Criterion

Criterion Breakfast (2 of 14)
Criterion’s interior gives a very West End feel, with the Criterion Theatre just next door
Criterion Breakfast (4 of 14)
Quiet and tranquil, a rare occasion being first customer of the day at 7.30am
History and background:

Prestige and reputation sure does get repeatedly mentioned in my posts, but this one is a little different. It’s very hard to find a restaurant like the Criterion, a restaurant so quintessentially English and enriched with so much history there’s even a Wikipedia page for it.

Breath-taking interior design by architect Thomas Verity in a Grade II* listed building at the heart of Central London makes the Criterion certainly one to visit. I held my mother’s birthday here last year and most recently re-visited the Criterion for Louise’s 21st, and also, for the new breakfast menu.

You almost feel as if you’re part of history as you walk in, when you know the Criterion has been mentioned in Sherlock Holmes’ book on Dr. Watson’s meeting with a friend, to being in the same place where Winston Churchill once visited. Events often take place here, weddings and celebrations alike, but also regularly featured in TV, such as Downtown Abbey, Batman: The Dark Knight and Gambit.

The meal:

Ongoing deals at the Criterion

  • 50% off breakfast menu until 30th June 2015
  • Afternoon Tea and Cocktail £19.95
  • 2 courses and a Pimm’s cocktail £20.00/ 3 courses for £25.00

(Full prices are listed below)

Criterion Breakfast (10 of 14)
Poached Eggs on toast with smoked salmon £10.50
Criterion Breakfast (5 of 14)
Confit Duck Leg, fried egg with Belgian Waffle £13.50
My first instinct was, “It’s Duck and Waffle!”, being a frequent diner of Duck and Waffle, I’m not sure I’ve tried a different take on this particular combination until at the Criterion. They do not use a duck egg, more mustard is used than wholly maple syrup, but mustard is subtle and so does not overpower the sweetness of the sauce. Duck confit was tender and soft, a very very good alternative if you can’t book the 40th floor establishment.

Criterion Breakfast (13 of 14)
Added Avocado (from sides) £4.00
Criterion Breakfast (14 of 14)
Played around with this dish to get it presented the way I wanted. Hehe.
Below was Amy’s choice of breakfast was the Berries and Walnuts Criterion Pancakes, really fruity and fresh, pancakes really fluffy!

Criterion Breakfast (12 of 14)
Berries and Walnuts Criterion Pancake £6.50
Criterion Breakfast (8 of 14)
The obligatory bird eye shot… not that I’m particularly great at it (We ordered two pots of teas £4.00 per pot)

Dinner in the semi-private terrace area, tables arranged in a long vertical line for a group of 20.

Criterion (41 of 63)
Obligatory snaps for Daisy, and Dan multitasking his way through dinner
Criterion (24 of 63)
Louise (birthday girl) on the left, Paul, Parisha, Fia, Arya and Minh chatting away
Criterion (15 of 63)
Soup of the Day (3 courses for £25) – Tomato Soup
Criterion (13 of 63)
Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine, Celeriac Remoulade, Watercress, croutons
Criterion (40 of 63)
Pan fried ‘Loch Duart’ Salmon, beetroot and horseradish puree, sauteed vegetables, beurre blanc
Criterion (33 of 63)
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta, courgette, peas, mint, black olives, chili, rocket salad (v)
I had the pasta, the vegetarian option, since the other two mains were wildly popular on the table.

Criterion (36 of 63)
Roast corn fed chicken supreme, celeriac puree, chorizo, white cabbage
Criterion (32 of 63)
Another take on the salmon
Criterion (46 of 63)
Always room for dessert! Dark chocolate and blood orange cake, vanilla creme fraiche, caramel, blood orange sorbet
Criterion (54 of 63)
Passion fruit and mango Eton mess, blackberries, basil cress
Criterion (60 of 63)
A paparazzi shot for the birthday girl
Criterion (62 of 63)
This cake, is ginormous. Patisserie Valerie.
Service: Very accommodating, friendly, knowledgable and not intrusive. 12.5% service charge.

Criterion Breakfast (1 of 1)
(Photo courtesy of Paul Choong) Criterion staff hard at work
Bits and bobs:

  • Make this your pre-theatre meal with Criterion Theatre just next door! (39 steps is one of my favourite plays)
  • Can easily accommodate birthday meals, or large parties, as far as I remember, no cake fee
  • Tube station at your doorstep
  • Afternoon tea also recommended
  • Live music during the evening on Fridays and Saturdays from 7.30pm

Price: ££

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Square Meal

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