More sober than the three storeys below, Top Floor at John Torode’s Smiths is a spacious, plainly decorated room, given colour by a red back-lit bar and the crimson glow of the lift interior. Balcony seating and two huge glass walls offer attractive views of City rooftops. Steak is king here, but there’s plenty else on the menu. Our best two starters were venison terrine, with a succulent piece of rare meat in the middle, and smoked eel with a warm, fluffy potato pancake. However, these were preambles to the main event. John dory with pesto and greens, and roast pork special (perfectly cooked apart from chewy crackling) were fine, but were blown out of the water by ten ounces apiece of pan-fried sirloin and grilled rump steak (£29.50 and £28.50 respectively). Choose from béarnaise sauce, parsley butter or rather tame creamed horseradish, plus a side such as huge golden chips or veg of the day – a lively dish of courgettes with gremolata on our visit. Pudding can be a challenge after this, but pear and brandy soufflé with pear sauce and shortbread was sublime. The wine list is a big hitter, aimed at expense account diners. Customers are overwhelmingly male, waited on by delightful, if faintly scatty, staff. You’ll be landed with a big bill, but mostly it’s worth it.
Top Floor at Smiths
|Venue name:||Top Floor at Smiths||Contact:|
Smiths of Smithfield
|Cross street:||67-77 Charterhouse Street|
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.45pm Mon-Fri; 12.30-3.45pm Sun. Dinner served 6-10.45pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Barbican tube or Farringdon tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses £16-£30|