Home United KingdomLondonE1 St. John Bread & Wine

St. John Bread & Wine

by Krista

St_john_bread_and_wine_rabbitSt. John Bread & Wine
94-96 Commercial Street
E1 6LZ
Tel: 020 7251 0848

Date of Last Visit: Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Victims: Feathers, Matt, Feathers’ Little Brother

The Damage: £50 each

The Background: Feathers’ little brother is in town for a visit. We had grand plans of Petrus and Royal Hospital Road and a meal out every night. Somehow, these grand plans of five fine meals in five days became two nights at St. John Bread & Wine and Geales. (More to come on Geales tomorrow.)

But that’s okay because I’ve never been to either. So I’m excited. For one. (And for once.) Plus, last weekend, I went all the way to Denver and back without my Nokia N82 and gosh darnit but I missed it’s 5 MP camera. And I’m also testing out Nokia’s new Lifevine application, and tonight’s my first night really using it. Yes, I’ve got a lot going on.

And God but I’m a sucker for GPS. Nokia’s Lifevine (or nVine) in one sentence: It tracks me all over town and attaches the photos/music/movies to where I’ve been. It’s neat. If a little weird from a privacy standpoint.

The Starters: The menu at St. John Bread & Wine is a bit unexpected. There are a lot of small dishes. And then there are maybe four large main dishes. So we order a bunch of small plates…the foie gras (nice), some langoustines (you know I don’t work for my food, so I let Feathers’ Little Brother eat all of these), an artichoke salad without any artichokes (we sent it back and got another–it was much nicer with the artichokes), and then a plate of zucchini and white beans that I would gladly eat every day for lunch. Our server made it seem like these were tapas size portions, but they weren’t. They were just regular starter size portions.





The Mains: So they had grouse on the menu. I’ve never had grouse before. And nor will I ever again. It was dark and bloody. And cold. I like game. But this was too gamey for me. No photos for you, I’m sorry. You’ll have to take my word for it.

But we also had the rabbit–rabbit for three! Unfortunately, the best part about it were the roasted carrots. I do like a nicely roasted carrot. But one cannot survive by carrots alone.

The Desserts: Now this is what makes me say I would gladly go back to St. John Bread and Wine. I like their desserts. Firstly, the blackberry meringue. Secondly, the cheesecake. The blackberry meringue, in particular, was one of the nicest things I’ve ever eaten. It was nice and chewy and sticky.



The Verdict: I wasn’t so impressed with the starters and mains at St. John Bread & wine. But I haven’t stopped thinking about the desserts since. Could one live by desserts alone? I think so.

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Douglas September 15, 2008 - 8:38 am

Did you have the Madeleines?

Chris September 15, 2008 - 9:50 am

My experience at the flagship St. John Smithfield was similarly disappointing. Nice ingredients cooked very simply and overcharged for, in my opinion.

Rob Green September 15, 2008 - 5:08 pm

St John Bread & Wine is definately a place to go if you’re fairly willing to experiment with new things, because almost everything is cooked very traditionally.

The first time I had a great experience, the second time I had pigs cheeks and they were fatty and not quite so tasty.

The Scribe of Rotten Hill September 16, 2008 - 9:24 am

I went to St John just once for a friend’s stag night. Their speciality (and indeed logo), a whole suckling pig was ordered for the party.

This was very impressive and, by all accounts, delicious. As a vegetarian however, I had the only veggie option, a plate of couscous with some goats cheese on top. Guess what my vegan neighbour had!

Thought the vibe in there was good though.


Gourmet Chick September 18, 2008 - 1:23 pm

The blackberry meringue looks divine. Is St John Bread and Wine supposed to be the cheaper version of St John’s?

Krista September 18, 2008 - 9:13 pm

Douglas…No, didn’t have the Madeleines, but I did see them there on the menu. Pricey, if I remember.

Scribe…How about the Welsh Rarebit? Did they not have that as an option for you? They do a great Welsh Rarebit.

Chick: Alas, prices are about equal at both locales.

Feathers October 4, 2008 - 11:32 am

Our starters really were amazing and so were the dessert but the meat the whole reason you go there was eh… The grouse was gross. The rabbit was better but not great. And they don’t do the welsh rarebit here which is half the reason you go to St. Johns.

Pierre April 5, 2009 - 6:36 am

hmmm … doesn’t sound like the prices are warranted, though from the pics I’d happily agree to “live by desserts alone” 😉 Thanks for sharing! Perhaps you may wish to add a review or photos at trivago also? http://www.trivago.co.uk/-38715/-/st-john-bread—wine-spitalfields-162523/details

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