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This was the only day I had actually planned both lunch and dinner meet-ups with friends. And I knew I’d be fine lunching light with Thane @thaneprince since we’ve done this before, and as it turned out she also had a dinner date that same evening. Last summer Thane and I thought we’d made a mistake by choosing newly-opened Calcutta Street over our original choice, Clipstone. So this time we thought we would make it right by going to Clipstone for lunch.

Needn’t have bothered. I really have no complaint about the food or service per se, other than it was way overpriced for what was an uninspired and totally forgettable meal. I mean, just look at it… 40€ each for that (mostly vegetables other than the 2 scallops)? With some wine, of course.

After lunch I met Peter to do some SHOPPING. I was hoping to find some cute sandals at the official Mephistos shop (nope) so we just ended up wandering around Soho until it was time to meet Sara & Steve for dinner at Kiln, the new sister restaurant of Smoking Goat. Thai fusiony fabulousness was promised. Sad to say, Kiln failed to deliver.

Peter and I got to Kiln a few minutes early, so we were ushered to an area next to the bar and drink orders were taken. When Sara & Steve arrived (who were also given drinks) we were then ushered to a small room downstairs and were shown to our table. When I booked I was told that we would only have the table for two hours. And well, okey-dokey, but it was a full half-hour before our food order was taken – wtf is that about? In fact, the service was lacking throughout the entire, uh, two hours. We ordered a bottle of white wine for the ladies (guys were on beer and soft drinks) and after serving two glasses the bottle was plunked down on the table with no option for keeping it chilled. When we asked the waitress she said she could stick in back in the fridge for us and bring it out again later. WHAT? Given that an easy 20 minutes would pass without seeing our server again this was not an option (nor would it be anywhere).

Then out came the food, which was fine. I mean, it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t really good. In the end it was the poor service that stood out. Staff were not well-trained, and exuded the sort of OTT “fake friendliness” that I assume they think will cover for their ineptness. Well… nope. It didn’t.

But in spite of two seriously mediocre meals, the company couldn’t have been better, and I had a great time with my friends anyhow. But I am NEVER going back to either of these restaurants. xx