You can’t miss The Eagle from the street, with its hollybush green façade and wooden swing doors. Inside is one room only, with high ceilings, panoramic windows and an open bar-cum-kitchen complete with a chargrill (the star of the show). Scattered across the solid-ash floor are as many rickety wooden tables, chairs and stools as you could possibly squeeze in.
It’s almost impossible to just drink: few can resist the smell of freshly charred fish and meat. When you succumb, no need to ask for a menu: the daily changing dishes are scrawled in white chalk on a long and slender blackboard.
Choose between grilled mackerel with bulgur wheat salad and rare grilled onglet with beetroot, rocket and horseradish. The flavours are full and the portions generous: the grilled whole seabass comes with a load of oven potatoes and a giant dollop of (very garlicky) alioli. The presentation is rough and ready, with mismatched (and often chipped) crockery and the service somewhat slapdash: someone will bring your food but you’ll have to go to the bar if you want another drink.
This isn’t somewhere to come for a quiet, cosy dinner: it’s lively and loud and often difficult to get a table. If you’re after somewhere fun and fuss-free, however, you’re onto a winner.
The Eagle, 159 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3AL.