When Smiths opened in 2000 under the direction of chef John Torode (better known today as a presenter of MasterChef), it had buzz and boldness. Four floors, four tiers of dining and drinking, from casual to fine dining. Mr Torode left the restaurant early in 2013, but it’s still very popular.
We ate on the Top Floor, the ‘fine dining’ area – which means higher prices, lots of well-fed City gents, and a humidor of pricey cigars. There were two outstanding dishes. A 32-day-aged rump steak of Dexter beef was wildly flavourful and accurately cooked. Fat chips arrived perfectly crisp without, meltingly soft within. Beef pudding was great, as were the accompanying truffled potatoes. Nothing else was memorable, and some dishes were a disgrace.Rubbery salt and pepper squid inside a pallid, stodgy batter was just dreadful. Wild garlic soup had nearly imperceptible flavour and was so tepid that a skin had formed on top. Middle White pork, a modishly deconstructed assemblage, included a Chinese-style dumpling with leathery pastry casing and dry, under-seasoned shreds in the filling.
The wine list makes little effort under £30. Staff tried hard, but our waiter’s creaky English made communication difficult. Downstairs, the noise level is ear-shattering. As we were leaving, a pair of minicab drivers were touting for business inside the front door. Somehow that says a lot about the current state of Smiths.
|Venue name:||Smiths of Smithfield||Contact:|
67-77 Charterhouse Street
|Opening hours:||Ground floor café: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9.30am-5pm. Ground floor bar: Mon-Sat 9.30am-11pm; Sun 9.30am-5pm. SOS Craft Market: Sun Tue-Sat 6-11pm; Dining room: Mon-Fri noon-3pm & 5.30-11pm; Sat 5.30-11pm. Top floor restaurant and terrace: Mon-Fr noon-3pm & 6-11pm; Sat 6-11pm; Sun noon-3.30pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Barbican tube or Farringdon tube/rail|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
2.9 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
This is an imposing, vast and rustic bar and restaurant set over 3 floors. The top floor has amazing views of London.
Slightly hungover on a Saturday morning, craving brunch and bloody Mary's, but struggling to get a booking at the last minute, luckily we went on to Smiths of Smithsfields website- we've been there loads of times after work during the week- and were happy to see they had a brunch menu and do bottomless bloody Mary's or Mimosas for £15. Luckily we got a booking. However when phoning to make the booking, I was told they'd 'need to check if we still do the bottomless brunch'. I mentioned it's on their website, so she said 'oh okay, in that case we'll do it'.
I wasn't filled with confidence by this, but once we arrived there were no issues, and even though there was no mention of the bottomless drinks on the menu, we still got it. (There is a bottle of Prosecco for £15, which was obviously very popular- corks were popping the full 2 hours we were there).
While the Smithfield area itself is practically a ghost town on weekends, this venue is buzzing- every table was full.
The brunch menu has loads of choice. Whatever you feel like, they'll have it. They also don't just do brakefast-y things: I ordered a light vege curry (kale, tomato, coconut and naan bread) which was a bit random, but delicious.
My hubby got the lumber jack stack. He was a bit disappointed (and bloated) with it- it's literally a carb fest of waffle, pancake and French toast, with syrup. It was quite bland. He ordered beans and sausage extra (sausage was cold so this was taken off the bill). Both dishes were £7.50 each.
Bloody Mary's were filled up regularly- they were tasty, but quite rich. We ended up having a mimosa before we left to balance the acidity!
Service was brilliant from the moment we walked in, until we left.
Not a bad option for a buzzing Saturday brunch.
3 stars for food; 5 for service.
