Slug and Lettuce is never going to win any awards for originality, and so it fits in perfectly with the rather soulless face of Entertainment Avenue. However, if you’re heading to a concert at the award-winning O2 Arena, it offers a decent spot for a drink.
If you are travelling in on the Jubilee Line just traverse the escalators and turn the corner and you will see the impressive O2 with its eyecatching illuminated spirals in the distance. Once inside the massive dome head for Entertainment Avenue and the Slug and Lettuce is clearly visible, brandishing its instantly recognisable signage, nestled in amongst all the other unimaginative chains that fills this expanse.
Once inside, there’s plenty of seating spanning the whole length of the bar. The decor is pretty standard with a colourscheme of inoffensive browns and creams with contrasting splashes of orange and contrived artwork on all the walls. Electric blue lighting snakes its way across the space and oversized mirrors either side of the bar. A selection of dining tables and comfortable high backed chairs intermingles with high tables against soft bench style seating and bar stools. There are also a few cosy low level sofas and armchairs to be found towards the back of the room.
The atmosphere that permeates not only the Slug and Lettuce but every chain bar and restaurant that litters this stretch of Entertainment Avenue is wholly dependent on when you attend. On concert nights everywhere is full to bursting with queues snaking their way out of the doors and it all feels very tense. The crowd is also dependent on who’s performing – Mcfly will draw in a different clientele from Slipknot or Beyonce. On non-concert nights, it’s all a lot more chilled and you’re far more likely to be served quickly and not be sandwiched into a small spot by the bar. However, come the weekend the chavvy club element rolls in and you’ll be amazed by the array of OTT clubwear and tacky clubbers that descend on this space.
This Slug and Lettuce offers the standard chain menu of large portioned, reasonably priced grub that does the job to fill a hole. Their staple bowl of chips with garlic mayo is probably the safest bet if you’re out with a group and want to pick at something. A large portion, the creamy garlic mayo arrives in a shallow dish with just the right amount of garlic to give it a good flavour and the chips are hot and crispy with the skins left on.
If you’re trying to be healthy then opt for the tuna nicoise salad. A large juicy grilled tuna steak appears on a bed of peppery green leaves with herb dressing, creamy new potatoes, crunchy green beans, salty olives and a free range egg. If you’re really hungry, the lamb shank is a hearty meal and comes with buttery mash and roasted vegetables. The lamb is tender with a rich but slightly sweet red wine sauce. Look out for the special offers on food and drink that regularly appear here.
A good selection of new and old world wines are available with regular special money-off deals. White wine varies from a French Chablis, Italian Pinot Grigio and NZ Sauvignon Blanc all at reasonable prices. Reds include a Spanish Tempranillo, an Australian Cabernet-Shiraz and a Californian Zinfandel with three Rose wines on offer. There’s also a choice of Champagne.
Other bar offerings include all the J20 flavours, Appletiser, Smirnoff Ice, Budvar, Becks, Magners and on draught there is Fruli, Stella, Peroni, Strongbow, Guinness and Heineken. They do offer cocktails, which are certainly cheap, but not made with real fruit or premium spirits, so you’re probably better off sticking with a spirit and mixer.
The Last Word
Slug and Lettuce is a reliable chain bar and the O2 branch is another string to its already heaving bow. For a quick and easy drink before a concert it’s a decent option.