Clerkenwell Dining Room

Restaurants, Contemporary European Farringdon
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Standing outside CDR on a dull Tuesday evening, we feel like Gordon Ramsay faced with his latest Kitchen Nightmare. The austere, manly interior looks empty, cold and uninviting, the art on the walls is horrible, and when we ask for the cocktail/aperitifs list a puzzled waitress brings us the dessert wine and digestifs list. As the restaurant starts to fill – a family here, work colleagues there, couples dotted around – it begins to feel a more human, but there’s still an air of despondency. Onion soup and seared scallops with aubergine and spicy pakora warmed us up a little, though both were uninspired. Mains were a mixed blessing; chicken with leek and mushroom cannelloni was dense, heavy and unpleasant, but a bass fillet was better, a crunchy base topped with deliciously moist fish. Dessert was a triumph, a chocolate marquis with white chocolate ice-cream and cherries whose combination of flavours and textures worked together in the heavenly way a great dessert should. A terrific selection of wines available as carafes is a definite plus, but the minuses here would have Gordon nonplussed.


Venue name: Clerkenwell Dining Room
Address: 69-73 St John Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Fri; 6-10.30pm Sat.
Transport: Tube: Barbican tube/Farringdon tube/rail
Price: Main courses £15-£22.
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