I was really impressed with the staff of Village East. A friend and I stopped in for a drink and had to sit at the end of the long table next to a very loud group ... not the usually more genteel clientele that have adopted the place. We had just commented to each other how loud they were when we discovered that the manager (I'm assuming) had politely asked them to keep it down or leave. It was reassuring to say the least.
As a smoker, it's a bit irritating to be stuck in the front bar as the rest is non-smoking, but I support the initiative. Cigarette smoke doesn't interrupt the dining experience and you'll be hard pressed to find another local Bermondsey St venue where smoke wasn't overwhelming.
Hopefully they'll sort out some of the kinks and it will be a great alternative to its neighboring pubs.
On the subject of smoking - we were in Zilli, Shad Thames yesterday evening. The place was busy but the smoking area was deserted (as there was no-one smoking there and also as we weren't fussed for a change we asked to go there). Perhaps it was just a freak evening but surely if c.quarter of a restaurant is empty to cater for a speculative market, then it would make economic sense to have it all non-smoking? I know I'm digressing ...
Went to village east last night. Nice design, very good food (I heard head chef used to work at Pont de la Tour and Mirabelle). Service not perfect, still ok. A pity the place closes at 11.
Great addition to the area.
There's a review of Village East on pg 23 of today's Metro.
3 stars (out of 5)
"Just a pretty face.
Shame about the food: Beautiful as it is, dining at Village East is a hit and miss affair, thanks to variable dishes"
Which I think is good news, because I've not been to a restaurant reviewed by the Evening Standard/Metro and agreed with what they had to say. The restaurants I like, they usually dislike. The places I find pretentious in the extreme, they seem to adore.
Still haven't been to Village East yet but hoping to do so in the next couple of weeks.