Restaurant review: St Bart’s Brewery, Farringdon, EC1

It's a well-lit, shabby-chic, suit populated affair

It's a well-lit, shabby-chic, suit populated affair - Credit: Archant

Heading to a Farringdon ­establishment on a weekday night you are pretty much guaranteed two things: suits and steaks.

The newly opened St Bart’s Brewery has decided not to rock the boat in this regard, although the inclusion of live music adds a dash of culture.

On our visit, the well-lit, shabby chic venue was predictably packed with post-work punters getting progressively louder as the loopy juice flowed.

Luckily, all the eating takes place on a mezzanine floor above the hubbub, ­affording you a view of the hoi polloi from your lofty perch.

The wine list has a few surprises, a cold, British pinot noir for example, a legacy of being owned by the Hush Heath wine estate who own it, while the menu is kind of pub-food plus. We shared a cold meat platter which was nice enough, but didn’t have much to distinguish it from an antipasti selection from the supermarket.

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Our scallops were a much more sophisticated affair – firm flesh bittersweet from a drizzle of cauli?ower purée and pineapple. Meanwhile the devilled chicken wings were simple, but fiendishly effective.

On the main side of things, the lamb burger was unspectacular although the patty (from neighbouring Smithfield market naturally) was fantastic: tender, pink and delicious.

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And then the sharing platter – truly something to behold: sausages, chops, steak, bone marrow, duck eggs, kidneys, like a traditional mixed grill on gastro-pub steroids. As belly-busting and satisfying as it sounds, though it left me feeling slightly jaded afterwards.

The place offers an upbeat, lively feel, but when the band started up it made conversation impossible – fine if you are out drinking, but not ideal over dinner. It was loud enough to make us leave without dessert. However, if you’re not out for a romantic meal, the food is robust, tasty and half as pricey as you might expect.

Jon Dean

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