This is an interesting place to review...first & foremost, I guess it would be useful for the waiting staff to explain the whole service concept at this restaurant while you wait in the queue (I think we waited about 20-25 minutes)...as it is strange, and not my idea of an ideal set-up from a hospitality point of view as anywhere that has French-style service or rushes you through your dinner for the sake of getting more money from more diners is not a great start...but I knew what I was coming for...roughly speaking...as my fellow diner had briefed me!
Food & wine...steak was cooked to perfection...maybe not quite the way I would have it, but as recommended, and was melt in the mouth and simply divine. Frites were crisp and delicious. Funnily enough I thought the portion size was very disappointing, but that's because nobody had told me they come round a 2nd time and effectively fill up your plate again as much as you want! I was in steak frites heaven when I had my 2nd plate full! The salad you start off with is also a quirky feature but was tasty and nice to have something to keep you going to the main course, albeit there is no choice in this and I would personally have preferred a bit of bread & butter...having said that salad is more suitable given how much steak-frites you end up having!
The wine by the glass was fine, albeit certainly not cheap and not of outstanding quality bearing in mind this is a French restaurant and bearing in mind it's easy to find a good red wine to match perfectly with steak, so disappointing on that front.
Service: Bearing in mind the set-up and previous reviews, I'd say service was definitely in-personal, but it was certainly efficient, and due to the two servings you get of steak-frites didn't fell overly rushed in the end, in spite of the super-fast turnaround of tables around us as the queue no doubt got longer & longer outside (we paid our bill just after 8.30pm so we were in the peak)...yes they could be friendlier, but they were at least polite & efficient and surprisingly un-French (which is a positive)!
Ambience: buzzing restaurant, very busy, not somewhere to go for a quiet, romantic chat or family outing, but certainly a foodie haven, especially for all you carnivores and steak lovers!
My usual London gripe...automatic adding of service charge very annoying...albeit only 10% at this restaurant versus the GB nom of 12.5%...£72 all in including 1 coffee and a shared dessert of profiteroles which was nice, but rather small for £6. Also, some would say £23 each for steak-frites and salad is expensive, but for the quality and amount of food, I think that's fine.
Overall a pleasant experience, and if you love steak-frites I'd recommend it for sure!
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