Clerkenwell Road is becoming quite the foodie strip, and now that I’m working round here, I’m spoiled for choice. I walk past Giant Robot every day and have grown to like it - it has a New York vibe to it, with classic NY grub like sliders and meatballs, huge open windows onto the street and their blackboard has daily witticisms to enjoy.
I’ve been a few times now and sometimes just for drinks, so to summarise:
The burger: it’s good, with a nicely sweating brioche bun, and a crumbly, charred homemade taste. It’s happily cooked rare too. I think the portion is a little small for £10. Reminds me of the Lucky 7 burger, although the patty is less juicy. It does come with fries which are thin but a bit too anaemic on our visit, shame.
The spaghetti meatballs: again well made and tasty. It’s definitely a New York generic ‘red sauce’ offering rather than a nice Italian salsa pomodoro, but it works fine. The pasta has a slightly wormy school spaghetti vibe about it, can't really pinpoint why. And again, for £9.65 I think the 5 ball portion is a bit measly.
The sliders: are never bad. I think maybe they’re rare enough in London to still be a bit of a treat. Not including M&S mini burgers at the Christmas party of course. £7.50 for three.
Note: they’re the above meatballs in a small bun rather than miniature burger patties. I realise there is some debate on this, and some argue sliders can be any sandwich and filling in that sized bun, but it seems a touch lazy!
|the bar and brunch board|
The drinks: are really good, and they do my all-time favourite the New York Sour, although the red wine is mixed in rather than floating, so it looks like another American delicacy, pepto-bismol. Time for a quick shout out here to Schiller’s Liquor Bar and their NY Sour; a thing of louche perfection.
I’ll probably end up coming here a fair bit, it’s sociable, fun and easy. The food is too, but isn't not destination food in isolation. What it is, is excellent grub to accompany a good cocktail session, and it’s much nicer than the mush they churn out at The Diner. Service is decent, there are a couple of staff hotties among the hipster children and it’s open late. Doesn’t quite take me back to Stanton or Ludlow, but close enough. Craving another NY trip now though…
Food – 7/10
Drink – 9/10
Service - 7/10
Value – 6/10
Tap water tales – 9/10 (iced carafe provided automatically)
Staff Hotness – 8/10 (one or two hot rockabilly guys)