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eek! Sunday dinner (Islington, Clerkenwell, Smithfield, the strand, waterloo) [London]

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My husband and I just realized today is our 6 year anniversary and would like to have a simple and pleasant dinner before seeing a film at the BFI. Alas, Terroirs, RSJ, St. Johns are closed today. We really dont want anything fussy or Sunday roast-y, as we are just back from 2 weeks of restaurant eating in NYC. We are walking to the Southbank from Stoke Newington, and will pass through Islington, Clerkenwell, Smithfield, The Strand, and could walk to Waterloo.

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St. John
26 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY, GB

The Clerkenwell
69-73 St. John Street, London EC1M 4AN, GB

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  1. i'd go to moti mahal and get only roti, dal, and vegetable dishes like alu gobi etc.

    1. Hi Relizabeth

      My non-fussy recommendations in order on your route are
      http://www.sabor.co.uk/ on Essex Road
      The Afghan Kitchen or Delhi Grill in Islington if you fancy top class curry.
      The Charles Lamb pub on your way through Islington for great pub food.
      The Modern Pantry just off St John Street.
      http://www.hixoysterandchophouse.co.uk/
      Smiths of Smithfield perhaps - the ground floor I recall is quite simple and not too fussy.

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      St John
      26 St John St, Islington EC1M 4AY, United Kingdom

      The Modern Pantry
      47 - 48 St Johns Square, London EC1V 4JJ, GB

      1. You might try to get a table at Deux Salons. They seem to be fairly empty if one goes early, and the food is certainly perfect for a celebration. Don't forget those anniversaries!!

        7 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1

          Oh yes this is a great idea as well. Although I've been getting LDS envy for quite a while now not having been myself.

          1. re: ManInTransit

            I am starting to get D envy (for Dinner). Well, that's not quite true. But it is quite nice that there are new places opening up and so busy, despite the economic woes. I sometimes wonder who are these people who eat out at expensive restaurants in London two or three times a month, let alone a week. What do they do for a living, how old are they and is do they ever cook at home? I seem to have less and less envy about food as the years go by... 'been there, done that' philosophy takes over.

            1. re: zuriga1

              So, we went to Les Deux Salons. I was appalled by the service. My husband and I had a late lunch, and a pint at the lovely Harp before getting to Les Deux Salons at 9pm. It was also a Sunday night and I had a week of work hell ahead of me. We ordered a glass of champagne each, but it didnt arrive until after they asked if we'd like to order and asked specifically about drinks and we reminded them of our champagne. Our waiter was annoyed we didnt get wine, but whatever. This is what really upset us. We slowly finished the breadbasket. And our waiter asked if we'd like a refill. We werent sure (as we had just had a pint , some sparkling water and weren't that hungry and had recently returned from 2 weeks of holiday eating). In our uncertain pause, he said "oh don't worry we don't charge for it, " as if it was the possibility of being charged for it was what was stopping us. I found that really offensive. The food was pretty good, but I did not feel like it was good value.

              1. re: relizabeth

                I do think that this place has a bit of a service problem. We didn't but we were eating quite early before the theatre. Maybe they can't handle a full restaurant and people should voice their complaints to the owners and management. Otherwise, it will never change. It sounds like your waiter wasn't very well trained as to the appropriate thing to say when people hesitate with an answer.

                The nice thing is that you never have to go there again!

                1. re: zuriga1

                  It does bring home how important service is to a restaurant. Personally I'm not that bothered whether I'd give it 6/10 or 10/10 but if it slips below that it really brings the whole experience down.

                  The one negative about a recent trip to Viajante was the waiter trying to sell me a bottle £10 more expensive on the wine list after I'd ordered a perfectly good Gruner Veltliner. As it was the food was so good I kind of forgot but I hate that sort of thing and the rudeness described above.

                  1. re: ManInTransit

                    At least over here, most waiters or waitresses (or should we call them waitpeople?) do not start with, 'Hi, I'm Matt, and I'm your server tonight.' That used to bug the heck out of me in the States. I just want them to bring my food and drink, be there if I need them, and not much else. They shouldn't try to make money with the wine either.

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      indeed - when bill bryson got that line he'd say "look, i'm just here for food not a relationship".

        2. I'd go to Maries Cafe on lower marsh - looks rubbish but recent refurb means they've upped their game - really nice beef salad last time - big juicy tempura prawns - i know not thai - their stir fries with thai basil and green beans are lovely.
          Open kitchen where you can see then pounding the sauces.

          I think they have a new cook cos it was basic before.
          check if its open though?