It's difficult to know how to approach a review for Smiths, as it's very much an acquired taste. We've been here many times, at different times of day and during busy and quiet times. Our overall impression is that, yes, it seems a couple of quid more than other places on average, but the food is also above average, albeit simple fare such as bacon butties and porridge.
Its industrial appearance gives away its heritage (it was a building that stood empty for 40 years before being given a makeover), and it feels like you could be in New York. You could be mingling with families, bikers and city slickers when you visit, and the staff will make sure you get as good as anyone in terms of service quality, which is casual and friendly.
You simply can't beat the porridge, which doesn't feel microwaved (I'm imagining a large cauldron that's lovingly prepared by an oat expert with a big stick). Toast is chunky, tea is tea-y and the bacon is generously piled between two blankets of what feels like homemade bread (or at least bought in from a decent bakery).
So, because we always love coming here, and it lacks pretentious airs and graces, and does a fantastic porridge with banana and honey, it gets top marks. We'll forgive the tart orange juice.
(Please note that this review is based on our downstairs experience. We haven't been upstairs yet.)
Review is for the second floor dinning room.
The good: service and decor.
The very average: the pumpkin gnocchi and lamb steak.
The shameful: the beer list and the prices.
Beer list with only six or seven options, out of which only two weren't boring big name beers. I ignored the big names (Corona, really?), tried the two smaller names, the BOB 'Best of Britain' that definitely wasn't and Zatec that at least met my low expectations. How about having some beers with character? There are only a couple thousand options these days.
Food was nothing great. Lamb steak with Eggplant and a spicy sauce was cooked properly, decently tasty, if a bit tough. Not great, but not objectionable. Pumpkin gnocchi was similar.
Service was attentive and quick, building is definitely interesting.
Finally, the price. 43 quid for one person, only two drinks, definitely not good value given the meal.
Leisurely bar hopping in the area one evening, my friend suggested we stop here. I looked inside, and was drawn in by the NYC-Industrial/sleek decor. We were seated upstairs on the first floor, at a not -so-busy bar with some precarious seating I wouldn't recommend if you weigh over 140 lbs/ 64 kg (luckily my friend and I met the criteria). They did have some big comfy sofas but if you are petite like me you get sucked into those things and if wearing a short skirt, getting up out of them looks more like a comedy routine than a genteel, sophisticated rise to get your drink from the table.
So, back to the main reason we came in: drinks..........the cocktail menu listed a number of really interesting concoctions with lots of traditional ingredients like angostura bitters, charred orange rind and maraschino cherries. I had the Shoreditch Sling which went down in several delicious thick, cool, long sips.
Staff were very friendly and cheery. Drinks are served with fresh popcorn which is a nice twist from the usual bar treats.
Haven't tried the food yet, but I think I'll save that for the SOS that appears to be opening soon in Spitalfields.
Came here for dinner at the 2nd floor. Despite the largeness and emptiness of the place, all the diners were sat closely to each other - making us look like little human clusters (especially if you see it from a bird's eye view).
Interior was decent, and the place was clean but it had that slightly "ghetto" feeling to it. I ordered smoked haddock with poached egg, spinach and hollandaise sauce with onion rings as the side. Presentation was OK but could be better on consistency (my friend who ordered the same dish had hers more nicely presented than mine) . The poached egg was nicely done but although smoked haddock was OK at the first few bites, it started to get really salty towards the end, and the spinach was a chore to go through as the texture started to get more soggy. Even though I always finish my food like the good girl that I am, I couldn't go through with this dish.
Turned out I wasn't the only one having problems with my dinner. My friend who ordered the lamb asked for medium rare but got a lamb that was medium to well done instead. It was really tough for him to bite so he asked the waitress to change, who happily done it for him. When the lamb replacement came, instead of a medium rare, the lamb turned out to be a rare. It was weird to have them serve the same dish for the third time, so my friend scavenged what he felt was edible of the meat, and just left aside the rest. A real disappointment tbh. Another friend who ordered the lamb had hers medium rare just fine, but she felt that it was quite tasteless and had to eat it with ketchup and mayonnaise.
