Poissonnerie de l'Avenue

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South Kensington
You get the sense that little has changed at Poissonnerie de l’Avenue since it opened in 1964. With its wood panelling, thick carpet and nautical prints, the place appears to be stuck in a time-warp. Many of the elderly clientele have been patrons since the beginning, but a long menu that was once a favourite of the Swinging London set (you can well imagine Mick Jagger bumping into Mary Quant here) has become a caricature. Although fish is sourced from the attached fishmonger, a starter of mackerel tartare was oily and lifeless (and came with toasted white-sliced bread). Lobster linguine was light on the crustacean and featured a huge portion of overcooked noodles. Mains were little better: a mushy salmon fish cake, and deep-fried goujons of plaice with a cherry-tomato relish that matched a ketchup-like consistency with unpleasant chunks of raw garlic. The wine list too belongs to another era (though at the higher end there are some outstanding bargains); of the 36 whites on the French-dominated, predictable list only four move beyond chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. The waiting staff seemed uninterested, yet took home a 15% service charge.
Venue name: Poissonnerie de l'Avenue
Address: 82 Sloane Avenue
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat; noon-4pm Sun. Dinner served 7-11.30pm Mon-Sat; 7-11pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: South Kensington tube
Price: Main courses £12.50-£28. Set lunch £14 1 course, £20 2 courses, £26 3 courses. Cover £2.
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