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“Lovely food, good service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of St. James

St. James
4 Topsfield Parade, Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 8PR, England
+44 (0)20 8348 8348
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Ranked #9,725 of 17,052 Restaurants in London
Price range: $39 - $104
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Lovely food, good service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012 via mobile

Great menu. Lovely food. Good value and service. However, we were a party of six and there was one other couple in the restaurant at the time. I can't really fault anything.

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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“What happened to 'the customer is always right'?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Myself and my girlfriend booked a table at the restaurant hoping to make use of a popular diners club discount, this diners club is members only and offers access to 1000's of establishments throughout the country with a 2 for 1 offer or 50% off the food bill. We both ordered a main course (the chicken breast and the cod with gnocci) each and a bottle of wine, the food was decent but nothing special considering the price point.

The problem came when we tried to settle the bill, I showed the manager my discount card and he proceeded to inform me, quite rudely, that we were required to have had a starter/main or main/desert combination in order to get the discount. This was a surprise to me as we were careful to check the rules when we booked the table, on the website and then when we ordered and were told it was 2for1 on all main courses. The manager was adamant that we were in the wrong and insistent that we sit back down and order a desert! He was rude and dismissive throughout our exchange and it was only when other diners started to pay attention to what I was saying did he relent and make the discount.

We were planning to return with our parents but needless to say I will not be going back to St James, we were actually quite enjoying our evening until the manager left a sour taste in our mouths.

What happened to the customer is always right????

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Problem resolved without fuss”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

Had dinner with a friend at this venue on a warm summer's night and the atmosphere was lovely sitting by the wide open windows we had the advantages of being outdoors but none of the hassle. We thought the trio of salmon on melba toast starter was exquisite and the roast rump of lamb was served to perfection with lovely accompanying julienne-style vegetables. On the other hand, the grilled haloumi with crushed tomatoes and salad was barely cooked. However, when we pointed this out, the dish was whisked away with no fuss and only a very few minutes later a completely new dish of haloumi properly cooked with a fresh serving of all the original trimmings was brought with apololgies.

Tip for those drinking sparkling wine by the glass - the blanc de blancs is very good and at under a fiver much better value than prosecco at £7 or champagne at £8.

Very good cooking and on our visit, very good service too - efficient but not intrusive.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Great food, patchy service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

I go here a lot with Himself, with friends or with the teenager. The food is well cooked with regular changes on the menu so there is always something new to try and crucially lovely puddings. I've never had a meal that was less than good here and often it is very good. The wine list is excellent and the atmosphere is buzzy in the evenings and friendly by day, with prices that are very reasonable for the calibre of the food. They understand the local market well catering for a variety of -- let's call them "food preferences"; it produces high chairs or small meals for small people with a smile but has enough atmosphere to inspire the best behaviour. One of the nicest things on the menu is the selection of bread with balsamic vinegar and half a bulb of meltingly delicious, slow roasted garlic. Areas that could do with work are consistency of service which varies from the "highly-attentive/ couldn't fault" it to the "am I actually supposed to serve customers and not stand around chatting?" If you aren't hungry or in a rush you may not mind but I think it's worth announcing at the start that you don't have a huge amount of time. In the winter it can be very drafty in the attractive bar area and I'm hoping they will sort out some sort of door system that solves this problem before next year. The one disappointment I have had here is the cocktails; it looks like the perfect place to have a mojito in the hand -- is it all the black marble? -- but my three attempts at cocktails have been somewhere between unrecognisable and undrinkable so now I have the wine instead. The cocktails at Monkey Nuts across the road are exemplary so there is clearly nothing in the atmosphere in Crouch End that precludes competent mixology. It's my third favourite place to eat locally and definitely top for breakfast. I'm very tempted to pop down now, in fact!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Food not great, service very poor.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

perhaps it was on off day but the service I experienced in the restaurant was very poor. On walking through the door, the 3 servers looked at me, then turned away and continued a conversation. I had to walk through the dining area to disturb another member of staff who was clearing a table who when asked if there was a free table walked away without a sound. Luckily this was just to check, but any effort at communication would have helped.

Seated and the drinks order followed a swift 15 minutes later. Keeping it simple I ordered a coke. I watched as they opened a 330ml bottle of coke, half fill my glass and then put the remaining coke under the counter for the next customer to order. Feels like a petty gripe but the prices in this place do not suggest they scrimp. Food delivered was a poor portion and was ruined by an incredibly bitter gravy.

I've been once before about a year ago and remember it being excellent but I was very disappointed with my experience this time.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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