The West End of London is chock full of restaurants, many of which are frankly not very good, so when I heard about this place, I was delighted and hopeful that I could add it to my short list of safe pre-theatre restaurants. The write-ups are great and the location on Seven Dials puts it a heartbeat away from a large number of theatres but the food is a mess both visually and tastewise. Prices for the pre-theatre set meal are very reasonable but much of it was left on the plate. My mozarella and heritage tomato salad came as an unappetising pool of whey-drenched cheese with two pieces of mottled tomato that tasted of nothing; the cheese itself was very nice. My friend's salad was a jumble of strange ingredients, including pomegranate seeds and was inedible. Main courses were better with beautifully cooked cod only let down by undercooked white beans, and an inari dhal pocket that tasted good on its own but not with the other bits thrown on to the plate; best of all was a burger albeit with too many additions.
I suspect that to get the best out of this place you need to go as simple as possible and stick to the breads, dips and cold meats. The good side was the lovely cocktails both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and the constant supply of free water. Service was definitely not of the "nothing is too much trouble" school and we would have liked a bell to attract attention. The puddings were a huge disappointment too-- half of the delicious sounding plate of biscuits and chocolates were inedible as was the panna cotta with coffee and cardamom jelly. Perhaps we went on an off day but I won't risk a second visit until the deeply unpleasant taste of the puddings has faded from my memory.
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