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|Address:||9 Cursitor Street, London EC4A 1LL|
|Tel:||020 3641 5832|
|Price: £49.00||Wine: £17.50||Champagne: £44.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6-10pm|
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It was unfortunate for The Chancery that I had dined only yesterday at Jason Atherton’s superb Social Eating House and so the bar was set high, but even viewed objectively, the former was a disappointment on almost all fronts. Maybe if you work in this area, then it is a good option in an otherwise fairly uninspiring part of culinary London, but it is certainly not worth the effort to make a dedicated trip to visit. Perhaps indicative of the primarily legal-based clientele, the furnishings are slick yet functional, perhaps slightly on the drab side and the feeling was not enhanced by being able to view hoardings on the building opposite from our table (not the fault of the restaurant’s, but they could have seated elsewhere given that the place was only about half full). Furthermore, maybe regular local diners don’t baulk at £38 for a three-course set menu, but again, give me two courses at The Social Eating House for £19 – half the price – any day. The food itself was solid, but hardly ground-breaking – I went for a salmon starter (intriguingly paired with fennel – which did work), a sea bass main (which severely lacked the promised samphire that was supposed to accompany it; I counted just three pieces) and then the cheese board (primarily comprising middle-of-the-road cheeses). Most egregious, however, was despite the smiling front-of-house who greeted us, the service was excruciatingly slow, all the more surprising given the place was far from full. We wondered aloud – and then to our somewhat bemused but not fully apologetic server – how long it took to place some pieces of cheese on a plate (all three of us had opted for this dessert). When it did eventually come without a notable apology, so did our coffees but a minute later. Cheese and coffee don’t really go and so we left rather later than planned and with the taste of cold coffee in our mouths…