It’s nice to be able to dine well in the East End these days. Merchants Tavern offers a great, relaxed yet classy place with great ambiance. The food is consistently good including a celery and wet garlic soup to start and a melt in the mouth hanger steak. Mains are a meaty affair, so not a place to take veggie clients, but everyone else will find a little bit of heaven.
You’ll want to try one of the top-notch cocktails and sample something from the fine wine list. Three courses and drinks for two will set you back about £130, but it will be sure to impress. Alternatively bag a bargain with the three-course lunch menu at just £21 a head.
Dining experience ****
Waiters are well dressed and attentive, if slightly slow. But who wants to rush a good meal? It’s a warehouse vibe, so the bar is big and uber-cool. Up front (before the check-in and coat check) is also suited for an aperitif or even a casual meeting with nibbles.
Chances of a last-minute booking ****
You’ll want to book a few days in advance for a primetime slot on a Thursday, Friday or weekend, but you’ll be able to sneak in and be accommodated most of the time.
Client wow factor ****
I don’t have the fear factor here. I know they will do a good job and impress. Even my American clients like the vibe, service and food (a good benchmark).
Sophisticated decor, quality grub and great atmosphere minus the snobbery.
Reviewed by Ian Hall, director, Grammatik