Clerkenwell Kitchen

Posted by Krista on August 10, 2009

Clerkenwell kitchen

Clerkenwell Kitchen
31 Clerkenwell Close

Date of Last Visit: Friday, August 7, 2009

The Victim: Me

The Damage: £14

The Background: On Friday, I worked from home to get a proposal done. It's still not done. This is frustrating. The amount of time you spend writing a proposal is inversely proportional to the amount of time anyone spends reading it. I myself am guilty of this: anytime anyone walks into a meeting with any document longer than 1 page–maybe two–I immediately roll my eyes.

My proposal? It's currently hovering around five pages. (Overwrite and then take a red pen to it. That's my motto.)

After staring at my laptop all morning, I thought I'd treat myself to lunch somewhere. I really wanted to go to The Passage Cafe, next door to The Dovetail, but when I arrived, it was all dark and it looked like it would be a while before they were ready for service. (Despite TimeOut claiming that The Passage Cafe opens at 11..)

I had a back-up plan anyhow. The Clerkenwell Kitchen. 

The Entrance: The Clerkenwell Kitchen is cool looking. It looks like a yuppie. All exposed brick walls and chalkboards. There are very few customers. (I am eating at the ungodly hour of 12:15.) I take a seat by the window and am transfixed by the sign that proclaims that no cash is left on site overnight and how they have CCTV etc. So I have to ask. Has the Clerkenwell Kitchen had some issues?

Why yes, it has. Exciting. One guy has tried to rob the place on three separate occasions. The first time, he got away with the £20 in the till. (Um, anyone could tell you that leaving cash in the till overnight is a bad idea.) The second time, he tried to steal some food. And the third time, they caught him. Gotta give the guy points for persistence. (Apparently, he's also tried to break into about every other place on the block.)

Clerkenwell kitchen steak

The Food: I order the steak. I don't really know why. It takes forever to prepare…something has happened in the kitchen, my server explains. Eventually it arrives. It's doused in caper butter, which I like. And I also like the dressing on the watercress salad. The chips are undercooked. And the steak…well, it's just a steak. And they don't have any steak knives. (When I ask for one, they apologetically say they don't have any, but then they bring me a boning knife from the chef! That was nice.)

The View: The men who work in the general vicinity of the Clerkenwell Kitchen are all very attractive. You know how Hugh Grant looked in About a Boy? Yes.

The Verdict: Hmmm. I liked the vibe. And I liked my server. And I liked the view. Not sure about my food, but I'd give the Clerkenwell Kitchen another shot. Oh, you should know before you go…this is more of a lunch place. I think they're only open one night a week for dinner.

P.S. You may have noticed that the order of my posts is a bit weird these days. I am trying not to bore my London readers with my Chicago posts. Sorry!

3 Responses to “Clerkenwell Kitchen”

  1. Charlotte
    Aug 10, 2009

    Did you notice the award on display for “Slow Food”? Seems to be something they take very literally. Used to work opposite, and was very excited the first time I went in there (lovely decor, great principles). But it just takes them so damn long it’s not a quick bite option and is extremely embarrassing if you’re there with clients. We even hired the place once for a breakfast presentation, with pre-orders of egg, bacon or sausage sarnies. We just got the bacon ones in time to feed our clients. Hardly a complex order, and given in advance…. Still, at least it’s better than the Horseshoe.

  2. Krista
    Aug 10, 2009
    Do you mean the Horseshoe in Hampstead? I love that place!
    But yes, lovely atmosphere, slow, slow, food at the Clerkenwell Kitchen.

  3. Gourmet Chick
    Aug 11, 2009

    I had the ploughmans when I was at Clerkenwell kitchen so not really a speed problem given it doesn’t take any cooking! I thought it was excellent actually but I suppose a restaurant thats specialty is breakfast and lunch needs to cater for people in a hurry.

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