From the sounds of it, my night at Proud Cabaret in Camden was more organised and together than the experiences of other yelpers and online reviews. This is due to the fact that the evening I went, Alex Proud, the owner was there celebrating his birthday.
The food and drinks were great. I had the pork belly, which was tasty and a coconut daiquiri thing. The food arrived without much delay, along with our drinks. It was the first night of a new menu apparently, but I had read that was the menu from previous online reviews so I'm not sure if it was 100% new.
The show was great, very entertaining and interactive with the audience. (Our audience was very comatosed, very hard to get going, but our host Joe did well to get everyone participating.)
Each table has a phone and is encouraged to connect with other tables. It's a very interesting concept that seems to be hit or miss depending on the people at the phones. :)
The only issue that we had was trying to get the bill. We asked for it before the show ended as we were trying to make a quick exit as the show went well past 11pm and we were trying to get home via public transport as we worked the next morning. Well, we asked both of our servers who said "yep, no problem, I'll be right back," right before they hopped up on the bar to do the Time Warp, and then they stayed up there. We had to continually ask numerous people before we got the bill. It took us about 30 minutes to get the bill, and then after complaining and making a point of not paying the service charge because we were so tired and fed up of chasing people (most people had left by this point), I finally got my change back with many apologies.
That was my only issue. Other than that, its another legitimate reason to dress up for a 1920s themed cabaret night in London (although the staff don't dress up for 1920s)! It was a great night out!
-saw a burlesque show at Proud recently. It was more of a B-OK. (I just can't give it an 'A'.)
The Proud Folk seemed to have been ironing out the acts still, or new performers are constantly being blended in, so what I saw was a hodge-podge of strip-tease, comedy/dance, and contortion.
One of the dancers, bless her, was energetic and smiling, but had a bit of 'cheerleader' to her moves, so I had a bit of an 'oh my god, does her mother know what she's doing right now?' moment watching her. The other was gorgeous with lovely costumes and wore so much stage make-up that she almost looked to be made of wax. My cohorts kept talking about whether or not she was a female which I found off-putting. The contortionist performed in a pair of jeans sans top. Could he not have found some sort of costume-y pair of trousers to wear? He seemed a bit too pedestrian for the vibe of the room.
The interval music was folk: one guy and his guitar. I feel that he would have fit in a bit better at a coffee bar in some uni-town and not in the heart of what was supposed to be a bit of 'ooh-la-la!' Moulin Rouge it wasn't.
The food, however, when it arrived, was the crowning jewel. Pork belly with a smattering of scratchings was the starter. Beef and mushroom over an herbed mash was the main. I was sated and didn't order dessert.
Our waitress had what appeared to be just about half of the place as her section, and, with little support, was meant to bring out each course between performances (and various drinks) in a timely fashion. It wasn't working really well. Some smarmy 'hey guys!' expediter with an ear plug filled in the gaps as needed.
Oh, and one of the speakers was almost directly over our table and was blaring. My ears hurt.
My experience of Proud Kitchen Camden was much like suze769's review below. Proud Kitchen should be Ashamed Kitchen and get their act together! Our waiter did the best he could but the place was total chaos.
We also went because we had GroupOn vouchers and were looking forward to a good evening. Issues:
1. Arrival: The reservation sheet listed only my surname, so as they couldn't find my name initially, it took about 5 minutes to sort and get seated.
2. Drinks: Similar to suze: Ordered 2 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. Took ages to arrive as apparently no chilled bottles were availabe, and the woman who took our order was looking around for some. No one bothered to tell us this until we asked the waiter to chase it up. He arrived back with 2 warm glasses of wine and a glass of ice. What? The wine wasn't very good either, too acidic, no fruity taste whatsoever.
3. Food: My beetroot salad starter was good, but the mains took over 1 hour to arrive (from when we ordered). Other people seated at our table experienced the same or longer delay -- the couple next to us had been waiting 1.5 hours. The risotto tasted good but was very runny, a greenish slimy mess.
4. Dessert: Brownie ice cream was tasty, but we only got it after I waved furiously at the waitress carrying them to get her attention, as she went to the wrong table. I could see the people she was trying to serve shaking their heads, and had to wave, shout, and then bang on the table to get the waitress' attention. It was like a comedy skit, but not very funny in reality.
I am giving this place 2 stars instead of 1 as I think there is good potential here if management improves the food and service, but would absolutely NOT recommended going there at present.
I visitied Proud Kitchen last night. After hearing mixed reviews about the place I was failr dubious, but I had a cracking time.
The kitchen is in the South Gallery and has a stylish industrial feel, with long bench style seating (Oliver Twist style), plus disco balls and smooth purple. It's not pretentious, it's just homely and nice.
When we walked in, we were greeted by a juggling waiter who walked us to our table and gave us our menus- whilst still juggling. Not sure how he managed it but he he did. Following this, he whipped out a lighter from behind his ear and re-lit the candles onthe table which he apologized had gone out. It was all done in jest and was genuinely very funny. After his tricks, he handed us an estensive cocktail menu before walking off and doing a back flip in the middle of the room. Another waitress came over and took over from him- she had less tricks up her sleeve but was very polite and efficient.
As we weren't very hungry, we ordered off the £18 discount menu. We assumed smaller portions but they weren't, they were a good size. The menu is not fine cuisine, it is simple but tasty food well presented reasonably priced. It wasd my friends birthday and as we had forgotten to organzie a cake, we paid £4 for one to be brought over, complete with sparkler and singing. Whilst we probably annoyed everyone else in the restaurant, we had a great time and my friend was truly touched!
