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May 16, 2008 10:38 AM

Visiting London, St. John's is booked, what else?

Hi, My wife and I will be in London for a night on our way to Croatia. We are staying near Paddington Station and are looking for a rec for dinner on Monday May 26th. I wanted to go to St. Johns, but it is booked up, does anyone have a similar rec that isn't too far from Paddington? I'm interested in the same type of traditional cuisine that you would find at St. Johns.

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  1. Finding the same type of cuisine as St.J. is a toughie, but for trad. English try Wilton's in Jermyn St. (quite $$$) or Greens which is in Duke St.(or is it Duke of York St??) 100yds. away. Also consider Simpson's-in-the-Strand which I think is superior to the tourist trap image it is sometimes given.

    First two closer and third about same distance as StJ.

    1. Head to "Hereford Road" in Notting Hill. The chef is Tom Pemberton, a former St John head chef. His food takes a lot from his time at St John and it is well reviewed.....and not that far from Paddington (short cab ride).

      3 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Alas Hereford Rd. is not open on Mondays and Magdalen is booked. I've made a reservation at Wild Honey. What are peoples thoughts on this place?

        1. re: sheriff

          i havent been to wild honey but i have been to it's sister restaurant arbutus. the food was good - but not really like st john (it was more french). if you want st john style food then you shld try to book great queen st or did you try st john bread & wine as well as just normal st john?

          1. re: sheriff

            I liked it a lot when I went, but as t g says it's not really "nose to tail eating" like St John. They do have very good English cheeses though.

        2. Definitely try Hereford Road - you can pre-book through OpenTable. Don't bother with a cab though it's a short walk.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hermano Primero

            I took my own advice and headed to "Hereford Road" last night before we caught the train home from Paddington - as Hermano says it is an easy walk that took about 15 mins.

            I started with Sweetbreads and a pea shoot and mint salad, the sweetbreads were wonderfully tender with a very slight crust, the salad was good with a feisty mustard dressing, I separated the sweetbreads from the salad as I thought the dressing was a bit to strong for them. My partner had Steak Tartare which she really enjoyed, very fresh and well presented, could have had a touch more seasoning.

            For mains I chose the Calf's liver in a sage and onion sauce, again very tender, good sauce and served with crisp cubes of potatoes and wonderfully bitter greens. My partner had Pigeon with puy lentils which was nice and rare. We skipped desert - to full after a great dim sum lunch at Pearl Liang (approx 5 mins from Paddington). Service was good and very friendly - the staff seemed to enjoy being there and the whole place has a great atmosphere.

            The bill was £72, without service but including a bottle of Morgon (£26) and two glasses of white Iroulgey (£8) - the Iroulgey was fine, but the Morgon was average at best being a bit flaccid, best to head further down the list.

            Overall a good meal and good value for the standard of ingredients and execution. Lots of good English food on the menu, although we seemed to choose mainly classic French dishes....!

            1. re: PhilD

              Happy to hear you enjoyed Hereford Road. For what it's worth, we've been to both St John and Hereford Road, and we like the latter better. (We've in fact become regulars at Herefeord Road).

          2. Magdalen on Tooley St. is similar to St John's in some ways (i.e. lots of organs) though the preparations tend to be more complex/creative. (Not overdone, mind you - but St John's is sort of like if Adolph Loos ran a restaurant that specialized in organ meats.)

            In any case, the quality level at Magdalen has been outstanding when I've eaten there. I recommend it most highly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dionne237

              I liked Magdalen too when I went there.