The most appalling service I have ever experienced, 3rd floor front of house staff require full training or sacking. Saturday night 8:30pm No sirloin available in the meat packing district on the 1st sitting on a Saturday night!!...,No rioja available ,No pully f available & no bread!! do I need to say more? Well Yes I do, served gents before ladies from the wrong side , spilt wine on main dish and on to the table with no attempt to rectify, main courses arrived to a table full of empty 1st course plates , Manger (Mr andys.... as he said) could not care and when confronted about the despicable service his comment were “ We never have complains ” “ive been here 2 months and we are still trying to get it right” so he just contradicted himself. With only 7 tables booked for the whole of Saturday night this probably reflects other diners previous experience of shoddy non existence service, I expected a full explication from @JohnTorode1
What a disappointing meal - we were on the 2nd floor. My first choice of starter was unavailable so I chose the Squid - this was pretty good - Now the bad bit - I chose the fancifully described steak and chips - steak was tiny and the chips were so overdone there was no soft bit inside them utter rubbish. How John Torode can criticise people on Masterchef I will never no. If you cannot train your staff to cook a chip then you are in trouble. An utter disgrace for 18 odd quid. My other half had Sea Bass which was very nice but the accompanying salad she thought had rancid oil on it. GIVE THIS PLACE A WIDE BIRTH - you'd be better off going to a Harvester for dinner.
Went there weds 7th Dec, table of 9, so we weren't worried about spending money. Used the 2nd floor restaurant, having been to top floor on 6 previous occasions. It was dreadful !!! Meat overcooked, and like boot leather, they'd run out of mash, new potato's and nearly all the veggies. Only brussel tops and a few mushrooms were available !!!! What's wrong with running down to the local Tesco's and getting some emergency rations? Or maybe use the frezzer for some peas and carrots !!! HOW THE HELL CAN A RESTAURANT RUN OUT OF FOOD ???????? That's not the end of it though. Self righteous attitude of the staff, not much in the way of any apology for a restaurant to run out of food, no offer of any free drinks, no reduction on the bill, which was about £750 !!!! My advice, DON'T GO THERE !!!!! There are much better places. The owner, the sanctimonious John Torode should be ashamed of the place. Running like this he has no right to criticise or make judgements of people on his Masterchef programme. I'd like to give a rating of a minus number !!!!!
Last night we returned to Smith’s of Smithfield for a second wonderful meal. On around the same date last year, our friend Hannah invited us there for her birthday dinner, having had a real trauma trying to find a good restaurant in London who would accept a booking of ten without a deposit and/or set menu. SOS though were happy to oblige us with a lovely large table in their second floor dining room, and so we returned again this year for Hannah’s celebrations. Adam and I are self-named ‘ethicureans’ and only eat free range meat, and fish that’s line caught and responsibly sourced, so dining out for us is often a disappointment as we forego the amazing looking meat and fish dishes in exchange for a vegetarian meal which fits in with our rules. When we first heard we were going to SOS though we checked out their website to find out a little more about their ingredients and sourcing, and then after a quick phone call we found that all their meat is in fact free range….not just ‘British’ or ‘outdoor bred’. One waiter even said to us ‘I wouldn’t work here if they served any less’. So, that box ticked, we arrived to the buzzing ground floor bar for arrival drinks before heading upstairs (in the trendily red-quilt-lined lift) to our table situated between the open kitchen and a vast well overlooking the floor below. These, and the other busy tables made for a great atmosphere in what is actually a pretty large restaurant (130 covers), and the attentive and knowledgeable staff certainly helped too. Last night, having nearly spoiled our dinner on a rather-too-large lunch, Adam and I opted out of starters….although I couldn’t resist a few excellent Rock Oysters with sherry vinaigrette (£2.20 each) whilst everyone had their gorgeous looking Dorset Crab & Cox Apple on Toasted Sourdough (£9) and Cream of Cauliflower with Cheese Puffs (£5). Onto mains though and ‘eating light’ soon went out of the window as we were determined to make the most of our meaty feast. Adam chose the South Devon Rib Steak (Aged 21 Days), with Chips & Mayo (£17.50) which was served beautifully pink and perfectly succulent. For me, it was the Rosé Veal in Egg & Parmesan, with Rocket & Anchovies (£16) and although it wasn’t a pretty plate (I’m not a rocket person, and the veal was completely covered in the egg like a sort of omlettey schnitzel) the veal was tender and tasty….as was my side order of wonderfully silky mash (£2.50). We were too stuffed for puddings, but opposite me, Greg’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7) made me very envious as the smell of the hot toffee was almost enough to make me place a late order. Adam settled for an espresso whilst I finished my wine (slow drinker) which he tells me was very good. And by the time we’d finished chatting the place was nearly empty, but with no less atmosphere for it….. and so we left pleasantly full and rather jolly, vowing not to leave it so long until our next visit.