By Martin HickmanConsumer Affairs Correspondent
With its quirky offal dishes and its white, modernist interior, the St John restaurant in London is fted by critics for serving challenging dishes which celebrate the often neglected traditions of hearty English food. What diners who lavish 80 on a meal for two of lambs' tongues and green beans now know is that the kitchens of the Georgian townhouse in Smithfield are not particularly clean.
St John, one of Britain's most famous restaurants, has been ranked among the least hygienic in the capital by a new website which reveals the cleanliness of 80,000 food outlets - from the humblest kebab shops to Michelin-starred restaurants. The ratings, based on inspections by environmental health officers, will not cheer many of London's leading restaurateurs.
St John received a "poor" one star, as did Aldo Zilli's flagship Soho fish restaurant. The Garrick Club, one of the city's most venerable gentlemen's retreats, also earned one star, which is summarised on the website as: "A poor level of compliance with food safety legislation. Much more effort required."
Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at The Savoy was awarded two stars, meaning it was broadly compliant but required "more effort" on food safety. The same rating was given to Mirabelle, the Art Deco Mayfair dining rooms run by Hell's Kitchen taskmaster Marco Pierre White.
The eye-wateringly expensive Sketch and rival celebrity hangouts The Ivy and …