Photo by Hunter the Bunter via the Londonist Flickr pool.
How expensive is eating out on Farringdon Road? Only as dear as you want it to be, now that the Little Bay bistro have taken all prices off the menu and are counting on their customers to pay whatever they like.
It is one strategy to beat the menu cost effect that comes with inflation, and a canny way of grabbing a spot in recession-happy headlines (not to mention every Cheap Eats guide until the end of time), but can it work? Perhaps for every callous skinflint after a 2p meal there will be a City survivor impressing his date with a couple of fifty pound notes. It's all a bit of an experiment in averages, and the less cynical part of us wishes them all the best.
As easy as it is to tie this to current events, it has in fact been tried in London before. A little place called Just Around The Corner existed in Barnet for a long while, following the same system and providing, by all accounts, excellent French fare. A phone call confirms that this one has now been replaced by a bath and kitchen shop. We'd love to get in touch with the former proprietors to find out what happened, and we suggest Little Bay restaurateur Peter Illić do the same. Stay tuned to find out whether a chain bistro on Farringdon Road can make it where an independent venture on Finchley Road did not — and whether the food is any good.