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The Don

Restaurants, Contemporary European Cannon Street
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)

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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Users say (2)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

1 / 5

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Saw the previous review and felt I had to say something here.  I've eaten here many times - sometimes with business colleagues but also friends for a catch-up.  I've never been disappointed.  The quality of the food is always excellent (as well as the service) and imho although not a 'cheap eats' offers very good value for money.

No! This is not to be recommended. I have been here three times with clients and because I was with clients I decided against making a fuss. But three strikes and out as far as I'm concerned.  On each occasion the delay in food service has been lengthy. The food served has been far below the standards that I expect from a City restaurant and the portions have been frankly laughably small. To give you an example of this, a woman diner in our group left the restaurant and stopped off at a sandwich bar on the way back to our office so that she could "now have lunch" as she put it. I had a Jerusalem artichoke soup which i had to flavour with olive oil and season with salt & pepper in an effort to turn it into something remotely edible. I am not a food snob, but I am a keen amateur cook and I wouldn't have the nerve to serve to my guests at my home what The Don serve to paying guests in their restaurant. A wide berth is thoroughly recommended. 

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