All reader reviews by maya

Searcy's at The Barbican

As a regular visitor and member to the Barbican I had to try the Searcy’s once. Once was enough.

I went there with a friend for lunch and we chose from set menu. It was one of the worst meals I had in London. The food was badly prepared, the flavours were not balanced the whole was a pitiful attempt to mimic fancy food without any understanding of the basics of cooking. I have no idea what they did to that poor soup ingredients but I had microwaved soup that tasted better. Even though I was quite hungry I found it impossible to eat my meal. An amateur cook using the same ingredients would not do any worse. I don’t know if they have a better chef for dinner or what but that food was dreadful.

The ‘modern European’ label as far as I could see meant ‘trying to be French but are not able to hit the mark’. There are numerous wonderful European cuisines that not only are nicer (and healthier to French) but also simpler. Instead of the pretentious fish-soups that need excellent skill to be good the cook (can’t really call him/her chef) would be better preparing some nice simple Spanish/Italian hors d’oevres or maybe a simple salad. Being an omnivore I was feeling really sorry of my food as these poor animals had died in vain and got brutally tortured after death. Both they and me deserved a better fate.

Atmosphere-wise we were lucky enough to sit by the window which gives a wonderful view to one of the pools of the complex and if you are fond of the Barbican complex you will enjoyed it. The interior décor was nothing special and I think it could profit from changing the carpet which was visibly worn in some places. I am particular about carpets in my dining area but after all if you can’t maintain it use a different material.

Someone would really expect something better from the Barbican particularly as the Searcy’s is supposed to be the most highbrow of the three restaurants in the centre. It needs radical changes I will not eat there again.

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 1 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 1


Korean food is wonderful but unfortunatedly quite overpriced in London. Asadal is not bad.

The food is very decent and they have a very large variety as it is customary in Asian restaurants. I found the hot dishes better than the cold ones and I did not particularly enjoyed the kimchi selection but my bibimbap was great. My friend got Korean barbeque which was nice but the price was very high in porpotion to the portion size.

We found the service friendly enough [it was a quite evening] but very slow. It did not bother us as we were not in a hurry but when we got out we realised we were in this restaurant for 2 hours. My bibimbap came at the time when you would expect the desert.

It is as I mentioned before a bit pricey: we did nothad alcohol and still ended up paying £20 and I think even if you make a very modest order you can't get away with paying less than £14.

The decor is quite good, simple and discreet [for Asian standarts] and although it is so centrally located it is quite and helps you forget holborn's havoc but it loses point on the atmosphere caterogy for being underground.

Generally, I would go again because I love bibimbap and it's location is convenient and I think that if you enjoy Korean food it worths a try.

Friday, April 18, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5

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