I've eaten at Saints many times over the past year, most recently for lunch on New Year's Eve. As a coffee shop, where one might order a latte and pastry it excels. Any more, however, and they really do struggle. On one occasion, lunch for four of us took over an hour to arrive - as an apology the drinks were free but they really should have gone further.
On New Year's Eve, a friend and I thought we would give it a final chance as a restaurant. The service was quicker on this occasion - we opted for an early lunch circa 12.30 so the kitchen was not overwhelmed (as it clearly had been on our last visit). Although the service had improved, this time the food had deteriorated. We both ordered burgers, which we'd had and really enjoyed there in the past, but this time they tasted too soggy and just like a fist full of mince. Furthermore, they've given in to the idea that serving a burger on ciabatta somehow makes it more interesting - it doesn't, it just makes it an absolute devil to cut. The chips were adequate and the drinks also acceptable.
It really is a shame that Saints doesn't cut the mustard as a restaurant; the staff are polite, the decor is interesting and the building a real gem. Even the menu looks good on paper but they don't seem to be able to deliver it with any consistency of quality or service.
As a coffee shop there is nowhere as good, as an independent restaurant there are few places so inconsistent.
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