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34 Threadneedle Street
Built for business, The Mercer’s black-and-white dining room has all the comforts required to sustain a working lunch or dinner, without the pretence of a leisure destination. It’s a balance that works for regulars who value straightforward British cooking and smartly paced service over gentle design and oodles of innovation. The menu offers some fond nods to the past including London ‘particular’ soup, rotating daily specials (corned beef hash means it’s Monday) and savouries listed alongside the cheese. Some ideas such as oysters with cucumber, gin and dill dressing are a little lighter, while mains major on simple grills, roast fish or venison, plus the house beef and Guinness pie. To conclude, desserts of vanilla rice pudding with roasted nectarines or white and dark chocolate mousse with clementine are largely of the soft and comforting variety. A neat selection of English bottles is a point of interest on an otherwise rather straight-laced list.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best restaurants in the City of London
34 Threadneedle Street
Fenchurch Street Station 220m
Bank Tube Station 292m
Merchant Taylors' Hall 57m
City of London Club 83m
Mon-Fri 7.30-10.30am 12N-3pm 5.30-9.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
My Director had a breakfast and lunch at The Mercer on the same day and everything was to his satisfaction.
The guests cancelled lunch so the team in the office used the booking. Very pleasant surroundings. Staff very helpful. Food selection very good. Look forward to visiting again.
Food + drink: 2
This is the perfect venue for the City middle manager lunching on expense account who has far more money than taste buds. Everything about The Mercer is ordinary. The decor is predictable, as if conceived on a rainy afternoon by a hotel chain decorator. You would have thought that carrying the name of the noble trade of mercers would have led at the very least to the use of interesting fabrics. No such luck. The only fabrics on display were the colour of yesterday's dung. The staff bring to service what Theresa May brings to the premiership. The food is mere sustenance. I had a smoked haddock risotto from which the haddock had inexplicably escaped. Bread consisted of a small loaf that had no discernible flavour whatsoever. As to value for money? Beyond the sheer mendacity posing as food, two small carafes of a mediocre albariño set us back by thirty seven pounds. In a search for excitement, I had a caponata as a side dish but it was as mushy as my friend's potatoes were dry.
The only consolation is that The Mercer was half empty. The customers were invariably men in suits. My own gender, sadly, can be a bit slow on the uptake. Nevertheless, the scarcity of punters may mean that The Mercer is being found out. With any luck, it will soon be replaced by something better. In itself, that will not be difficult.
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