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|Address:||35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY|
|Tel:||020 3641 8322|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £18.50||Champagne: £53.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 11.30-10.30pm (Sun -9.30pm)|
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Galvin's Cafe a Vin is a superb spot for a sunny City lunch, but our visit was indeed a drawn out affair. All starts well at 12.45pm at our little table on the large, plaza-side, continental style terrace. But I should have realised service was going to be a bit off when a waitress immediately tried to deliver me two starters whilst I was still waiting for my friend. Er, I'm one person, I still have the menu in my hand, and I look baffled, so they're probably not for me. Anyway, my friend and a glass of crisp white from the “seasonal wines” menu arrive. Gigantic starters (ours) follow. My pork with pistachio terrine is chunkily tasty although rather crumbly so I am embarrassingly mopping it up from every surface (including my hair at one point) and trying to shove it back onto its one piece of toast. Once cleared away we settle to the love-life analysis which obviously takes a while. We finish and the table next to us which arrived afterwards is paying the bill and I am still pretty hungry. When eventually I catch the eye of one of the waitresses dashing around delivering bills, she makes an “it's coming” sign. Two more meals come out getting our hopes up but they are not ours. And another two meals, but not ours. I ask the waitress to check again as my friend starts twitching nervously at her blackberry. The terrace falls into shade at about 2pm, which is the precise point at which I started to wonder whether our mains will ever arrive and then the manager, like Mr Ben, materialises at our table, apologises unreservedly and without discussion says that the meal will be on the house. And our 2 trouts appear 3 minutes later. They are deliciously buttery, atop a pile of wilted spinach, and almost worth the wait. I think the delay was probably an aberration caused by an unexpected influx of sun-seeking pasty lunchers. So despite the delay I would highly recommend this place and would return as the manager dealt with the situation admirably and even if we'd paid for the meal I think £15 for 2 quality, filling courses in this setting is indeed astonishingly good value.