempt at wit but at least I didn't put an apostrophe in "it's".

lll said...

"moral high horse" best thing I've heard all day. :)

nobbly brick said...

'whether' nick, actually...

Brockley Nick said...

@nobbly, see the last part of that sentence about poor spellers. Too subtle?

nobbly brick said...

No, but mine obviously was

;)

Brockley Nick said...

This could go on all day... ;)

BTW, did you note the point about how many customers BC helped to bring in? Does that count as the blog achieving things?

nobbly brick said...

Yes nick - I know you're 100% and hope there is no hard feeling on either side (at the moment)

Headhunter said...

"This could go on all day... ;)"

....and night but it doesn't usually stop us!

Tamsin said...

To keep it going a bit longer - @ jon s - I blushed with shame at the thought of such an error, but then looked again and found it was OK. "It's" possessive - a mistake worthy of hanging - "it's" as a contraction of "it is" - correct usage.

Is a moral high horse a gift hobby one you don't look in the teeth of or something you use to get over heavy ground lightly? Love it anyway...

fred vest said...

some people seem to protest at ever minor grammar indiscretion - if it doesn't detract from the meaning or understanding of what's being said i can never understand why people get so pedantic about it

patrick1971 said...

Must not get sucked into grammar argument, must not get sucked into grammar argument...

patrick1971 said...

And Aquarium does sound like a good venue for BC Drinks IV; I may finally make it to one!

Tamsin said...

@ Fred Vest - in a blog like this spelling and grammar - or using non UK English (w'happen) - doesn't matter at all and I for one find exchanging pedantries quite fun.
However in printed documents, formal letters, notices etc. it does matter. Correct spelling and grammar helps the reader by not causing them to pause or double-take as they skim through a document and by avoiding ambguities. Incorrect spelling and grammar also still give a very bad impression. If people producing a leaflet cannot have it checked through or check it adequately themselves what does it say of the product or service they offer?

jon s said...

Sigh...

I wasn't attempting to accuse Tamsin of poor grammar (of course it's was used correctly as a conjunction) but in context it looks rather bad (and incorrect of me). Merely identify a pet peeve of grammar pedants, the incorrect use of its as a possessive without an apostrophe and I'll wager Tamsin's grammar is perfect.

Anyhoo, all I was trying to do initially, albeit too rushed was point out a potential solution to something, not a personal attack on anyone. Generally a theme of my posts and would have been fine if I'd bothered not to rush the first post.

But go ahead, knock yourselves out.....

fred vest said...

yes i agree, but my comments were about online usage, blogs and stuff - that's where you seem to see the most outrage about it

although there are some cases where i'd make an exception to it not mattering, this one for example

http://tinyurl.com/bn93as

jon s said...

should be correct use of its without and apostrophe as possessive

fred vest said...

"Sigh..."

not sure if that's at me but if it is you're misguided in your sighing, i was making a general point about grammar pedants on the internet, nothing specific to you

don't be so defensive!

Tamsin said...

Thanks for the link, Fred, certainly a "ho ho"...

patrick1971 said...

I guess I don't make the distinction in the same way Tamsin does. Why not take care to get your spelling and grammar correct in all contexts, not just formal ones?

jon s said...

Many people don't think in grammatical constructs (or necessarily english) so expecting grammar in blogging (or any other social medium) can reduce interaction.

max said...

Check this one:
http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=72940

Hugh said...

What Patrick said.

People who say 'This isn't an English lesson' are invariably ill-educated and rather tedious.

fred vest said...

"Many people don't think in grammatical constructs (or necessarily english) so expecting grammar in blogging (or any other social medium) can reduce interaction"

well said

NSFR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrockleyBiker said...

No one in France or wherever else you have been taught the langauge from would expect you talk as you have been taught in the classroom. It is a ridiculous expectation. I have noticed that on the internet a quick way some people find to invalidate an argument is by critising the grammer or spelling.

It is pathetic. And cowardly.

Jim said...

Hi, new to Brockley and Aquarium. Yes, anywhere can cook good food, but it is the jovial, personal touch of the owner and other staff which make you feel like a valued customer. I'll certainly be going back there for food and the odd relaxed beer...

Anonymous said...

