Unlike other Martin Brothers’ ventures, Chiswell Street Dining Rooms isn’t much of a pub (though you can drink in the roomy bar, where beer and wine are taken seriously), and the dining room feels like a restaurant, with prices to match. The decor here is less in-your-face (no taxidermy, for a start) and more lounge-like than the Jugged Hare – the gastropub that’s also attached to the Montcalm London City hotel. Colours are subdued, chairs nicely padded; staff are friendly and professional.
What was slightly below-par on our visit was the food. Coq au vin, served with excellent savoy cabbage and creamed potato, was more like three chicken pieces recently introduced to gravy, while a main course salad of smoked barbary duck breast was dominated by its salad cream-like dressing and (unexpectedly candied) walnuts. These dishes hovered around £15; even pricier were the likes of grilled fillet of Cornish brill (£27) – too much for what is merely competent cooking.
The bar menu might be the more attractive option, including charcuterie plates, cheeseboards, and steak sandwiches (though even these are £15) – or look out for one of the generous special offers.