I was surprised not to find any other Silver Travel reviews of “All Bar One”:http://www.allbarone.co.uk/. After all, it’s a well-known, national bar/restaurant chain which I always think is suitable for any time of day, from breakfast through lunch to late evening drinks.
The branch in Villiers Street (a semi-pedestrianised street linking Embankment Underground with Charing Cross) is a favourite haunt for meeting a former work colleague as it’s a short walk from his office in Westminster. We like it because there’s a diverse “menu”:http://www.allbarone.co.uk/foodmenu and table service.
It’s more of a bar downstairs and was full of rowdy kilted men (England were playing Scotland at Wembley) but upstairs is a warren with all manner of seating more suitable for eating.
Bang on 12 noon, no one appeared to be serving and so I shouted rather inelegantly over the balcony down into the bar and we were quickly being sorted out by a delightful, but slightly harassed young woman.
Normally it’s a burger for him and fish and chips for me. But this time I departed slightly from form and ordered smoked haddock and mustard fishcakes, mainly because I liked the sound of the ‘bloody mary sauce and coleslaw’. It also came with chips or salad.
When my plate arrived, there was a small pot of what looked like a rather gloopy textured mayonnaise which I assumed must be the coleslaw. Having shouted over the balcony again to get the waitress back, I asked about the bloody mary sauce but meanwhile started eating. She brought up a second dish of what I’d since discovered was what appeared to be tartare sauce and was told it was flavoured with bloody mary sauce. Hmmm . . . . I then realised I didn’t have the coleslaw, so off she went again to the kitchen and returned with a small pan-shaped dish of coleslaw.
I was slightly nervous about the fishcakes as I’m not a great smoked fish fan, but to be honest the smokiness didn’t come through nor did the mustard: which was good for me, but might have been disappointing for others. However, they were tasty in a non-smoked, non-mustard way. Burger Boy was more than happy with his burger which was nicely stacked with interesting bits and pieces and a choice of cheese. Both dishes were £9.50.
We then shared a pudding: chocolate brownie with ‘bourbon ice-cream’ although I suspect, that like the BM sauce, it had simply been shown the bottle of bourbon. Still the brownie was good and so large that even though we were sharing, we struggled to finish it.
We shared a bottle of reasonably priced Pinot Grigio (£20.50) from an extensive “wine list”:http://www.allbarone.co.uk/wine-library.
Despite the slightly iffy service, I suspect that because of the football it was a slightly off day for them and we would return.