Today we ventured to the new Bloomberg Arcade, which will soon be home to a new Bleecker Burger (the most glorious of all London Burgers). Sadly it isn’t open yet (but will be on the 18th October people!) so we wandered around in search of a quick and hearty lunch. We stumbled upon Pull’d, which looked like a good option – I mean who doesn’t like pulled meats.
The options are pulled pork, chicken, beef, or roasted vegetables, on a salad, wrap or in a rice box. You choose regular or large, then add your salads and a choice of sauce – seems simple enough, similar set up to many similar lunch places. For some reason though nothing about it seemed that simple. Even though there was nobody behind us in the queue, and we clearly didn’t know exactly what the setup was, none of the members of staff offered to explain or offer any suggestions, they just looked impatiently at us while we tried to decide.
I went first – I opted for the pulled beef rice box, regular size. I was offered brown or coconut rice although I couldn’t see either which confused me, and after a moment’s dilly-dallying the server demanded again “brown or coconut” – I don’t actually like coconut so I said brown and she disappeared into the back and came back with a tiny tub with a few grains of rice in it. She then placed a morsel of beef on top of the rice and told me to choose a sauce. I went for peri peri, which she squeezed over the (miniscule amount of) meat. Then for the salad production line – “I’ll have a bit of everything” – more confusion. “Ah sorry can I have that one?” “Oh no you have to pay 50p extra for that” “… oh right. Ok I’ll leave it then” (I never even found out what the super special 50p salad was, no explanation was offered). “Ah yeah and guacamole is also 75p”. So I’ve paid five quid for a scrap of luke warm meat on a couple of grains of cold rice, and a box full of cheap salad (lettuce, tomato, some grains, cheap grated cheese out of a bag, and a couple of slices of jalapeno). Joy.
On to the eating… maybe it tastes better than it looks? No such luck. It’s all cold except for the meat which is far from hot and distinctly lacking in flavour. The whole thing is so dry and bitty, I can hardly get it to stay on my fork long enough to make it to my mouth. What a slap in the face to have to work so hard to eat such a disappointing lunch. The peri peri sauce is average, kind of spicy, but far too dry to lubricate the whole box, and the rest of the salad is completely dry and flavourless as no sauce went anywhere near it. I tried to mix it all together to juice it up a bit but that didn’t work. Every mouthful just tasted of cheap cheese, with a hint of heat in the background. Now I like cheese, but not like this! Poor.
Pull’d was apparently founded by two investment bankers. I believe it. The focus here is clearly on margins. A tiny bit of average meat, cheap rice and salads, served up quickly and without a smile. It felt like the dining equivalent of the South Park episode when Stan takes his money to the bank… “aaand it’s gone.” That’s how I felt about my money and my lunchtime after I ate this. £5? Chance of a decent lunch? Go to Pull’d… aaand it’s gone. The only thing that isn’t gone is my hunger.
August 2018 update: Pull’d has an official hygiene rating of 1….not good or reassuring.
Forked by Tolibear