Awful, The pasta dishes we had were different but tasted the same, £75 for one starter two mains and a bottle of wine. I could of made better pasta at home and I can't cook. Expect more when going out to a restaurant .
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Sep 29 2010
Lena’s kitchen is capable of excellence, such as a starter of burrata on carasau bread (aka carta da musica, Sardinian crispbread) with roast cherry tomatoes and basil dressing, in which creamily good cheese, plump tomatoes and crispy, salty flatbread were a match made in heaven.
Sadly, it was also responsible for a main of baked mackerel with fennel, orange and beetroot salad so bitter we couldn’t finish it, and a weirdly bland baby squid starter, allegedly stuffed with parmesan, parsley and garlic, in a tomato sauce.
Fair-to-middling were a handful of stuzzichini (roast peppers, marinated anchovies, artichoke hearts), mains of aubergine melanzane and ricotta and spinach ravioli, and a dessert of cannoli with ricotta and black cherries. Caffè affogato was great, but then it’s hard to get this simple combo of vanilla ice-cream and espresso wrong.
Service was affable and reasonably efficient, and the cocktails are enjoyable, but prices are high (that stuffed squid starter costs £11). The decor is disconcerting too – the basement jazz bar is a study in brown, while the ground-floor restaurant mixes white and grey to a less than satisfactory effect.
A confused and confusing experience.
Accepts Time Out CardSee great offers available to all the Time Out Card holders
2 for 1 on food
And 2 for 1 on prosecco and wine. Booking essential, please quote Time Out Card. Offer applies to all courses on the A La Carte menu. Maximum party size of 6. Excludes days in December and Valentine's Day.
This offer can be redeemed on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat between noon and 10pm.
Lena 66 Great Eastern Street
- Venue phone:
020 7739 5714
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Bar Open noon-midnight Mon-Sat. Dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Sat Restaurant Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Sat
Tube: Old Street tube/rail
Both Main courses £8.90-£19.90. Set lunch £10.95 2 courses, £13.95 3 courses
- 66 Great Eastern Street
- 020 7739 5714
- 66 Great Eastern Street
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:6
We booked a table for 2 with the 50% off food offer. On arrival the place looked very nice, we were seated and made sure we were happy. We ordered starters, both of ours were incredibly under-seasoned. All I could taste of my main was garlic and my roast veg were so undercooked they were inedible. When I complained to our waitress she just gave me an apologetic smile and nodded then went on her merry way! Dessert was also very disappointing. My chocolate torte was more like a very very dry brownie. We felt hassled by staff making sure we were ok, but when it came to the bill we were left sitting there for ages. Sub standard food and awful waiting staff. I will not be visiting again.
After reading some of the reviews and comments below I am wondering if I have been to the same restaurant as my experience was great. The food was tip top (home made pasta the best I have ever had and a perfect cod with clams), service was very friendly and attentive and the bill was more than reasonable especially considering you can go downstairs and listen to the band for free all night. I would definitely recommend and will be going back!!
After reading some of the reviews below I am wondering if I have been to the same place because by experience was great. Food was all tip top (homemade pasta was the best I have ever had), service was friendly and attentive and the final bill was more than reasonable especially considering you can sit and listen to live jazz downstairs for nothing! I couldn't have wanted for more.
Bit of a mixed experience at Lena last night, we waited quite a while (about 20 mins) for the starter to turn up, mine was a fantastic starter really nice mussels in a tomato sauce, whereas my boyfriends squid was merely ok. The main course took an age to come, at least another 30-40 mins after the starter was cleared away, but as we were having a romantic meal and weren't exactly clock watching and I didn't really want to ruin the vibe by complaining. When they finally did turn up they were a bit disappointing, my pork belly was not great but not bad, however the canellini beans served with it were so salty I couldn't finish them which is unheard of for me! My boyfriends fish was also over seasoned but he said it was quite nice. The waiting staff were really nice though and the wine was good, served at exactly the right temperature, although there was a little too much topping up done for my liking and you do get the impression that they want you to order 2 bottles. If it wasn't for the mussels I would have only given them 2 stars. We won't be going back.
I am not a regular reviewer of restaurants, but then again I can't remember having such a disappointing meal in a long while. I was taken out for my birthday and whilst the company of my friend was wonderful, the food was dreadful and the service lack lustre. Our starter was the 'Lena salad' - the ingredients of which were listed as white chicory, watercress leaves, walnuts, pistachio pecorino, radicchio & pears. It arrived after a 20 minute wait. It was simply a large pile of radicchio that was so bitter that it was inedible, with a couple of pear slices and 3 wilted chicory leaves. I had to hunt around for any sign of the walnuts and pecorino. And there was certainly no sign of any watercress leaves at all. When I complained to the waitress she said "oh dear, it can be bitter can't it?" and simply cleared our plates. For our main courses we ordered the Tagliolini with Taleggio cheese, white truffle oil & black truffle shavings and the Spaghetti with Welsh lamb ragu. These had still not arrived after nearly half an hour so we asked the waitress where they were. She said she would find out but she never returned to our table to give us an update. 10 minutes later the main courses arrived. The portions were disappointingly small and the sauces over seasoned. We had to ask one of the waiters for parmesan cheese as none was offered to us. The wine was delicious and ice cold, however, the waiter and waitress were only ever attentive when they rushed to fill up our glasses. To the point that we had to ask them to stop. This is clearly a restaurant where they try to get you to order several bottles of wine through a combination of topping up your glass until the bottle is empty and by taking so long to serve each course. After the poor standard of the first 2 courses, we decided to forego desserts and coffees at Lena's. Instead, we went to Carluccio's in Spitalfield's Market where we were served melt in the mouth pastries, coffees and ice cold limoncellos with a smile and real warmth by the adorable waitress. My advice to anyone considering going to Lena's is.....DON'T! Avoid it at all costs and spend your hard earned cash somewhere far more deserving!
I don't normally write reviews of restaurants but our dinner at Lena's was really, really bad. The staff left us waiting for a long time after taking our order before serving our food. The food was ok in my opinion but all 3 other guests in my group disagreed and were not happy at all. What really annoys me the most was the male waiter wearing pink nailpolish. Very rude and he had no manners whatsoever. Other staff in the restaurant were exactly the same. We had a deal through Groupon and nowhere was it mentioned that on top of the ridiculously expensive prices we still had to pay a service charge which was ridiculous. When we asked them to take it off the bill the waiter got even more rude. In the end we gave him the money (not me since I would not have given anything but would have instead walked out!) He still had the cheek to say he didn't care if you come back or not since he didn't care. I could go on and on but to put it simply absolutely awful place avoid at all costs. They will be bankrupt soon with this kind of behaviour for sure!
Visited Lena recently and will not be going back -took 45 minutes for starters - mussels served up in dishwater and an absolute age to get mains - un cooked chicken. Give this place a wide berth trying to punch miles above its weight !
Went to Lena last night for dinner, very busy! there is a new summer menu the prices are very resonable, the quality is superb fresh tasty authentic Italian food, a great selection of Italian wines from only £16.00!! excellent decor and ambiance perfect service, I think in this day and age a £1.00 cover charge is nothing for homemade Focaccia with olive oil, in most restaurants you pay at least £3.50 so we were happy, and will go back over the weekend to get the live Jazz with dinner, highly recommended, the service charge is discretionary, but well worth paying.