Mid- meal the burlesque performances started. Up until this point a super hunky pianist had been playing and singing quietly in the background. The burlesque was great. I've visited Proud Cabaret in the city before which is much more professional, smooth and 'fabulous'. The burlesque at Camden was different but strong. The performers were funny and played well to the audience.
When all the shows had finished, a dj came in and played a fun selection of 'get out your chair and dance you heffers' songs. After several cocktails we did so. The restuarant manager kindly asked if we wanted to keep our table for the evening, with a reserved sign on if we wanted to come back. We declined as one of our friends had booked out a stable, but either way it was a kind gesture.
I was truly wowed by Proud Kitchen. It's not beautiful, delicious or sepctacular- it's just a good, honest and entertaining dining experience at a good price. Suffice to say, I have booked a table there for my friends birthday next month.
As you're reading this, you've probably exhausted all options of entertainment that the Big Smoke has to offer, and regrettably believe that staying in the new going out and even Time Out's ambition to make you think otherwise has become trivial. You've probably turned a blind eye to their Cabaret section, and wrongly so. Cabaret is where it's at, precisely and currently at North London hip venue, Proud Cabaret Camden.
There you will find your perfect night of decadence and hedonism, be it to mourn the end of your celibacy, to host a birthday party, or just for the sheer fun of it.
Burlesque is what we do best, claims the fearlessly raunchy compere, Vicious Delicious, before introducing a four- folded act of teasing eye-candy artistes, suggestively flaunting their curves to an eclectic soundtrack spanning James Bond themes and vintage 80s pop with the likes of Shirley Bassey, Nina Simone, Madonna and even the awesome Velvet Underground.
These showgirls, who all qualify for a bit part in the next Sin City's cast, cater to anyone and everyone's aesthetic tastes, from luscious brunettes Betsy Rose and Annette Bette to the Marylin-esque blonde bombshell Banbury Cross, via black beauty Coco Deville to the latex-clad Marnie Scarlet Name it, it's on show.
Expect pouts and stricken poses galore to the delight of the gents and the envy of the ladies, who no matter where they stand will be given no other choice than to let themselves get entertained. And prepare yourself to be drooling from anything but hunger as to accompany this cheeky revue, Proud Camden has called onto the expertise of South American chef Edwin Mendoza (here's me having a dig at a press release but in all honestly this was by far the best fillet steak I had in my ten years in London Town!), who has devised a palate-tickling menu including treats such as beef bresaola with truffle mayonnaise and aged parmesan, and baked seabass fillet with sauté carrot and fennel on a coriander and red onion salad, among other delicious dishes, to be savoured with a large selection of vino, beers and cocktails a la carte.
All this in the revamped décor of the venue's South gallery.
To Proud you go- disappointment is out of the equation. Standard Prices:
£39 for 3 courses full price Wednesday & Thursday 33% off standard price (£26) 3 courses
Friday 1st sitting £19.50 2 courses
Friday 2nd sitting £39 3 courses
Saturday 1st sitting £26 2 courses
Saturday 2nd sitting £39 3 courses In house offers:
Bad Sex Thursday students get 50% off full price dinner with a valid NUS card. All night packages:
Friday night a premium of £50 to keep the table until 2am
Saturday night a premium of £75 to keep the table until 2am Getting a table as of 2am:
£100 for a booth and queue jump, still paying the entry fee of £10 per head but with the ability of pre-ordering from the pre-order menu 3rd Party Offers: View Card:
25% off rate card price Thursday / Friday / Saturday Gourmet Society
50% off on Thurs-Sat
Open every day from midday until late, Proud Kitchen will serve delicious menus designed and produced by Michelin-trained chef Finlay Logan. Logan has created an extensive day and night menu including wholesome dishes such as srambled spicy tofu wrap with fresh rocket, coriander and roasted sweet potato, asian spiced fresh crab with jasmine rice & vegetables, roast sea bream fillet & shredded fennel and rice noodles with carrot, daikon & corridander salad drizzled with Bang Bang dressing. Recreating Camden's tradition of relaxed meals and quick-bites, Proud Kitchen's lunch and dinner menus will then offer small eats and pot dishes; perfect for sharing amongst groups of friends. Evening bookings come complete with free VIP table reservation all night, allowing guests to be entertained by live acoustic acts and legendary club nights .
Established in 2010.
Proud Camden Bar and Gallery in 2000, attracting a celebrity cult of everyone from Amy Winehouse to the Arctic Monkeys at the Old Gin House in Camden's Stables market. In the spring of 2008 Alex moved the bar and live music venue into the 700 capacity Grade II Listed Horse Hospital also in the Stables. A Mecca for musicians to fashionistas, student to celebrities, the walls are adorned with icons of the last century. It is now one of the biggest bars in London with over one million visitors a year and has hosted the likes of Robert Pattinson, Mischa Barton, Dizzee Rascal, Sting, Florence and the Machine, Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn.
Straight talking Alex Proud founded the company that bears his last name in 1994, after a stint dealing Japanese art and raising money by selling Rolls Royces to the Russian Mafia, Proud Central was born.
The success of Proud Galleries has earned Alex the reputation as an eminent commentator on photographic and media issues. He has been invited to sit on various judging panels including the Nikon Press Awards, Observer Hodge Awards and the CoolBrands Council.
As Alex's profile rose so his television appearances increased - appearing on all mainstream channels including presenting Channel 4's Picture This and BBC 2's House Proud, as well as starring in GMTV, UK Gold and Sky News. Alex has received press coverage from local, regional and national press and has even been characterised by Sean Ellis' indie hit film CashBack starring award-winning actress Emilia Fox.
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