Giant Robot, a Bar come diner, sits on the site of what was Match cocktail bar. It should be just what’s required after an impromptu Clerkenwell crawl, with it’s classic American diner menu. It’s 10pm on a Wednesday when we visit and as they close at 12am we’re well in time for a few more drinks and some food. We’re told to wait by the bar while a table opens up. Although we can see one uncleared it doesn’t seem to register with the staff. We dutifully wait. The beer selection is somewhat limited with a small selection on tap backed up by a Brooklyn Brewery bottle selection, which is perhaps a nod to the origin of such a bar come diner concept.
Finally seated our waitress provides menus and on returning to the table politely and apologetically hurries us along, as we are told the kitchen is closing. After what seemed like an unnecessary wait for the table and hurried service the first impression isn’t great. English and I go for a burger. It’s become a strange habit borne out of years of dining together that we seem to have synced in our choices. As much to stem any jealously when the other has made a superior choice. After a further wait and glances into the open kitchen to see not much going on our food is an anticlimax. The sweet bun is over toasted, flakes covering the plate as we eat, the burger is pretty standard and sin of sins; no gherkin.
After the delights of #Meateasy and the real deal in Brooklyn, at places like Dumont, Giant Robot just doesn’t deliver as expected. Their not alone. I’ve had similar experiences at Diner in Shoreditch and Essex Road where the concept is good but the delivery is lacking. At £20 each for beers and burger you’d expect them to import the full formula to make this work which is just as much about the service as it is about the food.
Giant Robot, 45-47 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RS