Went there after initial BC mention and friend recommendation. My girlfriend has an onion allergy and asked for no onions in her dish. Unfortunately the chef failed to listen to the waitress(despite it not being busy). My poor girlfriend had to wait whilst they cooked another dish and me and my mum tucked into ours before they went cold. On the whole the food was quite good. Think they need to lose the TV's in the dining area (fortunately they were switched off). Unstable tables can be a challenge for drinks. Given the changing nature of Brockley perhaps they might consider adding 1 or 2 organic/free range dishes and see how they do. I always order the free range chicken from Longtime cafe.

Anonymous said...

They need new tables. Won't set foot in the place again until that's sorted

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the newly-extenable Broca could buy them up from them?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

why would the extenable(sic) Broca buy something that we have all decided, is useless?

patrick1971 said...

"I have noticed that on the internet a quick way some people find to invalidate an argument is by critising the grammer or spelling. It is pathetic. And cowardly."

That's a bit strong! To my mind, poor spelling and grammar indicates carelessness; if you can't be bothered to get that right, how can you be bothered to get your facts or your argument right?

Poor spelling and grammar is also a hindrance in many other areas. If you've ever worked in recruitment, you'll know that CVs with spelling and grammar errors are the first to go in the bin. It provides an easy way of doing an initial purge of applicants. Unfair? Maybe. Does it happen? Everywhere I've ever worked.

fred vest said...

"if you can't be bothered to get that right, how can you be bothered to get your facts or your argument right?"

sorry but that's just irrational unfounded prejudice and kind of backs up what the poster you quoted was saying - an infatuation with form over substance

presumably dyslexic people never have correct facts or 'arguments' for example?

patrick1971 said...

Harldy irrational prejudice. If a painter painted all over your skirting boards and not over part of your wall, would you shrug and say, "oh, well, he meant to paint the wall"? No, of course you wouldn't. Communication skills matter, and spelling and grammar is an essential part of that. Like I said, if you can't be bothered to get it right, what else won't you be bothered to get right?

The dyslexia example is always the one that's brought up in this argument. I think it's pretty safe to say that the vast majority of people who don't care about spelling aren't dyslexic.

STO said...

Patrick although I agree with you, you harldy(sic) help your own case...

Anonymous said...

how nice to see (sic) used, irony in grammar is always nice.

fred vest said...

@ patrick

it it is irrational prejudice (and quite possibly culturaly imperialst) as you are assuming because someone put i before e even after c the whole import and relevance of their arguments, facts and positions must be torn asunder and cast aside all because of some pedantic infatuation which in reality plays no basis on their ability (or inability) to accurately convey facts or construct a coherent & logical argument

take catman for example, he mainly spells things correctly but can't put an argument together to save himself, yet in your scheme of rankings you'd pay more attention to his diatribe than someone who put forward a robust & convincing argument yet inadverdently put an apostrphe in the wrong place - if you think this is a logical way to judge people then fair enough, but for me it's irrational and prejudiced

the example with the painters is pointless given that we're talking about internet communication on blogs like this, which to my knowledge none of us are actually paid to do. what about people whose english aren't their first language, are these people's opinions & arguments to be cast immediately into the virtual dustbin because they can't get their head around some of the idiocies and absurdities of the english language?

(ps is your argument that spelling is important in internet communication invalidated by the fact that you couldn't even spell the first word of it correctly? - using your application of logic it would appear to be?)

Hugh said...

Patrick is bossing the thread. People who make excuses for their crap grammar should go and live in Catford forever.

Brockley Nick said...

How about I create a Private Eye-style Pedants' Corner so we can have this out without confusing some poor sap who clicks on this thread to read about a restaurant? Would you use it?

welcome to 2009 said...

Fred, I'm not sure that rolling out Catman was the best defence - he's a terrible speller, which is a reflection on his confused mind.

fred vest said...

"Patrick is bossing the thread."

but if you are siding with his argument you have to at the same time dismiss it (in line with his logic) due to his poor spelling while expressing it

the only way you can agree with him is to admit first of all that you don't agree with his argument

nick - pedants corner would be good so all the titans of grammar could take their nit picking irrelevance elsewhere and let us talk about restrauants

Anonymous said...

