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Harden's survey result
This trio of US-style diners attracts mixed reports, with the Richmond branch receiving the highest praise for a “great view of the Thames”. The food is “perfectly acceptable” to some, “tasteless and insipid” to others, but there’s general agreement that “breakfast is the best option”.
“Decent brunch options” are the best bet at these well-resourced American-style diners, and the riverside branch at Richmond makes good use of its “great location”. But, more generally, too many punters report “uninteresting food” leaving them “most disappointed”.
These smart American-style diners do win some praise for “great breakfast and brunch”, but ratings generally are so-so, particularly when it comes to “turgid efforts” at the “brilliantly located” riverside Richmond branch.
Jackson & Rye
Brooklyn comes to Soho (again); this diner de luxe is hardly a gastronomic destination, but everything is done well, and the overall level of value is hard to criticise.
We'll not begin by bemoaning the fact that London's bout of Americophilia shows no sign of abating. We'll not lament the fact that 'Brooklyn style' has become the cliché du jour. We won't even ponder the obvious conundrum of how such a hackneyed notion can possibly maintain any claim to hipster credibility. Let's just accept that, right now, that's where we're at.
And even in the Borough over the Bridge itself, we doubt there are many establishments where Brooklyn style is done as well as at this heart-of-Soho newcomer. After all, your typical Brooklyn boÃ®te doesn't have Richard Caring's millions behind it, and the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to get all the details right. Think a scaled-down version of Covent Garden's Balthazar, and you get something very close to this tastefully, lavishly realised homage to the American Dream.
Such a fit-out is always at risk of eclipsing the food, but the cooking here - East Coast US - seemed pretty competent on our visit. Pumpkin soup and steak with eggs and shoelace fries, for example, are not the sort of fare heading for any sort of culinary hall of fame, but prices here are reasonable, considering the quality of the interior (and the handy location too).
Service does nothing to let the side down, and on the way out the manager even instructed us to 'have a nice day'. Coming from an Englishman, though, it never quite sounds the same.
56 Wardour St, London, W1D 4JG
Last orders: 11.30 pm, Sun 11 pm