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“Peut-être que….Je n’ai pas compris!”
Review of Almeida Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

Almeida Restaurant & Bar
Price range: $33 - $80
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: A firm North London favourite, Almeida is located just off Upper Street and offers modern British food. Directly opposite the iconic Almeida Theatre, this is the place for classy pre and post-theatre dining, in addition to its daily-changing a la carte and impressive Sunday sharing menu.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Last Sunday I went for lunch to this place after a friend of mine booked it using an offer from the ES.
The ambience was quite pleasant with a large dining room and a semi open kitchen. It was booked for 1.30 and we arrived just 10 minutes before.
We sat down and the menu was brought to us quite quickly with enough courtesy that one could imagine that the best had yet to come.
After scanning the menu we were ready to order and I ordered Cornish seafood in sherry aspic, quail egg, sauce gribiche and Denham estate lamb shoulder on a bed of ratatouille and balsamic vinegar while Ed went for San Marzano tomato tart, goat’s cheese with radish salad plus the same main as mine..
I was ready and salivating up to the moment the dish arrived. I was expecting some fleshy succulent fresh Cornish fish but I got a nouvelle-style cuisine tablet of gelatine where the fish entered from one side and come out at the other leaving just a whiff of fish and 2 /3 slivers where even an ant would have starved ! The only thing I could taste (or not taste) was the gelatine which was constantly circulating in my mouth while my tongue anxiously tried to seek out any particles of fish. I managed to taste the quail egg though and the gribiche was more flavoursome.
The tart that Ed had was an uncooked layer of a millefoglie-style pastry with some San Marzano (I doubt it) tomato and goats cheese that according to him wasn’t bad. I tried it but I begged to differ.
We both agreed on the main of lamb which came in the same size and format as my starter, the only difference was that there were 2 tablets rather than one and luckily no gelatine. The flavour of the lamb was very good and melting in my mouth with a pleasant ratatouille that was slightly marred by the presence of a little too much dried herbage!
I also never understand and this applies to quite a number of restaurants, the reluctance to serve bread as we had to ask for some more. Each serving was just a small slice of either white or brown bread.
When the dessert came my friend made a better choice with Vanilla panna cotta, poached cherries and cherry sorbet which he quite enjoyed while I went for Sablé biscuit with summer fruit, strawberry champagne jelly and raspberry sorbet. Oh no! The same gelatine that surrounded the fish appeared again but this time in a dessert form. I assure you there was definitely no champagne in it and the sorbet didn’t taste at all like raspberry although it did have some flavour. The timing between courses was on the unacceptable side considering that we were there verging on 2 hours.
The service was very good. Now, although Ed seemed to enjoy the food more than I did probably because he made better choices, I, except for the lamb, was not too happy. A good restaurant has to have the same standard for each single dish on the menu, wouldn’t you agree? I am a little piglet and I like to indulge, I don’t mind small portions when they are full of flavour because when that happens one feel satisfied all the same.
I would have liked to give 4 rating just for the lamb but considering that the starter and dessert failed to reach such standard I have to give an average 3.

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Thank Francesco C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (318)
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228 - 232 of 318 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

We came here for a celebratory meal after work, and there were 8 of us in one of the private rooms just off the main dining room. It was quite quiet throughout the restaurant, although it was a sunny wednesday night.
I did find that there was a slight lack of atmosphere and found it all a bit too quiet at times, but I also appreciate that this suits some people and may be the intention.
The food that we all ordered was great and a couple of the dishes were really top class. I hd the pork for a main course which was a slight disappointement, but probably because the other idshes looked so good. The presentation of some of the dishes really was fantastic and there was clearly a lot of attention that had gone into their creation.
Our waitress was very efficient and attentive, while ot overly friendly.
It is not a cheap place to eat, however this can be clearly seen within the menu, so you know what you are getting when you arrive.
The value coupled with the slight lack of atmospehere that gives the place four stars rather than five, the quality of the meals was excellent, and any gripes we had are probably a bit picky!

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Thank Jamie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Had dinner at Almeida for a birthday. The restaurant was quite quiet as they had obviously just had a large amount of pre-theater diners in (who had subsequently vacated).

Despite it being largely empty, the food was very good. I had pork belly with mash and it was cooked perfectly.

Great service as you would expect from a french bistro.

My only bad experience here was when we wanted to sit outside in the summer in 2012 and were told that we were unable to eat outside. This is a stupid decision and I hope they've changed their policy for this year as it would be a nice place to enjoy food outside.

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Thank AaronSays_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Ate a set-menu 3- course lunch here for £18, as part of a Time Out offer. The menu was short - only 2 choices for each course, but perfectly balanced. Main course of Scottish salmon 'Nicoise-style' with saffron alioli was absolutely sensational, as was a vanilla panna cotta with poached cherries and cherry ice cream.
It's a big room, a little bit bland, but with nice, big picture windows onto the street and a good view in the other direction of the open kitchen. Service was very good - maybe a touch distant from the table waiting staff (and I agree, they do pour the wine a bit too often!), but both the hostess and maitre d' were both really lovely - especially when it turned out I had not brought all the correct documentation for my voucher!
This is a serious restaurant. The chef can really cook and he doesn't feel the need to show off, but rather serve up beautiful, great-tasting dishes. If/when I can afford it, I'll come back and try out the a la carte menu. I'm sure I won;t be disappointed.

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Thank RCMS123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

I have been here for a weekday lunch and returned because value and quality of cooking made it a real treat.
However the 12.5% service, 3.50 for a plate of chips, 18 quid for three slices of chicken gave the two of us a 100 quid mini meal of nouvelle delicacy .
Throw in a singing waitress intent in filling you glass at every opportunity and disappointment and empty pockets dogged the rest if the day

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Thank macintyresymon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre M, General Manager at Almeida Restaurant & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2013

Dear Sir/Madame,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your feedback on tripadvisor.

We always endeavor to be generous and hospitable and I am sad to learn that on this occasion we could not reproduce your weekday experience. Head chef Martin and I are continuously looking to deliver a genuine and honest product and we do sincerely appreciate any feedback that would help us achieve our goal.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your experience with you further so please do not hesitate to contact me directly at pierrem@danddlondon.com

I sincerely hope that this experience will not stop you from returning to Almeida in the future.

With Kind Regards
Pierre

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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