Dined on the ground floor on Sunday - NEVER AGAIN - rude staff, tiny portions, rubbery eggs, soggy chips and supposedly thick cut ham was actually thinly sliced bacon. Not what you would expect from such an expensive restaurant after an hours wait. BEWARE
This restaurant is not really ideal for Vegetarians. In fact, any veggies reading this now - stop. You won't want to go to this restaurant, there is not much on the menu for you. However - carnivores out there - this place IS for you. Let's face it, a restaurant situated opposite a meat market is going to sepcialise in, well, meat. I took my boyfriend here for his birthday, and booked us a table on the top floor. Level 3 (as it is referred to on the website) seats about 70 people. But on the Saturday night that we went, it was not full yet still bustled with excitement. The tables are not close together, so you have your privacy, and the views across London are really good. You can go outside onto the balcony that goes all around the restaurant, but it was chilly so we didn't, but on a warm night - it would be perfect. There is also a bar on the ground floor (that serves brunch and snacks during the day), a wine room on level 1, private dining facilities on level P, and another restaurant on level 2. You can book a table online via the website, and can also see sample menus for each of the different levels. My boyfriend and I are not rich. Nor are we dripping in designer clothes. And this resturant is pretty posh, but the staff were very warm and friendly, and at no point made us feel out of our league. They provided helpful information when we were selecting our food, especially dessert - which was a hard decision as everything sounded so good. If you have read my reviews before you will know that I like to people watch. And this is a good place, because you will see people from all walks of life in here. But everyone is made to feel very welcome. The staff maintain a healthy presence, but do not linger by your table. They are usually situated near the bar, but you can easily catch their eye to get their attention. There is no dress code, and you can feel more than comfortable wearing smart jeans and a nice top. There are people in suits, but equally, most people are just dressed smart-casual. Ok the food - I had a steak and my boyfriend had steak and kidney pudding. And both were absolutely delicious. Cooked perfectly, I have to honestly say, my steak was the best meat I have ever eaten. I didn't want it to ever end! And to this day, my bf still talks whistfully about the steak and kidney pudding! The menu has changed slightly since we went here, so our desserts are not available. But they too were delicious. Our waitress even informed us that one we had selected was her personal favourite - which is nice to know that the staff have actually sampled the food here, and we liked that she offered her opinion! The price tag. Well it's not cheap on the top floor. For two mains, two desserts, a glass of wine and a bottle of beer it was about £90 including service. But as it was a birthday treat, I was more than happy to pay that. And the food had been amazing, and the service was great too. The restrooms were lovely. Ladies, we almost always have to visit the bathroom at some point during the meal, and these toilets were immaculate, private, lovely products in there. Faultless. Which might seem a silly thing to mention, but when you are a girl (and have to visit the bathroom frequently) they are quite an important factor! There is a bar downstairs on the ground floor but on weekend nights it is hugely busy. So we just waddled back to the train station, our bellies full and very content.
I visited Smiths of Smithfield for the first time this morning with a group of workmates I’m unlucky enough to call friends (only joking, I love my team-mates really). We chose this particular place by complete chance, simply because we’d just finished a night shift at 08:00 and wanted a good breakfast very quickly, Smiths is the nearest decent eatery to us, it’s literally just around the corner from our office, so seemed absolutely ideal, and I have to say we weren’t disappointed in the slightest. First impressions of Smiths of Smithfield are a little hard to remember, as all I can recall is stumbling in very sleepily, wishing that the rest of my team had allowed me to slope off home straight after work (I could hear my bed calling from twenty miles away!) However, after choosing a table and sitting down a rather surly waiter came over. Have you ever seen those comedy sketches on TV where an unwilling child has to be shoved on stage in a Nativity play? Well, imagine a fully grown version of that little boy flouncing grudgingly over to our table and then fix an arrogant scowl to his face, that was our waiter!!! He grunted something which we took to be “would you like drinks” before staring at each of us in turn until we told him what we wanted. He then wordlessly stomped away before handing his notepad to another waiter, putting his coat on and walking out of the front door! Now, I know as a group my team-mates and I aren’t the most attractive of prospects, but I hadn’t realised we were quite as bad as all that. Anyway, whilst we were waiting for our drinks and bemoaning the fact that they wouldn’t serve us with a little breakfast alcohol (apparently it’s only available to card carrying employees of the Smithfield Meat Market at that time in the morning) I had ample opportunity to have a good look round, and I was really quite impressed! I can only give a review of the ground floor of S miths of Smithfield’s, as although there are several further floors (three I think) we didn’t venture any further than the ground floor this morning. Smiths of Smithfield is very stylish, but still retains an air of comfort and