So overall, although food was below par, the service was good - the servers were pleasant throughout and efficient with our requests but as I've mentioned earlier, the food should be more consistent and a more scrutiny should be done on the quality.
I came here for a work-do (dinner & drinks) and really enjoyed it here. There are a variety of levels that offer drinks, cocktails, & dining. We had a few drinks in the ground level bar & found the drinks great & the staff friendly. The dining hall upstairs was also very nice. As a vegetarian though- I wish they added a few more veggie options. Their only veggie main course is a pumpkin cannelloni. They also offer 1 veggie starter which is also a pasta & sometimes a veg soup of the day. They should offer another non-pasta vegetarian starter as no one wants to have pasta and then pasta again! I was lucky to come here on a night where they had a veggie soup- which was white bean & very good. I got the pumpkin cannelloni which was very nice as well. The service was also prompt. This is a great place to come with a group as they know how to handle big parties. I would come here again. I don't usually notice music where I go but they had an amazing playlist that alternated all night which made a great atmosphere.
Been taken here for a few lunches and breakfasts as it's round the corner from work. Lovely place, friendly staff and decent food. Went for the eggs royale once and a chicken burger the lunch time I went. The eggs were impressive, the chicken burger was average. They offered some great fruit smoothies at breakfast and the waitress offered a smoothie which wasn't on the menu. Marginally over-priced for what it was but very pleasant and would definitely go again.
I believe that there is no greater pleasure in life than a good Bloody Mary, and Smiths makes a really really good Bloody Mary. If it wasn't for this, I'd probably be giving them three stars rather than four.
As others have mentioned, Smiths is really three separate restaurants, which are piled up on top of each other in ascending order of poshness. Having never made it past the ground floor except to use the 'Toilets' on the first floor (quotation marks added by Smiths) I can't comment on the other two restaurants in here. They're so separate that it almost feels like they each need their own individual entries on Yelp.
When I come here, it's normally for Sunday brunch (like most other Yelpers, it seems) and it's an excellent choice for that. The Eggs Benedict, or the variations thereof, are always delicious; the eggs are perfectly poached, and the hollandaise sauce is rich and creamy without being too heavy. There are plenty of breakfast combinations available for a whole range of appetites; you can choose a simple, modest portion of eggs or mushrooms on toast, get your morning carb-fix with a mountain of pancakes or french toast, or opt for an enormous man-sized full English complete with fresh, juicy sausages from the nearby market.
I've tried all of the above, and have never been disappointed. The service, however, often sours things a little. It's always very, very busy on Sundays and the staff are consequently always rushed off their feet, which I sympathise with, but there's really no excuse for the 'I can't see you' act that they seem to have perfected here, managing to swoop right past as you polite waving and squeak 'excuse me' to your heart's content.
I've also visited once on a Saturday night, and it was a less than brilliant experience. I don't want to be one of those people who rants on Yelp about a single incident which was really just a simple human error, and which was resolved amicably enough in the end, so all I'll say is this; when they couldn't fulfil our food order in a building with at least three different kitchens, it really confirmed my feeling that the floors all operate as totally separate entities and aren't really part of the same place at all.
Despite these shortcomings, though, Smiths still remains one of my favourite places for brunch in London. And man, those Bloody Marys. It's worth getting a hangover just to have an excuse to drink a couple of those marvellous concoctions.
went with work and really enjoyed. had the pork belly which was crispy, tender and tasty. mash was decent and the veges on the side very fresh. the steaks my colleagues had seemed a little off, not cooked correctly and quite fatty rib eye cuts in need of a trim post grill. also echo another review in that the cuts available are quite limited.
service was quick and efficient.
the £27 malbec was average whereas the £40 shiraz/viognier was superb - take from that what you will.
woiuldn't go back but you could do a lot lot worse.
2nd floor restaurant. Went there after a drink downstairs on a quiet Tuesday. Despite being only about 20% full, they insisted on seating us next to another occupied table. Asked for a beer that we'd been drinking in the bar downstairs and was told I'd need to go down there and get it myself, or else only the bottled beer on the menu was available. Surly waiting staff who seemed to forget a lot and we ended up being served by 3 different people (though that may partly have been because they had nothing else to do). It meant being asked several times about the same things and still the service was slow. Burger and chips was just shy of £20, but still a little dry, and for that kind of money I'd expect a few more chips. Generally pretty unimpressive and frankly a bit up itself.
