With the closure of nearby Deli West One, Reubens is again the only kosher eaterie in the West End – and it knows it. Nevertheless, this is a reliable and predictable restaurant, so tables are packed with lunchtime diners happy with the Ashkenazi food. In the rush to serve up plates of chopped liver and salt beef sandwiches, there are few smiles; customers are dealt with, rather than welcomed. But the food remains consistent: grills, burgers and shwarma freshly cooked with appealing salads and chips.
The ground-floor cafeteria area has cold blue walls, granite tables and a wide menu choice. The basement restaurant is warmer, with linen tablecloths and some more adventurous dishes. Here, waiters bring magret of duck, steak diane, beef wellington or sushi-grade tuna. Yet the whole place still has the feel of diners discussing business, rather than food. On our visit the chargrilled lamb chops were so succulent we wanted to pick up the bones; generously stuffed lean beef sandwiches were the most popular choice.
After soup and a large main course few people have the appetite for apple strudel or lockshen pudding, but you might feel tempted by a warm chocolate fondant.