Smiths of Smithfield, situated opposite Smithfield Market in Farringdon, is now owned by Young’s Pubs.
It reopened fairly recently after a huge renovation and with our wedding anniversary and a childfree evening on the horizon we thought it would make a nice excuse to go and test it out!
The Grade II listed building stretches over four floors. We ate on the ground floor at ‘SMITHS’ Cafe and Bar.
There are three other floors, the Death & Victory cocktail lounge (where the toilets are situated), the Grill and N0.3 Restaurant & Terrace. Each floor offers a different dining experience.
SMITHS Cafe and Bar on the ground floor is open for breakfast and then right through the day for food and drink.
Fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows, you enter into a big, open space. There is a bar running across the back and the kitchen to the left as you come in. It has an industrial feel to it with open pipework on the ceiling and bare girders.
When we visited at 7.30pm on a Monday night it was, unsurprisingly, not at its busiest with only two or three other tables in use.
Despite this, no one came to seat us for some time which felt a little awkward. If we hadn’t had a reservation, I’m not sure we would have hung around, which would have been a huge shame as we really did enjoy our meal.
We tried out three courses from the new menu.
I chose the smoked salmon Scotch egg, and Doug went for the duck Scotch egg.
Unfortunately they didn’t have any so he swapped for a pork pie which he reported was very good (and he is somewhat of a connoisseur of the pork pie).
The smoked salmon Scotch egg was delicious, although the egg was cold and the breadcrumb coating was warm which was a slightly odd sensation and I would have preferred it served all hot or cold. However I could easily have eaten more for my main meal.
We both went for market meat; I had a steak with fries (although it arrived with chunky chips) and butter (which again, it arrived without), and Doug had a burger.
Now I have to be honest, some of the waiting staff weren’t brilliant. For the number of customers, it felt like there was a fair wait before our main meals arrived.
At one point I watched our food disappear outside and set down in front of another customer, and although mine was then brought over my husband’s wasn’t retrieved until several minutes later; I don’t think it would be completely unreasonable to refuse to eat it at that point.
However we were in good spirits having consumed most of a bottle of Cotes du Rhone as well as a few glasses beforehand (we don’t get out much!) and laughed it off; you have to, right?!
Training issues aside, which the management were clearly fully aware of, the meal was very nice and once we’d received what we had ordered, we ate the lot and thoroughly enjoyed it. My steak was cooked just how I like it with plenty of pink and wasn’t chewy or gristly which was surprising as it was one of the cheaper items on the main menu.
I went for creme brulee with peaches and Doug had a British cheeseboard.
The cheeseboard was a nice selection including goats cheese, blue cheese, soft and hard cheese with a couple of grapes, chutney, celery and toast. It could maybe have done with some crackers.
We were both absolutely full to bursting by this point and struggled to finish it!
We asked the manager to select the wine and she chose a bottle of 2015 Cotes du Rhone.
It was lovely and fruity with a spicy aroma and complimented the meal well, although it isn’t something I would have selected from the menu myself.
Thoughts on Smiths of Smithfield restuarant
There is clearly a little work to do where training of new staff is concerned however we thoroughly enjoyed our meals and would probably go back to eat at Smiths of Smithfield, especially if we were in the area over a lunchtime as they offer a good value set menu.
If our anniversary had fallen on a weekend then it would have been nice to test out the Death & Victory cocktail bar on the floor above but as it was a Monday we went home to bed…
We are old, after all. We can’t even manage a decent selfie.
Thank you very much to Smiths of Smithfield for providing us with a lovely meal for free for the purposes of this review!
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