We went to the Mercury for dinner last week. Food was below average. I had to send back my starter as calamaris were not eatable. As a replacement I ordered the mussels, some were hot others cold, showing that food was reheated. The star goes to the service as waiter dealt very well with the orders.
© Heloise Bergman
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Oct 17 2012
This old-timer has been an Upper Street fixture for many years, with its tried-and-trusted formula of cod-French bistro food at bargain prices (all starters cost £3.95, all mains £8.95), served over three floors in a candlelit setting. And it still pulls in the crowds – the place was packed on a Saturday night. After our meal, though, we were left wondering why.
Admittedly, it wasn’t yet dark enough outside for candlelight to cast its magic glow, but Le Mercury seemed like a worn and cynical operation. First, tables are uncomfortably closely packed. Second, the food was extremely average. From the totally trad menu – foie gras and grilled goat’s cheese for starters, cassoulet and roast pork for mains – moules marinière was fine if ordinary, while ravioli de la mer was dull. Mains were worse. A meanly thin steak, although tender, came with a packet-like gravy that was nothing like the advertised shallot sauce; frites were the saving grace. ‘Gateaux de poissons’, aka fish cakes, tasted like a supermarket version.
So, while £8.95 may be cheap for a main course, it really wasn’t good value. Le Mercury seems like a restaurant past its sell-by date.
Le Mercury 140A Upper Street
- Venue phone:
020 7354 4088
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served noon-midnight Mon-Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Tube: Angel tube or Highbury & Islington tube/rail
Main courses £8.45
- 140A Upper Street
- 020 7354 4088
- 140A Upper Street
- Le Mercury
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:5
Lovely food, great prices. This places is always packed and it really does deserve to be, but would it hurt for the staff to crack a smile!
This place is the best restaurant in upper street I been going there for years, whether you’re looking for a business lunch, romantic dinner or a celebratory meal this place have the perfect setting for you I been there for birthday party's and Christmas dinner and business lunches the service and the food are 5*
My partner found this place using google maps, we decided to go for a simple dinner, expecting nothing in particular amazing. Well, we were extremely surprised how good everything was! We came in without reservation and even though it was very busy they happily gave us a table. The atmosphere and decoration was very simple but nice and romantic. Then we ordered mussels as a starter and it was very well served with an amazing sauce (we even end up dipping the bread when the mussels were gone). My boyfriend ordered the duck which was very nice, but my salmon in lobster sauce was divine! Definitively one of the best I've ever tried!!! We finished with a mascarpone cheesecake which was also amazing! We ended up with a total bill for £30 which were totally worth it. We will for sure come back again!
Nipped in on a busy Friday night after a friend recommended it as a excellent date restaurant, we weren't disappointed! Hearty, flavoursome, well cooked with a good selection and brilliant value for money. I've had meals twice as expensive that were half as tasty. Also, a must for any French restaurant, a decent wine list with a good range of grapes and prices. Yes, it was busy and a little crowded, but that is the hallmark of any London eatery worth its salt. Bravo!
Le Mercury is a true London Gem. Perfect for couples, taking out your parents and groups of friends. Nestled on the vibrant Upper Street in the heart of Angel Le Mercury never ceases to disappoint. Their menu has changed very little over the four years I have visited which is great as they have truly mastered the good quality dishes they serve at a reasonable price. With all starts, mains and deserts at set prices it is great to go with a group of friends, or as I have done several times to take your parents somewhere where they will not insist on paying the bill! The mussels and roast duck are my personal favorites from the usual menu, however they often have daily specials that are equally lovely. The wine selection is great and again reasonably priced. I usually request a table on the ground floor, however this can sometimes get a little drafty in winter as the door is opened quite frequently so worth asking to be seated away from this if you feel the cold. The atmosphere is always great as the place is always busy due to the high demand (booking is nearly always required especially for weekend dinners) however the staff are great and I have never had bad service.
Had a wonderful meal here - the staff were excellent and very attentive. The service was brilliant hardly any waiting time between courses and drinks regularly topped up. There were 6 of us and everyone's meal was perfect. Definitely worth a trip
Amazing and ridiculously cheap! Had a lovely meal at Le Mercury, the service was good, atmosphere amazing. I would recommend to everyone!
