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“very enjoyable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden

Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden
82-84 St Martins Lane | Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AA, England (Covent Garden)
+44 20 7497 5050
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Ranked #6,018 of 17,879 Restaurants in London
Price range: $30 - $76
Cuisines: Brasserie
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Covent Garden
Description: Blending European brasserie dishes and timelessly elegant surroundings, Browns Bar and Brasserie Covent Garden champions an informal yet refined concept. Renowned for indulgent twists on classic comfort food recipes, Browns has offered trademark favourites since 1973, as well as choices from the specials board or the market fresh fish of the day. Showcasing striking design features and historic or listed buildings, Browns restaurants are a refined yet relaxed dining spot, at any time of the day.
Wales UK
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“very enjoyable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We made a point of visiting this restaurant mainly because we had a 'two courses for £10' voucher and we had visited Browns in Edinburgh & Bristol a few years ago and we were not disappointed then.
On arriving, the queue was spilling out onto the pavement, and lots of people seemed to have made a reservation. We tried phoning beforehand but were told no further bookings but that some tables were kept for walk ins.
When we reached the front of the queue, they were so helpful, and we were very surprised as to how pleasant the staff were on such a busy night. ( 9/11/13... London was buzzing, so many people around). They asked us to wait while they had a look around, came back and told us they had a table . We were served quickly and efficiently by Francesca who also helped us decide on what to have. The food, service and atmosphere were excellent.
If I had any complaint, it was a little draughty if sat in the aisle when the door opened, and a few people had to put coats around their shoulders!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Saturday night's is our busiest night of the week and as such is the one we've been focusing on to ensure exceptional service throughout. It's great to hear we're on the right path and you were so well looked after. We like Fran a lot here, she's a keeper, and it''s great to hear she was on top form. All we need now is some draft excluders and we'll be set for the cold weather!
Thank you for taking the time to review us and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Best,
Mikey
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mfcbun
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
“Trash”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

As ratings go i will not slate anything unless it is needed, Browns Bar was trash! A well known establishment in London we thought we would give it a go for Sunday lunch. We were shown to our seats, then waited 20 mins before our order was taken. 10 minutes later 2 cold roast dinners turned up. The beef and potatoes were cold (only warmed by the gravy) and the veg looked disgusting. We complained, our dinners were taken away, our drinks then turned up then our roasts returned 10 minutes later even colder. We could see other people complaining as well, we left our food and asked for the bill. We were charged £20 for 2 cokes as both meals were returned. Why do restaurants keep filling tables when they can't cope with the people they are already looking after? Will never eat here again, total let down.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
What a terrible disappointment, we let ourselves down well and truly. I'm so sorry the experience was so far below expectations, both your's and our's. For food to come out cold twice and then for it not to be taken off the bill immediately is unforgivable, I can't imagine much worse than being charged for something you didn't have.
We had a Sunday which saw an extraordinary uplift in trade for which we were untirely unprepared. Since we have re-rotared to have a floor team of 9 rather than the previous norm of 5 and doubled the number of chefs. This has made for a much more pleasant (and manageable!) shift for all involved, especially the guests who see the same exceptional service as they have enjoyed the rest of the week.
I would like to welcome you back again at your convenience to see us get it right as we so frequently do.
Thank you for your review.
Best,
Mikey
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Bristol
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Late Night Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We visited Browns around 10.30pm after going to the theatre. The welcome was warm, the service friendly and the food arrived quickly. As always at Browns I get tempted by the outstanding Steak and Ale pie, which never disappoints. Out in plenty of time to catch the tube. Good value.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Thanks for taking time to review us.
We're pleased that offering the pre-theatre menu after the shows is popular. It's a menu of dishes that won't take an eternity so whether you're short of time before a show or not wanting to languish in town afterwards we hope to give you an exceptional time (however short it is!).
We look forward to seeing you when you're next nearby.
Best,
Mikey
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Bovingdon
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“understaffed?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

