Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonClerkenwellEC1

survey result

Summary

“The wooden booths are lovely for privacy if not for comfort” (their hard benches, while “iconic”, are “not really designed to be sat on for two hours or so”), at Will Lander & Daniel Morgenthau’s “snug” but “bum-numbing” Grade II listed ‘Working Class Caterer’ (est 1869), which has been a foodie favourite since it became a trailblazer for modern British cuisine in the early ’90s (and more recently its re-re-launch in 2012). Its meat-heavy menu is “innovative but not showy” and “consistently good” if a little pricey. Recent innovations include an adjacent café and wine shop.

£68
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“If you can tolerate the discomfort” of the “terrible”, bum-numbing benches, the “authentic Victorian wooden booths lend charm” to this restored Grade II listed ‘Working Class Caterer’, which in the ’90s helped establish the environs of Exmouth Market as the foodie hotspot it has become. Nowadays with Shaun Searley at the stoves, it continues in the oft-“excellent” but sometimes “variable” vein that it has under his predecessors, offering a meaty menu “clearly influenced by Henderson and St John” and a wine list “full of interesting gems (some on Coravin)”.

£64
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Evocative”, restored Victorian ‘Working Class Caterer’, near Exmouth Market, whose “authentic wooden booths” have infamously “uncomfortable benches”. At its best currently, it’s an all-round success with “enthusiastic” service and “superb quality” British-sourced fare (“meat especially”) but it’s not consistent – bad days feature “staff all over the place” and “unremarkable”, “expensive” dishes. An “exceptionally well-chosen” wine list is the pluspoint you might expect of somewhere part-owned by Jancis Robinson’s son. Top Menu Tip – “confit potato to die for”.

£48
   ££
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Retaining the era of a bygone age” – this restored ‘Working Class Caterer’ is a foodie linchpin of Farringdon, despite its “bum-numbingly, cripplingly-uncomfy, bench-seating booths”; “honest” British grub is “prepared with care”, but it’s somewhat secondary to the “brief but intriguing and fairly priced” wine list.

£47
   ££
3
Good
5
Exceptional
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

For 28 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at The Quality Chop House?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
60

The Quality Chop House Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of The Quality Chop House Restaurant in EC1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of The Quality Chop House restaurant.
Nicholas A
The iconic and original (and cramped) Victo...
Reviewed 11 months, 8 days ago

"The iconic and original (and cramped) Victorian booths - you either love them or hate them - are part of the charm of this Clerkenwell institution. Although they may still serve a good cup of tea, they haven’t been a “progressive working class” establishment for a very long time - no matter what it says on the etched glass windows. But their short menu has lots of great grub."

Report this comment
Have you eaten at The Quality Chop House?
Post your own review of The Quality Chop House and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £22.00 £26.00
SundayLunch £29.50 £35.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£12.00 £23.00 £5.00 £8.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £33.00
Filter Coffee £2.75
Extras  
Service 10.00%

Harden's says...

The Quality Chop House EC1

Farringdon's famous 'working class caterer' rises yet again, offering a direct English menu in a tightly packed 'pew-seating' dining room - an early days visit found a simple but effective formula, offered at very reasonable prices.


Let's start by getting the benches out of the way. This Victorian 'working class caterer' has always been most famous for bum-numbing perches that passed as places to sit. No more. The new régime has come up with an ingenious extension-cum-cushion device to address the problem. Well, to a large extent - the tables are still very narrow, and you still get to rub knees with the person opposite.


In a city with few 'historic' (commercial) dining rooms, however, we should prize one of the few that looks today pretty like it must have looked 140 years ago. With its polished tables, attractive traditional cutlery and pretty old plates, it has a real timeless charm.


The cuisine has probably evolved a bit over nearly a century and a half, but chops are still a daily feature of a blackboard menu that's notably short and generally pretty simple. A lunchtime chop comes garnished and with a glass of wine for just £13. We were given a choice of lamb or pork - we chose the latter, which came with red cabbage and mash. The chop was not large, but it was notably succulent - part of a plate which was pretty much perfect for lunch. A brace of plump sardines to start were pretty good too, as was the bread, and a 'Quince (Eton) Mess' for pudding. Perhaps few lunchers nowadays, though, want quite such lashings of cream?


For an (even) more informal meal, the adjoining wine bar looks as if it should become a popular local stand-by. We failed to look at the actual wine list. The management's antecedents, though, suggest it should be of some note,


See the Review
94 Farringdon Rd, London, EC1R 3EA
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by Bookatable
Opening hours
Monday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Tuesday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Wednesday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Thursday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Friday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Saturday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Sunday12 pm-4 pm

Best British, Traditional restaurants nearby

The Lady Ottoline
British, Traditional restaurant in Bloomsbury
£50
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Steaks & grills restaurant in Clerkenwell
£58
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
2
Average
St John Smithfield
British, Traditional restaurant in Clerkenwell
£62
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Caravan
British, Modern restaurant in Farringdon
£45
   ££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
Santore
Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell
£44
    £
3
Good
3
Good
2
Average
Workshop Coffee
Afternoon tea restaurant in
£45
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good