Picture of St John, EC1M 4AY

Historical version 23 of St John, EC1M 4AY (view current version)

English restaurant in Clerkenwell, just north of Smithfield market. It received a (some would say long-overdue) Michelin Star in 2009. There's also another branch in Spitalfields.

St John specialise in meat, meat, and more meat; and especially the parts of it that aren't usually eaten: tripe, sweetbreads, tongue, heart, and their signature dish of roast bone marrow served with parsley salad and toast. They're also quite keen on snails.

Vegetarians are usually catered for, but there's generally never more than one vegetarian option on the menu (which changes daily and can be viewed on their website); this might be courgettes with butter beans, or lentils with goat cheese, or fennel with Berkswell (apparently a kind of cheese).

They offer a "feasting menu" option for large groups; you do need to book in advance, and select from a limited menu, but this gives you the chance to order an entire roast suckling pig, which will be brought in whole and carved in front of you. A pig serves 14–16 people and costs £320 (as of March 2008), payable in advance.

Kake has visited several times, and never been disappointed. Dishes I've enjoyed in the past include Puy lentils and Swiss chard (a side dish), and chickpeas with sausage and snails (fantastic: the chickpeas were cooked right; the sausage was very meaty; the broth was rich and well-spiced; the slice of bread I found in the bottom of the dish was a very good sourdough; and the snails were large and moist and well worth eating). It should be noted though that I've not been there since July 2006 and word on the interweb is that standards may be slipping.

Kat and Rick thoroughly enjoyed their visit in April 2009. We started with octopus (wonderful, not at all chewy or rubbery, huge portion) and pig spleen with bacon (interesting but underwhelming), and opted for mains of roast lamb with turnips (melt-in-the-mouth) and pigeon with lentils (excellent). The waiter recommended we order a side of greens, which suited our dishes well. The desserts are also recommended - the lovely chocolate mousse had the texture of a brownie on the outside, but was soft in the middle; the eccles cake with Lancashire cheese went down very well too.

Starters cost around £4–8, main courses around £14–22, side dishes around £3–5 (and some of the main courses are designed to need side dishes too), and desserts around £4–7.

See also:

Last visited by Kat and Rick on 2 April 2009. Prices taken from the St John website, March 2008.
OS X co-ord: 531820 OS Y co-ord: 181864 (Latitude: 51.520319 Longitude: -0.101450)
This is version 23 (as of 2009-04-06 08:37:27). View current version. List all versions.