All Bar One; the name screams out that this is a place where you would definitely do well to go get a drink from. And post five o’clock on any given day you’ll find this place teeming with men in suits – bankers, lawyers – you get my drift, and the odd other group of people. But don’t let the name completely put you off when you’re in the mood for a bite to eat and in an All Bar One neighbourhood. Along with an extensive drinks menu comes an extensive food menu which is a refreshing change. Though from prior experience, I’d say advise you to stay clear of the ‘Chilli Beef Sliders’ since that’s one item that’s not going to have you singing praises for.
Running a two course set menu where you get to choose any two from a menu of set starters, mains and desserts for £10 seems to be a pretty good fix for me through the weekday and while this special menu may not be as extensive as normal one, the dishes on offer are not bad at all.
For the starters we picked out the ‘Salt and black pepper crispy calamari’ and the ‘Gorgonzola mushrooms with toasted bread’. The calamari as you can see wasn’t a rich yellow fry since it was coated in a light flour but it was crisp and good to taste along with the sweet chili dip. I did like its presentation on a banana leaf. The mushrooms served in a wooden high plate swim in a cream of white wine sauce and cheese and though calls itself an appetizer, could weigh you down due to the overdose of cream. The bread served with it was cold and not toasted.
We picked their ‘classic burger’ and ‘gammon and eggs’ for the mains and decided to forego dessert though their desserts did sound good (especially the ‘banoffee lollipops’). The burger is more of a no frills, home style burger with the bun that looks like it is sliced by a ten year old. Also, lettuce and tomatoes on the bottom half of the bun is a no for me. Served with fries and a tomato salsa you can add on cheese, bacon and the like to the burger at an extra cost. The gammon and eggs is more of a breakfast-y item and is served on a bed of fries along with a pineapple salsa. The gammon was really good but a little while into it and you will probably feel your cholesterol levels mounting. Lightly peppered and half boiled, you can’t really go wrong with the eggs can you!One thing I must say is that the fries (and yes I call them fries and not chips for a reason that I find that chips in Britain are softer and more thickly cut than the American fries) are great. Crisp, golden brown, thinly cut and sprinkled with pepper, don’t forget the fries.
The service can get slow when the place is packed so be prepared to wait.
For directions, menus and more, visit http://www.zomato.com/london/all-bar-one-finsbury