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|Address:||14 North Audley Street, London W1K 6WE|
|Tel:||020 7768 1139|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £19.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5-10pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Our first visit on a quiet Saturday lunchtime today , and on balance we left thinking that this place hadn't fulfilled our expectations.
Its a long narrow sort of place so you can't get an overall picture of what the restaurant looks like from where we were, but lots of wood panelling and “vintage ” photographs will give you an impression. Everything is British- certainly the food and strangely also the wine. I say strangely because it would be possible for them to deliver better wine values- and certainly better wine- if they quit on that one. We had three glasses of their cheapest red (at £21 a bottle) and frankly it was thin and not terribly interesting. Strangely enough when I said that everything's British I do need to exclude the service, which is not at all British. We felt that an insistence on English wines served up by overseas staff was quite amusing and maybe a little weird.
The service was unfailingly polite and smiling. But one of our main dishes was wrong (fish pie not shepherd's pie) and it seemed to take a while to get our bread and wine to us , which was a surprise given that so few tables were occupied. They brought coffee before dessert without asking, which was a bit strange.
The food was OK. We had a starter of large Aylesbury snails on toast with bacon which was drizzled with a rich, unctuous sauce which masked the flavours a little though it was not at all unpleasant. My main of roast halibut with oxtail and barley with red wine didn't to my mind have the solidity and flavour I associate with halibut , and wasn't helped by another deep and unctuous sauce that was strong enough to disguise whatever flavour the fish had. Again not unpleasant, but we're not talking gourmet food here. Powerful, yes. Delicate and sophisticated? Well not really. My wife's Shepherds Pie was middling and the accompanying kale deeply boring and left unfinished. My wife's Rhubarb Eton Mess disappointed her. The rhubarb was cut too long to eat easily and the meringue was perched on top not integrated into the dish.
All told we left thinking we were pleased to give the place a try, but that on balance the experience is unlikely to pull us back there soon. The bill would have been £77 but they gave a free dessert in view of the mix up with my wife's main course. So by no means hugely expensive, but then It wasn't outstandingly good either. Probably about right for what we had. I hope the restaurant improves with a bit more experience.