homeliness, I didn’t feel at all out of place here in my grufty work clothes (think Wurzel Gummidge meets Stig of the Dump) even though we were sharing our table with a couple of very smart Businessmen on a working breakfast. Mind you, that could be just because I was too darned tired to care! There were only half a dozen people in whilst we were there, so the place wasn’t exactly crowded, but I would imagine that it gets pretty full in there at peak times. The ground floor has a very high, beamed wooden ceiling and because of this the room feels light and airy in spite of the dark décor. In the middle of the room, directly in front of the main entrance, are two long tables with a bench on either side. These are absolutely huge and could easily seat ten or twelve people quite comfortably at each one. Behind these are several sets of tables and chairs for smaller groups. I didn’t actually venture that far into the room but it looked like they would each seat four to six people. Behind these is the bar, with a very impressive array of bottles. I’m sure they put them there just to taunt us! Over the right hand side of the room are several extremely comfortable looking sofa’s grouped together around low tables. We considered the sofas this morning, but eventually decided on one of the long tables as in our near comatose state the sofas just looked far too comfortable and inviting, we didn’t believe we’d be able to stay awake! Our drinks were brought over by a very friendly waitress who couldn’t have been more different from our original surly waiter. I’m not over exaggerating when I say that she was a veritable ray of light in comparison, w ell, perhaps I am a little, but do you really mind? Thought not. At £2 for a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice it was hardly cheap, but it was very good orange juice, and besides, we were easily distracted by our desperate need for edible sustenance! The menu offered a good selection of all the usual breakfast fare, including the Full English, along with slightly more unusual choices such as French toast, pancakes or waffles and some options that were frankly baffling, for example “wet toast”. I dread to think what that is! Prices range from a lowly £1 for toast to £6 for a Full English Breakfast, which is extremely reasonable for London prices, especially as the “greasy Caf” down the road is only a few pence cheaper. I chose the vegetarian breakfast at £3.50, which consists of a fried egg, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, bubble and squeak and toast. my esteemed colleagues all made different choices. The food arrived very quickly and was very well presented, but more to the point, not only did it look good, but it tasted absolutely wonderful. If I was on my own I might just have assumed that I enjoyed the food so much because I was exceptionally hungry, but six of us each ate a different dish and not one of us could fault the food, not even my notoriously picky manager who ate one chip at our Christmas Dinner at TGI Friday before pronouncing the food inedible and refusing to eat it! Even the fried eggs were perfectly cooked, which I rate as one of the hardest foods to get absolutely right, my egg arrived sat on a slice of thick buttered toast, it had a supremely glossy white with a plump yolk that was only just runny. My mouth’s watering just at the thought of it! At an average of £5 - £6 per person for both food and drink I really couldn’t fault Smiths of Smithfield at all, I even found myself deciding that the waiter, Mr Surly himself wouldn’t put me off returning! Th e result of our visit was six sleepy but incredibly happy and well fed team-mates. The service at Smiths of Smithfield wasn’t the best I’ve ever experience, but the amazing food more than made up for what was lacking in service. In fact, we enjoyed our visit so much that we’ve decided to make Breakfast at Smiths of Smithfield a regular occurrence.!
Recently I was taken to Smiths of Smithfield as part of a work celebration. We were told when booking a table for 6:30 that we'd need to be away from the table at 8:45 but this was fine with us, especially as Smiths has a number of bars. On arriving at the ground floor bar, we went to get drinks (the room by the way is huge, very industrial and packed, because of many recent good reviews and the need for people to be seen at the latest trendy hangouts) but were hustled around by bouncers and then told we HAD to take our table immediately or they'd cancel it. So upstairs we go, to the 2nd floor restaurant, again, very spacious and industrial looking. On our way to the table we were informed at least 5 times that we needed to be gone by 8:45 - and we began to feel a little disconcerted and unwanted. Initial service was adequate though, with the menus delivered and our orders taken fairly promptly, and allowing for us to choose what we wanted. In the end we all plumped for a steak, with chips and mustard mayonnaise (at £10.50 the most expensive main course). It was brought to the table very well presented and all cooked according to our tastes, garnished with some watercress. And here came the problem. All the watercress on at least 3 of our plates (out of 5) had tiny caterpillars in it. Of course we pointed this out to our waitress who apologised, brought one of our party a new steak (I didn't feel like a new one to be honest) but didn't seem all that apologetic. But still, they didn't charge us for the two steaks... The food is good and well priced, don't get me wrong.. I was just expecting a little more politeness and service. It's not a bad place, I simply wouldn't go there again. Anyway, if you want to check it out, the web site is at http://www.smithsofsmithfield.com/. We alo went to the cocktail bar on 1st floor and that was exemplary, if a little pricey.