Before heading away on holidays I managed to get a couple of days in the office without being on a project. On the way to lunch, I saw that The Giaconda Dining Room were open. I’ve always walked past here on a weekend, when it’s shut. I also remember reading about them shutting down when their owner/chef broke his arm rather than continuing with less than optimal service. Of course, it’d been a while since then yet I’d still assumed they were shut.
I headed over for a lunch late, probably around 2pm by the time that I sat down. It was still bustling from the lunchtime service with lots of people obviously doing a business lunch, a couple of one diners and some people visiting the area. Their tables are situated pretty closely together, so much so that I could hear the conversation at the table next to me. To be fair, their rent must be expensive given its location so they’ve done a pretty good job of what little space they did have.
I had a look through the menu and after hearing what the soup of the day was, a White Onion Soup with Gruyère Crouton I definitely had to try it. As you can see from the picture above, the bowl was quite large and the the crouton was an amazingly crisp bit of cheese grilled around the croutons. Even by the time that I finished the soup, the croutons, encased in the deliciously salty cheese still remained crunchy. A very nice compliment to the sweetness left in the soup.
For my main, I ordered the seabass, arriving on a bed of parsley and lentil salad. Perfectly seasoned and perfectly grilled where the outside skin was perfectly crisp but the flesh remained flaky and juicy. This was definitely a well cooked piece of fish.
Another thing to note about The Giaconda Dining Room is that they do have a cover charge and it’s pretty good value when you look at what gets presented to you (see below). You get some reasonable bread and butter, a carafe of sparkling water and a small dish of mixed olives to nibble on as you peruse the rest of the menu.
I really enjoyed my lunch here and I’d be intrigued to see how busy they get around dinner or peak lunchtime service. With fantastic friendly service, and delicious food, it’s no wonder they are always busy and win lots of praise.
Name: The Giaconda Dining Room
Found at: 9 Denmark Street, WC2 H8LS, London, UK
Cost for lunch: Soup of the day, seabass, cover charge, a glass of white wine and service £23.50.