The Engineer

65 Gloucester Avenue
Primrose Hill, London
NW1 8JH
Tel: 020 74831890 Chalk Farm 0.3 miles


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The Engineer reviews

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Disappointingly slow service. Booked table for 12.15 for early lunch but mains only arrived at 1.30 (no starters ordered). Disinterested manageress couldn't even manage an apology. Food acceptable.

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 by HES, 08 Jul 2012
We attended The Engineer for lunch on Saturday 10th of July. We were a table of four, and enjoyed a relatively pleasant meal up until the time we received the bill.

Starters were pleasant but pedestrian - a pint of cooked prawns is hardly a stretch, and goats cheese bruschetta was pleasant but artichokes were nowhere to be found. Mains were enjoyable - very good burger and enjoyable and tasty sea bass, and a fresh looking mackerel salad.

So, all was going well until we asked to settle up. We discovered to our surprise a 20% service charge added to our not insignificant lunch bill of £170. We felt that, for a two course lunch of what was effectively burger and chips, to suddenly expect us to cough up £20 without forewarning was unacceptable. (Last time I checked, a waitress serving a table of 4 should not be an inconvenience!)

As a point of principle, we objected to being told to tip £20 and left a £15 tip instead. We were then challenged by the waitress that we had not paid the bill, and one of our party overheard the staff bitching about us in the kitchen.

Decent food but no more spectacular than any decent city pub and not worth the stinking attitude of the staff. Being outright rude to our faces was unbelievable and I can't imagine they have regular customers with that kind of entitled attitude. A poor show and a sad end to an otherwise enjoyable meal.

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 by mel1, 11 Jul 2010
Local pub, with rude staff that have an arrogant attitude and no sense of customer service, plus mediocre food that's often luke warm. Don't go.

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 by marlonace98, 31 Jan 2010
Went there for Sunday lunch and it was delicious, and with very charming, efficient service. I was a bit worried it would be crap after reading some of these reviews. Happy to say, don't believe everything you read. We had a lovely roast pork, well kept St. Peter's and wines and then excellent puddings. It is worth a visit. Upstairs seating very pretty too.

Useful review? 1
 by ebacher28 (2 reviews), 01 Dec 2009
It's not a good place. Very up it's own ar*e and the staff are truly horrible. The food is overpriced and not very good but if you're a local and own a house nearby, you'll probably be just about thick enough to think it's good. A shame. A real waste.

Useful review? 1
 by hipwell, 28 Oct 2009
I last ate here in 2004 for lunch. The food was delicious, but the waiters got in a muddle with the order. I didn't get around to revisiting, but after reading the recent reviews, I will definitely not be. They clearly need a visit from Gordon Ramsay.

Useful review? 1
 by Lee111, 13 Sep 2009
Don't ever go there! It is THE worst experience I have had in a gastropub in London ever. I don't even think they should be allowed to call themselves a gastropub.

We booked a table and got seated well enough. The waiter was rushed, but nice (they were clearly short-staffed, although they didn't seem too bothered or rushed because of it). We went straight for mains and ordered duck (was told it was going to come pink, it came more like well done), fillet of sea bream (filled with bones) and salmon with parma ham (although the waiter got it wrong the first time round and we had to wait another 10 mins for the last dish to arrive). We also ordered the 'special' side - courgettes - only to be told they had sold out (at 7.30pm!).

The chef had obviously lost his passion for cooking and should really pack it in. If you can't be bothered taking the bones out of fish, don't serve it. And if you can't cook duck, don't put it on the menu. Added to this the fact that none of the dishes were nice or seasonal and the glass of Gamay I ordered was like vinegar (not worth £8.50), I think they should ask themselves why they are in business. It is certainly not to provide good food or good service.

Useful review? 1
 by freya 4 (2 reviews), 23 Apr 2009
Very rude bar staff. It is obvious they don't want to be there. Food has gone downhill. It used to be a good gastro pub, but not any more.

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 by ALR, 14 Nov 2008
Today was a glorious autumn Sunday in London - possibly our last for 2008 - and everyone was out and about making the most of the city, with smiles as bright as the sunshine. That's everyone except the staff at The Engineer, who were grumpy and rude from the moment we arrived.

