Greens at Duke Street, St. James, was a great favourite of mine in the eighties. Owned by Simon Parker Bowles, it epitomised the elegant English fish restaurant but was always more fun than Wiltons or Bentleys. It certainly was not cheap but I took the view that I would pay a subscription if it was private club. It was great place to meet a girlfriend at the bar for oysters and bubbles.
I had not been there for several years, but I went back on Wednesday with a friend who is a tycoon. He likes simple non-fattening food and this, and its discreet charm, made it a wise choice. I was a tad disappointed by the food. I chose a lobster bisque. This lacked a certain richness. I could taste the brandy but it need a stronger stock. For mains I plumped for calves liver and bacon. This was fine but I should have chosen the fish for which they are famous. My dining companion had smoked salmon, which could have been more generous in portion, and a crab salad. We had a large spacious booth which gave us much privacy. Neither of us had wine and the bill came to just over £100.
Perhaps it was nostalgia for a misspent youth, but I left with a feeling of déjà vu that neither Greens nor Daffers were quite as seductive and recherché as they once were.