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Monday to Friday. Kichen hours as follows: Lunch: 11.45am-3.30pm, Afternoon Tea: 3.30pm-6pm, Pre- theatre: 5.30pm-6.30pm (latest orders at 6.30pm), Dinner: 5.45pm-11pm, Post- theatre: 10pm-10.45pm (latest orders at 10.45pm). Bar Food served from 11.45am-11pm Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, 56 Chiswell St City of London, EC1Y 4SA Phone: 020 7614 0177. Web:


perhaps even improved on. It is perhaps unfair to compare a luncheon service with dinner – the ambience tends to be a little different as is the clientele, but even so Chiswell Street Dining Rooms continues to provide excellent food in very pleasant surroundings.

On the day we visited the restaurant was just about full, which is a recommendation it itself as it is far from a cheap dining option. Naturally, for this time of day, the clientele looked to be mostly business oriented and given the Barbican area is pretty much corporate lawyer central these days one would guess many may have been from the legal community. We were quickly seated and promptly offered a drink as the menu and wine list were delivered. Service was friendly and efficient without being overpowering as it should be. The menu was extremely interesting, but there was also a choice of specials, all of which appealed to me so I went with those while my dining companion chose to go with the main menu – neither of us were disappointed with anything we were served. The food was truly excellent as befits an establishment charging towards the upper end of the scale with most starters coming in at £7.50 and above and mains at the +£29 mark, although there were less costly options available – but also more costly ones too.

But one has to say the meal was a treat. My starter of panfried pigeon breast, with a soft quail’s egg on a soft butter bean cassoulet was delightful – as long as you like rare meat (which I do). I followed that with roast venison loin (also very rare) on a white onion puree with haggis courgettes on a bed of beautifully cooked


cabbage and broccoli, again a superb mixture of tastes and textures. My colleague chose salmon tartar, soft boiled quail’s eggs, caviar and a most interesting iced horseradish scoop (effectively horseradish flavoured ice cream!) to start. She followed this with a monkfish tail on a crab risotto with clam and shallot cream. She could not sing its praises too highly!

And then we came to dessert. Both having eaten more than normal for a lunch we settled on sharing the day’s dessert special – lemon meringue pie with a blood orange sorbet. It was also exceptionally good and again my companion described it as one of the best desserts she has ever had – praise indeed from someone who eats out a lot. Presentation of the food too was in keeping with a 5* establishment. Unfortunately there isn’t enough space to show all the photographs of some of the dishes (except on the website where there is space available).

The restaurant is open only from The Jugged Hare

he second restaurant attached to the Montcalm may just be one of the area’s major success stories – at least in terms of attracting both drinkers and eaters. On almost any evening the bar appears to be packed, often with people spilling out onto the pavement outside, while the restaurant also seems to be fully occupied too. We haven’t covered this fully in our latest review of the restaurants attached to hotels here as we reviewed it only 9 months ago in the Summer 2012 issue of Barbican Lifeand apart from the menu not much looks to have changed, although it obviously appeals strongly to a regular clientele, which is what a good restaurant is all about. There is a concentration on game and cooking is probably more of the better English variety than fancy Continental gastronomy, which appeals.

At the time of the earlier review we made the following comment in our feature on it entitled ‘More than just a gastropub’: Th

ing righ t with th e fact th at th

The remarkable Lemon meringue pie and blood orange sorbet dessert. Photo by Jennie Blouet

is was indeed an extremely

enjoyable meal and definitely ETM Group is doing someth Th

e Jugged Hare. perh aps a function of th

e bar always seems packed is e small size of th

e bar area compared with reasonable table spacing

The Jugged Hare’s dining area

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