46 Gresham Street , London, EC2V 7AY

SquareMeal Review of Peony

It’s all change yet again at this upmarket oriental venue close to Guildhall. Gone is the short-lived private members’ club, and the modern Chinese menu has been ditched in favour of a more cosmopolitan pan-Asian approach. At lunchtime, the focus is on pho soups, Thai salads and a handful of mains such as salmon teriyaki. Dinner is rather more elaborate, moving from sushi platters and lettuce wraps with yuzu sauce to steamed Chilean sea bass with shimeiji mushrooms or honey-roast pork with olive rice. To drink, the eclectic wine list steers clear of bonus-busting excess and there are oriental-themed cocktails, too. Laid out across three floors with lots of dark wood and stained glass, Peony also incorporates a bar, and karaoke is still on the menu – for those who like that kind of thing.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Bank Tube Station 265m

Moorgate Tube Station 319m


Address: 46 Gresham Street , London EC2V 7AY

Area: Moorgate Liverpool Street

Opening times

Mon-Fri 11am-3pm 6-11pm

Nearby Landmarks

Guildhall Art Gallery 72m

The Guildhall 98m


Telephone: 020 7726 0308

Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Private Dining: 40


Food & Drink: 5.1

Service: 5.1

Atmosphere: 3.8

Value: 3.8

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Alex E. 16 April 2013

Average. Very average. We were offered a coffee table (!) for “a 7 course meal” offer with Groupon, though the dead room downstairs was empty. We declined, were sent to the cellar. The “7 course” was ridiculously tiny (1/2toast of ‘crab’ -i.e. “carb” or “Cr*p” rather- =" a course"?). Starters were edible, no decoration, no effort, no presentation,just bland. The chef has no shame. Or the restaurant has no chef. “Dishes” were Camden Market type of dishes, just smaller portions. Noodles straight from any £5 MrWu open buffets. Only good thing was the Champagne. The service were abominable: not a single engaging smile, no comment, gloomy and po-faced, borderline unpleasant. With our offer we paid £38 for 2 instead of £108 (ah ah! the pretention, £108 for what?). Hardly worth the £38 price! We ordered more champagne, they suddenly wanted to add +£10 service, we told them to get lost. Avoid. Another restaurant who did NOT understand these offer are to get us DISCOVERING+COME BACK. We will not. Decoration is garish, Karaoke in the distance, and the service… the service. Thanatopractors.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Eloise B. 03 March 2013

As another reviewer mentioned the Groupon advertised deal is misleading in that the plush images are of the upstairs area not the actual dining area which is very basic. The advertised cost of the food is preposterous and even the Groupon price is well beyond what you could reasonably expect to pay. We were greeted (I say greeted in the loosest terms) girl in a hoody who didn't know the words please or thank you, in fact she didn't say much at all who marched us downstairs to the basement and left at our table. The ‘Dim sum platter’ is 2 each which does not a ‘platter’ make. Eating the sweet and sour chicken reminded me of trying to gnaw on biltong. We were given a different dessert to what was advertised and this amounted to a minute scoop of ice-cream rather than the Swiss chocolate and avocado dish. We were told the battered soft shell crab and sesame toast starter was meant to be cold which even if true is not a good choice- cold battered greasy food? We would not return or recommend this venue. We will be complaining to Groupon about their advertising and the standard of the food. If you have the Groupon voucher and are yet to use it I would recommend getting your money back on the grounds of misleading advertising.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Rodney S. 28 February 2013

Like other reviewers I purchased the Groupon “Seven-course Cantonese Meal with Champagne for Two” I cannot improve on the review posted by Mr Liang L – if I had paid the “Groupon value” price of £108.30 for this meal I would have been hopping mad. Sufficient to say that later in the day I felt that I had to send an email apology to my lunch companion. Caveat emptor!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Paula C. 20 February 2013

I was taken here for my birthday and was extremely disappointed. We'd bought a 7 course taster voucher from Group on and was really looking forward to it… The pictures on the website do not reflect the awful decor. We were taken downstairs into a dimly lit dungeon! Paper table cloths, basically was like Mr Woo's in Soho! I was expecting something with a bit of finesse but was treated to a good take away, no finesse I would not recommend this to anyone that wanted something a little special

