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“2nd Visit, Still great but...”

The Clink Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 149 Restaurants in Sutton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $26 - $39
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down opened to the general public in May 2009 and offers over 30 prisoners full-time work within a true-to-life restaurant and kitchen environment. Alongside their employment the prisoners also train towards gaining nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and food service before returning to their prison accommodation at the end of the working day. Upon their release, The Clink Charity helps the graduates find employment within the hospitality industry. The restaurant is an example of a unique charitable project that is committed to reducing reoffending rates in partnership with HMPS. The restaurant positively promotes the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners and also champions the wealth of quality, fresh and organic produce available locally. Breakfast is served from Monday to Friday between 8:15am and 10:30am, and lunch is served from Monday to Friday between 12pm and 3pm. Guests can enjoy Afternoon Tea from 2pm to 4pm. This must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. Available for exclusive hire, The Clink Restaurant boasts a private dining room that offers projector and AV facilities making it perfect for meetings, conferences and presentations.
Surrey
Level Contributor
63 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“2nd Visit, Still great but...”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

I have to say that this time around I am being a little more critical although I have to say that for the cost (approx £20 per person for the food) I don't believe you can do better anywhere locally.

I ordered a trio of fish pate to start, sous vide Rabbit for main and a strawberries done 3 ways for desert. The starter and desert were great, genuinely faultless but the Rabbit portion was dry, small and served with overcooked roasted new potatoes which all in all was disappointing.

However, the other 3 people in our group all enjoyed their meals completely, with the trout and the duck receiving high praise.

We'll definitely be back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank JulianandOlya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    209
    70
    10
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I chose the Clink to celebrate my 40th Birthday. Expectations were quite high after reading the reviews. The restaurant has a very unexpectedly relaxed atmosphere. The food was well cooked, excellently presented and interesting. The service very good. Better than many experiences at top class restaurants. Only slight crticism is that the portions were just too small and all of my diners made the same comment, and whilst the security procedure is a bit slow you are advised to leave enough time. Finally as you can only use cash or cheques and have to leave bags at security try to remember to take some extra cash to donate to this amazing concept (if you enjoy your meal). All in all an excellent experience and one that will not be forgotten.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank m0dfather101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Keep coming back for more!”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

As well as being a great cause, the food is excellent. Imaginative, well cooked, 5 star food in a beautiful restaurant. Slight hassle getting in due to security, but quite honestly less annoying than snotty attitude you get from staff in posh restaurants on the 'outside'! Make no mistake, this is a proper top class restaurant. Visit once and I guarantee you will be back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank DrJo1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Such a wonderful concept and simply a fabulous place to go...”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

This restaurant is such an amazing idea. It is housed inside High Downs prison and staff entirely by inmates who have been trained (at an accredited level) to chef the menu, serve and wait on customers and clean up. John - my waiter for the day - was great. Really, really helpful. The food was delicious and all locally produced and although it can look a bit small - it was the perfect size. My dessert of 3 local cheeses was just what I needed to finish off a delightful meal and experience.

Unfortunately, because you are through security and in the prison, you can't take your phone and take pictures and tweet the outside world - but in some ways, it adds to the experience because the inmates don't have phones when they are on the inside.

My only suggestion would be that payment is made slightly easier. As you can't take your handbag into the restaurant (you leave it in locked lockers back at security) it would be helpful to have a card machine at security to pay on leaving. We ended up paying cash to avoid an invoice being generated (which also seems VERY trusting)...! But I guess you don't not pay a jail... (they have your ID on record!). I highly recommend a visit.

One final aspect - no booze is served!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Louisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“As good as any West End restaurant”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We have dined here several times now and it is as good as ever. The restaurant itself is like something you would find in a top-class West End hotel and the food is delicious; many of the vegetables are grown by the prisoners in the prison garden. The staff are most attentive and are working towards their City & Guilds, so that they have suitable qualifications once their sentence has finished. What a worthwhile project.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Val1945181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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