Itâ€™s fair to say Marco Pierre White has lost the credibility he once gained from the days of being the youngest chef ever to receive three Michelin stars. Heâ€™s now the face of Knorr and owns a collection of mediocre restaurants.
Marcoâ€™s New York Italian, which is a franchise, has taken over the former dining room in the Mercure hotel in Bankside. Inside, pictures of the man himself hang everywhere and thereâ€™s even a framed apron of his, signed, naturally. The dining room feels naff, like they bought everything during a rampage in Nisbets. And the impractical leather tablecloths that soak up zero spillages are stupid.
We started with The Great American sharing board (Â£12.95), which featured greasy chicken wings and nachos topped with an unpleasant dollop of pulled pork. It was bizarre food, I can honestly say Iâ€™ve had better at TGI Friday’s. The accompanying sliced baguette, which we had to ask for, was just weird.
For main, my Bolognese pizza (Â£10.50) was really poor; a chewy, doughy base with an overly sweet topping. It tasted more like barbecue sauce than bolognese. An escalope of chicken milanese (Â£12.95) which tasted crap; a giant slab of dry, breaded chicken and a plop of bland pasta in a tomato sauce.
I donâ€™t blame those working at Marcoâ€™s for the whole thing being a load of rubbish, I blame Marco and his team for selling it to them in the first place. On our visit, he hadnâ€™t been there to check it out and I doubt he ever will. 20 years ago this would have been a fine addition to the area, but now we have Table, Hixter Bankside and Tonkotsu; people know better. It was some of the worst food I have ever eaten.