Review of 'Smiths of Smithfield (1st Floor Wine Room)'

I have actually visited Smiths several times in the past - Once to visit the bar on the ground floor and the second time up to the top floor for lunch. It is a very interesting layout for a restaurant - Ground floor is a very trendy bar directly above the tube and train line going into Farringdon (just look out the window). There are loads of seats everywhere and the place is always hopping (despite being a bit expensive). It can get VERY loud. Basically, it gets expensive as you go up – The first floor is the wine rooms and the 2nd floor is the dining room and the top floor (where I have never been) is an outdoor terrace…Much quieter the higher up you go as well. The place is owned by one of the judges on the British Masterchef and I have never had a duff meal here.

We were lucky enough to be able to go to Smiths for their London Restaurant Festival - Three courses for £20. We showed up a bit earlier so spend a few minutes in the bar before the big crowds hit then made our way up the wooden stairs to the first floor. The wine bar area is surrounded by a wall separating the eating area from the thoroughfare to the toilets around the back - Which is just as well as it meant we did not have people walking by all the time.

The set menu we were given was absolutely wonderful with three choices from each of the courses picked from their most popular dishes. To be honest even the regular menu is not terribly expensive for the area. But, anyway, my companion started with the “Beetroot Cured Gravadlax with Horshradish” which was quite nice and delicate (but a bit fishy for me - she loved it). I had the “Ham Hock terrine with Fresh Bread” which was quite good though it was the wonderful bread that stood out for me here. I had the “Lamp Rump with Mash Potato and Beet Chutney” which was good though I found the beet chutney to be WAY too strong for the delicate (nicely underdone) lamb. The mash potato was absolutely incredible - a very small bowl of heaven - Delicate, light and very, very tasty. Licking out the bowl is a bit of a no-no in public but I was sorely tempted…I would have been happy with several bowls of this for dinner! My companion had the “5oz Rib Steak with Chips” which was wonderfully tender and tasty though the chips were a bit ordinary (but the mushroom sauce on the side was amazing and the chips tasted great in that and the mashed potatoes).

For dessert my companion tried the lemon posset which she found very tasty and not too strong. I had the “Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Ice Cream” which was wonderfully moist and almost like a mousse - The ice cream was wonderfully tangy.

The food was generally very good, the service was good but not fantastic and the ambiance was a bit noisy as the small area filled with people. We will be back to try some of the other items on the menu (the sliders that others ordered looked very good). BTW, reservations for dinner are pretty much essential.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2012-10-04

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 67-77 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HJ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Farringdon

Location: London (England) - Farringdon



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