Part of the Stonegate pub company’s empire of outlets, there are 75 Slug and Lettuce’s across the UK. Last time I visited one was to watch Andy Murray lose at tennis, a few years ago, so I can’t say I have overly fond memories of the place. Still, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable choice for a lunch with some of my work colleagues, earlier today.Taking up residence around one of the high tables in their plainly appointed bar area, we contemplated the mind-bogglingly extensive menu. I think I’ve mentioned before that in my experience, restaurants in Istanbul are tremendously good at delivering excellent quality across a menu of this vast range, whereas restaurants in the UK are routinely poor at it. So, it was with some trepidation that I waded through page after page of menu options.
I wasn’t alone in being a little befuddled by the range, as it took us all quite a wee while to make our selections. Eventually, I settled upon the soup of the day, in this case tomato, followed by their falafel burger.
When the soup arrived, it was accompanied by nice looking bread. I tested it and it was nicely warm. As it turned out, it was warmer than the soup! The flavours in the soup were good, with a nice sweetness and notes of herby goodness, but its tepidity did it no favours.
I was apprehensive as to what would arrive for my main, but when it did eventually arrive (the service was friendly, but decidedly slow) it looked pretty smart. And upon biting in to it, the lightly toasted bun tasted good. Sadly, the filling was really bland, with the falafel dry and flavourless, the tomato lacking sweetness, and the guacamole completely lacking zing.
So, overall the Slug & Lettuce wasn’t great. They absolutely, categorically need to chop their menu at least in half, if not further than that. They have eight different burger options, sitting next to a similar number of curry options, sitting next to a broad range of pasta options, and from what I could see, none of it looked too appetizing. They need to focus on a much smaller number of dishes, and try to inject some quality. For now, I couldn’t recommend the place.
Blythe scores Slug and Lettuce
2/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 10.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: tomato soup, falafel burger
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: optimal lunch questing gear
Total bill: c.£10 per person