St John’s Bread and wine, 94-96 Commercial St, London E1 6LZ
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 2:12PM
Alice Kearney

This was my second visit here but first time on a weekday and very early 6.00pm. We had tried to get into Hawksmoor’s bar (50% off deal), but it was already busy.  At 6 we were the first ones there, but we needn’t have worried the place was packed by the time we left.  I love the concept of English tapas, I prefer lots of different dishes rather than a starter and main and with the seasonal nature of the menu means there are usually things you haven’t tried.  The sourdough bread made on the premises was brought over and we devoured it.  It was great with the crab we started with, a staple at this and the Smithfield restaurant. It is always amazing tasty, especially with their own take on the aioli, if a little bit fiddly but the meat is worth it. After the healthy crab came the most indulgent and naughty dish of crispy pork skin.

Crispy pork skin

It is probably the most moreish and delicious dish I have ever eaten, but you could only do it once a year for fear of a heart attack. The third dish was the artichoke heart with hollandaise, I used to eat this in the 80’s and I love the theatre and patience of eating each leaf until you get to the centre.  The fourth dish was cuttle fish, they really do cook it very well so soft no chewiness at all.  My favourite dish last time was their razor clams. Service was pretty prompt; their house named wine was not cheap but very tasty.  The only downside is the acoustics, there is no music, but when the place is full it is hard to hear anyone more than a foot away. Nothing they can do to rectify it but stops me coming here with large groups, which is a shame as it is so great to share all the dishes.

Talk Rating: 3/5

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