We’ve all been there. A day in the office has smoothly transitioned into an evening at the pub. The stomach is beginning to rumble – but this is playtime in the City, and there’s barely space to stand in the establishment, let alone sit down to a decent meal.
What to do? Well, if you’re at restaurateur Henry Harris’s superb new The Three Cranes, simply glide upstairs to the dining room, and feast on the finest meats sourced from the Ayrshire coast.
Eating at The Three Cranes is both a new experience and an ancient one. Although the current dining room was reopened in December, there has been a Three Cranes pub in the City since at least the early 17th century. Samuel Pepys immortalised it in his diary, and the original was a favourite of Ben Jonson.
There is something rather delightful about sitting tight in a beautifully furnished little room in one of the most crowded areas in Europe, the hubbub below a distant murmur, the smokers in the street outside just visible through the window, the bottle of wine on the table leisurely declining in volume.General manager Michael Waleryszak is an ebullient host – several regulars greet him like an old friend over the course of our meal.
the steak tartare is expertly seasoned, onions and capers making their presence known without overpowering the lead role
The menu is focused on meat, and the meat is most satisfactory. The rump steak slips apart beneath the knife and fills up the mouth with a lovely charcoal aftertaste.
For Francophiles, the steak tartare is expertly seasoned, onions and capers making their presence known without overpowering the lead role, just as good supporting actors should.
Be careful not to overdose on the bread: soft and fluffy as a summer’s cloud, it is served with a lime dip and must count as among the most moreish appetisers I’ve enjoyed.
As word gets out, expect the bookings to mount – slip in quickly to get ahead of the crowd. What are you waiting for? You’ve only had the last 400 years.
The Three Cranes, 28 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2BA; threecranescity.co.uk