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I've eaten here at a weekend and it's just crazy loud from the bar, which makes the dining experience not so great. But on a week night, the food is still delicious and service super, but you can hear each other. All our dishes were just mouth wateringly delicious.
Nice atmosphere and pleasant staff but the kitchen was a big let down. Our rather lackluster starters were served within 5 minutes of ordering however, the main event took a further hour and a half to materialise. Upon inquiry we were advised that the fish takes longer to cook!! When they did arrive, our mains were lukewarm at best and extremely underwhelming.
Great bar area, but i'd give the restaurant a miss.
This in one of our favourite restaurants in Shoreditch and we come here often! The food is delicious and the atmosphere is great, unfortunately they had two members of staff off sick which really affected the service - it was very slow however the guy on the floor was doing his best.
I have been before and I think standards have slipped. The food felt overpriced for what we got and I thought the service was just ok. To clarify the food tasted nice but there wasn’t much finesse - eg just a big bowl of spaghetti with a small amount of lobster hidden within it. It didn’t feel refined enough to command the price tag.
Lovely restaurant. Beautiful light and ambience; great service; top notch food
Food was fine, the starters and mains were a little disappointing - my wife’s steak was nice inside and burned outside.
Service was very friendly and attentive.
Ambiance was very nice.
Overall the average food for a premium price made it an average experience.
Great food, reliable option. Love the atmosphere and staff
Overpriced for what felt like back of a pub. Busy bar at front and staff not experienced and very rushed. Plate of pasta for £45 is not great value and did not have wow factor for price.
Service was a bit hit and miss - first person couldn’t take our order for a cocktail not on the menu and said he’d come back but didn’t. Next lady was polite enough but didn’t bring the bread basket. This appeared on the bill - I asked for it to be removed and said the device wasn’t great but was happy to pay. The chap who processed the bill removed it and recovered the situation. This means I will definitely return
God, how the mighty fall....this was utter rubbish....truly awful service, no condiments on the table? You arrogant fools....this was the worst cote de beouf I've ever had....roast pots which were simply chucked in the deep fat fryer..what a waste of a night...
I have been to the Merchants Tavern before and really enjoyed it... but Thursday night was a real disappointment. The service was incredibly slow - we sat down at 8 and didn’t get our starters until 9.30. The mains were just not good enough - we sent the lamb shank back as it was tough and the sauce with my steak was way too salty. I usually recommend the place but would definitely think twice about going back now.
Food and service not good and at price needs to be better
I'm afraid I was disappointed. I took my client to lunch and we both ordered king scallops, which were tasty, but just so small that it was laughable. Main courses were much better, but my fish was swimming in water. There was no bread or olives either, which I'd expect for this quality venue? The waiter was new and hadn't yet been trained - there was no knowledge of the menu and put our plates in front of us as if it were a pizza. We didn't stay for desert, coffee or more drinks, but paid the £135 bill and didn't quibble about the 12.5% service. But it really should be better.
Great food, lacklustre service.
Too few staff, service too slow, food lacked the usual quality and wine watered down inadvertently by being dropped in the water (should have ice) bucket
Great bubbly atmosphere...
I had been looking forward to eating at Merchants Tavern for a long time. I went at the last minute for lunch with my daughter on Saturday. The restaurant was almost empty but they sat us next to the noisy restocking of the wine racks, which went on through our lunch with the added excitement of a bottle falling and ending at our feet.
The chefs (who are on view in the open kitchen) were all busy prepping for dinner and our lunch was nowhere to be seen until after over half an hour later we reminded them of our starter nibbles which we had hoped to enjoy with the wine.
My daughters vegetarian main option was good, but I had the lobster spaghettini which was full of lobster as well as a heavy handed dose of chilli. It was a shame as it obliterated what I think was a lovely bisque at the bottom of the bowl.
The staff are charming and friendly, and did discount our starters from the bill. All in all I was a bit disappointed.
Overall we were a little bit disappointed with this restaurant as we booked for our anniversary dinner. The food was nice but nothing special or innovative and it was expensive for what it was. The starters were very small too and it took so long to come it was then a bit of a disappointment. We had two courses and it took 3.5 hours. The Maitre D was great 1 very friendly and helpful - but the overall experience was quite average and I’m afraid I wouldn’t recommend or go again.
Service was very slow to the point you had to call them if they were in the vicinity otherwise you wouldn’t have had any service. This was evident after they brought our food as the lobster spaghettini was inedible as far too salty and I had to leave the table in order to tell someone as no one followed up after our meals were served. On the whole starters were good but mains just ok, the squash dhansk was far too spicy with both people requiring a lot of water in order to eat (again at the mercy of wait staff). Final issue was a round of drinks were ordered and they all came except the calypso coffee, again I had to leave the table to enquire were it was only to be told then they didn’t have tia Maria so couldn’t make. I personally would have thought the restaurant could have removed the charges for the alternative main meal and coffee as a token of good will but we didn’t raise, as we decided we wouldn’t return instead. Shame as actually the ambience was very pleasant.
