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Square Meal Review of St John ?

Square Meal Best Restaurants - Clerkenwell - WinnerWhen St John opened back in the 90s, it seemed almost unthinkable that Clerkenwell’s hip design crowd would ever dig pickled tripe or charred chitterlings, but Fergus Henderson was ahead of the curve. His uncompromising take on ‘nose to tail eating’ has been much copied but seldom bettered. The wedge-shaped dining room with its stark white walls and polished concrete floors draws attention to what’s on the plate – a surprisingly broad mix of seasonal dishes, described with fashionable brevity but delivering “fresh, pure tastes” galore in the shape of ‘rabbit offal and radishes’, ‘pigeon and lentils’ or ‘roast ox liver and carrots’. It isn’t all blood and guts, either – the likes of ‘bowl of peas’ and ‘grilled sardines and green sauce’ offer less full-on alternatives. Puds of apricot cobbler or Eton mess might conjure up British boarding schools, but the baked-to-order madeleines would make even Proust misty-eyed. Surprisingly, France rules the regional wine list.   


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  1. Published : Tuesday, 3 September 2013

    Nomface :: St John, London

    Ever since coming across the famed bone marrow starter dish from legendary St John in Clerkenwell, London, it has been on my hitlist. One thing that interested me was the nose to tail philosophy of the restaurant, which holds 1 Michelin star and are ranked 71st on the San Pellegrino 2013 world restaurants listing. Being of Chinese heritage I am used to eating all the innards and outer parts of various animals. Many of my friends display utter disgust at simple shellfish and absolute terror at pig intestines, tripe and chickens feet. I tend to try anything although there is something about whole fish heads which...
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  1. Published : Tuesday, 23 April 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: St. JOHN Bar and Restaurant

    If I have to name one British restaurant I would probably say that St. JOHN Bar and Restaurant is very close to the down to earth food that I understand British cuisine to be.

    The restaurant was founded in 1994 and is now run by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver. The success has spawned several sister restaurants, a wine importer and a hotel through the years...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 23 May 2013

    vialaporte :: St John Hotel* // Soho // London

    Following the successful St John Smithfield and Spitalfield restaurants, Fergus and Trevor opened their latest restaurant-hotel in Chinatown in mid 2012. Within a few months, it had already earned its first Michelin star.

    It’s hard to miss this immaculate corner restaurant...
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  1. We’d escaped to the Beckford Arms at the weekend, a gastropub with rooms, deep in the heart of the West Country. Run by boys who look like they should be in a Boden catalogue, it’s well worth a visit, although we don’t stay in the body of the pub. Set in the heart of the adjacent Fonthill Estate is an old barn, converted into two self-contained über-sheds, run by the hotel and overlooking some stunning countryside. This is our destination. Deep joy of joys, there is no phone signal, but there is wi-fi. The other way round would have been unacceptable.
    They must have known I was coming, though, because there,...
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  1. I remember my first dinner at St John, a Michelin-starred institution by Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson, a good few years back. I tried tongue for the first time, both lamb and ox, and my gentleman companion struggled to finish a grouse so rare it was practically squawking. It was brilliant.

    We recently returned on a Thursday evening (after Lizzie Mabbot‘s Chinatown Kitchen book launch at the Drapers Arms – do have a look at it on Amazon) with no reservation and they managed to squeeze us in – only just. The dining room was packed with an intriguing mix of suited, high-fiving men and trendy chaps with...
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  1. When I think of self-flagellation, an image of Berengar, the forlorn monk from In The Name of the Rose comes to mind. Attempting to absolve his sins (having and acting upon his homosexual desire), he’d whip himself with a specially crafted belt, ripping out slices of skin from his back as he did.

    Some may liken a fair weather-vegetarian visiting St. John Smithfield to such self-flagellation. Indeed, as plate after plate of whole bone marrow were whisked through the dining room on dainty porcelain, resisting the temptation to divert from my mission was challenging.

    But resist I did, for I was eager...
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Private Room Capacity
Room for 18 people 18

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Fergus Henderson

Architecture’s loss was the restaurant world’s gain when Fergus Henderson dropped the former for the latter. With no formal training, he took over the French House in Soho with his wife Margot, before opening the legendary St John in 1994 – and, later, its sibling St John Bread & Wine. Famous for his ‘nose to tail’ philosophy, Henderson has influenced an entire generation of chefs; his alumni represent a veritable ‘who’s who’ of modern British gastronomy.

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