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|Address:||34 Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AY|
|Tel:||020 3641 1890|
|Price: £50.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 7.30-10.30am 12N-3pm 5.30-9.30pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I was delighted to be told I was heading back to the Mercer this week, so fond are the memories of previous visits; where over indulging in British classics has left me swollen both in stomach and also with pride, that traditional fare was making a real impact on the city restaurant scene. All was well, the menu still similar, packed to the brim with all those cockle warming ingredients; black pudding, colston bassett stilton, game, pork belly and the list goes on, almost exhaustively. The real trick at The Mercer is to negotiate the menu successfully, and not get too bogged down between the Mains, the Grill, the Daily Specials and the ‘extra’ Daily Specials so wide is the scope before you. On the plus side tho' none of the dishes I have had or those of my fellow diners have been duds, so clear evidence of strength in depth. My goat's cheese and beetroot salad was impeccably dressed, all ingredients tossed together as opposed to the dressing fly by that you can often be subject to, the goat's cheese was plentiful as was the beetroot, another plus when such ingredients sometimes play hide and seek with the salad of the salad. The arrival of my main course, the daily special (not the ‘extra special’) of Slow Braised Lamb with pearl barley in a fairly sizeable oval serving dish with accompanying spoon had me wondering whether I should have served myself onto the plate underneath, but no such suggestion was forthcoming so I was just went from the pot. Sweet and tender lamb combined with proper tasting vegetable and a good quantity of pearl barley but by no means was the pulse padding out the dish. A shared plate of cheese for the table rounded off proceedings and then having to dash out and leaving m'colleague to pick up the bill, surely this diner was leaving a happy camper and the ensuing review was heading for some straight eights or better. Two grumbles. Firstly, whose inspired decision was it to put the plate scraping / food waste receptacle at the reception area? which gives some lunchers and certainly coat collectors a peachy view of this unappealing activity. Secondly and this is not something restricted to the Mercer, ‘side dishes’ – although here they are relatively more fairly priced, the cost / reward ratio for a couple of scoops of mashed swede (possibly the cheapest vegetable by weight after the humble spud) is certainly strectched. I did have another moan under my napkin but am already aware of the Meldrew tones emmitting from the final furlongs of this script so I'll leave it on the basis it was more than likely a one-off. The Mercer is a classic and more times than not is a the top of it's game, lot's of great food appeal and the wine options covering many formats; glass, small carafe, large carafe , bottle and magnum are most welcome and more restaurants would do better to follow that lead. P.S To the table of four behind me; a Mercer is a trader; particularly in cloth / textiles. I did know but didn't want to show up the waiter who didn't. That would be too smarmy, even for me.