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Reasonably Priced London Lunch: Reccommendations?


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I am looking for a restaurant to take my father to for his birthday. I have looked at various restaurants such as The Square, Pied a Terre, Tom Aikens etc. but am looking for a place with substantial portions. Do you have any strong reccommendations?

P.S. I have a price limit of £40 max (excl. wine).

Cheers.

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Gavroche every time for this type of need, grand old fashioned dame which gentlemen of a certain age (50+) always love. Canapes, 3 courses, coffee and petit fours, half a bottle of wine and half a bottle of mineral water for £48 each. Food obviously classically french and tends to be quite rich but portions are still much better than Aikens, et al. Also if you can share the Soufle Suisse as an extra starter - legendary for all the right reasons and even though £20 might be a lot for eggs, cheese and cream you will not regret it! Plus you'll never be rushed (quite often leave at gone 4.30 on a 1pm sitting) and the digestif trolly will have you rolling out the door!

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since when did aikens have small portions???? always stuffed after eating, can fill up only on the petit-fours and its 29 quid with coffee for set lunch but choices are limited 2 for every course!!!

Edited by ben mcmayon (log)
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since when did aikens have small portions???? always stuffed after eating, can fill up only on the petit-fours and its  29 quid with coffee for set lunch but choices are limited 2 for every course!!!

Maybe I was just unlucky but came away feeling quite hungry (although I did miss the PF's). Aikens is just a bit too blah for me especially the room which is just the same old black & white modern look creatded so that you can 'focus on the food'. Plus they don't have a cheeseboard to match that of Gavroche...

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I had an excellent lunch at Roussillon recently. £35 for 3 courses (decent choice) amuse, pre-dessert, coffee + pfs, wine and water. Amazing value given the quality. That said, you can't go far wrong with the set lunch at Gavroche either.

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William Drabble's Aubergine left me half unconscious last year. There were 20 petits-fours!

You are probably not interested in the set lunch though.

no set lunches are fine, as long as the portions are not miniscule

In that case, if Drabble is still there, I highly recommend it - it was (in my humble, very inexperienced opinion especially since this was my first "good" meal out) better than my recent set lunch at Le Gavroche, with comparable set wine, for £14 less - and I also found the service much friendlier, and the interior far more pleasant, but this is a question of personal taste.

Amuse, 3 courses, petits fours (i.e. a plateful of petits fours), coffee, half a bottle of wine and unlimited Evian: £34.

The portions will be filling - the lady was unable to finish her main, and could only take two bites from the dessert. This may have been why I found it difficult to even stand up afterwards (I just couldn't let that apricot tart and sorbet stay on the plate! It was dying to be eaten, honest...) So when they brought another two petits fours with a rasberry with a candle sticking out, I just could not manage to eat them.

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What's the Pied a Terre set lunch like?

Had it a few years ago and was quite good although nothing too special. Of what I can remember there was a pumpkin veloute with scallops (ok) and a veal dish which was also good but meat a bit bland. Pied a terre also doesn't have much of an atmosphere at all imo as it is quite a modern room (without a wow factor) and the dimensions of the room (long and thin) don't help much either. Having said all that I haven't been since the fire so might be a much better option now all round.

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In that case, if Drabble is still there, I highly recommend it - it was (in my humble, very inexperienced opinion especially since this was my first "good" meal out) better than my recent set lunch at Le Gavroche, with comparable set wine, for £14 less - and I also found the service much friendlier, and the interior far more pleasant, but this is a question of personal taste.

Amuse, 3 courses, petits fours (i.e. a plateful of petits fours), coffee, half a bottle of wine and unlimited Evian: £34.

The portions will be filling - the lady was unable to finish her main, and could only take two bites from the dessert. This may have been why I found it difficult to even stand up afterwards (I just couldn't let that apricot tart and sorbet stay on the plate! It was dying to be eaten, honest...) So when they brought another two petits fours with a rasberry with a candle sticking out, I just could not manage to eat them.

Billy Drabble's still there. Absolutely stunning value IMHO. The half bottles of wine are good stuff too.

Agreed re Gavroche too. I just wish I could take a couple of hours off to do lunch these days.

Cheers, Howard

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For generous helpings, i can recommend theo randall at the intercontinental. i think it's about £25 for three courses plus bread, bruschetta and truffles. some of the dishes are from the a la carte. This is a good option if you want to stuff yourself on the courses themselves rather than fill up on pfs etc. Just my opinion, but i hate the post set-lunch feeling - stuffed on bread, sugar and chocolate yet having had just a sliver of mackerel and a chicken wing for the 'meal'. i think i might be over 'posh' set lunches.

i still like the capital, mind. And i also enjoyed lunch at galvin at windows about a year ago. they do (did?) a similar deal to le Gav ie £45 or so including coffee, wine, water. i know the place is a bit tacky but the views are great and it has a real sense of occasion.

i went to pied a terre for lunch shortly before they opened l'autre pied. at the time they were trial-running dishes for l'autre pied on pied's set lunch. the atmos was a bit flat - i was the only female in the room. the rest were men in suits on expense accounts. a bit dull in that respect.

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