Raan Take Two

Folks – I hereby give formal notice of the withdrawal of my original review of Raan restaurant in the O2.

What’s happened to change my views? Certainly not the way it looks – it is, in decor, pretty much exactly the same as ever. But appearances are deceiving and Raan is very much not what it was.

Just a few months ago, this was one of the very, very few restaurants in Greenwich included in Time Out’s Top Fifty eateries in the capital (I’m looking forward to trying out the intriguing Deptford Project, btw). The North Indian food was excellent, the service immaculate and the feel quirky and independent.

When Greenwich Inc bought it out, I assumed that they would keep the winning formula that had catapulted the place into being regarded as one of the best places to eat in London. After all – it looked exactly the same. No name-change, no outward difference at all.

It just didn’t occur to me that all Greenwich Inc seems to have been after when acquiring this accolade-winning restaurant was that coveted corner-position in the Dome at the end of Entertainment Avenue.

Gone is the fabulous Indian cuisine. In comes bog-standard basic Pan-European-American food – steak and fish, cheesecake and pie.

I should mention that this is NOT bad food. It’s perfectly ok – averagely cooked,averagely presented and averagely served. Everything’s ok. There were no complaints from our table. But there were no murmurs of appreciation either. This was fuel – perfectly edible, perfectly nice – but a disappointment after eating in the old Raan.

I can’t find Raan mentioned in its new capacity anywhere. Not even on Greenwich Inc’s own website. Could it be that they are trading on old reviews? Or is the truth more depressing – that stadium-goers don’t really care what they’re eating and Greenwich Inc knows this?

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