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“Horrible place. Avoid and try another.”
Review of City Bar and Grill

City Bar and Grill
Ranked #16,141 of 23,860 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: European
Restaurant details
Reviewed 4 August 2013 via mobile

You are limited at London City Airport for food but avoid this place. I say down at the bar and asked for a wine list. Immediate the waitress asked if I was planning to eat. I said I wasn't planning to but wanted a glass of wine. She tutted and asked I vacated the seat. I thought this odd as the restaurant was empty.

Anyway, ended up getting a caesar salad with chicken. I'm not exaggerating but there was a total of 3 cubes of chicken and half an anchovy. The prices are ridiculous as well.

Hate giving bad reviews but this place deserved it. Needs an overhaul on its policy of only serving if you're having a meal (in quiet times at least) and needs an overhaul in attitude of staff.

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Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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190 - 194 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2013

I asked for a glass of wine and was given a choice of £13 for a glass of French wine, or £7.95 for something else. I chose the something else. The guy who served me was very pleasant, and he told me to sit in the adjoining dining area while I awaited my "Rustic Bread". When I presented myself there, a hostile, snotty waiter explained between snarls that I had no right to be there. "But I was told to sit here while I wait for the bread," I said. He seated me - with much passive-aggressive grudge - at a window seat, spitting the words "If we get busy I may require you to leave." (The restaurant was empty. I start to see why.) I pointed out that as my gate was closing in 20 minutes, he would soon be rid of me. He looked relieved.
When the bread arrived, it was so stale that I wouldn't feed it to my chickens. I sent it back, but was summarily marched back to the bar to seek a refund. By now I was feeling like a pig at a wedding. It took 15 minutes for the manager to process my refund, and I had to dash to get my flight. At no stage did the word "sorry" pass anyone's lips.
In summary: ridiculous prices, poor quality and rude service.

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Thank Tim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

My husband and I each ordered a plate of pasta and it was really tasty. When taking our order, the waitress asked if we would like parmesan - a standard offer in any place serving pasta. When the bill arrived it included £1.50 EACH for parmesan! Besides the fact that this is completely crazy, the waitress never mentioned the extra charge, even when my husband said he only wanted 'a little bit'. The pasta was overpriced to begin with without this ridiculous extra charge.

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Thank Fionnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

I dined at the City Bar & Grill before my flight which was scheduled to depart at 20:15. Having arrived at the airport in plenty of time, I opted to progress through security in the hope of finding somewhere for dinner in the departures area. It was 6pm when I was shown to a seat at the bar having waited briefly in a short queue. The restaurant seemed relatively busy, and one might expect that week-day dinner service would be peak time for such an establishment. It would also follow, then, that they experience a similar volume of customers throughout the week, and they would be used to such a rush. However, after a minute or so sitting at the bar, it would not have taken the beady eye of Gordon Ramsay or Michel Roux Jr to realise the staff were behind the eight-ball.

Well, these things happen. I've worked enough in similar establishments to know that some nights things just don't work out, and a lot of what could go wrong does. I weighed up my options and figured that with my abundance of time and decent position, I was likely to be a low maintenance customer to them, and should be able to enjoy a meal and a beer without too much difficulty.

I was offered a drink after catching the eye of a server behind the bar. I couldn't see the taps, so asked the young lady what was on offer. I soon stopped her after she mentioned the Heineken, saving her reeling off every beer in the place - for her sake and mine! It came soon enough. A similar episode took place beside me, where the German gentleman, on enquiring the draughts available, was recited the entire list in double-quick time. At the first sign of further indecision and hesitation, the waitress proposed "I think John Smiths" in whichever thick and semi-intelligible accent it was that she actually possessed. I may be stereotyping here, but I was rather doubtful that this European-sounding business-looking gentleman beside me was really looking for a cheap, nasty and distinctly English bitter. He did indeed confirm, after we got chatting, that it was definitely not what he was after. I wondered how much it cost him.