I'd expected better, and I won't be going back, there are plenty of better alternatives close by.
This was a great venue for a large party, dinner on 2nd floor. Desserts were delicious too.
I am reviewing the third floor of the this restaurant which is the more upscale dining experience.
Reasonably priced wines - we had an excellent Malbec.
Cutting to the chase the rib eye steaks were good and the fries excellent.
I thought there was a somewhat limited selection of beef cuts given we were at smithfield meat market.
Overall we had a pleasant meal in this bustling noisy restaurants.
Don't come here for a romantic encounter!
MEAT MEat meAT mEAT MEat meAT
mEAT MEAT meAT Smiths of Smithfield.*
Didja get all that?
Serving simple food at it's highest quality, there's not much you have to do to fancy up a 10oz Aberdeen Angus Sirloin that has been aged 28 days and likewise, SOS doesn't mess around with bells or whistles.
Allowing the finest quality ingredients to speak for themselves, SOS gives diners four floors of venue options, ranging from the industrial bar and art space on the ground floor and rising up through warm wine rooms, open kitchens and exposed beams and bricks to the top floor fine dining room with skyline city views.
To be honest, I don't even know why I'm still typing. Best meal in London says it all. These guys are a fully functional, working/dining meat market, so trust: *Eat meat at Smiths of Smithfield.
Bloody hell! This is a brunch spot with a proper brunch. Yup, that made sense in my head. But seriously this place knows what they are doing. Great cheesy music (so you kinda feel like it's still the night before), pancakes, eggs, bloody marys... Mmmmm... BLOODY MARYS.
Seriously, this is as close to an American diner that you're going to get in the area. It's awesome. I'm hungry just thinking about it.
Craving veggie burgers but not a long walk from our office, we came here on the promise of a "Smith's Cheesy Veggie Burger, Tomato Chutney, Sesame Bun and Chips."
Even at midday this is clearly a firm favourite with City boys, including the two sat next to us who ordered breakfast for lunch (we would later be struck with strong food envy.)
My crispy, well seasoned chips delighted me far more than my veggie burger which was so lacking in texture it made me think it was more appropriate for the small children in my life who don't yet have all of their teeth.
I left underwhelmed but couldn't help thinking this was probably more my unfortunate ordering than anything else. After all, SOS is situated just opposite the largest and oldest meat market in London...
One of my faves in London! This place pretty much has it all, 4 floors including a large open space bar and different dining options ranging from a wine bar, casual to fine dining on the upper floors with amazing steaks which is hard to find in London.
1st floor: Large, roomy and casual seating where they serve Brunch, Lunch and then an awesome Bar hangout in the evenings. I heard a lot of great things about the Brunch, but have only been here in the evenings for the bar and dinner. There are lots of seating options from leather chairs, small tables, benches that accommodate any party size. Perfect place to meet up for drinks with friends or business clients. I like that it's big enough where you don't feel like a canned sardine and it's not so noisy that you can actually have a conversation with your mates.
Upper Floors: Mmmmm...MEAT! *drool* Smithfield's owns and operates a huge wholesale meat market located across the street and boy do these guys know their meat! Depending what your mood is, there is casual style dining on one floor and a rooftop dining area if you want to go all out. Both have incredible menus featuring their amazing cuts of meat. Bookings are suggested for the dining areas, so I usually put my name in when we get to the bar for a later time. But if really want to get a table, you should call ahead. You would not want to miss out on the awesome food here!
Love SOS...just writing this review makes me want to head over there right now
I was just thinking about where I'm going to get a hamburger in this newfound city home of mine, and recalled a meal I had at Smiths that deserves a review.
Actually, 2. Actually 3.
1) A company dinner on the top floor. It was cripplingly expensive and I didn't pay, but it was so damn good that my piggy bank is earmarked. One word: STEAK. yeah, the dauphinoise potatoes were unbelievably good, my squid starter was melt-in-the-mouth, and no-one could work out how the dessert was humanly possible it was that amazing...... but the hunk of sirloin on my plate was still the star. It was around £30 which, I'm learning here in good old Chicago, a steaklovers' bankrupcy-in-waiting, is actually very reasonable. Ace view too.
