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Monday 20 February 2012 8.47pm
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
As Exigo said, depends on what you mean by top end price. I would say you would do well to head for Bermondsey Street- Pizarro and Zucca are both excellent. You might struggle to get a table at Zucca at this short notice though. I can't personally vouch for Antico but others on this forum have commented favourably about the restaurant (although the separate bar seems to be less well thought of). I can also vouch for Tentazioni - very nice.

I've never got around to going to Zucca, have popped in on spec a few times and they've always been full.

I just looked at their website and had to laugh when the banner popped up and said "bringing a cake for a special occasion, let us know as there's a cake-age charge of £25"!! If that's there attitude to customers then I think I'll eat elsewhere....
Monday 20 February 2012 10.14pm
I would hazard a guess that their, not THERE attitude is based on the assumption that if you bring your own cake then you aren't going to be buying their Tiramisu, Torta della Nonna, or Ricotta cheesecake.
It's kind of understandable, but hardly conducive to good customer relations.
After all, how often are people going to request to bring their own cake?
Tuesday 21 February 2012 1.50am
shaggy wrote:
Elliots in Borough Market has all your requirements...cool location, independent, reasonable prices & great food. My new favourite...

But can you book there now? Not possible when I last checked a month or so back.
Tuesday 21 February 2012 8.30am
Debrajoan wrote:
I would hazard a guess that their, not THERE attitude is based on the assumption that if you bring your own cake then you aren't going to be buying their Tiramisu, Torta della Nonna, or Ricotta cheesecake.
It's kind of understandable, but hardly conducive to good customer relations.
After all, how often are people going to request to bring their own cake?

Apologies for the typo! I am capable of understanding the economics of the situation, but I don't feel it's 'understandable'. It's a barefaced cheek and oh so typical of London. I don't resent a restaurateur making a fair return, but when you consider that a group of 4 would easily be spending £40-50 per head on a main + starter with wine slapping £25 on top just isn't on.

Your point about frequency is very valid, the ability to charge the fee is probably limited, yet the negative impression it causes is significantly more costly.
Tuesday 21 February 2012 8.56am
I probably would prefer not to sit next to a table at a good restaurant where someone has bought their own cake! Maybe fine at a Macdonald's though and I'd welcome it there. So I welcome the attempt to limit the appeal of this practice by levying a charge.
Tuesday 21 February 2012 9.21am
Why take your own food to Zucca? the food (including deserts) there is amazing! Strange complaint. would you take your own coffee in a flask too?
Tuesday 21 February 2012 9.24am
jonnyp42 wrote:
Debrajoan wrote:
I would hazard a guess that their, not THERE attitude is based on the assumption that if you bring your own cake then you aren't going to be buying their Tiramisu, Torta della Nonna, or Ricotta cheesecake.
It's kind of understandable, but hardly conducive to good customer relations.
After all, how often are people going to request to bring their own cake?

Apologies for the typo! I am capable of understanding the economics of the situation, but I don't feel it's 'understandable'. It's a barefaced cheek and oh so typical of London. I don't resent a restaurateur making a fair return, but when you consider that a group of 4 would easily be spending £40-50 per head on a main + starter with wine slapping £25 on top just isn't on.

Your point about frequency is very valid, the ability to charge the fee is probably limited, yet the negative impression it causes is significantly more costly.

Starters in Zucca range from £4-10 and mains from £10-16 so I think your per head cost assumption is a bit off. Can't imagine a table of less than 6 bringing a cake do a fairly modest charge.

It's a pity that they bother mentioning the charge as I suspect 95% of customers would never bring a cake.

You should persevere though; Zucca remains excellent value. Adding £2 to each dish would probably increase profits dramatically without damaging or excluding customers.

I had dinner in the River Cafe last week, the culinary parent of Zucca. I see Zucca as the everyday equivalent of RC which for the price (plus poor location) is an infrequent experience. Food there is more like £100 per head excluding drinks, not unusual to have a £35 starter - the price of 3 courses or more at Zucca.

What is truly awful is the cost of some chain Italians which while having huge menus, produce little of quality.

No connection other than being a frequent customer of restaurants all over.
Tuesday 21 February 2012 12.59pm
Zucca is truly excellent...as is La Lanterna albeit in a rather traditional way
Tuesday 21 February 2012 3.32pm
Pops wrote:
Have a look at the Evening Standard, they were doing dine for £15, Blue Print Cafe and Chop House were both listed.

That offer finished on Saturday, which is when I went to the Blueprint Café for the first time. The view and atmosphere were great. But an overly simple salad (I could do better...), very good duck but oh dear such scanty parsnip purée - not even a knife load (nor any potatoes with the dish), with the same problem with the chocolate sauce - far more cream than chocolate for what was described as pear and chocolate... So personally I wouldn't rush back for the food. There's got to be something better close to London Bridge. I'd go with Tas on Borough High Street of Fish in Borough Market, as have been recommended. The Britannia was a great choice for an evening meal when I went mid-week before Christmas, but perhaps I was lucky? It was a very good dish of the day.
Tuesday 21 February 2012 4.16pm
Jeremy Lee has recently moved on from the Blueprint Cafe. I haven't been since his departure, but I was a big fan of the place when he was there.

The combo of food plus interesting wines, plus setting, plus good service, and lovely bright light room made it pretty much my favourite place in SE1 for Sunday lunch.

It would be a terrible shame if the new regime wasn't quickly up to the old standards. Wonder if he took other staff with him when he left? It's a fairly common thing to do.

Butlers Wharf Chop house always used to do a relatively good-value (for the location and general quality of food) two or three course set meal (two or three choices per course) for £12 - 15, which was available all day every day in the bar part of the restaurant. Not sure if they still do the same deal. Wine's not overcheap there, mind.

...if you press it, they will come.
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