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|Address:||40-42 William IV Street, Strand, London WC2N 4DD|
|Tel:||020 3551 9854|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £17.50||Champagne: £59.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11pm Sun 11am-6pm|
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I've eaten at this place on a number of occasions since it opened. It's never been great but has been relatively reliable. I haven't been for a while, and on returning recently had a very disappointing meal. Compared to how things used to be, less care is being taken over every aspect.
We had an early evening meal and the restaurant was relatively empty, and so when we were seated at one of the worst tables I assumed it was because the better ones were all booked for a bit later – but by the time we left, at about 9.30pm, virtually all of the empty tables were still empty – why seat people at a poor table when many better ones are available? I suspect the raft of tables still vacant as we left tell their own story.
The food looked OK, but was under-seasoned, over-cooked and pretty bland. Sardines were dried out and tasteless, gratin dauphinoise was tiny, and was more like mash – no texture of potato was left at all, and again under-seasoned and no hint of garlic.. Our 600gr beef to share was more like 400g, although it was the one tasty part of the meal. But they had no English mustard – I realise it's a French restaurant but not to stock English mustard, if deliberate, a poor decision (they seem to have no problem serving numerous non-French wines), and if by accident, demonstrative of their casual approach to everything.
The service was OK, but generally off-hand and careless, and while there were as many staff as customers we still felt like we were putting them out. Any message the staff were ever given about customers needing to feel the love faded long ago.
This place is now trading on its location, and it just seems like it's had its time – it needs a major re-think or it's going to dwindle and die.