After managing to turn promising eye-contact into actual service and attention, I managed to order the beef main course. I can't remember the wording, unfortunately, but it consisted of beef two-ways - a fillet medallion of some description, with slow cooked ribs, buttered kale and roast new potatoes. Not long after, our German friend ordered the same.

It was between 30 and 35 minutes before we received our food. Whilst I had time for this, my patience was wearing thin. I reminded myself that I would be waiting anyway, and so I may as well do it at the bar, with a beer in hand, and the promise of a decent feed. Our German friend, however, was running out of time, so I said he could have my main course should it arrive first. In the end, and after some gentle enquiries, main courses were placed in front of us.

Patience aside, it was hunger that was the driving force behind the ferocity with which I attacked my dinner. At that moment in time, I did not remotely care that the contents of the plate were lukewarm at best. I barely noticed how soggy the "roast" potatoes were, or even the complete lack of the flavour that should so present with "new" potatoes. A few sprigs should no be enough to overpower such a beautiful aroma. It seems they were. That is, unless they were just rubbish potatoes cooked rubbishly. The fillet medallion was small and rare. But meh; its fillet, it was always going to be so. The rib was around 50/50 meat to fat. Whilst nicely cooked, I felt I as unfortunate, as the fellow in my right got one with a significantly more beneficial meat to fat ratio. The kale was nicely seasoned, and heavily buttered. However, another 90 seconds in the pan might have helped remove the tough, almost leathery quality that exists in raw kale. My portion seemed better suited to an animal with a functioning appendix.

Nonetheless, I devoured most of the contents of the plate, leaving only some of the abundant rib fat. The dish was priced at £25.99. Too much, really, but if it had been executed correctly and carefully it could be value for money. Ultimately, my portion was a long way from that.

It was only when the bill came that I realised what a distinctly ordinary establishment this place was. I had waited far too long for a poor dinner, and in the meantime been subjected to the blatant rude, vulgar and unacceptable comments and conversation between the wait-staff about other guests. I'll say it again - I've done enough dinner services to know what goes on, but this sort of chatter belongs strictly back-of-house. And they wanted to charge me £5.45 for a pint of Heineken. £5.45. Is this a joke? If had been at Stansted or Gatwick I could probably have flow to Amsterdam and got one myself for that money (not including taxes and surcharges...). I will happily spend £20-£30 on a nice plate of food if I think someone is going to prepare it and take some pride in making it enjoyable. I refuse to pay someone, however, over £5 (infact make that £4) simply to decant half a litre of lager into a warm glass.

I guess it was my lookout though. Maybe I should ask the price of beer every time I want a pint. Or check the little board at the side of the bar. But seriously, that is a pathetic price point. I handed my card to the waitress in order to pay what I owe (all of it) but decide to point out to her that her employer is charging such a price. In hindsight, I'm not sure what I expected to achieve by doing this. She acknowledged and immediately went and spoke to someone else behind the bar. For a solid 5 minutes. Of course at this point I'm thinking I'd really just like to get on my way and be done with the whole episode. When she does return, she carries a new bill with the pint removed - I attempted to explain to her that I do not expect to drink for free, it was simply the fact that the price was laughable. This was met with response and a look that said to me "just put your PIN in the machine, and go away". Or something of that ilk. So I did. £25.99 (why the 99p??) was slightly closer to what I might expect to pay for a similar experience than the original £31.44. In all honesty, though, she would have to have done a whole lot more than that for me to feel I got value for money. But you win some and you lose some.

I shall not be returning, and would not recommend the place to anyone unless you are absolutely famished and or craving some sort of alcohol. And I mean craving. It might be easier to try and eat before heading to the airport...

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2  Thank cvrk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

Waitress and manager were very friendly , had a great experience before our flight.
Food was very tasty and the wine was perfect. Will be back, very nice experience.

Thank izzymohh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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