Saturday, 31 May 2008

HOT: Smithfield Bar and Grill, 2-3 West Smithfields EC1A 9JX

Not to be confused with the more famous Smiths of Smithfields. I don't know why more people don't know about this fabulous bar and restaurant, which serves 2 for 1 cocktails most days from 5-7pm, and 2 for 1 food when you book through toptable. Our group of seven dined in the sunken private dining room, furnished with a creamy leather banquette and our own glittering chandelier. The food was delicious all around, from mussels to garlic prawns to suckling pig to lobster. If the toptable offer continues, I will definitely be back for a Barbican pre-movie meal.

Update 16 July 2008: On a weeknight the glamorous bar turns into a raucous after-work venue with loud live music making for an unpleasant dining experience. Annoyingly, we turned up at 9pm and were told that our orders could not be taken for 30 minutes because of a large group - even though the dining room was only half full. And here I was thinking that a restaurant kitchen should be able to cope with full capacity. The food was a disappointment too - compared to our previous meal, the lobster was overcooked and the mussels starter was small.

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