We had a booking for a large group of 12, which we all understand can be more difficult to look after in terms of serving meals etc, so we split our group into a table of 6 and table of 4 - this pub doesn't do bookings for more than 10. The waitress 'looking after us' in fact told us that their kitchen can't handle tables larger than 6.

Our plan for the afternoon was to sit in the beer garden on this beautiful day, eat a yummy lunch (which it was), and share quite a few drinks with some friends but the staff at this pub seemed intent on making sure that didn't happen. We were sick of the treatment so left as soon as we'd finished lunch to go to another pub nearby for a few more drinks.

The staff at The Engineer don't seem to understand the concept of the hospitality business. They were anything but hospitable. I won't be coming back or recommending it.

Useful review? 1
 by meikejean, 28 Sep 2008
After hearing the hype, very disappointed. Cold food and very poor service. I arrived alone and on time. The maitre d' identified our group's booking but told me the group hadn't arrived. I then waited 15 minutes downstairs before one of my friends came down to find me, having been there all along. Our orders were taken by a seemingly hungover waiter who was more interested in drinking coffee than tending the table. No one came to check whether meals were satisfactory (and mine was lukewarm at best), only some brief fawning over the baby in our group from a passing waitress.

Overall, a poor, overpriced experience for a not overfussy diner. I'll be better off next time going for a Sunday roast at a proper pub or a restaurant meal with proper service at a proper restaurant. This was neither.

Useful review? 1
 by Tony C, 17 Dec 2007
After years of recommendations, I finally got around to dinner at the Engineer. I went with with a reasonable-sized group of friends to celebrate a birthday. The food was incredible and the service was great. Even though the staff were clearly very busy, nothing was too much trouble. This is one rare time when I would actually have been happy to pay more for such an ace, relaxed dining experience. Incredibly reasonable, highly recommended and my new regular. A real pleasure!

Useful review? 1
 by Moo Moo (23 reviews), 23 Jun 2007
Food was not bad, but great shame about the service!

Imagine, a vegetarian who dislikes mushrooms and there was just a mushroom risotto on the menu. There was a pasta option with bacon, so my friend thought she'd ask if she could order the pasta dish without any bacon. The reply was no, because the sauce was already mixed in. Understandable I guess, but the pasta dish was £12.00 and you think to yourself, I could have bought an all mixed in pasta dish from Waitrose for much less! There was no attempt to offer any alternative or the initiative to ask the chef if any thing else could be done. A 12.5% 'optional' service charge was added to our bill. I'm ashamed of myself for having paid it!

Useful review? 1
 by Twinky, 18 Oct 2006
Wonderful cocktails.

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 by Eloise, 09 Oct 2006
A friend had her 30th birthday here (a party of 12). My friend's sister had bought a really nice cake but the manager refused to serve it, saying it was not policy. We had already ordered two courses, plenty of drinks and offered to all buy ice cream and coffees, but she point blank refused. Clearly customer satisfaction is of no concern.

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 by phill2424, 29 Sep 2006
Sitting in the garden bar is like being back in the school yard! The staff keep throwing the 'rule book' at you. I think they are all retired school teachers or something of that nature because they seem to like being in a position of telling you how to 'behave'. Definately give it a miss - unless you like being spanked!

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 by Gebe, 23 May 2006
The staff are awful - rude and arrogant. Don't go, you will be disappointed.

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 by poodle (2 reviews), 31 Aug 2005
Not cheap but good food, pleasant decor and friendly staff. Like many "gastropubs" it's actually a restaurant attached to a pub and doesn't really feel much like a pub environment - I'm not even sure if you can eat in the main bar area, but it's handy to meet for a drink before dining. Worth a visit.

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 by anonymous howard (3 reviews), 17 Aug 2005
This has been my favourite gastropub for years. I would highly recommend the breakfast! Great ambiance, friendly staff and fun courtyard.

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 by Nathaliecomty (2 reviews), 15 Aug 2005
One of the best gastro pubs I know in London! Great food with a great presentation and original dishes. The service is also very friendly while remaining very professional.

There is also a large beer garden where you can eat in the summer. Book in advance as it is very popular. A must!

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 by Anonymous, 12 Jun 2005
We go here quite often for business lunches, and the food is always delicious, and the service is good. Food is probably a bit on the pricey side, but definitely well worth it. The tequila-cured salmon blinis are superb!

Useful review?
 by Clysgrl (10 reviews), 22 Feb 2005


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