I know what you mean - Automat should be great. Gorgeous room, cool name, nice foodstuffs. But it's just not. I bet I'd love it if it was in Soho or Islington or Hoxton. But in Mayfair? Meh.
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19 reviews of Automat in English
Dinner for two – lovely interior and good service.
The food was fine but nothing spectacular – for £32 I expect a stunning steak and the one I got was pretty average – I’ve had much better at a good gastropub for about half as much. The famous black cod was tepid and uninspiring. French onion soup was delicious – but this was the only standout.
All in all, not a bad restaurant, but 2 courses for two people with wine came in at £130 – this seems insanely overpriced for what you get. I’d rather spend that at somewhere more reliable.
Heard about it before, but by chance we sort of stumbled upon it when we decided to have dinner instead of head home. Really liked the American style diner car interior with the booths and B/W floor tiles. The service was polite and professional, but not very warm or welcoming. The steaks were nice and tender and cooked as ordered. Mac and Cheese was surprisingly tasty. I can have the pavlova anytime. Overall not a bad experience at all and will go back for an American breakfast.
Comment 1 comment on this review
sarahdrinkwater, 31 December 2010:
A reassuringly exclusive back-door entrance leads you to the area below the well-known Mayfair American brasserie, Automat. This is a basement best described as a ‘sophisticated squat-party’ venue. The brickwork is exposed, the coats are hung on a metal clothes rail at the bottom of the stairs, and the bar is made of undecorated hardboard. Large leather sofas provide the seating around the dimly lit dancefloor with plain wooden tables sporadically dotted around the club being the only other furniture in the place.
However, word on the (Dover) street is that the venue is soon to be refurbished into the more generic, plush, Mayfair members bar we are used to seeing spring up in the area. So go now if you can.
The makeshift appearance of the ‘secret’ club at Automat seems to lend a more laid-back atmosphere to the night then you would expect in this part of town. As this is currently open for private parties, events and ‘special invitation’ only, the clientele are knowingly cool and collected. Princess Beatrice had her birthday party here and the reminiscences of royalty remain even at other events. All the staff are extraordinarily friendly – not surprising as they have never had to deal with a non-payer or a cage-fighting wannabe.
It’s up to the people holding the party what tunes they get on the turntables – but electro house and party classics seems to be the most popular genres for getting the well-heeled feet on the dancefloor.
Apple Mojitos and raspberry Bellinis are two of the house specialities at the Automat Club. Due to the private functioning of the venue, there is no drinks lists or prices – you get what you are (very nicely) given. But it’s sure to be good.
The Last Word
A place that really is difficult to get into, whoever you are, gives Automat an added glamour that makes it immediately interesting. With a guaranteed cool crowd, free drinks and decor denoting East in the heart of West – this is a place that should go to the top of your ‘get me in, whatever it takes’ list.
I WAS THERE AND........
Full review at www.grumblinggourmet.com
It's been with us since 2005, and while there aren't the queues that there were on launch, it's still popular. Too popular - full of the expat families who somehow manage to live in Mayfair and their raucous offspring. Batman was getting an early, hungover, flavour of what his Saturdays would like like in years to come. In a bizarre tunnel like main room with the acoustics of your local council swimming baths, their screams echoed. The restaurant, with an authentically upper class diner mix of clean white lozenged tiles and wood panelling, looks a little run down these days.
Enough of that. We were here for life giving sustenance. And to me, that was always going to be their 'famous' brunch burger. For £16 I was expecting great things. It was good, better than I could cope with, though they, like many others, still haven't found a decent bun. This one was dry and had more sesame than Ali Baba. There was a thick, too meaty sausage unceremoniously plonked on the upper half of the bun, a squat porky rocket definitely intended for another meal. Bacon was cooked perfectly, and I've got to say that the burger itself was excellent with a decent amount of char and well seasoned, moist meat cooked exactly as requested. If I had a quibble with it, it would only be that it was a little too dense, but that would be a minor quibble. The 'homestyle' potatoes served unannounced on the side were a little oily, but a good partner to the sausage as a second part to the meal.
Worth £16? I'd say probably so, considering the location (and the locals)... it's two meals in one and if they sort the bun out, it's an excellent burger, served in a nice space. I'd avoid children's hour though.
Only ever been here for a pig-out-Friday breakfast but it’s always delivered on the food and coffee front.
Nice, Stateside-style portions of pancakes, home fries, crispy bacon and eggs really do the job (if the job is making you loosen your belt a notch).
The service leaves a little to be desired though. They really do need to get over themselves a little bit and drop the 'tude. It’s a nice enough place but that’s no reason to act snottier than lord Snooty with a bad case of swine flu.
