Rowleys Restaurant information

Rowley's restaurant is a well established restaurant that was once home to the original Wall's Butcher shop.

Ranked #338 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:30 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00


12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

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What did you think of Rowleys Restaurant?

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Rowleys Restaurant reviews

By Andrew M.

My family and I go to Rowley's Restaurant on a regular basis. The food is fantastic (particularly the steak) and it's a great little place.

Can't praise Rowley's Restaurant highly enough!

By Chloe W.

We had a lovely time at Rowleys, it was a groupon so we didn't pay full price but we had the Chateaubriand which was perfectly cooked, the chips policy is a nice touch and the meal was delicious. The red wine was a perfect temperature and the service was excellent the waiters were always there when you needed but didn't hover over you. Perhaps we were lucky but we had a fantastic experience.

By Graham D.

Following seeing a wonderful show Spamalot, my wife and I had booked a Post Show meal at Rowleys restaurant on 22nd August. With the theatre booking we had a 50% voucher for a discount on food at Rowleys. On arrival I produced the voucher and was publicly advised in front of the other restaurant guests that this only applied to food as if I was stupid and was not aware of this. This information was boldly written on the voucher.We may be senior citizens but did not want to feel like second class citizens. We were seated by the window at the front of the restaurant with a large flower arrangement which almost was overhanging the table. I could not help notice that the decor needed improving as some of the wall tiles were cracked. My wife and I rarely drink alcohol and when we asked for two orange juices and tap water I could see this was frowned on. We ordered our starters and meal meal which was chicken and liver dishes. The starters were correct but when we received the main meals we were given salmon and steak dishes. It appears we were given an order from a differet table. Eventually we obtained the correct selection and I asked if it was us and the waiter conceded it was not our fault.The burner on the table started to smoke and the fear was that the chicken would burn. There was only eight people in the restaurant and we found that the service was intrusive and oppressive with being asked several times if evything was in order. I was still digesting my food when plates were being cleared from the table. I queried why the bill had a cover and a service charge which was 12.5%. T think I was told I did not have to pay both charges but by this time I was glad to pay up and leave the premises. The visit to Rowleys restaurant certainly spoilt the day.

By Alastair S.

I've been coming to Rowleys for over 30 years, and it has always been a favourite. I went to dinner with a friend on 14th November, however, and it was very disappointing - things seem very much on the slide. The service was intrusive and oppressive, and we were given little peace. Despite many empty tables, the staff seemed determined to move us through as rapidly as possible, and it detracted enormously from the experience. On the way out, a tourist asked us what it was like. We steered him elsewhere - an instant review and instant business lost.

By Roy D.

I went there on Saturday, 22nd October for a family birthday meal. Wife two daughters and partners. Lovely atmosphere and good steaks. The unlimited chips thing is a nice gimmick but doesn't disguise the rather high prices. The wine is especially expensive. The other drinks are not bad. Spirits are sold in doubles as they should be. The service was good once they were asked to give us some attention, I don't know why we were left waiting for so long. Anyway, I enjoyed the evening and the food was delicious. I will go again but only when I am ready to spend well to eat well.

By Gina P.

Your review is totally inaccurate and racist. I used to work at Rowley's for two years, still visit from time to time and can only point out your blatant lies. Rowley's has been owned by the same family for decades now, no new buyer aquired the restaurant early in 2010. I was still there then, I would know. A few of the staff have left yes, as they tend to do in the restaurant business, but there majority of them have been there for many years, I would know, they are my friends. There are no Polish male staff in the front of house area, have not been for a while, so you're just a typical racist who most likely is a member of the BNP. Oh, and the 12.5% service charge does not go to the servers, the owner keeps that. Can you imagine working a job like this, serving snobbish, rude, unappreciative, know it all people like yourself on a daily basis and not even getting tipped at the end of the day because the customers think that the service charge goes to the waiters?

By J B.

I have been in this wonderful restaurant in St James this weekend with my husband. The staff were amazing, the two managresses are so friendly, and always smiling. Our waitress was helpful and fast, they were also pouring our drinks. I felt very special there. I had some special requests about my dish, and there were no problem for them to mamake my food as I wanted. We spent a really nice and quality time in Rowley's, which I have to say thank you for them. The steak with the special butter sauce was so delicious, my husband loved it. It was our anniversary, it was very very important to me. I am happy to chose this traditional English restaurant with the old fashioned mirror ceilings and small but friendly atmosphere this restaurant is highly recommended for everyone. We will go back there soon.

By Diner E.

