Grace Dent of the Evening Standard reviews Joe Allen in Covent Garden, London: “it’s still up to its old tricks” she says.
Put that theatrical person together with their acting buddies in a restaurant and it’s safe to say that five dancers from The Lion King, picking at Waldorf salads between performances, could make more noise than a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod landing at Farnborough Airshow.
Luckily, if you love, or loathe, these sorts, they’ve always been easy to find, or avoid, in London at dinner time. They’re in Joe Allen. Well, they were in the old Joe Allen on Exeter Street — an American-style brasserie that had been indulging them for 40 years. Joe Allen, I shall explain for Londoners who’ve never eaten a burger downwind from Christopher Biggins, Sheridan Smith and four French peasants from Les Misérables, is a sort of thespian TGI Fridays. And I mean this with love. It serves comfort food — chicken parmigiana, lobster roll and calf’s liver on mash — to board-treaders, their agents and all other mill and chaff of this business we call ‘show’.