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National Portrait Gallery restaurant London, review 19/12/08

From:     Sue
Category: Consumer
Date:     19 December 2008
Time:     12:05 PM


A room with a view of London's skyline from Trafalgar Square over the rooftops to the London Eye.
Met my fellow diner at 12:30 on the last work-day before Christmas, so we expected the place to be
packed. It was quiet at 12:30, but soon filled up and became hugely noisy - to the point where we
couldn't hear the waiters voice properly. Well, it was Chrismas. 

Our table was next to the window but adjacent to two yummy-mummies with off-spring tots; Jacyinth,
Araminta, and Another One. By 12:45 the tots were bored, gambolling in the aisles  and leaning
intrusively on our table while YM's looked busy on their mobile phones. 

A Christmas glass of champagne was called for, a little warm for my tast, but not too bad. 

We both had starters, my Goats cheese  perfectly fine, as was my companions. We both had baked
plaice in a citrus-y sauce, with shrimp. That was passable too, but the promised vegetables didn't
arrive. We summoned an elf and mentioned the absent comestibles. Apologies were graceful, and the
chef admonished. But still, no vegetables. We made this known, again. Veggies arrived as we were
finishing the plaice. 

An espresso topped off the meal. The bill for one Slimline Tonic, two glasses of champagne, one
glass of house Rose, two starters and two plaice, followed by espressos, was 108.00. with service
charge. We left about 13:45. The queue in the lobby was ten deep, while inside, the business lunch
crowd packed the place to the rafters. 

Verdict: On the busiest lunchtime of the year , our veggies went walkies, and the champagne was a
little warm. 54 quid a head for a nice view, and a baked  fish seems  expensive, although service
was polite and prompt.  Likable, but not at any price. The decor is also a little too bleak, and the
ambience a tad rattley. It reminded me of an upmarket school hall. 

Booking is highly recommended - you can do it online, as is getting there before 13:00 hrs.

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