The Eagle

159 Farringdon Road
Clerkenwell, London
Tel: 020 7837 1353 Farringdon 0.4 miles

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The Eagle reviews

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Wow, so many negative comments. I went there with four friends, one of whom had been there before and recommended the food. I had no idea of its legendary status, and so went without any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Three of us had the steak sandwich, which I have to say is ultra-delicious. I can honestly SING praises of it. Another one had the rare steak, which he said was the best meal he has had in London - and he worked for a 3 Michelin-starred place before, so he knows his food. Another one of us had the chicken with rice and enjoyed it (I had a bite and it was superb).

They were quite nice service-wise as well, and when they saw that five of us had only a small table while two people were sitting at a large one, they very nicely asked the other people to exchange places with us, which they graciously did. The manager/chef, a bearded Italian guy, was very kind, gave us good advice on the food, and when I asked him for mustard for my steak sandwich, refused with a cool sense of humour! He did give me some mustard, but said that I should try it without, and he was damn right. This thing is the most delicious sandwich you will ever eat in your life!

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 by khodadad21, 22 Nov 2011
Disappointed. Great venue, small and cosy with a great feel. Brilliant open kitchen and bar, staff friendly and attentive. Food was sadly not what we were expecting. After reading reviews about the famous Eagle steak sandwich, I was eager to try it. The bavette steak was very thin and overly salty and for £10 was a very small portion. The lamb tagine looked and smelt delicious but was heaped with prunes which oversweetened the dish and masked the tender flavour of the lamb. Sad, as I believe that this used to be one of the best gastropubs in London.

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 by SaintJ, 22 Jul 2011
Food is pretty good quality and value but the owner/manager needs to learn a bit about good manners and customer service. Rudely tells you to sit where he wants so that he can stuff the place to capacity to maximise his profits. Watched people leave who understandably didn't fancy sharing a table with strangers. I have no idea why it's so popular, there's loads of far better places in the area.

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 by ns1971, 01 Jul 2011
Having read recently about The Eagle in The Guardian, I was extremely keen to experience this gastropub for myself. But having cajoled a few girlfriends to have dinner there on Friday, all I left with was a bad impression.

Grilled fish was my choice of the day and this was simply (and delightfully) cooked on a grill and served with grilled peppers and cherry tomatoes seasoned perfectly with olive oil, garlic and herbs. It was a dinner that was simple and fresh and went down well.

The same, however, cannot be said for my friends' choice, the lamb tagine. Now, I'm not a culinary expert by any means but even I know what a tagine is meant to taste like - thick stewy goodness flavoured with dates, coriander, lamb falling off the bone and an explosion of spice combinations. What my friends were presented with was what could best be described as slops: lamb in a watery concoction that was not seasoned and which had rice swimming in the bowl.

When my friend mentioned this to the chef, he rudely told her that she "must eat it"!?! Being of sane mind, my friend politely refused to do so, sent the tagine back and instead asked for some jamon, tomatoes and bread, which she paid extra for. We all had by that time finished our meals whilst my friend waited... and waited for her bread, jamon and tomatoes! When we mentioned this to the staff on the floor he merely told us he was not aware of the problem and then grudgingly brought out a plate of jamon on its own. When my friend pointed out that this was not what she had asked for, he stalked off and then came back a while later with the correct order, asking "Is this better?".

I understand that this is a pub, a busy one at that, but to be written about as a gastropub I would expect it to take some pride in the quality of the food it sends out of the kitchen and some level of service. I'm always willing to give things a second chance but this one I may stay away from.

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 by bmen3201, 29 Oct 2010
I really liked this place. Have been twice and food was really good. I think they need to work on their serving system a bit - it's great for small groups (I went for lunch with one other person, and dinner with a group of three) but they seem to struggle a bit with larger groups. Generally I was pretty impressed with the value and the quality of the place.

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 by rednick1981, 28 Jun 2009
I went to The Eagle for a friend's birthday lunch yesterday, and was on the receiving end of the single worst dining experience I have ever had.

I'm afraid I can't say anything about the food here, because it never arrived. Out of a group of 9 people I was the first to order and pay for my food. About 15 mins later 2 of my friends got their meals, about 15 mins after that 3 others of the party got theirs (not great but not too disastrous), but the remaining four of us still hadn't been served more than an hour later. I am not joking - we ordered at about 2.05, and we still hadn't been served at 3.15. I actually ended up not having lunch because I was so p***ed off with being fobbed off by the waiter - who kept telling us our food was 'just coming' when it obviously wasn't - that I told them to forget it.

