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Canteen (Restaurant)

Picture of Canteen in City of London, London

2 Crispin Place, Spitalfields, City of London, London, E1 6DW
Cuisine: British Average Price: £35.00
Tel: Not on file | Email to Canteen | Transport: Liverpool Street | Write review

Canteen Review

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Breaking up is never easy, but it’s a darned sight easier when you can indulge your misery in good food and kindly company. Cue my role as the perfect friend and my task to find comforting cuisine fit to mend a broken heart. After splitting up with his girlfriend, my good friend spent endless nights drowning his sorrows and mopping his tears with greasy pizza crusts. I had to step in. I dusted him down and took him out to feast on satisfying fare that was sure to cure his troubles. I took him to Canteen, home of fine, hearty British favourites.

With a name like Canteen, one would be forgiven for instantly thinking of school lunches. Forget the images of cafeterias, trays and dinner ladies though. This particular canteen is a far cry from those visions.

The warm and modern restaurant offers a contemporary twist on traditional British dishes. Its reliable and tasty tucker managed to put a smile on the face of my downtrodden pal. The tomato ketchup and brown sauce bottles struck a familiar and comforting chord in his aching heart. The higher than average prices did sting my generous sized wallet though.

Canteen is a bright and airy open space. The walls are lined with large windows and the interior design is light and subtle. Inspiration for this decor apparently came from Britain’s best examples of public spaces including schools, libraries and town halls. This is particularly evident in the classroom-esque low-backed seating. They played havoc on my spine but definitely offered that quirky touch.

In spite of the friendly interior, we decided to take advantage of England’s rarely seen sunshine and dine al fresco – well, as al fresco as you can get under the Spitalfields canopy. The seating outside is different to the intimate table setting inside. The long benches mean guests aren’t guaranteed a table to themselves – quite a novel style of dining for us uncomfortable English citizens!

Nevertheless, we took our chances in the picnic bench lottery and managed to have the table to ourselves until our main courses. By then, we were well into our bottle of wine and were feeling somewhat more sociable anyway, regardless of whether the new diners were unsavoury characters or not!

Canteen’s selection of dishes also kept our spirits high. The menu offers a range of starters, small meals, mains and daily specials as well as a decent choice of drinks. The hot buttered Arbroath smokie is a particularly tasty starter but the lack of garnish means a side dish would be advisable.

The speciality pies and daily roasts are popular main courses and the steak is also a winner, although at £16.75 it isn’t the cheapest option. The walnut, tarragon and roast chicken salad was well sized but it came rather over dressed in a creamy sauce – something that wasn’t mentioned on the menu. The smoked haddock was also of a good portion but it was slightly overcooked.

Despite this, we still tucked in with gluttonous glee and by the time the dessert menu came, my friend’s broken heart was all but forgotten. He was now thinking heavily of his stomach and was torn between his equal love for rice pudding and carrot cake.
Canteen certainly proved that is has something for everyone and as a result it attracts a mixed crowd.

During the week, young professionals and business types who work in the area largely frequented it, whereas at the weekend it draws a large number of tourists and shoppers. With the all-day opening hours it suits every meal and in summer it also offers its famous hog roast on the restaurant concourse. Canteen even proved itself in the relationship stakes – it was the cure to a broken heart!
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Customer Reviews for Canteen

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Canteen.

“Canteen is an easy choice and usually produces mediocre and relatively satisfying food. I do feel, however, that rhere are so many better restaurants in Spitalfields that should be tried out ahead of this one. I would therefore advise looking around before settling on Canteen.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ben, Southampton (8 years 2 months 5 days ago)

“Where "we don't have any booths available" translates as "you are going to have to sit outside, we are going to take 10 minutes to take your order, we are then going to lose your order twice before serving up your food 30 minutes later, and only after being chased for a third time, and then we are going to get shitty when you enquire whether the food has been sitting around awaiting collection. And after all that we're going to automatically add 12.5% service charge to your bill and sulk when you ask for it to be removed." The food is okay but the service is severely lacking - and it was only a mid-week lunch. Go next door to Leon!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Stevo, London (8 years 2 months 19 days ago)

“I work near Canteen so I go in there quite regularly. I always leave full and satisfied but wouldn't rate it as my favourite venue. The food is good but I prefer to have more exciting offering on the menu. Still, it's convenient for work and I love Spitalfields Market.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Carla, Sydney (8 years 7 months 21 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: British
  • Average Price: £35.00
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Canteen

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Venue ID: 18942

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