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Liang L. 19 February 2013

I bought a Groupon Voucher deal that was for a seven course tasting menu for two people include a glass of champagne each for £38. The original value without discount was stated £108. I have been to their website and I immediately draw attention to the description of their experience chef who worked at Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore as a head chef. And it claims to be an exclusive private members only club type of restaurant. I admit that I did have a quite high expectation before going here. Once my partner and I arrived at the venue, we was a very disappointed in the internal deco of the restaurant. It's look does not differ from most of Chinese restaurant we have been to in China Town. Very average deco order, with quite dimmed lighting. We were sitting on a table in the basement level, but we can hear people singing out of tune Karaoke in Japanese. Then moving on to food. There is no presentation of any of the dishes. They are just a piled into the plates when served. All seven dishes are presented in one colour only – the colour of diluted soy sauce. The Dim sum platter and the Seafood starter is acceptable in taste, but in my opinion that is as good as it gets. Satay beef, sweet and sour chicken, and tofu with black bean sauce, all taste below average and in fact my local takeaway shop does them better. The ‘XO’ king prawn noodles was a disaster. The ‘XO’ sauce is too salty and the noodles were badly prepared so that the noddles were all stuck together in many lumps. The desert was supposed to be Swiss chocolate with avocado puree, but it turned out to be a ball of vanilla ice cream with some avocado blend. Overall, I wouldn't have paid £38 for the whole meal, let alone its original overpriced value. I am Chinese and I can certainly tell you that you can pay much less and have much greater food in most of the Chinese restaurants in China Town.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 09 January 2013

I'm not sure Peony Club is long for this world. Despite the rest of The City busily bustling around at lunchtime, there were only 2 tables occupied in here and you can see why it's so empty: this basement bunker has no natural light and the black and red decor does nothing to lighten the mood. Way too funereal for lunch. Except a funeral probably wouldn't be playing weird karaoke hits in the background. Local office workers are surely mourning the loss of the old restaurant with its light, bright upstairs eating, which was the perfect place to catch up and gorge yourself on a plethora of reasonably priced plates mid-day. The food in the new incarnation is actually not bad at all. We had between 2 of us: delicious duck spring rolls to start with (hunks of actual duck in evidence) and lightly spiced and battered calamari, followed by beef in a purportedly Asian satay style sauce (but I can't remember any peanut flavours now I think about it) and chunky prawns (a little too big in my mind, like some genetically engineered mutants, but still tasty enough) with steamed rice. It's just I struggled to find anything which really appealed to me from the menu as it was so heavy on really swanky, big-hitting, trying to impress you dishes. Service is also a bit odd (is “Relax and Enjoy” the new “Bon Appetit”?) although i feel mean knocking them as they did try. We got away with £30 a head; it could have been cheaper if we'd opted for a set menu but it looked like such a desperate side-liner it seemed safest to stick a la carte. Maybe Peony manages to pull in the evening crowd or that weird breed of person who likes to join a “members club” which isn't in any way in fact exclusive (who are you people?) but I just don't think it has the atmosphere to do that. Good luck to them and here's hoping the chef will rise from the ashes to ply his trade in another venue, but I won't be back for lunch or dinner here.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

regan M. 26 July 2010

From the moment we entered the restaurant we felt welcomed and looked after. The food was amazingly fresh and cooked to perfection (the lobster was still warm and floppy as it came out of the shell), and if you’re in need of a little entertainment, the downstairs bar and restaurant has a top of the range karaoke system – what more could a girl want?!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Sabrina's Passions platinum reviewer 23 July 2010

On the site of a former Sushi joint (RIP), welcome newcomer Goldfish steps in to the City, injecting a dose of ordinary, down-to-earth & long awaited Chinese cookery. Nothing like the posh, gussied up versions in the Square Mile that can charge £18 for a main course that you'd be hard pushed to find for more than £4 in a takeaway. Main courses at Goldfish are averagely about £7-8, unless you are being very flash and opting for the £38 Lobster Noodles, of course. (Worth every penny by the way) The decor isn't flash in anyway, this is your standard run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant where service is swift and the food is good. Nothing more, nothing less. Admittedly, the prices are a little hiked, no doubt to accommodate the astronomical rents of this part of town, but still very nice. They also do great Dim-Sum and you can get everything as takeaway too. Really very handy in my opinion and I've already made several trips there both to sit and eat and also to grab a little ‘desk-lunch’ too.