Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||1 Paul's Walk, London EC4V 3QH|
|Tel:||020 3544 0669|
|Price: £47.00||Wine: £17.00||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-10.30pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
As an Arsenal fan, I am hardly likely to come to a restaurant named after the famous old stand at Highbury with anything other than a warm fuzzy feeling. That they give sticks of old fashioned rock away at the reception can only be a good sign of what is to come.
And the food and location are certainly great: even on a miserable, wet March lunchtime, the view across the Thames to Bankside and the Globe is still a fine one. No, the thing that stops this being better is that, like a number of other restaurants (think L’Anima and Trishna), the noise seems to amplify down the room. It didn’t help that we were next to a table of penguin-suited Colonel Blimps complete with their home-counties, horse-faced wives and their headache inducing shout-talking, but harsh walls make for loud noises.
The restaurant itself is down by the no-longer-wobbly bridge, on a stretch of pavement where joggers jog (and, much to Mrs Horse-Face’s amusement, bend over and stretch, arse to the restaurant), right on the river. It has an outside area that, like almost every other terrace nowadays, would be great in the summer but for the fug of cigarette smoke. There is a bar area, a small corridor (where we were sat with the Blimps) and then a larger area, where the noise seems to dissipate. The walls are papered with the same design as the menus, and features scenes of the City: the skyline, a mugging and tramps on a bench, being but a sampler. A “talking point” as our waiter put it.
The food is proper comfort food, done properly well: smoked eel was excellently smoky and came with traditional horseradish and beetroot; confit duck rillettes was fatty and rich; and the celeriac pannacotta was one of the best celeriac dishes ever. Mains continued well, with a huge courgette croquette and super-comforting slow cooked pigs cheeks with trufffled puy lentils. In fact, the only dish that didn’t hit the exact spot was the cod, which was buried under too much tomato gloop.
Other than the Blimps, the lunchtime crowd is pretty much what you’d expect around here: suited and booted, traders on a long lunch and parties of PAs.
Service is fine, efficient without you getting the feeling that they are trying to push extras on you or push you out the door.
So go for the food, but don’t sit in the narrow corridor immediately to the right of the door, move further in, stick to the bar or sit outside and enjoy the smoke.