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|Address:||Brown's Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BP|
|Tel:||020 3589 2118|
|Price: £66.00||Wine: £32.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 7-10.30am 12N-3pm 5.30-11pm Sun 7.30-11am 12.30-4pm 7-10.30pm|
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The waiting staff at The Albemarle are trained to a high standard and ooze proficiency from every pore. They were not intrusive yet managed to provide a level of service that stopped just short of cutting our food and hand-feeding us. This degree of professionalism doesn’t come easily and I must doff my Trilby to them.
The food wasn’t quite up to par though. We were dining from the pre-theatre menu priced at £25 for three courses. A starter of cuttlefish and black pudding was a tad off the mark; the cuttlefish was slightly overcooked, injecting an element of disappointment into this otherwise well balanced dish.
A Lancashire Hot Pot for a main didn’t have enough of a potato layer, but the beef, kidneys and mushrooms were deeply flavoured and very pleasing. The accompaniment of pickled cabbage was too acidic for my tastes. The Pollack we tried was plump and juicy but way over salted.
For dessert, a rhubarb tart was quite delectable, as was the buttermilk pudding with blood orange segments. Water, tea and coffees were priced at £4.95 each, so a £25 meal deal quickly turns into £45 a head, and that’s without the wine.
While the food was acceptable if underwhelming, the service surpassed the cooking throughout the evening. The dishes were well thought out but the execution didn’t live up to the standards that I was expecting. If they can raise the bar of cooking to match the service, The Albemarle will be an excellent venue.