Rowleys used to be a wonderful restaurant. I dined there every week using it for business lunches to great effect for many years. The premise was a really great steak warmed at the table and endless wonderful chips piled high on your plate. The second serving of steak was at half price and encouraged in the spirit of fun dining. It was good food (quality meat) and great service wrapped in a very enjoyable atmosphere with staff who made it their duty to ensure your dining experience was tip top. It was early 2010 that it all changed. A new buyer acquired the restaurant and I noticed that the staff that were once so welcoming and efficient were leaving and the quality of the dining experience was changing. The menu stayed the same but the prices increased and the food quality decreased. Prices up -- food down. I stopped going. I went back there today (June 2011) to give it another chance. Unfortunately I wont be returning. The service remains absolutely appalling. As bad as I have ever experienced. There were 3 people total working the floor during the busy lunch hour. My waiter was a heavy Polish chap who had no finesse or waiting skills. I am sure he was a builder last month. Couldn't get his attention, he treated the food like he was pouring cement and he had an unattractive scowl the whole afternoon as though he didn't want to be there. As he wasn't catering to the customers I tried to get the attention of either of the other two women but with no success and just excuses when they finally attended the table. The waiter returned to get payment he transacted my credit card and I felt more like I was being mugged than waited on. Not even a smile, a thank you or any pleasant talk. By the way, they add 12.5% service charge to the bill which I am sure they do recognizing that if they left it to the diners the tips would be few and far between. As is obvious, I wont go back. Its a shame the new buyers ruined what was a wonderful boutique restaurant.

By David B.

Poor service, wine way overpriced and average food. Eat as much chips as you want does not marry with elegant dining.

By Jim M.

I visited Rowleys on 01 December with some colleagues and unfortunately came away a tadge disappointed! 1) Walking in the door you are confronted by a table that seemed to me to have been just been stuck in to accommodate either an overbooking error or just desperation to get as much covers as possible. Those who were unfortunate to have been seated there must have been cheesed of with the blast of cold air and the array of people coming and going?

2) I ordered pate to begin with and although it tasted okay the one piece of "toasted bread" was not enough to "go round" and found myself using some of the bread that was already on the table.

3) I will have my first turkey and trimmings of the season I thought to myself but really wish I hadn't! The turkey did not taste nice and was very chewy, the roasted potatoes also were chewy and the stuffing was dry, the parsnips were limp but although I don't like brussels sprouts. They looked okay! All in all it looked and tasted like something that was given the heat treatment by a microwave.

4) When eventually I was asked if I would like a dessert? I answered yes (the best part of a meal for me) I duly ordered one but alas. I never got it and gave up the will to live!

5) Service was slow, poor and by at least 4 different people which for me does not give a sense of being looked after but more of a "who's not doing anything" e. G. Wine opened by one person left on the table and what seemed an afterthought someone else turning up asking "is anyone tasted this wine?" and with an eye roll after hearing no proceeded to do the deed. Summary - I would struggle to go back to Rowleys Restaurant, I am sure there are others in the area that would give a better service. Also, I am as guilty as them. What for? I did not do what I should have done. Complain. I am one the great British Public who just don't complain when we should as it may help to get results but hey! These review sites do just t

By Paul D.

All the positive reviews concerning Rowleys muct be old approval ratings. Two years ago I would have agreed with every one of them.

The beer-battered haddock and endless chips were arguably among the best in London. The Caesar salad was exquisite, with anchovies and a dressing that must have been a family secret.

And the rose was from Provence, available by the glass. Whenever Wilton's was closed, Rowleys was my choice.

But it seems there has been a change of chef or management or both because this former gem has tumbled downhill.

Last year (2008) I visited Rowleys and ordered my staples. The French fries were no longer hand-cut but store bought and with no seconds.

Good rose by the glass was not available, although some cheaper blushes were. The fish was fine, but only warm, a little soggy and apparently not cooked to order.

And the Caesar salad was three pieces of Romaine lettuce, four croutons, and a blob of unidentifiable white stuff that probably started life in a jar.

Being a forgiving sort, even ready to presume that the chef had been at his grandmother's funeral during my previous visit, I went by Rowley's again this month (July 2009), teased insided by a sign announcing Traditional English Roast Beef Sunday Dinner.

Or somesuch. No rose available. The tomato basil soup with creme fraiche, well, was just tomato basil soup but with a decidedly unfraiche creme.

Evernything on the main course plate (beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, etc.) had been cooked hours earlier and warmed up for serving.

The horseradish sauce had no more kick than a Jolly Rancher. I ordered medium rare beef and received well done. And the gravy, horrors, was sweet.

By Traditional Sunday Dinner we must presume Sundays in the '40s when British cooking was a joke to be avoided on one's way to Paris.

