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|Address:||48 Newman Street, London W1T 1QD|
|Tel:||020 3667 1445|
|Price: £41.00||Wine: £14.00||Champagne: £58.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3.30pm 6-10.30pm Sun 10.30am-5.30pm|
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The Newman Street Tavern is sure to do a roaring trade, not because of the reputation it will gain but simply because it occupies a prime spot for catching new diners as they walk past and fall for the attractive decors and the promising menu. In short, everything about this place tells you that it should be nothing short of excellent. Sadly, it is anything but.
The main problem is that it doesn't know what kind of place it is: is it a bistro? a tavern? (by name yes, but not in practice), a Michelin aspiring restaurant? Or a super-posh pub? The staff are equally confused: none of them know whether or not to greet you at the door (they seem resigned to hanging around awkwardly instead), to take your coats or not (some do, some don't), to ask if you have a reservation or to let you find your own table, to pour your wine or not (when it eventually comes) or even to bring your food together or separately.
But aside from the terribly trained staff the Newman Street Tavern has a basic problem: the food is overpriced and the portions are small (my friend remarked that it's funny how the more money you pay in London restaurants, the less food you seem to get – fine as a rule for nouveaux cuisine, less fine for a menu that promises well cooked comforting food).
My starter (butternut squash soup) was nice but the wrong side of warm, my main course (suckling pig) was so cold I had to send it back to the kitchen only for it to come back slightly warmer but still not hot. The dessert (apple crumble) was tasty (ish) but also tepid. I had to ask 3 times for the coffee.
The wine was nice (it should have been at £36.00 a bottle) but took ages to arrive.
It's clear that this is a restaurant that just hasn't got its act together, and it's affecting the dishes which clearly use good ingredients but are being wasted by an inadequate service system.
This place is badly managed, it's that simple. And you should avoid it: your money will be better spent elsewhere.