Well, EC1V 4JY
- 020 7251 9363
- 180 St John Street, EC1V 4JY
- Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri 11am-1am, Sat 10.30am-1am, Sun 10.30am-11pm
It is more restaurant than pub really, with most tables on the ground floor being reserved for dining in the evenings. On a Wednesday evening visit in July 2013, Kat and her party had booked ahead earlier that day with no problems, but would have had trouble getting a table otherwise. It was a hot day and the glass doors had been fully opened all the way around, with plenty of customers sitting on the outside tables. There is an extra seating/bar area in the basement (which is available for private hire) though it's not clear if this is always open. The website states that there is a pub quiz every Tuesday, presumably in this basement area.
The food varied from excellent to average: Kat's lovely starter of nettle and watercress soup (£5.50) came with an adorable mini salmon bagel (very tasty, about the size of a tangerine). Other starters of ox tongue (£9, 'like meatier ham') and kedgeree croquettes (£7.50, spicy) also went down well. Unfortunately the mains weren't quite as good. The grilled artichoke tortellini (£12) was stodgy and overcooked, as if the pasta hadn't been rolled thinly enough and had been left to boil a bit longer to make up for it. The salmon fishcake (£14) was so hot that one of our party burned the roof of his mouth (though this probably can't be blamed on the chef), which put rather a dampener on the rest of his meal. The Cornish fish stew (£16) and the beefburger (£14.50) however were both fine.
Daily specials are listed on the blackboard — this was very marine-based on our visit (lobster, seabass etc). The waiting staff were very friendly and helpful: a basket of bread was provided on our arrival as was a jug of tap water. The whole thing came to £120 for 4 people, including 2 courses, a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and service.
Accessibility: Toilets are in the basement.