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Has anyone been to either of the two newish hotel restaurants in Clerkenwell, the Zetter (on Clerkenwell Road by Clerkenwell Green) or Malmaison (on Charterhouse Square)?

Zetter has picked up a couple of pretty good reviews; Malmaison, so far as I can see, hasn't had any.

Any views? The brunch menu at Zetter looked interesting...

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I had lunch at the Zetter a few weeks back. We only had time for one course. I had a juicy grilled veal chop wrapped in pancetta and served with spinach. Not sure what my companion had but I think it was sea bass.

Not much to form an opinion on, but the food was tasty and well cooked and overall it made a favourable impression. I will be going back.

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Spurred on by Janice, Jack and I went last night.

I'm not sure about the room, it has huge windows but they overlook a mini building site on one side and a newsagent on the other. It sruck me as the sort of space that should probably be a bar rather than a restaurant. Luckily the food is definitly restaurant standard.

I think I've posted positive reviews about Moro about 20 times on here so I was really expecting to like this place. I wasn't expecting to love it though! The menu really excited me and I was torn between four starters and three mains. I tend to find that the starters are more interesting at Moro, but this isn't true at the Zetter.

We ended up eating English asparagus with fried egg and parmesan and sardine with wild asparagus to begin. Jack's asparagus had been cooked a shade too long but my wild asparagus was a revelation (even if i did get butter on my beautiful new dry clean only top) Mains were even better. I had roasted loin of white spot pork. The pork (a special of the day) had been rolled with bay leaves and was served with a criss cross of crackling on top. On the side was a salad of borlotti beans, radacchio and parsley. The pork was just fantastic, creamy, milky, sweet and juicy. I had died and gone to pork heaven. Jack's t-bone was equally as good, a seriously good piece of meat (not quite up to Luger's standard, but hey, what is?) that was seasoned perfectly. Pudding was beyond us!

I loved it all and will return very soon!

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Is Zetter the one that's owned by the Moro people?

Sort of: not Sam and Sam Clark but another chap who's apparently their partner plus someone else who helped establishing Moro. The chef is also ex-Moro.

Mark Sainsbury, I think.

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Finally ate at the Zetter last week; risotto starter was forgettable but sea bass main course was really good. Thank you all for the recomendation.

As I came out onto St John's Square I saw yet another new place has opened, but without any fanfare (or, apparently, customers). Called "The Priory", it's kind of tucked away at the side of the Square and invisible from Clerkenwell Road. it's a big, warehousey space with plenty of exposed metal ducts; my rather catty date said it was terribly 1998.

Looking at the rather uninspiring menu, I'm not quite sure if it's supposed to be a restaurant with a bar or a bar that does food.

Suspect I'll try Malmaison before this one.

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  • 1 year later...

Has anyone been to Zetter or Malmaison recently? I'm trying to organise an "away afternoon" for myself and two colleagues close to but removed from our office on Holborn Viaduct. We want somewhere for lunch and then a meeting room for the afternoon. Any other suggestions welcome.

W.

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I went to Zetter a few months ago and was quite impressed. It's a bit of an expense account place - lots of deals being hatched all over the shop - but don't let that put you off. Somehow it was exciting rather than twatty. My starter was a bit disappointing (some sort of seafood puree which looked, and I'm afraid, tasted, a bit like puke on toast) but I had superb skate for mains and a top pudding. Like Moro, it's a buzzy place to be. I liked it.

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  • 2 months later...
Has anyone been to Zetter or Malmaison recently?  I'm trying to organise an "away afternoon" for myself and two colleagues close to but removed from our office on Holborn Viaduct.  We want somewhere for lunch and then a meeting room for the afternoon.  Any other suggestions welcome.

I decided to do Top Floor at Smiths then The Rookery for the away afternoon. Booking a meeting room at The Rookery was hard work - they seemed completely disorganised. Then on the day my colleague was ill and we had to cancel. The hotel then clobbered us with a £195 cancellation charge and wouldn't negotiate, so they lost the rebooking and the rest of our business. Ho hum.

So round two came and I went for the simple option of the Zetter for lunch and meeting. What a contrast - wonderfully friendly and efficient and a funky place to eat (at least for lawyers). As it was a business dinner I didn't concentrate as much on the food as normal, but my pasta/pumpkin starter was a revelation made with the freshest ingredients and the other starters looked good too. Main courses were also pretty good (I had lamb) except that the meat was all slightly overcooked (medium rather than pink). Valrhona chocolate mousse did what it said on the tin and came with mixed berries of mixed quality but also a small glass of apple juice which was a completely bizarre addition and didn't work at all.

Came away with the impression that the kitchen is good at the simpler things and at sourcing. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

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My mother and I ate at the Zetter on Sunday - we go about twice a year when we visit the open studios of the Clerkenwell Green Association - definitely worth a visit if you're into more interesting jewellery (mainly that's what they have as their studios are too small for much more flamboyant arts and crafts).

We always like it for italian based food with a slight twist - this time we both had the shrimp and pea risotto with coriander, chilli and lobster oil - really good balance of flavours and textures. Interesting puddings too - and the only restaurant I've been to with a grappa list. So, we spent as much on lunch as I did on jewellery - £120 for two including service, three courses, prosecco based aperitifs, reasonably cheap bottle of rose and a grappa and double espresso each, and had a very pleasant time. Sunday is a good time to go as they always seem to have plenty of space and they also do a very good brunch menu.

The only moan I would have is that the service can be a bit perfunctory - this time the waiter took our orders for aperitifs and would have walked off with the wine list if I hadn't stopped him - then when we ordered food he left the table before we'd had a chance to add a salad to the main course order.

The other place around there really worth a visit is Flaneur on the Farringdon Road - deli/traiteur/restaurant, more french style. I've always eaten well and had good service there, though the deli is on the expensive side.

Helen

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The other place around there really worth a visit is Flaneur on the Farringdon Road - deli/traiteur/restaurant, more french style. I've always eaten well and had good service there, though the deli is on the expensive side.

Agreed - I've never had a bad meal at Flaneur, but the deli is sell your grandmother territory - I was in there last week and noticed that the EVOO I buy from Rosie's deli in Brixton Market for £10.50 was priced at £16.50.

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I stayed at the Zetter last year, and very much enjoyed the service at the bar and restaurant, even though the only meal I had there was breakfast. The bar itself is very funky, decorated with fresh orchids, and I loved the overall feel of the place. I then spent a night at the Malmaison and had dinner there. Much darker and sleeker place, and the restaurant is underground. Here are some pics of the Zetter's bar and restaurant:

gallery_36345_3053_1048684.jpg

gallery_36345_3053_796023.jpggallery_36345_3053_976098.jpggallery_36345_3053_571886.jpg

Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

Official Website

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Zetter no longer has the same chef, Diego from Rockwell is now in charge and if he cooks here anything like as well as he did there, expect the best. He is Argentinian and does rather good takes on tapas that veer into pan Asian.

Zetter is, in fact the old 'pools' building (Zetter pools) and is a good place for a drink in an area that is fast becoming a lot more interesting than tired old Soho and central London.

S

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Zetter no longer has the same chef, Diego from Rockwell is now in charge and if he cooks here  anything like as well as he did there, expect the best. He is Argentinian

In that case I'm very surprised he overcooked our meat.

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