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|Address:||110 Great Portland Street, London W1W 6PQ|
|Tel:||020 7637 7892|
|Price: £43.00||Wine: £18.00||Champagne: £54.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5-11pm|
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Picture is one of yet another venues with the small sharing plates “concept” (does that word still apply if it's more common than McDonalds?) and we are advised we should pick 6 dishes between 2. If that's the case, then why not make the dishes easy to share? Egg, as you can imagine, was a runny minefield. And 3 ravioli do not divide happily by 2 consumers as even the most mathematically challenged would tell you. Fortunately, or rather, unfortunately, we were not fighting over the food. We were certainly not fighting over the semi-raw chicken. I'm not sure whether to be unimpressed that the kitchen can't cook chicken or impressed that the waiter spotted the error as soon as we had cut into it (trying to divide the one small bit of breast in 2, of course) and swiftly took it away to be replaced. The rare beef was a little too rare, and being a bit cold, I wonder if “rare” isn't just a synonym for “cooked earlier and plated up now”. We did enjoy the starter lamb bite nibbles (piping, mouth-blisteringly hot, in contrast to the rest of the meal) but skipped dessert as I just didn't have the heart to flog the dead horse any more. Coffee instead was as good as any Italian barrista can produce. It's a shame as the atmosphere is convivial enough sitting up at the long, high table, with the bifold doors open, and watching the summer London crowd potter past at lunchtime, although the number of empty tables should have rung warning bells. Perhaps in the evening it would be a bit more humming and the chefs would pay more attention to the quality of the food, but I am starting to get the impression that “sharing” plates is just an excuse for lazily churning out very hit-or-miss dishes (it doesn't matter if this one is rubbish as you might like one of the others) and a sneaky way of getting you to part with more money for less food. Because at £6-9 a dish (which is a couple of mouthfuls) you do end up paying more for less, and in this case for less in both quantity and quality.