Nice food, great atmosphere, shame about the food poisoning and how totally uninterested they were when I informed them of it. Sometimes mistakes happen but I've heard various stories from other people suffering the same issue from here (the value of hindsight!). If you give someone poisoning you need to apologise, I think that's restaurant 101.
For the price, the food is superb. Good atmosphere, great staff, and decent wines at a decent price. Will recommend to friends and will come back many more times.
Tasty simple French food, with a good atmosphere. The perfect place for a wine filled dinner with friends or a quick and easy stop off on your way home. Can’t beat it at that price.
Eating out in a new place can sometimes be hit or miss. After dining at Le Mercury at the weekend I can say this place is a hit. Great atmosphere , friendly staff, tasty food and all at a very competitive price. I would definitely go again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend
Awesome food, great value for money, the time out review makes me think that they visited a different restaurant, as my whole experience was different love this place!
What a bizarre review... I've been going here for years - I came across this review when searching for a link to recommended this restaurant to a friend. In answer to the reviewers comment: "the place was packed on a Saturday night. After our meal, though, we were left wondering why." Both restaurants are probably the most vibrant on upper street offering good food done well at a good price - it's as simple as that. Calling a menu trad (which I assume is short for traditional *hipster reviewer*) and food ordinary in way of criticism is very odd as this kind of food is clearly what the clientele - myself included - want.
Absolute nonsense! Le mercury is a great restaurant, always leave feeling full and satisfied. Lovely food, great portions and great prices, agree with the below comment - the wine list makes it a really good night without the worry of spending more than you expected. Very reliable for a good night out.
Totally agree with the Time Out review - awful service and basic food. It's opposite Ottolenghi which I had a great view of as I ate the uninspiring French food - I should have gone there! Service was rude too. Will not go back.
I have been going to Le Mercury for the last 25 years! its is probably the restaurant I visited the most. It is not greatest, it is charming. The Menu over the years has not change all that much, nor did the prices. It is very good value for money and probably the best value for money for that matter. The staff has allways been friendly. It is allways pact and crowded a little load at time, but that is the experience.
I'm surprised the time out rating is so low, personally I've been there a few times and found the food to be delightful and good value; perhaps the time out guys went on a busy Saturday night and the restaurant didn't live up to expectation. Needless to say I've just noticed they've opened a new le mecury and still return the old restaurant a few doors down (they can't be doing that bad!).
I've been there numerous times. The food is always great and fantastic value for money, the staff always courteous and efficient. I can't fault the place.
Have been to Le Mercury several times. It remains a consistent option for good food and service at those prices. Great for larger groups and having a good night out with friends and wine!
Amazing place to go! I went for a dinner with my girlfriend on friday evening and it is going to be a very memorable night for both of us.We had a table (as requested) on the ground floor.So much attention from the waiters but even more from the manager who took care of us from the very beginning by recommending wine and food which was spot on.We will be back very soon.
What. a. fabulous. place! Fantastic food, wine, service and atmosphere. Service is 'french' (much more appealing than American style non?) but completely efficient and the waiter was very patient with our crazy table of 8. Everyones plate was clean- How often does that happen? Bill was stunningly low and I can't stop raving about how perfectly cooked the green beans were! Going tomorrow night and probably the next. Enjoy!
Was recommended by a co-worked and loved it! Entire meal from start to finish (including drink) is VERY affordable, and more that what you would expect for the price. Tables are close, candles are lit, waiters are fresh off the Eurostar. Needless to say its a very french experience, so expect 'french' service (as per Ruth's review). Weekends will need to book a table and probably wait when you get there, but totally worth it.
Walked past with a few three friends and popped in for a spontaneous lunch. It was a very pleasant surprise: unpretentious, very affordable and excellent. I can't believe it was nearly empty!
love this place... the food was great, the staff unpretentious, and the food and wine was very affordable. it will definitely become a regular spot for me...
Disappointing attitude. Booked a table here to take my partner for a celebratory meal and specifically asked to be seated on 1st or 2nd floor (the ground floor is very crowded, lots of people coming in and out all the time, etc). However, when we arrived the waiter moved another couple from a table right by the door, sent them upstairs and then offered us that table. I explained I had booked a table for upstairs but he just shrugged at me and said they were very busy. Needless to say, we ate somewhere else.