2) Company Christmas do. It was better Christmas fare than you usually get but really, I can't citicise a single thing because in my drunken state, and at the goading of others, I asked the waitress at one stage to retrieve a small green plastic parachute man from the dustbin whence he had been inadvertently thrown. She actually did it. Another agreed to have black face paint applied to her face by a far-from-sober colleague. We love the staff. And the Christmas dinner had bread sauce - spot on.
3) A faraway (5 years+) meal on the first floor which was more affordable. There was nothing that made me question the laws of physics (as per top floor souffle), but the gnocchi I had for a starter began a two year relationship so they got something right.
It was a disastrous relationship but i'm not even gonna knock a star off! That's how good it is here.
I've been coming here for years, for a late breakfast on weekends. The place is always buzzing, they play decent music, they have newspapers to read while you wait on the leather couches.The place is decorated with cool pictures of the Smithfield meat market porters hard at work overnight, already gone by the time I show up.
I sometimes have corned beef hash and eggs, or sometimes the fish finger sandwich, which is to die for.
Oh and it has the best urban traintrack view from the bathroom I've ever seen (a nice curve of the Metropolitan line tracks just below).
A hetero meat market of an establishment located adjacent to a literal meat market, serving up meat. Of both literal -and- figurative varieties.
SOS probably isn't a place I'd spend a lot of time on the regular, but I was famished, it was open on a Sunday afternoon, and they had an irresistible bacon cheeseburger with chips on offer that I couldn't refuse.
The ground floor is a giant open space that one might expect to find in a club. The first floor is another matter - the décor is kicked up a notch, involving lots of wood. A long bar extends the length of the room, and this evening there was a massive table in the back already set up with a set menu for a group of likely 20-30 people.
And that burger? Thoroughly massive and satisfying, although the interpretation of 'medium' done apparently errs more toward the 'well' end of the spectrum. No matter, the chips (with a healthy variety of mustard, mayo, and ketchup) made up for it.
I'd shy away from the chocolate cake if you're not a huge fudge fan - it was effectively like eating a giant slab of chocolate atop a square of fudge. Heavy and decadent beyond reason. Plus, the Chantilly cream turned out to be a scoop of ice cream, instead. I probably should have opted for the apple and almond tart instead.
SOS doesn't tick all my boxes, but on the whole, I'd be willing to come back if someone suggested it. I -am- grateful to have a legit, acceptably-priced (£13.50) burger in the area, though.
It's a school canteen for adults. The food is basic no-frills fare, the ambiance is loud and bustling and the seating is plentiful.
I had the chicken burger which wasn't half bad. Did a bit of a half-and-half swap with JB's pulled pork sarnie and we agreed the burger definitely won with its hint of garlic mayo. The pulled pork was a little dry and bland.
The food won't blow your mind but it also won't disappoint if you're hungry and in the mood for something quick and fried. I do, however, have an issue with the open-plan kitchen. For me this is a real no-no. Just when they ban smoking and you revel in not smelling like other people's cigarette smoke they bring in the open-plan kitchen and you end up smelling like their lunch instead. Fail!
Staying down the street from here, I quickly grew addicted to their bacon sandwiches, and the vibe at the lounge. One time visiting, a thoroughly delightful toddler kept me entertained for over an hour. This is, in itself, noteworthy. We danced to Ska music together, much to the tykes delight.
One evening, we ate upstairs (my host and me, not the toddler. That would have been weird). I got a wonderful venison, and drank it with a hearty red, and then chatted with the chef for awhile. Delicious evening out!
I love going here for breakfast. Especially when Fabric is still thumping below and you can feel the bass in your feet, it makes me glad I don't do all that hardcore clubbing malarky.
I love the fact that they will swap things in and out of the menu for me no matter how busy it is. I always switch an egg (not a fan) for loads of chips, mmmm.
I love the prices, they are really not that bad for a delicious breakfast,
But... I went here for dinner once and it was..... OK. I had steak, which I thought would be excellent as this place is such a meaty place, but I've had better. And it was not cheap.
