The hype at Savage Garden is all about debauchery, from devil-horned cocktails and black-dyed food to sexy DJs and darkened rooms – the stuff of a Marilyn Manson wet dream, when he’s not dreaming about removing ribs and gyrating on stage in a leather thong that is. Savage Garden, under the veil of darkness, definitely has a kind of we-could-get-into-trouble-here vibe; it’s dimly lit and there is loud music pumping from a purposefully chosen young, blonde DJ that certainly doesn’t harm the aesthetic. It’s an ideal date spot my taken plus one notes casually, it’s not the first time I’ve accidentally taken him to a shmoozy date night dinner without realising beforehand how cosy it would be.
Top tip: try and snatch a coveted window spot in the bar for the best, boast worthy view in the venue, you’re 12 floors up at Savage Garden with some Insta worthy shots of The Shard and the bar has the clearest outlook. If you’re more into downing a Horny Beast (their best-selling cocktail) with your own HB from Tinder then one of the tables further on will suffice.
I definitely get the feel that Savage Garden is more of a bar than a restaurant but the food there doesn’t reflect that as they have a proper menu with small and large plates and whole sharing platters divided into vegetarian, pescatarian and carnivore. If you fancy going down the latter, carnal route with a plate of meat, then go for the coconut beef short ribs as it literally fall off the bone. Keeping up with the “savage” theme, the fries come with black garlic mayo that is smokier than its alabaster counterpart, the goat’s cheese, pea & tarragon croquettes weren’t as creamy as I expected but still nice, and possibly my favourite dish of the evening was the giant lump of roasted cauliflower that I devoured like a veg-crazed maniac.
The only dessert option is the doughnuts with the injectable fillings, in this case salted caramel (that my sensitive plus one’s palate couldn’t handle whilst I gorged down) and raspberry and “thyme” jam – the thyme is in sarcastic air quotes because it was undetectable, the jam itself was delightfully homemade tasting though. Not a dessert for anyone trying to look cute I might warn; when it’s over you’ll be smeared with sugar desperately sucking out the last drops of a plastic food syringe – a low point of my evening I’ll admit.
There was a fun atmosphere at Savage Garden, the kind of place you get dressed up to misbehave. Nearby suits were there relaxing after work while glammed up gals were enjoying date night. The food won’t be winning any Michelin stars any time soon but it was enjoyable and after a few drinks who’s paying attention anyway?