I think Fred/Ross lives permanently in Pedants Corner. His whole raison d'être seems to be picking holes in things on this blog.

P.S. Two words - spell check.

fred vest said...

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe

Hugh said...

Education has definitely declined since I were a lad. Or perhaps the real world is just full of very average intellects.

Did you see what I just did?

Hugh - Man of the People said...

Debates like this remind me of all those people on radio phone-ins who finish their points by saying 'et cetera, et cetera, et cetera', as if that clinches it, rather than realising that it leaves us waiting for any point of substance to be made.

I refer you to Five Live.

fred vest said...

"Education has definitely declined since I were a lad"

must have been hell being a women trapped inside the body of a man

Hugh said...

A 'women'?

Danja said...

Without that typo, that would have been a killer insult from which Hugh would never have recovered.

Or maybe not.

M said...

And so proving that spelling does matter. Even on the internet.

Hugh said...

Pity Fred missed his chance. I wonder if he struggles with punchlines down the pub.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Is this the moral high horse referred to earlier I wonder?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/7880889.stm

Around 50m apparently..

Tamsin said...

Golly, I'm hard to please. Not keen on "modern" art and prefer the representational, but a monument should be monumental and this just looks like a plastic horse from the farm set I had a child scaled up (even to the bridle made in much flimsier plastic which usually tore off in time, while the horse itself would survive anything - even dog chewing).

fred vest said...

"Pity Fred missed his chance. I wonder if he struggles with punchlines down the pub"

yeah i often misspell words when speaking as well, well picked up on hugh - i can't see me ever recovering from that knockout blow

Hugh said...

You speak for us all.

fred vest said...

if so then there's a chance you might say something of interest going ahead

Anonymous said...

Let it go Ross. You lost.

frederick vestibule said...

oh noes, i lost a spelling bee to a bunch of grammar nartzees!!1

mg said...

Doing my bit for the local restaurant economy, I had Sunday lunch here (roast chicken: very good, asparagus risotto: quite good), thumbs up from me for BC drinks here. Anyway I picked up a leaflet on the way out, it seems they are starting a salsa class night on Wednesdays, starting on the 18th (tomorrow), 8-9pm for beginners and improvers, £5 per session (£4 students). Launch night is freeeee, credit crunchers (unclear as to whether you need the leaflet to claim this but there were plenty of them).

Tressillian James said...

Salsa class in the restaurant? Or at another venue?

Kung Fu Hustle would be interested in either..

tyrwhitt ali said...

Is there space?

mg said...

Yes at Aquarium according to the leaflet. I imagine in the bar area, it's quite a large space if the furniture is out of the way. BC Dance I? To keep us ticking over until BC Drinks V.

Brockley Kate said...

Are people up for the next BC drinks at Aquarium then? Shall I pester Nick to set a date? At that rate we may manage to make it happen before August (we are terribly slow I'm afraid).

Brockley Nick said...

Kate - if you were a regular twitterer, you would know that the twittersphere has been buzzing with thoughts on timings and venues for the next BC drinks ;) Not that we have actually reached any conclusions, of course, just canvassing opinion.

fabhat said...

as long as it's not a thursday...

Anonymous said...

?

tyrwhitt ali said...

There was a definite veering towards a Wednesday night on Twitter

Anonymous said...

After month end please - some of us are skint!

peasoup said...

Finally got to Aquarium on Sunday night - the restaurant part was empty and there was some cheery chap DJing his 33rd birthday party. We were starving so ordered mixed dips and aubergines for start followed by pasta and mushroom risotto for main. After massive starters we found we couldn't manage much of the (perfectly nice) mains, so we asked if we could take them home with us. The waitress looked a touch confused but said yes and went away. Ten minutes later the chef came marching over to us demanding half-seriously to know what was wrong with his food, he always worried when it came back to the kitchen. We explained there was nothing wrong with the food but that we were full from the massive starters and wanted to take the mains back with us. He accepted this and said he was changing the menu. Paid our bill and waited around a further 20 mins, got completely blanked by staff and never received our doggy bags! So, lack of communication I guess, but a bit frustrating. I don't know if i'd rush back but they are generous with portions and the goat's cheese and aubergine starter was lovely. Mixed feelings.

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