So I reckon, stick to breakfast but please, if you live for your Sundays do not turn up here after 11:30am. You'll be an hour before getting any seat, let alone any grub.
Friday night in the dining room. Went down the stairs to use the restroom, as I came back up I could hear the music on the ground floor.
"iccccee iccccee baby........."
I love when buildings can hold multiple environments in the same space. Ground floor bar was all clubby and packed to the gills. Next levels a wine room. And then our lovely dining room.
Most of the food was excellent. The oysters made me think of home and many a summer nights at the beach.
I absolutely didn't enjoy my french onion soup. Really really too sweet for me and meh.
It's tasty but don't eat the bread if you're planning on ordering a starter and dessert along with your main.
Must have desserts. Creme Brulee (bitch is huge!) and the sticky toffee pudding. Maybe just not at the same time when you've had a bunch of food already despite sharing everything with the rest of the table.
I was uncomfortably full the rest of the night but it was so worth it.
Can you keep a secret? Yeah? okay.... Shhh, don't tell anyone but...I really don't facy SOS.
Why is this a secret? because it's one of my mate's FAVOURITE places in Clerkenwell and I'd hate to tell her that ALL the times we came here for a pint, I was simply not impressed.
It just seems quite overrated, or maybe that's the ambience from FABRIC seeping over from a few doors down. Either way, business suits usually make their way here after work and stay until about 9. The music from the 'DJ' is reallllly loud, making it a place not easy to hear someone from 12 inches away (yeah, whatever that is in cm...it's darn hard to hear!).
The drinks are typical pub drinks...mixers and pints...and there used to be the CREEPIEST painting of about 30 children straight from Children of the Corn hanging on one wall. Uh, Really? Kids scare me enough with their GERMS and BACTERIA and odd smells, do we REALLY need a painting of posessed kids in a bar?
So...if you're going for a pint in Islington, find a historic pub that's a little less pretentious and a little more authentic...unless you like that sort of thing or, like me, end up braving the creepy painting for the sake of friendship.
oh i have mixed feelings...and I really really wish i didn't.. :(
I was soooooo excited about going to Smiths of Smithfield and eating some steak and then cooing about how completely fabulous it all was...perhaps my expectations were just too high.
I went to the top floor and found the atmosphere disappointingly sterile. Having said that it would probably be an ideal place for a formal business lunch. I had a sticky beak into the 2nd floor and am pleased to report that it was much more welcoming.
The steak was good (although not as good as Gauchos) so I would probably recommend going there instead.
Best part was ground floor for a glass of red.
We had dinner on the second floor and it was pretty good. Just good, not amazing. I had heard that when this place first opened it was absolutely heaving and you would wait months to get a table even in the 1st floor wine bar so I was expecting spectacular energy levels and uber-cool hipsters. But sadly, on a Saturday night, the 2nd floor was nowhere near full and the 1st floor was completely shut--chairs-on-tables shut.
The space is nicely decorated and is probably intended to make you feel comfortable and relaxed yet sophisticated and cool at the same time.
I had the special, seared yellow snapper. The fish was tasty, but the cut was very difficult to eat as it was massively thick and a lot of the structure of the fish was still intact. When you order seared fish, you expect to receive a knife as sharp as a steak-knife. My b/f had the chicken which frankly we could have cooked ourselves at home and my friend had the lamb--I think she made the right choice, although I can't confirm for sure as I didn't taste it.
The dessert was particularly good. We shared the crème brule and the peach and champagne sorbet. Both were simple yet delicious.
Smiths of Smithfield - a firmly placed three stars. Nothing particular or outstanding about it, but not a bad place to pop in for a spot of lunch.
I had the pulled pork sandwich. It didn't come with any sides so I had to order that separately. The pulled pork really wasn't that great but after having eaten a Pitt Cue, I think all pulled pork across the land will always fall short!
The service was good and it has an open kitchen so you can see all the action, well I assume that is the point of them anyway. However one of my pet peeves with this open plan kitchen diners lark is that you end up smelling like you cooked it yourself.