'We’re actually really busy’ came the snooty voice down the phone when I booked our table. Now I’d never have thought to book a breakfast table before my friend told me of the sneer when they arrived bookingless one morning. It’s uber close to the Mayfair celeb-fests like Mahiki so I guess a little down-the-nose is expected but it’s still not very welcoming. That out of the way, my eggs 'Norwegian’ (£11) was pretty good. I also like the canteeny feel once you enter, and be prepared to dine amongst a lot of posers hoping to be scooped up by the B-listers in the area.
Service was quick and efficient, but staff were a little Ice Queeny and could work on a little natural charm. Then, agreeing with AHunter, I’d ponder another star.
Automat in Mayfair do a cracking American breakfast. Buttermilk pancakes, bourbon vanilla french toast, country ham muffins, eggs florentine, tropical fruit smoothies and more! The food is very good and the decor of the restaurant is cool - very 1930's. I particularly like the lamps.
And the service i hear you cry? Well.... Half way through the meal i turned to Rob (aka Linus) and said "I guess this is what prison is like" - very firm service indeed. Not particularly rude or lazy, just quite hard and to the point. There was certainly no "you folks want some more coffee?" or "Gawgeous weather today ain't it hunny?". More a sort of Gestapo esq. "eat your food or you'll be heading east with the others" vibe.
Anyway, i'll go back because the food was great. If they lose the odd/crap service, this place may be 5 stars one day.
One of my favourite restaurants in London. The perfect atmosphere for those craving of a bit of American food. Mayfair prices, but not over-priced. Wonderful array of cocktails, with 4 (if memory serves me correctly!) variations of long-island iced teas, and their macaroni and cheese is the best in London. The service can be a bit hurried and lacking at times, but once the food arrives, all of this tends to become obsolete! Perfect for dates, birthdays or business lunches alike. I would recommended booking and also asking for a table in the ‘railway’ carriage section of the restaurant which has booths. I believe they have recently opened a club below the restaurant which may also be worth a look….!
Have given this four stars because the food is good, but it’s bloody pricey.
Went there last week with two girlfriends, no one drank anything but sparkling water, we all had a steak no sides and a dessert and each ended up paying £45 each!
On the plus side, the ambience is nice and the Mississipi Mud Pie is the dessert to go for.
Got out of bed late on Saturday night and realised it was gone 10 pm after being turned away from the blue and black on wigmore street and wanting a proper steak i knew there was only one place for it, Automat.
This Tom Waits Johnny depp owned palce has lots of atmosphere and good tunes too. Best of all the kitchens are open til 12!
We ravenous two arrived at 11.45pm and were relieved that sans reservation we were able to get a table, although sadly not a boot but beggars cant be choosers. I ordered the onion soup to start which was fabulous cheese filled and gooey deliciousness incarnate. We both as usual had steaks for mains and they were fine, if a little underwhelming and in my case overdone but it being 11.30 pm I didnt like to quibble over what blue means.
I had chocolate cake for dessert which again was fine but not a thing of glory. The bill i believe was reasonable enough but i couldnt swear to it as i didnt pay.
Good place for a good meal late at night
Went for a ‘casual business lunch’. Burgers looked great, Nicoise salad had a great tasting piece of tuna, but 5 capers, 4 olives, 2 new potatoes, a couple of runner beans and only the hard crunchy bits of lettuce didn’t leave me satisfied. It gets really noisy, so you can’t really have a proper conversation.
One thing that would stop me from ever going back there was the service though; we were served by a girl who was obviously determined to make us leave within the hour and kept drilling us for our orders with a look on her face as if she would drag us out of there by our collars if we stayed a minute too long.
Food and atmosphere great, but I was almost literally picked up by the scruff of the neck and escorted off the premises after my breakfast overran its scheduled 30 minute slot. I’d expect this sort of treatment in MacDonalds, but for the prices Automat charges there are better places to go without having to suffer this.
Automat delivered on the American style brunch that I wish I could have every weekend. Really good eggs norwegian (ask for the hollandaise sauce on the side cuz it’s a lot!), rich milkshakes, pricey but yummy brunch cocktails, and burgers that looked delightful… i admit i haven’t tried them yet but I may make the trip back just for a burger here if I can pry myself away from my standby benedicts.
They serve brunch both Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm so it’s great for late-risers and double brunch days for the truly fanatic!
Automat is a great place for an impromtu or informal lunch/dinner in Mayfair but also for a serious business lunch. This applies whether you are in finance or fashion, the two big industries of the neighbourhood. The place is always buzzing and it's no surprise. Food is good, service is fast and pro, general atmosphere is cool and typically well attended. One of the few places in centre London where you don't have to book and will get a great evening. Particularly recommend the burger and the tuna nicoise.
Informal busy restaurant that does a very good lunch; I personally recommend the burgers and the black cod. Decent coffee (but not the best). Pleasant and efficient service. One little downside: this is a popular place and the noise level is on the high side. Tip: get a table at the back, there is a lovely atrium and a terrace which opens up in the summer.
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