We came as a family after a matinee performance at the theatre - 3 adults and 2 children. we had booked our table. The ambiance was nice and we were promptly shown to our table. Pleasant waiting staff took our orders.So far so good. It was a bit of an ominous sign when we glanced around and absolutely nobody had any food - no-one was eating. we ordered from the set menu -a prawn cocktail and 2 baked mushrooms. flatbreads with tomato and cheese for the children. It took 45 minutes for our starters to arrive. The waitress apologised for the ridiculously long wait. Nobody had come over and explained there would be any delay. When the starters came - they were average and a bit tepid. The brown bread with the prawn cocktail was dried out. The mushrooms were not hot - and they really needed some bread with them or something to soak up the juices. The mains were also distinctly average. I ordered the chicken with proscuitto and cheese - with fries. This came without even a salad leaf or garnish. So it looked very bland and unappealing. perhaps if it had been explained i may have ordered a side salad to go with it or something. It was also dried out. My Dad's minute steak also looked overcooked and bland. my Mother's pasta dish also look rather unappealing and it was very spicy -perhas a little too much. My son's chicken and fries were not great either - was tough and rubbery and not really suitable for a young boy. My other son's burger seemed to go down well. it was impossible to gain attention of waiting staff to get things like ketchup or more drinks. My young son had an icecream - and my Mother ordered a coffee which was also tepid. the waitress offered us another drink on the house for the delay. we hadn't complained but it was offered which went some way to make amends. However, when it came to paying the bill, My father paid with a card. The waiter actually pointed out to him "You haven't put in a tip". My Dad said, "No - I haven't. If I want to leave a tip, I will leave it on the table." Despite the poor service and rather bland and cold food - we didn't think a tip was appropriate - and quite frankly a bit of a cheek to be asked. This is a shame. we came to Browns beause we had had a great experience in the branch in Oxford a couple of weeks previously. We also came for the quality of the kid's menu. Maybe there was a problem on 29th October between about 5.30 and 7.30?

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
What a terrible visit! We let you down completely this time, for which I must offer my sincere apologies.
By way of a modest explanation: Diners coming in after the matinee coincide with diners going to the evening shows and consequently it can prove for a busy time of day. To report that no-one else around you was eating signifies to me that they had all been sat at similar times to you as you'll have sat down at around 4.30/5.00, the magic hour we can get inundated with post- and pre-theatre diners simultaneously. It doesn't always happen (sadly not an exact science) but if it does we need to monitor and control the influx of guests intelligently and try not to bite off more than we can chew. This I will see done, ensuring our new hosting team is more aware and has more forsight in the sitting of guests.
The food difficulties also disappoint me and while chicken should never be dry nor steak tough, I have a few thoughts. The chicken has the option of chips or salad. I would consider with the options of either/or it would suggest an absence of one if the other is ordered. The prawn and crab linguine has only the most modest amount of chilli in, this is just the second case in 3 years I have found it to be too hot for a guest. As a company we ensure none of our dishes to be ever hotter than mild so as to cater to the broadest amount of guests.
Similarly with the kids' meal range, we put a lot of time and thought into what would be appropriate versions of our classics for our under-12's and strips of succulent grilled chicken with chips seems extremely appropriate - no intricate sauces, 'weird' vegetables or anything too out of the ordinary for their new palates. Tough and rubbery food on the other hand is not just unsuitable for a child, is is wholly inappropriate for anyone and on this situation we let ourselves down badly.
I think you were quite right to refuse to tip in this instance, if for nothing else than that desultory remark from your waiter. Nothing about tipping is, was or ever will be expected, especially if the food, wait time and service is nowhere near up to scratch.
I hope you can accept my apologies again for such a failure on our part. If you're happy to take the time to e-mail us, I would like to offer you an incentive for returning and seeing us in our normal habitat - offering an exceptional experience, food, service and all.
Here's our e-mail address: david.leatham@mbplc.com
Best,
Mikey Bagwell & David Leatham
(Guest Relations Manager & General Manager)
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Burnley, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Delicious cocktails”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Foot sore and a little bit weary we stumbled upon Browns by chance and having visited the ones in Edinburgh and Manchester we went in to rest and refresh. Service at the bar was speedy and the signature cocktails were delicious and good value for central London - £5.00 Sunday to Wednesday. On this occasion, we didn't eat but the food that came out of the kitchen smelt and looked good.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Bar & Brasserie Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Lovely to hear! The bar team are all real gems at Covent Garden, we're really quite proud of them. Glad to hear you think as much of them as we do! Next time get them to suggest some nibbles to go with those oh-so-moreish cocktails,
Thank you for your feedback, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Best,
Mikey
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