When a much-loved gin palace-cum-gastropub is converted into an all-day eatery, it can be a cause for celebration The new incarnation of the eponymous No.11 Pimlico Road certainly offers fans of what was the louche and lavish Ebury(now relocated up the road) a chance to breakfast and snack as well as dine, not to mention drinking and nibbling till midnight in a super-convenient location for Victoria Coach Station.
The place is bright, stylish and airy now rather than rich, muted and resolutely unreconstructed, and clearly targeted at yummy mummies, with a nod to mid-century design in the private room upstairs. But the food is pricey for what it is, and strangely old-fashioned by the standard of current London menu offerings.
Crispy peppered squid was not actually crispy, and smoked haddock and spinach fish cakes were accompanied by a “warm Cheddar sauce” that was neither very warm nor particularly cheesy.
Both of these were priced at £7.95, for which you could choose from a vast range of better and more interesting small dishes at any of the Soho and City eateries offering small plates where crispy squid and fish cakes have not been seen on menus for at least five years.
Of the mains, roast cod with lentils was nicely cooked but too small a portion for £17.50, with puny kale garnish. The mussels with lemongrass, coconut and ginger tasted more like standard moules marinieres with a halfhearted sprinkling of chopped lemongrass rather than the punchier Thai flavours the description suggested.
Perhaps we should have come for the weekend brunch, which has a better reputation, with the eggs Benedict much liked by reviewers and a cheerful selection of well-priced cocktails.
In fact the wines at No.11 Pimlico Road are surprisingly decent value, with a choice of palatable glasses at £5.25 as well as a few premium drops. This all suggests the ghost of The Ebury continues to haunt the place, suggesting a promising future as a drinking den rather than a restaurant with a menu and level of skill and imagination in the kitchen that really doesn’t stand up to the fierce London competition.
No.11 Pimlico Road
London SW1W 8NA
020 7730 6784