Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||403 St John Street, London EC1V 4AB|
|Tel:||020 3435 9915|
|Price: £35.00||Wine: £11.00||Champagne: £40.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
What a disappointment, but more fool me for trusting a brand over a restaurant's actual reputation.
The menu got my mouth watering – trevise and gorgonzola salad with the sweetest, stickiest balsamic, anyone? – but it really didn't live up to expectations. Compared with this, for Italian food, I've actually fared much better at Zizzis and Strada.
So, onto the food. I can't really criticise the shared antipasti board – they clearly haven't skipped on the quality of ingredients. Buffalo mozzarella was creamy and sweet, San Daniele proscuitto and fennel salami were all absolutely delicious, if a little skimpy in terms of portion size.
The mains were dribblingly average. My companion had the wild ragu pasta pipe – the sauce was described as having “slow cooked seasonal game, Barbera wine, tomatoes” but sadly had suffered after being dried up under the hot kitchen lights for about twenty minutes (I'll come onto the service shortly.) And my occobuco and creamy polenta was so heavily salted that even I, ever loath to waste food and extremely greedy to boot, didn't finish it.
Service was negligent, with a side dish of disdain. We were asked by the snippy front of house girl to wait for (a totally arbitrary) ten minutes for a table as they were fully booked when we came in – I could see through the window that there were plenty of tables, and given a buzzer to hang onto as we got drinks at the bar. Once the buzzer went off – voila! we were ushered to our table.
We waited for 30 minutes for our starter, and 45 for our main. Other diners were served at a similarly glacial pace – and when we asked a passing waiter for another round of drinks, she snapped “You're going to have to ask your own waiter!”
Staff were young and attractive, friendly for the most part (our waiter was very sweet) but the dining hall is cavernous and I could see them desperately rushing around trying to get to all their tables. They need to invest more in training – and in actually hiring more – staff for a place that size.
Atmosphere wise – fantastically cozy on a snowy evening, and jam packed (although why, exactly, is beyond me.)