Last month they started a residency at the Slider Bar, where they serve tacos and sliders five nights a week, from Tuesday to Saturday.
The Player is a cocktail lounge bar, an institution in Soho where it originally opened in 1998. The Slider Bar is a fairly recent addition: launched one year ago with a residency by Lucky Chip, the kitchen has now been taken over by Nud and Chris of Breddos Tacos.
I was invited with a few friends to try the new Slider Bar menu, so three weeks ago I went there for dinner with Sam, Hannah and Wendy (the Blog 'n' Bake collective).
As soon as we sat down at the table, shots of #chillibacks were served to us. Created at Taco Wars 2013, the Chilli Back is a shot of Jose Cuervo tequila chased with a shot of Breddos Tacos pickled habanero juice. The perfect way to start a great night out!
The shots were shortly followed by cocktails chosen from The Player drinks menu. I always love a drink made with Aperol, so I ordered the East 8 Hold Up: 42 Below vodka mixed with pineapple, fresh lime juice, Aperol and passion fruit syrup.
The Slider Bar food menu is composed by small dishes (sliders, tacos or sides) all priced between £3.5 and £7, so we ordered one of everything to share: the Classic Slider (aged beef patty with American cheese and pickles), the Short Rib Slider, the Breddo (with Swiss cheese, home-smoked pastrami, chipotle mayo, shoestring fries and fresh habanero),the Crunchy Nut (fried chicken, chipotle mayo and pickles) and the Veggie (potato cake, spinach, panko, American cheese and chipotle aioli).
I loved the Breddo slider so much that one bite wasn't going to be enough, so I ordered another one just for myself! It has beef, cheese, pastrami, mayo and fries...it shouldn't work, and yet it does!
I also loved the Veggie slider: vegetarian burgers are often just a stack of grilled halloumi and mushrooms, but I love them when they are prepared with spicy bean or potato cakes. Having a vegetarian husband, I'm always happy to find tasty vegetarian options.
We also ordered a few starters from the sides menu, both very tasty: Pork Belly Croquettes served with coriander aioli and Crunchy Nut Fried Chicken tray (crispy fried chicken that is also served in the sliders and tacos).
Finally we shared three portions of Shoestring Fries: classic; with cheese; with short ribs and cheese. I was recommended the short ribs' fries by friends on Twitter, but for me classic and simple always win. The classic thin salted fries were just perfect.
After one slider each and the shared fries and starters, we felt like we still had some space left to try the tacos. We wanted to taste them all, so we decided to order two taco trays (5 tacos for £14).
My favourites were the Jerk Pulled Pork with tangy apricot hot sauce and the 10h Chipotle Beef Short Rib with mature cheese and habanero sauce. The other choices were: Spiced Chestnut Mushroom, Crunchy Nut Fried Chicken and Twice Fried Cod Cheeks. All tacos are served with radish, sour cream and salsa.
The great thing about small dishes is that you can taste everything and still have some space left for dessert. We couldn't leave without tasting all the ice-creams: American Jelly & Peanut Butter; Chocolate Chilli; Avocado & Lime with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce; Vanilla Caramel Ripple.
The ice-cream is served in a cup with two scoops of each flavour (for £4). My favourites were jelly with peanut butter and vanilla caramel ripple.
From the moment we arrived at The Player to the moment we left, we were incredibly looked after by the friendly and polite waiters and bar staff. Even more than the food and drinks, I was pleased by the service, as they made me feel welcome and comfortable throughout the night. Having been to all Rushmore Group restaurants and bars a few times, I can say that the customer service is an item high on their list of priorities and I have never had a bad experience.
The day I visited Slider Bar I had had a stressfull time at work and to spend the evening with my friends at The Player, eating tasty food and drinking great cocktails, was such a perfect way to unwind.
If you are looking for a nice bar in central London that serves great drinks and food, make sure you visit Slider Bar and try the Breddos Tacos menu.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Slider Bar for dinner. All views are my own.