Whilst most restaurant owners wait about 10 minutes before they decide to embark on an expansion plan, the team behind Greens have taken a mere 27 years to open the second outpost of their original restaurant in St James’s. I’m not sure whether it’s an ironic twist of bad timing or economic optimism, but opening the grandest restaurant in the City in the current climate is certainly brave.
This new restaurant takes over the imposing site which once was Lloyds Bank and provides a number of eating and drinking options for the local City workers. Those who have had a hard time on the markets are probably best served drowning their sorrows in the large and fairly non-descript ground floor bar whilst dining on the quick and simple menu. Alternatively, they can go for broke with a couple of bottles of fine Champagne whilst enjoying the spoils of the crustacean bar.
For those onto a winner, the mezzanine restaurant provides a much plusher area with a more upmarket menu too. With views over The Bank of England, Cornhill and The Royal Exchange, high flying bankers can also display their successes to the less fortunate folk below them.
The menu prides itself on an extensive use of seasonal British ingredients, with many dishes providing a modern twist on classic British dishes. In the spirit of ‘when in Rome and all that’ we kicked things off with a glass of bubbly and some oysters. Starters were a Crab salad and a fun dish of Bacon sausage rolls with black pudding, apple compote & bread sauce; essentially a tube of well seasoned and meaty sausage, accompanied by aforementioned items.
This was followed by a delicious dish of Smoked haddock ‘Parker Bowles’ (named after the owner), served with a light chive mash and a poached egg. Really impressive was Miss Pancake’s beautifully cooked main of Roast venison, apple & potato dauphinoise and rich port jus; it was on the specials list, but this dish really deserves to be on the regular menu. However, desserts took innovation a step too far. Exciting sounding Lemon curd crumble with bitter chocolate ice cream turned out to be a tube of lemon curd with a few sprinkles of crumble, whilst the Chilled rice pudding mousse with caramelised Bradley Farm Cox’s apple need to be richer and not so chilled.
Cuisine type: British
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £75
Greens Restaurant & Oyster Bar
020 7220 6300