To her credit the manageress, when I found her and complained, was very nice and apologetic when I brought it to her attention, and gave us free drinks and brought some free bread and cheese for me. But she didn't really have a good explanation for why the kitchen had just seemingly decided not to cook the meals we'd ordered - she just said they'd been very busy. I'm afraid that really didn't wash, because loads of people who had arrived after us got their meals, and neither she nor any of the other staff had even noticed that we hadn't been served, let alone came to explain why. Not one of them.

The one star is for the manageress' apology, but that was the only thing they did even vaguely right. Shocking.

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 by Inka (2 reviews), 02 Feb 2009
£11 for chicken leg, 3 small mushrooms, blob of polenta - absolutely awful. Don’t waste your money here. The Easton, on Easton St, is a five-minute walk away and so much better it’s not funny. Would never go back to The Eagle.

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 by luckyloly (2 reviews), 04 Jan 2009
Visited Saturday evening and had really excellent grilled bass. Service was fine and friendly. Excellent short wine list. Beers could be more interesting, but are fine. Frankly, our meal here beat the one the previous evening at Anchor & Hope on most levels.

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 by JEK, 14 May 2008
Visited on Sunday for lunch. Decor is the standard shabby-chic much imitated in gastro-pub circles. Few chairs match and the tables are reclaimed from skips and landfill... or are just REALLY old. Paintwork looks like it was last done when the pub opened back in 1836 (or something like that) and is making the place look pretty run down. As do the loos.

All of this would not matter one iota if the food was top-notch spankingly wonderful. Unfortunately it was colourless sludge. Sunday's lamb was grey - the kind of grey that you see in early TV adaptations of Dickens' novels, when they were filmed in black and white. The pork belly was cooked okay, but served with a mass of Borlottti beans in a thick clingy sauce with no real flavour, and a side of salsa verde that did nothing for any flavours apart from be very tart and vinegary.

Given that this place is the grand-daddy of gastro-pubbery, this is a huge let down on a heritage of culinary interest and diversity. If this is where the movement came from, it is a miracle it evolved.

The coffee is good, and the guy behind the bar was great. But the food still sucks.

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 by njfdavies, 25 Mar 2008
Went there for lunch and saw a bad-tempered man bullying the staff - I presume he was the boss. Quickly made other arrangements and I suggest you do too.

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 by matt.w, 21 Mar 2008
The Eagle is one of Clerkenwell's most famous eateries, with accolades such as 'the original gastro pub' and so forth. I've been there many times and have had mixed experiences. Sometimes the food is unbelievably amazing, other times average. The space is dark and cramped and the second-hand, 'grunge' style of interior design desperately dated. In some ways The Eagle is neither a good restaurant nor a pub. It's a sort of bar type of an environment, with unusual open kitchen and very good food - confusing, some would say...

I would recommend that they invest a few pounds on a modest 'upgrade', which might return them to their glory days when The Eagle really was an original and fantastic place to go and have some good food with half decent wine or beer.

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 by varvas, 01 Mar 2008
Have been to The Eagle twice and was really impressed both times - excellent food and drink, good vibe. Would highly recommend.

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 by KeithKingsX, 23 Feb 2008
A difficult one to rate. The food was good and the style of the place is pubby and relaxed. Unfortunately the same can't be said of the staff, who are rude and arrogant. Shame really, it spoilt our evening and really makes me hesitate to recommend.

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 by chow, 04 Dec 2007
The service was extremely slow but the food was delicious. Friendly staff, lovely atmosphere, attractive pub. Would totally recommend! Had the steak sandwich, which was sooo tasty!

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 by catetyann, 09 Nov 2007
Went there last night for a few drinks with some mates. Atmosphere was fun and relaxed. Didn’t have any food but it looked fantastic, as did the chef!

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 by Honey Bee, 09 Nov 2007
Awful food. Waited an hour for a steak sandwich which was tough. Overcrowded, tatty, badly run, crockery and cutlery looked like it had come from a charity shop, non-matching tables and school chairs. A horrid experience. Would not recommend.

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 by rebels, 08 Nov 2007
Have lunched here occasionally for many years. Always excellent food (today had partridge with couscous, tomato, pinenuts and parsley - delicious, unusual and simple). Atmosphere is relaxed, with excellent service and wines.

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 by harburg, 24 Sep 2007
Been twice this year now and was blown away each time by food, atmosphere and service.

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 by DeeBeeGee, 07 Sep 2007
What a disappointment! Perhaps this pub was great some years ago but now the food is rubbish, ordinary lager selection with a tatty selection of second hand rickety furniture.

Bar staff took ages to take our order. Pasta was undercooked. Bream was nearly tasteless. Soups were OK.

Do not go here. Go spend your money somewhere worthwhile.

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 by wobin, 19 Jun 2006
Terrible food (chicken tasted of metal, even the chef agreed) and surly staff who actually had a go at me for complaining. Worst meal I have had in Clerkenwell, ever.

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 by Anonymous, 30 May 2006

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