I wanted so much to love this experience and was sadly disappointed. The service was chaotic. We had five different people that showed up at various times and we never quite knew who was in charge of our table. Some dishes came fast, others painfully slow. Our starter was fantastic, and the best of the meal. Our mains, however, were warm and not very spectacular. We had high hopes for this place and wanted to support Angela Hartnett, but without her there, it did not seem like it had its game together.
Starts with the menu. When you can't decide what to eat because it all sounds so good you know you've got a fighting chance of having a great meal. It did not fail to delivery. There were four of us and the food was just wonderful. Also, very affordable. The service with one or two minor things was pretty flawless. Overall it's the sort of place I'd like to come back to again and again and wish there was one nearer me.
How can you make fresh lobster taste so bland. Don't get the lobster pasta... That was their top dish so no prizes for guessing all other dishes were equally disappointing. That's not fair... the kids had nice chips. Otherwise, I'd not recommend it if you go there mainly to eat.
Distinctly average decor, service and food mediocre
Brilliant evening. The waiters here are really great, unobtrusive, helpful, there when you want them. The food was all really good, tasty, expertly cooked. The best thing about Merchant's Tavern is the place itself, a lovely rustic, wooden floored enormous place with a great bar in the front, open fireplace and loads of sofas. Very lively noisy atmosphere by 9pm on a Friday but that's what people go for. Heartily recommend this place.
Average food in average restaurant. Would go for a drink here, but wouldn’t eat there again.
A little disappointed w the food frankly, very average, and disappointing starters. But, very good service.
Overall, I really enjoyed Marchants Tavern. The layout, atmosphere, lighting and welcome were really nice. Also the booths were really comfortable.
The food was really nice and the gap between courses was big enough for us to digest our food, have a glass of wine and a natter which was really pleasant. The food was tasty, sensible portion size and well presented.
The only slight critique was around service - although the staff were helpful and polite - at times it was a little tricky to attract their attention. However this is nit picking really - the overall experience was very positive and I'd recommend Merchants Tavern to others.
A friend and I had lunch on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday, so it was pretty quiet and relaxed. We were received in a friendly manner, table service was helpful and friendly and the food was fresh, well-presented and tasty. My lunch companion hadn't used this venue before and was very complimentary about it afterwards. We had the lunchtime fixed price menu, which offered a good choice. I like the booths and the natural lighting in the dining room.
The best Sunday lunch in Shoreditch
Merchants Tavern continues to deliver and remains a Shoreditch favorite for us. The menu continues to evolve (though we miss the quail and the foie gras) and add new dishes. Make sure you ask about anything obtuse: A one-word dish we’d never heard of before turned out to be a delicious Turkish lamb dish that was a huge hit. Cote de Boeuf was as good as ever. New line-up of house cocktails. Excellent wine list.
Delicious food, a good wine list and lovely surroundings.
Merchants has a rare and winning combination of a really comfortable and spacious bar AND restaurant, with great food and drink. Great ambience - nice low key design but distinctive and good acoustics. Rare in most parts of London but one of a kind in Shoreditch
A nice good to option in Shoreditch. J have been here a few times and the Mr u is always varied and the food nicely presented. Starters this time proved to be an egaltic set of choices but mains were more straightforward. Food quality is very good and the wine selection is well priced. Service is efficient and the prices are in line with the area. All in all a good choice for lunch or dinner.
Great food. Friendly service. What a lovely little find.
Great atmosphere wonderful food as always, however I have given 4 not 5 stars because I am fed of going to restaurants and the wine never being chilled properly. When you’re spending 50 odd quid on a nice bottle of plonk it’s imperative it’s served at the correct temperature. Bring me a good old fashioned wine bucket with loads of ice and water to sit by our table. We have to sit and literally wait Drink less while the waitress takes our wine off to somewhere else to chill and then just wait for her to bring it back a good 5 to 10 minutes later and even then it still wasn’t cold enough. Not her fault but this Happened in another London restaurant this week as well and it’s so frustrating
3 of us went for lunch on the Saturday, we ordered our food and then a carafe of wine. Wine came along and waited just pour straight into our glasses - like tap water, without letting us to taste it. I asked the waiter and he seemed so offended, said "oh you can taste now or I can just give you new ones if you want." His attitude wasn't apologetic or sincere, we didnt know what he is going to do ( read too many restaurant stories) with the next carafe or our food - so we didnt persist. I told him that I was simply surprised that we didnt get the chance to taste it.
