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“Christmas day lunch - appalling”

Browns Bar & Brasserie Islington
Price range: $13 - $26
Cuisines: French, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Description: Islington is a bustling and lively place to visit, but take a walk through the picturesque backstreets and along Regent's Canal and you'll discover a peaceful retreat. Come and join us in this lovely part of London for coffee, brunch, dinner or one of our specialist cocktails.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Christmas day lunch - appalling”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

We had lunch at Browns Islington on Christmas day two years and very much enjoyed the meal. The food was fine, as was the service; in fact our only concern was that the portions were so generous that we were unable to finish the meal. We were happy to book again this Christmas and were looking forward to the meal.

But it was a very different and very poor experience this year. The food was of very poor quality, in fact at what point my 13 year old daughter said "This tastes like school dinners". How right she was. The starters were uniformly poor. One of our main courses (roast turkey) was of such poor quality it tasted like a microwave meal, while the other main course (lobster thermidor) was the smallest half a lobster I have ever seen. And who thought it a good idea to serve lobster thermidor with brussels sprouts, carrots and roast potatoes? These vegetables were, in any case, all but inedible - badly cooked and slathered in butter they made me feel quite ill. The desserts, like the starters, were not as awful as the main courses, but, like the starters, were of the sort of quality one would expect in a service station, not in a restaurant. The cheese plate, when it came, was not the generous mix of cheeses we were offered two years ago, instead it was a miserly selection of overly chilled cheeses and the size of the portion was surely intended for two at the maximum not four. And finally, the service was not a patch on two years ago, with the wine not arriving until we were well into the meal and repeated requests to hang our coats somewhere being met with blank incomprehension.

It is hard for me to understand how a restaurant can decline so far in just two years. You can rest assured that we will not be booking again next Christmas.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank anyotherbizniz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

206 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    61
    49
    37
    27
    32
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Brown's Islington Christmas Lunch”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

We had lunch at Browns Islington on Christmas day two years and very much enjoyed the meal. The food was fine, as was the service; in fact our only concern was that the portions were so generous that we were unable to finish the meal. We were happy to book again this Christmas and were looking forward to the meal.

But it was a very different and very poor experience this year. The food was of very poor quality, in fact at what point my 13 year old daughter said "This tastes like school dinners". How right she was. The starters were uniformly poor. One of our main courses (roast turkey) was of such poor quality it tasted like a microwave meal, while the other main course (lobster thermidor) was the smallest half a lobster I have ever seen. And who thought it a good idea to serve lobster thermidor with brussels sprouts, carrots and roast potatoes? These vegetables were, in any case, all but inedible - badly cooked and slathered in butter they made me feel quite ill. The desserts, like the starters, were not as awful as the main courses, but, like the starters, were of the sort of quality one would expect in a service station, not in a restaurant. The cheese plate, when it came, was not the generous mix of cheeses we were offered two years ago, instead it was a miserly selection of overly chilled cheeses and the size of the portion was surely intended for two at the maximum not four. And finally, the service was not a patch on two years ago, with the wine not arriving until we were well into the meal and repeated requests to hang our coats somewhere being met with blank incomprehension.

It is hard for me to understand how a restaurant can decline so far in just two years. You can rest assured that we will not be booking again next Christmas.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank anyotherbizniz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“pretty good”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

meet a friend of mine here for dinner, i had the sirloin which was really pretty nice, quality meat!
cooked perfectly medium, my fellow dinner had two bottles of a french rosè. côte de perignon.
not bad. i had a glass with the meat. the place lacked something, but the steak was good!

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Culinary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Very, very poor service and multiple attempts to get a double tip.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

Went there for a lunch recently. Party of 7. Took almost 3 hours to get done and the restaurant was half empty. When the bill turned up the gratuity box was left empty but hidden in the billing they had already added a service charge. When the credit card machine was handed over it also was set at do you want to add a gratuity, when the amount put on it already included a gratuity. Absolute con job. I used to use this restaurant regularly a while back. Have not been for a few years and now remember why. There are now so many better value places nearby.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jonathan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Set Menus and Clueless Staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

We had our Christmas Meal here in December 2012 and the booking process and menu confirmation proved to be a bit of a nightmare. We were not told when we booked that we would have to have a set menu and as there were only 7 of us this seemed a bit unusual. There were 4 set menus offered but we were told we all had to choose off the same menu. We sent all our choices in advance and then when we got there they had no record of us sending it in and told us we could choose off different menus if we wanted to. The restaurant was virtually empty and the service was still very slow. Whilst our waitress was nice she did also seem a little clueless! There are so many better options to eat in around this area!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Claireylou79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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