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The Don

Restaurants, Contemporary European Cannon Street
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

An old-school City restaurant and brasserie near Bank.

The Don’s an odd fellow. Set down a City mews in an old Sandeman’s port warehouse – the name a reference to the vintner’s Zorro-alike logo – it’s a spot seemingly teleported in from the late 1990s: the lurid abstract-splatter artwork, vibeless formality and statement ‘wall of wine’ placing it somewhere between ‘upmarket Surrey business hotel’ and a spare set from ‘Cold Feet’.

Kicking off, a breakfasty terrine of potatoes with soft-fried duck egg and a truffle-infused beurre noisette was decent enough. As was a warm salad of pink wood pigeon breast with some unnervingly strong foie gras and an inspired scattering of tiny, tangy pickled mushrooms. But the mains, though prettily presented, smacked of sixth-form dinner party cooking. A whole roast chicken breast (see?) erred towards dry and came with a ‘fondue’ of leek and smoked cheese that was all sautéed allium; while a passably cooked cod fillet with celeriac and brown shrimps tasted as beige as it looked.

The sparse smattering of diners on our Friday night visit – a table of glammed-up paralegals and a few heroically smashed gal-pals – was sadly reflective of The Don’s dated, naff atmosphere. Service was admittedly lovely (if absent) but it all proved an underwhelming glimpse of a foodie landscape long-surpassed.


Address: The Courtyard
20 St Swithin's Lane
Transport: Tube: Bank
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £150.
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