And then the food arrived, 2 of us ordered the roast chicken and the other a fried cod. The chicken was SUPER DRIED, the chicken was roasted and fried on the skin to brown it but it was soooooo overly cooked then it became very tough. And that was the same for the 2 of us - very disappointed. The other fish dish turned out to be very small and so SALTY. But we ate them all in the end as we were so hungry ( food was a rather lengthy wait ) - we were not asked if the food was alright ( I think that waiter wasn't even a professional. And honestly, we just don't want to bother again, drink wasn't serve in a professional manner and food was so overly cooked ( it's chicken breast so it should be pretty obviously that if it's overly done it will be so tough). Overall experience was bad and I will never go there again, we paid about £100 in total for our lunch - so look around the area, I'm sure that any restaurant or even Nandos will do a better chicken than them. It was a very disappointed Saturday lunch overall.
Lovely atmosphere and great service, plus some delicious food. More of a celebration than an everyday place due to finding it far too easy here to rack up the bill.
Fantastic service. Food was great although two of us had pork belly and though mine was fine, my friend's was extremely fatty (realise it's a fatty cut of meat but this was more than that). The entrance is not great with the reservation desk right next to the door which people kept trying to go in/out of (obviously), quite frustrating when you have to wait 6 minutes for someone to come and acknowledge you waiting there for your table. The volume level in the bar area was horrendous however, it was a friday night in Shoreditch and once we were taken through to the dining room, that all disappeared due to the attentive, knowledgable waiting team who made up for any other down points.
Nice place but unfortunately the service was very poor, we had to wait more than 2 hours for our food
This place is one of our locals and is always wonderful. Food, service, atmosphere is, and always has been, perfect.
Service was a bit slow considering the restaurant did not seem particularly busy, but still very cheery staff and delicious food. Always recommend.
Last booking for the day and made to feel like it at every minute we were there. Terrible food and below standard service.
Great place and atmosphere and very friendly staff
Very limited and very British options for brunch
Very friendly and accommodating waiters and bar staff. There was no problem lingering at the bar well after our reserved table time while we finished our drinks. The sirloin steak was cooked to perfection and the pepper source was, we decided, “like crack” it was so moreish! A very tasty cheeseboard and port rounded out an exceptional meal.
I’m reluctant to give this too great a review lest the Tavern stop being a hidden gem, but it’s well deserved so why not eh? It’s one of my favourite places away from the mad crowds of Shoreditch with great quality and a really nice relaxing vibe.
Great Ambience for a catch up with friends - no evidence of any service/quality issues
I was a little concerned by some of the comments from December reviews, but selected this restaurant for a catch up with old colleagues as the menu looked delicious and it was well located for an after-work business dinner. I needed have worried - service was impeccable and we were well-looked after by the charming staff, though of course we had the benefit of being there during a quiet Tuesday in January!
The food was great - I had cod beignets and the sea bass main and both were utterly delicious. My colleagues' vension looked stunning and desserts were totally, totally worth it.
This was the second time at Merchants Tavern for a NYE dinner event, as last year was very enjoyable, but this time was not. The food was average at best and we had to return our main course, for which we had the price deducted from the bill, as it was barely edible. Naturally given the special NYE nature of the evening this compensation on the part of the restaurant was scant compared to the loss of enjoyment of the evening. My impression based on this experience is that standards have been allowed to drop.
Best Sunday roast I've had, fantastic roast beef, on the rare side of medium rare, cut thick, tender and juicy. Perfect roast potatoes, lush roast veg and great wine to go with it all. I'd go every day if I could!
Excellent service and great ambience for a date night
Great atmosphere. Pork belly always the best on the menu, and cool DJ vibes in the bar area
Heaving with the very imaginative and original check blue shirt city workers.
Superb food as always but staff were a bit below usual standards.
Fantastic Sunday lunch in a buzzy restaurant with good attentive staff.
The front end looks like a typical pub with plenty of people having very expensive drinks. The back end is nice, open and a spacious restaurant. The service is good and the host is very attentive. The food is priced above average but portions are very small and closer to top end of the market restaurants. After having a starter, the main course with side dish and a dessert alongside few glasses of champagne, do not be surprised to still feel hungry-ish. It has a good ambience and service to match but portions need to be increased to compliment the high price. In a typical medium to elite west end based, let alone shoreditch area, restaurants the starter portions are bigger than this restaurant's main course, so do not expect being fed. Saying that, this place could be ideal if need to impress a new date or a business partner for want of a business deal.
Lovely meal here for Sunday lunch. Restaurant was about 3/4 full, so there was a good ambience without being too loud. Service was very attentive and flexible, as we did take our time ordering food whilst having drinks. Good combo of light bites and starters to suit everyone's taste and appropriate for sharing. Mains were also very enjoyable, my pork belly in particular was great. Wine good quality and quite reasonably priced. Would recommend and return to experience the non Sunday menu.
Great food. General experience good. Poor waiter.
Great food. Service could have been better. White wine was warm at first.
Good food, nicely decorated, bar with good DJ playing as well.