Rather than create a

By T.

Rowley's Restaurant has very good food and charming service in an old romantic place! Yes, it is a bit pricey but this is Jermyn Street and if you think in this area they are expensive then go in the shop next to Rowley's Restaurant and try to buy a shirt! The food is very good and the service is great.

By L.

Rowley's Restaurant in Jermyn Street has been a little pearl for decades. With new restaurants coming and going this is the place which deserves to be here for another 30 years! I went to Rowley's Restaurant for a Christmas meal after I went here last year.

The management has changed and you can tell. The new Head Chef is Uwe Schwarzenholz and the improvements are big. I have always known Rowley's as a more gentlemen, male orientated restaurant (because of the famous steak and other dishes) and I was surprised to find the menu lighter and fresher.

Rowley's Restaurant is still heavy on the meat side but with lighter garnishes. I also spotted very good fish dishes and even vegetarian dishes. Also, some nice salads have been added. The decor of the back restaurant and toilets is dated and needs updating, but overall with the old butcher shop front it's very romantic especially in the evenings with dimmed lights and the little oil lamps on the table.

Also, the service has improved, with the new manager Carlos (a very friendly Spanish chap). He will answer any of your questions promptly and is charming. He also informed me that the decor is being updated over the New Year and that everything else will also get updated during the next year. I can only say fantastic food in a fantastic place.

By Nick S.

A firm favourite since ’77, this brilliantly old-school spot in the heart of St James’s keeps things nice and simple.

The Venue
It’s a lovely part of London, St James’s, with the London Library, some impressively enduring hotels and a few creaking old members’ clubs offering more than a whiff of the Victorian gentleman. Nearby tailors selling bowler hats and expensive bespoke suits cut from the finest tweed reaffirm the feel, and Rowley’s – a spot that embraces tradition while thankfully thumbing its nose at all those foodie fads – is pleasingly in keeping. Stained-glass windows, an original plaque above the door (not the sole mention of its butcher shop past), a mahogany façade and some very impressive original tiling inside make for a venue that’s just about as charming – and British - as you might want.

The Atmosphere
Thankfully, though, it doesn’t feel like a hostage to the past. A relatively cosmopolitan crowd (okay, a few old boys look very much at home but what the hey) mix with the jovial, similarly cosmopolitan staff in a dining room that’s nowhere near as stuffy as first impressions might suggest. And as if to reaffirm just how down-with-the-kids this place can be, it’s evidently a good first-date spot for those doing a bit of internet dating. Though the advancing years, the cardigan over the shoulders and the boast of flats in Kensington hardly make it feel like a Google hangout.

The Food
A very simple menu concentrates attention on meat, with some excellent bits of beef both best and most popular. A short selection of starters include some lovely fishcakes (£7.50) with the robustness of the sweet salmon standing up to the smoky flavours of smoked haddock, and a parsley sauce working with both. A ham hock terrine (£7.50) is perfectly fine, even if the piccalilli is a little too tart.

It’s in the mains that Rowley’s really impresses. One of its specialities, the char-grilled 28 day entrecote (rib-eye) steak (£24), is very good indeed, with some excellent (and nicely unrestrained) bitterness from the char contrasting with the sweetness of some very tender meat. Surprisingly, though, the fillet (£28) actually boasts more flavour, and is even softer, as it should be. Both are served with unlimited fries (there’s always a waiter on hand to offer), some (heartily salted) lettuce leaves and their herb, garlic and Roquefort butter every bit as pleasant as promised. Some might not like the fact that the steaks are cooked, rested and then warmed again on a hot plate, but it doesn’t seem to make much discernible difference.

Desserts are uncomplicated but good. A panna cotta (£6.50) is titteringly teetering in its wobble, and full of creamy vanilla flavour (the vanilla ice cream is good, too), and although the sticky toffee pudding (£6.50) is date-free, it’s gloriously good and surprisingly light.

The Drink
The very pleasing simplicity extends to the wine list too, where an accessible selection (most drops are under £40) offers a decent number by the glass and the carafe. The house red (£24) comes from just round the corner (literally; it’s from Berry Bros. & Rudd on St James’s Street) and is a very drinkable Merlot-dominated blend with Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. If you want to splash out a little more then a 2006 Rioja from Vina Amezola Crianza (£43.50) offers plenty of value.

The Last Word
In a restaurant scene seemingly obsessed with jumping on the bandwagon it’s good to see places like Rowley’s doing their thing – and doing it well. They’re nowhere near the bandwagon – they can’t even hear the music – and that’s a very good thing.

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