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Jan 26, 2001 06:13 AM

Smiths Of Smithfield

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Had some very good food at Smiths of Smithfield, and a relatively small bill of around £150 for 5. In fact I don't think you would find better food of it's type for that price elsewhere in London. Ingredients were quite "top end" and included the like of venison and duck in large portions. But, and big but, the service we recieved was poor. I was very frustrated at the site of gangs of waiters huddled around their stations doing not very much whilst we waited for a long time for food to arrive. The restaurant was about two thirds full. A guy at the table opposite got either a bottle or glass of wine spilled down his back by a waitress.

Did we just go on an off night or is it always like that. I'd love to go back, but don't want a similar experience. Any views?

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    Simon Majumdar

    this has become a bit of a local haunt for me ( except the bar bit on Friday and Saturday nights- why on earth would anyone want to queue to go into a bar?)

    The downstairs serves good breakfast food for time when only a fishfinger butty will do and the Upstairs serves the best steak/beef in town. The service has always been very good on the six times I have been. In many cases, it has even been above and beyond. On my first Sunday lunch visit, I asked for my steak to be cooked a little more than the "held up to a lightbulb" blue that it was ( the only problem I have ever had there ) not only did they do that, they also knocked the price of the bottle of Gigondas off the bill.

    I would give it another try. It is not cheap but I think the cooking is excellent and the service has never let me down

    1. Have been there three times for lunch - twice in the upstairs dining room, once for the 'larder lunch'. But never for dinner so can't speak specifically. I've always had a great meal at a "fair" price. Our menus arrived, water & wine glasses were filled and dishes cleared as needed, without prompting. As an aside...I did notice the waiters hovering sort of idly around their stations but never had to do more than signal subtly for immediate attention (I prefer that to having them come over every five seconds and ask if everything's OK). I notice this down-time in a lot of places though...suppose it could be annoying but not a problem unless they're ignoring you.

      Give 'em another chance!

      (And I've been to that bar for Campari & fresh OJ which SM doesn't approve of...wouldn't ever queue though)