The fat and aromas stick to everything! Your hair, your clothes, your face! Put me in a smellification parade with a portion of chips, I think the chips would win!
Final verdict, I'd probably go back but perhaps when I have no meeting in the afternoon, during the weekend or when wearing one of those forensic scientist plastic suits.
Thanks to my dad's impeccable taste in restaurants (especially those suitable for a lengthy lunchtime booze session), I've been frequenting Smith's long before Mr Torode's shouty ventures into television.
I've more or less eaten on all of the floors at various points, and in brunch, lunch and dinner mode.
Top floor is classic, stylish, blow-out dining. Go for special occasions. Go if you like good crab, good steak and well-mixed cocktails. The bar is stunning, the view over Clerkenwell is about as good as you can find, and it's like a little classy oasis of calm, poised dining.
The upstairs restaurant is slightly less pricy, but still very much worth a pop. The menu is short, and varies regularly depending on what they've snaffled off the market. It's darker, busier and normally packed with well-dressed boys and girls on dates.
The ground floor is a loud, brutalist, grey, clubby bar. Even at brunch time. It's full of families who look like they've fallen out of a Habitat catalogue, post-club hipsters, the odd tourist and a few scared looking gourmands.
Overall the food is *good* but not biblical. It's simple, well-presented and tasty. The difference between pre-telly era SoS and post, is the less-than-subtle pimping of John's book, and the constant bustle.
If you've been out at Fabric all night then this is the best place to get some comedown-combat breakfast.
I was lucky enough to be taken here by a supplier for lunch and was not disappointed.
We ate on the second floor, as expected mid week in Farringdon the restaurant was very busy and loud but the service was good.
I had the Crispy Belly of Pork with mash potato and a side dish of green veg, with no word of a lie it was the best pork and have ever tasted, it just simply melted in your mouth with the crackling nice and crispy. I'm craving for it now just thinking about it!!!
Excellent shop the meat is always fresh but you have to check regularly if something new and interesting has come up. Recently, I bough some lamb from here and we had a wonderful diner. Of course, that was also thanks to my wife's lovely cooking.
Perhaps I had been living under a rock, but I hadn't really heard of this place before I was taken there by a friend who'd booked a few of us in for a Saturday brunch. Well, I had only lived in London for a little over a year at that point, so I guess that's forgiven. Either way, let us just say that I went in with minimal expectations of the place and therefore was easily impressed by the warehouse-y decor of the place.
Even after having booked our table well in advance, we had to wait for a few mins before we were seated at the lounge cafe/bar on the ground floor. Those few minutes at the door gave me a preview of the clientele the place serves - part grunge, part cool, part hungover, SoS seemed to be where the City crowd rubbed shoulders over the weekend, the place was positively teeming with people who seemed like bankers, lawyers and consultants.
Located in Clerkenwell across the meat market and a few steps away from Fabric, this place is where the trendy party-goers stumble into after a big night out and cure their hangovers with Bloody Marys and such. The decibel level of the music certainly seemed to indicate so - not that we minded, but I do imagine many would object to club music so early in the day. Most of us went for the All-Day Breakfast options and were not disappointed - the British classics such as sausages, black pudding, bacon, eggs, shrooms and such arrived in generous portions, standard fare really. My Parisian friend positively cringed at the thought of so much grease so early in the day and opted for the Greek Salad, which seemed underwhelming at best. Her Blackberry, Mint & Yoghurt smoothie looked delish but at 4.50quid, you would hope for it to be so.
All in all, it was a pleasant experience but a bit tinged with some level of pretentiousness out of proportion with their not inexpensive brunch offerings. It is only later that I realised that SoS is THE steak place in this part of the City and, therefore, carries a great deal of snob factor. I must go check it out sometime and judge for myself.
What I like about this place most is its diversity! No, diversity isn't an old old wooden ship, but it does get represented here by no less than 4 separate restaurants (if you include the ground floor bar)! FOUR! You could spend all day in here and have 3 different meals in 3 different settings. Four if you want a greedy supper as well? Why not eh?
Ground floor is an ideal city boozer which serves decent pub fare and the drinks are solid. This is where i've been most often (don't judge) but have also experienced a couple of meals up in the Dining Room which I enjoyed greatly.
