New Italian restaurant on Whitecross Street

New Italian restaurant on Whitecross Street Da Giua is the new Italian restaurant you may have noticed which has just opened opposite Waitrose on Whitecross Street.  There was a short-lived tapas bar (Sabor Iberico) before that and another fairly long established and well-regarded Italian (Alba) prior.  The short life for the tapas bar is a little worrying with respect to the location, but the new owners have the experience, for sure, with 2 other successful restaurants in London already established. The interior has undergone some refurbishment and there is plenty of spacious seating … [Read more...]

Mid-range French fare at Brasserie Blanc

Mid-range French fare at Brasserie Blanc Heading down Moorgate towards Bank, turn left behind the Bank of England, and a couple of roads on, you reach Brasserie Blanc Threadneedle Street which is another venture from the world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc as part of a chain of similarly-named mid-priced eating establishments in the French brasserie-style.  There is certainly competition in this style of restaurant with the Cote Brasserie and Café Rouge chains both offering something similar in style and pricing.  However we would rate the Threadneedle Street Brasserie Blanc highly among … [Read more...]

Afternoon tea French style in Tower 42

What a treat!  That was my companion’s comment after visiting the Tower 42 venue for le Restaurant de PAUL in Tower 42 in the City for a decidedly French take on the English afternoon tea ritual.  Indeed it was sans the traditional British pot of tea which might disappoint the purists, but in tea’s place were unlimited glasses of the restaurant’s house sparkling wine from Gaillac - Ky Procco  - to wash down a three-tier serving of sandwiches and pastries – all French style. Le Restaurant de PAUL is through the Tower 42 main entrance on Old Broad Street Indeed afternoon tea options … [Read more...]

A True Taste of France off Charterhouse Square

The Café du Marché, off Charterhouse Square, is a true Barbican Life favourite. Immaculately white painted brick exterior with blue awnings and smartly tended window boxes may belie the spacious auberge-style main dining areas within, but reflects the care, vision and dedication of an over 30 year old independent family run French restaurant and still employing some of their original staff.   The restaurant’s attractive exterior in Charterhouse Mews The restaurant is tucked away in a tiny dead-end cobbled Mews next to the Malmaison Hotel and given that it thus cannot attract passing … [Read more...]

Good and Generous Dishes at the South Place Chop House

Good and Generous Dishes at the South Place Chop House The South Place Chop House can easily missed.  It comfortably covers half the ground floor area of the South Place Hotel nestled between the HSBC bank and Marks & Spencer and the Red Lion pub as you walk from  Moorgate to Liverpool Street.  Personally, I’ve had one or two G+Ts at the rooftop Angler Terrace in the summer sun and we’ve also reviewed the outstanding Michelin starred Angler mainly seafood restaurant at rooftop level, but this is our first review of a dinner at the Chop House.  The restaurant is thus only a short … [Read more...]

The Refinery Citypoint

The Refinery Citypoint is on our doorstep over the road from Willoughby House and is an all-day dining bar & restaurant which makes it flexible enough for those looking for breakfast through to an evening meal – or drink. The main entrance is in the atrium between Moor Lane and the City Point branch of Pret and the Rack and Tenter pub.  It is a long open plan room with the bar at the Moorgate end and the restaurant and lounge section at the Willoughby end.  Only the two ends of the room have much natural lighting from outside but the warm, stylish but still informal lighting inside … [Read more...]

Rabezzana revisited

We last reviewed Enoteca Rabezzana on Long Lane a little over 2 years ago (See Enoteca Buonissima) but were tempted back with the news that the Wine Bar/Restaurant was now under new management with a new chef and a new menu.  It is still an Enoteca with a great range of Italian wines on offer, together with reasonably priced food.  For Barbican residents it is only around 250 metres from the west end of the Estate, and will be conveniently located too for the Elizabeth Line when it opens at the end of next year being almost opposite the Farringdon Long Lane station entrance. We went on a … [Read more...]

The Localist

The Localist is a larger bistro and lounge bar, restaurant and cocktail bar on St John Street on the right hand side as you walk up the road from Smithfield Market, about 50m past the Michelin starred St John.  This is the location of the original Vic Naylors, a bar and restaurant which was supposedly the start of the Clerkenwell bar/restaurant scene and had something of a celeb/gangster clientele.  (It was a featured location in Guy Ritchie’s East End gangster film, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.)  It must have closed down around 12 years ago.  Since then, none of the other restaurants … [Read more...]

SMITHS of Smithfield on the 2nd Floor: The Dining Room

SMITHS of Smithfield on the 2nd Floor: The Dining Room We last reviewed SMITHS’, specifically the  top-rated  top floor restaurant, in January last year, so it was interesting to come back and check out the slightly less posh-feeling restaurant on the floor below. The whole building is metro industrial; the double-height rooms on each floor with the exposed pipe work feel vast but not cold because they are cheered up by the red-tones of upholstery, the orange of the bare brick, and the clever warm lighting.  Through the large windows, you get a great view of the top of Smithfield Market … [Read more...]

Roman Cuisine in Central Street

It’s a funny place, the Old Street area. Part City, part not, part workspace, part residential, part definitely an area, part just passing through.  It’s unisex bathrooms and recherché music and office blocks with restaurants in them.  I’m not complaining – why not try to be all things to all people.  But it has to suit. We were guests at Palatino, a newly-opened, all-day, Roman-based Italian eatery from Chef Stevie Parle (Dock Kitchen, Craft London, Sardine and Rotorino).  Palatino is in Central Street, north of Old Street and almost opposite St Lukes Community Centre. Now, I … [Read more...]