Disappointing lunch at Le Monde Edinburgh

One of our guest contributors has reported in on a midweek lunch she ate at George St’s recently opened Le Monde. Le Monde as a venue was discussed previously on The Edinburgh Blog here. Fair enough that all new openings will have their share of teething problems, but Le Monde would do well to not forget the extensive choice of eateries on and around George St.

I made a return visit to Le Monde this week for a business lunch. I’ve socialised there before over coffee and cocktails, however this time I was booked in for a 2 hour lunch with a few colleagues. I think that the refurbishment of this building is incredibly impressive and the front of house staff are incredibly friendly, however this venue seems severely let down by it’s back of house operations.

Upon browsing through the menu, my appetite faded very quickly. The choice of food was very uninspiring and did not measure up to the expectation such a sophisticated establishment sets for itself: it was little more than pub food, which to me, was incredibly disappointing. e.g. Haddock and chips, an assortment of pasta’s, steak and chips. With no better choice, I ordered the haddock and chips as I found the menu completely lack lustre and uninspiring, but to make matters worse the food took an incredibly long time to arrive. In fact I think it was around 40 minutes. Even then, the dishes were not brought out at the same time and some members of my party were left waiting for a further 6 or 7 minutes. After waiting all this time, I was too hungry to worry, but was further disappointed with the quality of the food: two pieces of thin haddock covered in an oily and soggy batter with some chips and mushy peas. A smattering of bog standard salad sat limply on the side of the dish and the chips were covered in some kind of nondescript random dried herbs. Quite simply the food was not good enough and I, or any of my friends could have cooked a better meal. Not that I was the exception: all of my colleagues dishes were equally disappointing.

Le Monde has seemingly set out to produce a menu of the three cities it represents through its bars, but has fallen painfully short of the mark. Take for example the haddock and chips: I have never been served this in Paris, Milan or Vienna. Steak ‘French style’ in Le Monde is served with seemingly machine cut frozen chips. The French, who are very particular about food, would probably have served a tender, grilled fillet with hand cut potatoes, shallow fried in duck fat. If trying to represent Vienna through a food menu, the least you would expect is Schitznel and Apple Strudel? Le Monde don’t seem to agree, instead they serve up a very british apple pie!

The shining light through this poor lunch was our waiter who was incredibly helpful and arranged a 30% discount off our bill. His professionalism and attentiveness did not go un appreciated with a decent tip going his way.

My party was originally booked in the Paris room upstairs but at Le Mondes choosing, we were moved downstairs. I can only assume that the menu is the same – which horrifies me somewhat, because if I’d spent the purported £12m on the renovation, I would ensure without a shadow of a doubt that the food was spot on.

One Response to “Disappointing lunch at Le Monde Edinburgh”

  1. Some further reading on Edinburgh’s Le Monde…

    A review from the Scotsman that is less than complementary about Le Mondes food:-

    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1087&id=766362006

    Also a review from The Times of staying in Le Mondes expensive hotel, however it has little emphasis on the food:-

    http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11614-2217347,00.html

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