And it's unique right? If feels different, it looks different.... it's just err... different. (unless you go to NYC often.... oops).
Buy me a beer when you see me in there. NO? Ok, a cider then. Thanks.
I've had dinners on the top floor, and the second floor. The food is good, not mind-blowing but solidly good.
I usually order fish/shellfish dishes, and get a sampling of the meat dishes that dining mates order. Some say this really is a MEAT restaurant, so this may explain why I've not been blown away by this place thus far. I did enjoy their dessert every time, and the cheese plate is usually very good as well.
It's a fun and relaxed place; it can get a bit loud at night, especially on lower floors. (Top floor is the quietest, only relatively speaking though)
SOS is classic British food. I know that probably makes some folks excited but not me. (Sorry) I actually had a tough time selecting anything on the menu I was truly excited about. I ended up choosing the special which was Cornish game hen cooked in a tangine. In other words, I chose the one guest item that was Moroccan instead of English. Of course, I got a side of chips and those were perfectly fried.
Good atmosphere and fun location across from the meat market. But London has too many other exciting places to come back here to do anything other than drink.
PS You do not need a jacket to dine here. There are different floors and at least the two I saw were far more casual.
So I had to take a date who lived in East London for Sunday lunch. Doing my research Smiths looked like a pretty relaxed and cool place so I rang them up.
The girl on the phone told me that they served food in the ground floor bar but also had a restaurant on the top floor. I asked more about this top floor and was informed that it was a lovely relaxed space with beautiful views of the London skyline.
Sunday arrived and I met my date out front. The ground floor looked quite nice but we made our way to the lift, which was decorated with red velvet walls and made our way to the top.
I was a little bit shocked when we got there. Expecting a low-key relaxed environment, instead we walked into a plush fine dining room with silver service. It seemed a little bit stuffy but we took our seats anyway.
The views of London seen through the large patio windows were awesome as was the menu.
This is one fine Sunday roast (and the priciest it has to be said). The Yorkshire Pudding deserves a special mention; it was huge and really tasty. There was a really good wine selection and the service was efficient and un-obtrusive.
What had seemed like a really stuffy atmosphere when we first arrived actually turned out to be a very relaxed and nice environment.
To conclude, a great place, if a little pricey. Probably not the best for a first date but it still deserves 4 stars from me.
After wrestling through a crowd of rowdy all-nighters spilling out onto the sidewalk from the club next door, we came upon Smiths of Smithfield, directly across the street from Smithfield Market.
We enjoyed a hearty breakfast on the ground floor. Interesting ambiance. Tables with low benches and stools. Industrial ceiling. Open kitchen. Loud hipster rock. Definitely a trendy vibe here.
Service was a little slow, and the waiter a tad aloof. But both of our meals were delicious, with high quality meats from the market. I had the best Eggs Benedict I've ever had, with thick sliced ham and a smooth, savory hollandaise sauce. My husband enjoyed his poached eggs, bacon, sausage and beans on toast. A little pricey but still plenty of food to fill you up.
Good service, decent food, great atmosphere
I went to Smiths for Sunday brunch and was entertained by the menu choice of salmon fishcakes, a change from my usual selection of blueberry pancakes or french toast. The fish cakes were huge although a bit bland in flavour with too high a potato to salmon content. The hollandaise sauce served with it was creamy with a hint of acidity. I think the poached egg on top was a bit random and would have preferred some chips instead.
The coffee is adequate and served at the right temperature to enhance the flavour and my friend adored the cappuccinos.
The atmosphere is very lively, and it is highly entertaining to walk through the drunk people staggering out of fabric on your way in. I think this is a place that's good for a few people as tables are in high demand and definitely not with a hangover. Too loud and too busy when your head is pounding but great for when you want a more upbeat start to your day.
+ cheap and cheery downstairs, or...
+ more upmarket upstairs
+ fresh ingredients
- booking recommended for "upper levels"
The restaurant is run by John Torode, who co-hosts the popular cooking competition programme Masterchef on BBC UK. The establishment essentially has "several" restaurants. Ground floor has a pub/café feel, where you can order sandwiches or bangers & mash. Prices are reasonable, the atmosphere buzz with chatters, and it's great place to catch up with friends.
