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08 August 2010
Following very positive experiences at both sister restaurants ‘Anchor & Hope’ and ‘Queen Street’ I was pretty excited by the prospect of ‘The Eagle’. The schlep from Covent Garden for lunch mid week was a mild deterrent but worth the £9 cab fare…surely? True, the food was good simple cooking. The makeshift tapas starter of serano ham and smoked salmon were both fresh and tasty. The main course of Barnsley chop with caponata went down pretty easily and was well cooked. My friends sausages looked so good he didn't offer me any and the gilt-head bream was well charred and tasty as hell. The issue here was not the food but the service. I've nothing against a “no booking” policy but a rather nervous manager more than confused my simple intellect as he sought to pair couples and small groups together on tables, incessantly moving chairs in preparation for people who never turned up. He was followed by a waitress who was the linchpin of interaction with the clientèle but who could only muster enough enthusiasm to ‘slap’ down food on the old oak table in the corner, avoiding eye contact and any notion of a smile. The guy at the bar who took our orders was so rude it left me pondering why he was working there at all. Shame really as the chef clearly ran an effective kitchen that produced modern English fare that focused on taste rather than detail.
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