The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably
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21-23 St Swithin's Lane,
EC4N 8AD020 7623 6853/6850
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Surveyed 15/07/2011What does this rating mean?
The restaurant specialises in seafood and opened in 1985 and is in the City of London’s Square Mile. It opens Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. It is close to Bank, Cannon Street and Monument tube stations, and several bus routes. It has two dining areas, the upstairs being a champagne bar and restaurant, the downstairs being a fine restaurant serving classical Italian and French-style meals.It has a 3 star Google rating. A two course meal would be expected to cost about £25 to £30.
Recently refurbished and truly one of the finest seafood restaurant and bars in London since opening in 1985. Elegant, upstairs champagne bar and restaurant area for up to 60 people in a classic venetian marble and beach wood setting. Specialising in fish and crustacea, Swithins boasts a reputation unrivaled in the square mile. The menu is complemented by a fine list of wines and vintage champagnes. Whether you choose to dine at the upper level restaurant or the ground floor bar, you can be assured of a first class dining experience. The downstairs area has a fine restaurant area seating 50 people in the surroundings of the old, vaulted 'Sandeman Port' cellars of 100 years ago. The cuisine is classical Italian-French and is complemented by a fine selection of wines and Vintage Ports. The modern marble bar area seats 100 people in comfort with tables and leather banquettes and serves a selection of modern dishes, hot and cold sandwiches & chefs specials; all freshly made by the kitchen team.
This restaurant serves European eel, a fish that is classified as critically endangered because of a population crash in recent years. There are several other species on the online menu – cod, wild caught halibut, tiger prawns, sole and swordfish which, in the absence of details about where or how they were caught, there are question marks over. The restaurant does have good points, such as making an effort to tell customers what species they are being offered, and serving organic salmon, but it does seem to display a dispiriting lack of awareness of the problem of sustainability. Its Fish2fork rating was 1 red fish but is now 4.5 red fish.