As you ascend the building, so too do the prices. On the first floor are a wine room and a private room. On the 2nd floor is the "Dining Room," where I had lunch with my colleagues on a weekday. The "Dining Room" feels more like a gastro pub. There are a lot of tables on this floor, but you are far enough away from other parties to have your own space. Prices are comparable to London restaurants, with mains at £14-16 per plate.
We didn't book and managed to get a table for a busy lunch seating, but booking is advisable to ensure no wait. I had the roast cod on this occasion, and it was succulent, perfectly cooked, and well presented. The waiter was very switched on and ensured we had a good dining experience.
On the top floor is the rooftop restaurant, and prices for mains range from £20-30 per person. I have never been, but I would imagine this is the place to go if you want to take your business client for lunch or treat your hot date.
The "tiered" restaurant is a clever concept, appealing to a wide range of diners for different occasions. From what I had for lunch at the "Dining Room," the ingredients were fresh, cooking quality was good, and waiting staff friendly. I look forward to going back and trying a different "level."
Cheating on Glasgow for a moment to Yelp about my little London holiday last weekend...
Smiths of Smithfield was the kick-off meal to our girly London weekend. My friend and I met up with one of her friends here for dinner on the first night of our holiday. We skipped the starters, trusting that because this is a meaty place known for very meaty meals, the mains could take us through the dining experience on their own. A little aside: as I had never heard of SoS before, my friend actually described it to me as, "a place with lots of meat." That is all I knew going into this restaurant experience...
First, about the atmosphere; SoS is enormous, but I like how the whole establishment is compartmentalized. When we first walked through the door, I heard lots of loud music and it was very dark and I thought, "oh, no! We're going to be shouting at each other in pitch blackness the whole night!"...but then we were led upstairs to the very civilized second floor dining room (jeez, how old am I now?!), where we were offered a lovely table by the landing. We could converse easily throughout the meal, yet it was still a bustling dining area. For old farts like us (in our early 30s!) and people actually wanting to talk to each other, they really hit it right with the second floor.
Back to the meal... As it turned out, the mains were enough to hold us over AND deter us from the idea of pudding. Perhaps it's because we snacked so much on the train ride down (curse you, pick'n mix!), because I am a pudding fiend and I can almost always find room for that kind of thing! I ordered the Indonesian fish curry and my friends had the pork belly with mashed potato. My curry was amazing: a lovely variety of seafood in a satisfying sauce with noodles and sprouts. I also sneaked a bite or two of my friend's pork belly and that was fabulous, as well. Whatever was in the sauce on top of the pork, it was to die for.
All in all it was a very good dining experience. I couldn't see myself becoming a regular because of a) the price and b) the size of restaurant is a bit big for my normal comfort level, but to kick off a fun London holiday, it was just what we needed.
Any regular viewers of masterchef will recognise John Torode as the shouty Australian judge with a habit of articulating every vowel he speaks as slowly as possible. He is also however, the owner of Smith's of Smithfield (or SOS as they insist on branding everything). Smith's occupies five floors of a beautiful old building opposite the famous meat-market. If you're planning a visit you can apply the basic rule that the higher the floor you dine in, the more money you will pay for your food. This then explains why I've only ever been to the ground floor!
Smith's is at its busiest during weekend brunch so expect to wait for at least twenty minutes if you arrive during these hours. Don't let this put you off though as there is an impressively stocked bar at the back of the room in which you are invited to wait for your table. Bloody Mary's and fruit smoothies seemed to be in endless supply here for the hangover crowd.
The food here is good but not great- worth a visit if you're in the area but don't go out of your way to get there. Breakfast's are very popular and my boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed his even though a few items were a bit burnt. My pork sandwich with apple sauce and stuffing on the other hand was perfectly cooked but I had expected a little side salad or a few chips to justify its £5.40 price tag. Regardless of these small issues we still had a good time at Smith's. The room has a great atmosphere and between its breakfasts, sofa's, Bloody Mary's and smoothie's it is as though Torode himself is telling you to relax and enjoy your weekend hangover.
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