International Restaurants in City
1. Bowling Bird International restaurant in City 44 Cloth Fair - EC1A
Excellent but limited feedback on this cute yearling – a straightforward looking operation tucked away down a Smithfield alleyway in a quaint old townhouse that was once Sir John Betjeman’s home (and which some older reporters may remember as Betjeman’s Restaurant, very long RIP). The small menu, complemented by daily specials, is of diverse inspiration, but the stand-outs are the meat dishes, reflecting chef Emiliano Gallegos’s experience at La Pulperia, an Argentinian steakhouse in Paris.
2. The Wine Library International restaurant in City 43 Trinity Sq - EC3
“It’s the amazingly wide variety of wines sold at very good value prices” (i.e. retail) that justifies killing an afternoon in this ancient and atmospheric cellar near Tower Hill – the food, is of “good quality” but of low ambition (“pâtés, quiches, bread rolls, etc”). “If only the seats were more comfortable, I would come more often!”
3. Vivat Bacchus International restaurant in City 47 Farringdon St - EC4
“An eclectic and fascinating cellar, especially the South African options” (perhaps “the best selection of Saffa vintages in town”) “scores alpha plus plus for the wines” at this very popular and “noisy” wine bar duo, and “amazingly knowledgeable and helpful staff” help with your deliberations. Though not the point, “the food is pretty good, too” with steak the top choice.
4. Cecconi's, The Ned International restaurant in City 27 Poultry - EC2R
“In the magnificent surroundings of the Lutyens-designed banking hall of the old Midland Bank building”, this 3,000 square metre food hall houses seven different restaurants each with about 100 covers. It’s easy to feel lost in such a big interior though and these spaces are actually “not that ambient”, but are nonetheless very handy for a City rendezvous with OK fare. The top tips are Kaia (Asian-Pacific: “perfect for a quick lunch time meeting”); Malibu Kitchen (Californian: “some unusual and excellent brunch choices”); and Zobler’s (‘NYC’-Jewish: “comfort food that’s easy to eat”). Millie’s Lounge (British) also rates mention. Less so Cecconi’s, except on business. In each case, go with realistic expectations – otherwise you may sense “too much hype”.
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