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St Alban


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I'll be going to St Alban when I visit London in July. I was aware the owners of this place used to have The Ivy and also The Wolseley, so it immediately appealed and after reading the menu I thought it all sounded perfectly delicious. It also seems a good choice because there'll be five of us, all with varying preferences and St Alban seems to cover all bases.

Anyone care to give their thoughts on the place? How does the decor work in your opinion?

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How does the decor work in your opinion?

Blandsville. If I had to live with it in my sitting room, I'd be very bored very quickly. It's well matched to the clientele: over-paid lawyers and bankers in expensive suits who go to fritter away their clients' fees.

Thankfully, the food (at least when I went about 18 months ago) will grab your attention and the staff are delightful. I had a fantastic starter of soft shell crab. As far as I can remember there was a very hefty mark-up on the wine list, especially in the middle order, but as lunch was being paid for by my pal who's an overpaid banker with expensive suits, I wasn't really looking at the numbers.

I think you're spot on that the menu will cover most tastes - let us know what you thought.

Sarah

Sarah

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Shame about the interior report, I spent AGES trawling the internet for the best balanced restaurant and would have liked somewhere that stood out. For some reason I couldn't find a propper photograph of the place. Ah well.

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A reasonable picture here click. Combine that with the images at the restaurant's website click and it should give you a pretty good idea of what the place looks like.

I went for lunch soon after it opened and had some really delicious food although the chef has since moved on. I really liked the room and we had a mixture of very good and rather pushy service.

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My girlfriend and I ate here on a recent two day trip to London with no prior knowledge of the restaurant (it was recommended by our concierge). We were both quite pleased with the experience.

The decor, while it won't be for everyone, is fun and different. At times it might border on overly hip, but the food and service prevent it from fallling into the category of lackluster trendy restaurant.

Service was friendly and professional. We felt a bit rushed at the beginning, but when we slowed down the pace of the service followed suit to a T.

As for the food, it was simple, but very well thought out and skillfully executed. Ingredient quality was, as one would expect, quite high and the kitchen thankfully showed the restraint that one should with such products. Minimalist carpaccio (large plate of beef and drizzle of mustardy vinaigrette). Perfectly fried soft-shell crabs with tarragon mayo and lemon. Satisfying duck ragu and fresh pappardelle. Top-notch mackerel with little more than olive, tomato and crushed potatoes. Like I said, simple, but the preparations were exact and the seasoning was just on. The wine list was good, not great.

All in for two glasses of champagne, two entrees, two mains, two glasses of wine, one dessert and two coffees I think the total came to 130 pounds. Cheap dinner? No. But for food and service of that quality in London it seemed quite reasonable.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I went this Sunday and thought the place was excellent, from the service to the food.

The bowl of bread we were given while mulling over the menu was....incredible. There were about 6 different kinds and so much of it, I was worried we'd lose our appetite. Luckily, we never.

Service was hillariously brilliant. The fact we were immediately asked if we'd like 'tap water' impressed me, as so frequently you're made to feel alien being satisfied with water. We were each poured the water and the jug was left on the table. Ordinarily, you'd be left to pour it yourself but here before your glass was empty, a waiter would be over to top it up. I had to stifle laughter, not because I thought it was annoying but because it was just indicitive of the most amazing service I've known. Even the way we were greeted on walking through the doors was like they were there to please us.

Unfortunately, of the four of us, I chose the least inspiring starter; broad beans and chorizo. It was lovely but the others looked more interesting.

Pork Belly with honey-glazed carrots was a pure joy, cooked to perfection with the crackling the nicest I've ever had. I was slightly disappointed it was only served with carrots and nothing else but it was a decent size and beautiful in itself.

Dessert was Chocolate and Praline Tartufo, which arrived in a paper lined bowl and the deeper I dug into it, the more surprises lay in store; so many different textures and temperatures and chocolateyness.

The toilets are worth a visit themselves and again, are enough to make me laugh. It was all completely efficitent; the toilet flushes instinctively, the taps and soap motion censored, the lights switch on and off through the movement of the door. All very James Bond.

The restaurant, while I've listened to people complain it is a bit Airport lounge in style, impressed me. I thought it was extremely classy for a place so big, the room was lit extremely ambiently/romanticly and the chairs were good enough to sleep in.

Roughly £33-45 pound each, you can eat quite cheaply or extravagantly as you like depending on what you choose. We had 12 different courses between us and they were all fantastic.

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