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.)
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!