Superb dining experience! Excellent waiting staff and the food was insane!!! All of it!
Definitely worth a visit. The game pie was excellent.
Food always excellent. One of our favourite restaurants. Never disappoints.
Mums bday lunch - most of the food was lovely, croquets were lacking substance and filling though.
Great veggie options and friendly staff, just very slow on bringing water over.
Awful. Slow service. Overpriced. Terrible food. The whole experience was very disappointing indeed.
Salty food at high prices. Waitress didn't write our order down leading to incorrect orders, slow and inattentive service. Overall very disappointing.
I feel like this place has rather lost its way. The service this time went from excellent to really poor halfway through our visit. The food was dry and rather ordinary - not worth the premium price. We complained about a couple of things and they tried to make amends but I was still embarrassed to have recommended the restaurant so highly to our guests from out of town. Such a shame because we've had great food here over the years. Hope it will recover but we won't be going back in the near future.
Lovely ambience, lovely service. Bread was amazing! Nice Sunday afternoon lunch, but they'd run out of fish, leaving not much choice for the Mrs. All in all a nice experience.
Been many times recently, both to the bar and the restaurant and is becoming a real favourite. It has the feel of a family run local restaurant. Great food, nice wine list and staff that really make it feel like a place you want to go weekly. Certainly feels like a team that loves the hospitality business.
Lovely bar, great atmosphere. Food did not blow me away. I did have to send back a side was cold..no apology. Was somewhat over priced..guess you pay for its Shorditch.
Waiting staff really let it down. We waited a long time to order drinks and then food. 1 starter was wrong and main steak not well done (friend is pregnant) so it was sent back. Food all was lovely apart from the mishaps. Staff however didnt ask about our food and were difficult to flag down and generally let the food down which was a massive shame as I was really excited about the venue.
Firstly I must say that if this restaurant really belongs to Angela Hartnett I am totaly shocked. I have always enjoyed watching and listening to her on T.V/radi, I considered her to be a conscienscious chef, one who uses the finest ingredients that can be obtained and cooks with care and thought. The total opposite of what we experienced. On walking in we were hit by very high volume music, a little startling. Sat at the bar for cocktails which were enjoyable and just about the best thing we consumed all evening.
Very lengthy wait for starters, 1 hour from seating. Poor ingredients, tasteless and fluffy tomatoes for example. We waited again 1 hour for main course, we ordered 1 seabass and 2 monkfish. Along came 2 seabass and 1 monkfish. When we explained that the order was the other way around the rude waitress said 'Are you sure'....... and walked away. 5 minutes later the Manager came over to tell us that the Monkfish had run out and would we like to keep the seabass or reorder.......neither option was inviting but we decided not to risk another hour wait. Seabass way over cookd and so greasy, everything else (not much) on the plater was at the same time undercooked but cold. We were not charged for the seabss which we did not order but honestly the Manager stated this as if he was awarding us a huge honor. All in all Angela you must have taken your eye off the ball here, or else I need to accept that I am a very bad judge of which chefs I feel are worth a punt.
The service is brilliant at the Merchants Tavern, the waitress even noticed I was the only one not drinking alcohol and made a drink bespoke for me. The food is fresh and flavours are chosen with consideration. Anyone who doesn't like it, for example excessive portion size, doesn't understand good food.
Really disappointed. No atmosphere. The staff were uninterested and rude. Booked for a business lunch. When I asked the waitress on the way back from taking a call outside if she could take our order, she came to our table and one of my colleagues said he’s just deciding. She then said ‘well she (pointed at me!) said you were all ready to order?’. So embarrassing and unprofessional. The food was below average.
I organised Sunday lunch for a group of 8 of us and we were very disappointed.
We went towards the end of Sunday lunch service and were less than impressed with the portion size given the price of the roast.
The service was slow and irresponsive & I will not be returning.
Never ever had a bad meal here. I love this place. Been coming since the day after it opened and return regularly. That will continue. Thanks Angela and team.
Great food, great service. We were sitting quite near the bar area which was sometimes quite noisy, but other than that it was great.
I LOVE this restaurant.
Really friendly staff.
My kind of place!!
This restaurant has been one of my favourite place to visit. However I have noticed that the service has changed since last year.
It was Divine!
Fantastic restaurant, great food, great service - really would recommend it.
Merchants Tavern is rated 4 stars by 816 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.