Home United KingdomLondonEC2 The Book Club, Shoreditch

The Book Club, Shoreditch

by Krista

Tbc inside

The Book Club
100 – 106 Leonard Street
EC2A 4RH

Date of Last Visit: Friday, October 16th, 2009

The Victims: Feathers, Jen, Mariette

The Damage: £15 each?

The Background: Home is no longer. I liked Home in the early days. The food was good. The service was good. But this was like 2005? 2006? Then something happened and it became tremendously average. Speaking of tremendously average, it was during my walk to Cataloupe for lunch earlier in the week for a terribly average lunch that I noticed The Book Club. And immediately made plans to dine there later in the week.

Tbc cocktails

 The Entrance: I like the look of The Book Club. A lot. It's all Ercol chairs and simple furniture. The sun comes in through the windows just right. Everyone looks the tiniest bit more beautiful and we all feel very on trend.

Tbc questionable risotto 

The Food: We order a bunch of different things. For me, it's the risotto. But it's not really risotto. It's like orzo or something. There's no creaminess. It's just rice and veg. Hmmm. Not what I expected. And it's not very delicious either. A generous portion, sure. But there are lots of twigs in stems in there and I didn't come out for lunch to eat weeds.

Tbc burrito with chips 

Most egregious is the burrito. With CHIPS. With F*CKING CHIPS. I am reminded of the time I went to a Chinese restaurant in Stockholm and was presented with a bread basket. WTF?

Tbc worlds largest bowl of tomato soup 

OK, I lied. Even more egregious was the tomato soup. I should have brought a ruler or placed something else in the photo to give you a sense of scale. This was like a gallon of tomato soup. For £4.95…a disturbingly good value. Note I asked waitress, "How big is the tomato soup? Do you think the tomato soup and the risotto would be too much?" No, no, she said. You'll be find. It's a very shallow bowl.

Shallow my ass. With all due respect, of course.

Oh, and I haven't even talked about the taste. It's like all marinara. Would you eat a bowl of marinara for lunch? I didn't think so.

The Verdict: Go for the vibe. Not the food. 

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9 comments

An American in London October 23, 2009 - 10:37 pm

I guess this is one of those meals where the “bright side” is a highly-entertaining blog post.

So. Why’s the place named “the book club”?

Krista October 24, 2009 - 11:15 am

This is a good question that I don't have a quick answer to, but after reading about them online, I think it's because they'll be staging all sorts of events and classes. I didn't see a lot of books around. I did, however, see free newspapers. That's nice.

Greedy Diva October 30, 2009 - 11:41 am

Hilarious about the chips! Almost as staggering as a meal that come with inexplicable crisps on the side…

Hugh October 31, 2009 - 12:40 pm

Love the liberal and entirely appropriate use of ‘egregious’; they really did NOT impress you, did they? Though I can see why…

Yvan November 29, 2009 - 12:36 am

I totally agree with you. The food is rubbish. I took the sea food mixed tapas plates and it was greasy type of frozen food for £12. For that price you can eat a better Vietnamese cuisine on Kingsland road. The wine was not bad.

Krista December 12, 2009 - 6:56 pm


Um, for them to take the bouquet garni out of the risotto before they serve it? (Or whatever it was…it was a bunch of twigs that I had to pick out of my food.)

[email protected] February 3, 2010 - 6:29 pm

thanks for your comments, we did have some teething problems when we first opened, however, our kitchen is now run by BLT who also run an extremely popular deli on the corner of Curtain Road and Great Eastern. the food is great, healthy, hearty and very very tasty. Pop by and give us a try…Im sure you will be happy with what you get…and great value for money too.

Krista February 3, 2010 - 10:07 pm

I hear great things about BLT all the time so I will have to try to pop in some day! Thanks for the update.

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