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The Engineer

by Krista
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The Engineer

65 Gloucester Avenue

Date of Last Visit: Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Victims: Al, Rutton

The Damage: £45 each for Rutton and Me. £35 for Al.

The Background: First we were six, possibly eight. And then we were three. And one was on time. Two were late. Thank God for Time Out. And St. Peter's Organic. How restaurants put up with us, I don't know.

That being said, I am somewhat proud of Rutton in that he took THE BUS. I have never known him to take the bus. You know there must be a credit crunch going on when this former investment banker (still gainfully employed, but an investment banker no more) takes THE BUS. Hence his lateness. (That being said, he wasn't that late. Maybe 10 minutes?)

While we wait for Al, we enjoy our starters. Tortilla soup for me. Some sort of smoked salmon for him. My soup is very generous. A meal almost in itself. We also start in on our first bottle of Tempernillo.

Rutton likes his salmon so much that he debates ordering another plate, ostensibly to tell Al that we've ordered him a starter. Al arrives just in time to prevent this hoax and we move into mains.

Engineer chicken

Although I don't normally order chicken in restaurants–it's the one thing I can make for myself–today is just one of those days. It's cold out. And wet. And some roast chicken just seems like such the right thing. Mine (and Rutton's) is served with mash, spinach, and mushrooms. It's a generous portion, and it's pretty good. Is it very good pub food. I'm happy. Al is just as happy with his miso marinated pollock. Although where he puts it, I don't know.

During all this, we polish off another bottle of Tempernillo and start in on some muscat. To go along with our vanilla ice cream. And our bakewell tart.

I know I must have taken the tube home. And the bus. But I'm a little hazy on the details starting about mid-way through that 2nd bottle of Tempernillo.

The Loos: Could really use a good scrubbing.

The Verdict: I liked it here. It did the trick on a Sunday afternoon.

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Gourmet Chick November 21, 2008 - 10:07 am

Your lunch at the Engineer sounds similarly boozy to mine – although at least you emerged with photographic evidence!

kopibren November 21, 2008 - 12:11 pm

I was also at The Engineer that afternoon! Thought it was a cosy, pretty pub with good food. The chocolate sticky toffee pudding was the bomb.

Anthony Silverbrow November 22, 2008 - 7:48 pm

Pleased you enjoyed but I’ve found every time I go there the food is a real disappointment. It lacks seasoning/flavour.

Krista November 26, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Gourmet Chick: Did you post yours yet? I haven’t checked. Will be fun to cross reference.

Kopibren: Where you sitting by the window by chance?

Antony: Yeah, this wasn’t anything particularly gourmet. It was like eating at a very generous friend’s home. I liked it that way though.

kopibren December 11, 2008 - 5:01 pm

I was upstairs in the family room with 9 other adults and 4 babies. I think they thought we’d be too much for the main rooms.

TheLondoner December 31, 2009 - 12:17 pm

I went to this pub recently after having heard so much about it. I have to say that its location and also building make it really attractive.

First impression when you get in: the atmosphere is nice and cosy but certainly due to the limited space in the bar. It is definitely a place where to have a meal more than just one drink (except maybe during the summer when you can enjoy the garden at the rear) as there are different dining rooms (a big one downstairs and a couple upstairs).

First shock: the unfriendliness of the bar staff. Not really what you expect from a ‘gastro-pub’. The restaurant staff is a lot more friendly and helpful.

Then the quality of the food: although everything looked very appetizing on the menu (and in your plates as well), we were all a bit disappointed by the results. Very well presented and original recipes/mixes of flavours but disappointing, especially for the price. The beef carpaccio was tasteless and consisted in layers of raw beef, without any olive oil or lemon. Although the lemon sole (which was recommended to us by the waiter) came with an uncommon and tasty truffle sauce, the fish itself was more than average.

Then the wine, also recommended by the waiter (who seemed really into his wines) was even below average.

When I see the comments of their Manager below, I have got the impression that the whole staff is over confident. Of course they have a good reputation but you get a feeling that they rely on: their location, building, decor and garden, and pretend that all the rest is quality when it is NOT.

Friendliness of the staff is a MUST in a gastro-pub and instead of getting upset by their customers’ complaints, they should start changing now or they will lose the category of customers that are ready to pay for good food and service and keep the ones who are too wealthy to care.

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