An interesting tale of two meals and the meaning of value for money. Monday night I ended up paying for 2 meals at separate restaurants and I blame Jack Whitehall. My lovely wife and I are big fans and when the opportunity came to see him live we jumped at the chance. Problem was he was playing the O2 which is a long way from home and depending where you are sitting can be a terrible venue. It also poses a problem for eating. The O2 has numerous eating options but they are all chains and get hideously busy prior to shows. The clever move is to actually eat and drink one stop away in Canary Wharf and head down to North Greenwich just before the show. This was my plan and I had already identified Goodman's Docklands outpost as my destination. Problem was my lovely wife wasn't sure of making it in time to stop by there so I ended up in Canary Wharf and she took her chances at the O2…
It was a mild night so I actually cycled from the West End to Canary Wharf. It was pretty straightforward and the cycle path through old Limehouse is very scenic. I arrived in good time ready for a good feed and drink after my exertions on the Boris bike. The Goodman place is a little apart from the main Canary Wharf complex over on South Quay, you have to go through the shopping centre and cross over a little bridge. First up is a huge sprawling middle Eastern place then you come to the classy looking river side outpost of Goodman's. There is plenty of seating outside but it was much cooler now the sun had gone down so I headed inside. It wasn't very busy a few punters in the bar drinking and the waiting staff milling around waiting for service to get underway. I was offered a seat in the restaurant but opted for the slightly busier bar. The restaurant consists of a long room with the bar at one end running down into the restaurant proper. It has the familiar upscale look of the other Goodman restaurants but this one has a bit of a Manhattan feel to it. I ordered my usual tipple a Sam Adams and picked a bone in sirloin from the specials board and some chips. After nibbling on some nice warm bread my very tasty steak turned up a perfect medium. The chips were up to the usual high standard. I wasn't there long because of the concert but I would have been quite happy to linger. The restaurant filled up and there was a nice atmosphere less frenetic than the West End and City.
My lovely wife fared less well, she actually made pretty decent time to get to the O2 but predictably everywhere was rammed. She tried Gaucho but to their enormous discredit they wouldn't let her dine as a lone customer. A singularly bad move as she is quite a regular at their other branches and now won't return to them. Steak denied she got in the queue at Zizzi's and there I found her looking forlorn drinking a glass of wine. Zizzi's was rammed to the rafters. She had ordered a chicken and mushroom risotto and some garlic bread. Food took a while to arrive so she had to rush eat it. It wasn't very good, dry chicken, sloppy risotto but the garlic bread was OK. I joined her in a glass of a particularly foul over sweet over stewed chianti and her additional diet coke arrived in a dirty glass. Not pleasant. I picked up the bill as I felt sorry for her, one main, one garlic bread, 2 large glasses of wine and a coke came to just under £40. By contrast my delicious steak, chips and beer came to £44. Incredible really! So for pretty much the same money you can eat at the best steak restaurant in London or go to a dreary Italian style chain. Fortunately the gig was great and our seats were on the floor so we had a great view. Jack Whitehall is famously a big fan of Nando's but I reckon if he went to Goodman he would have his head turned.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10
And thus Gaucho lost my custom!