In the culinary world, Marco Pierre White is considered to be the godfather of modern cuisine. 

A renowned chef, restaurateur and TV personality, at 33, he became the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars back in 1994.

His signature restaurant, Harveys, was considered the place to be during the height of Britpop fever. With a signature cigarette in hand, Marco had made food cool.

In 1999, he retired and returned his Michelin stars, "I was being judged by people who had less knowledge than me, so what was it truly worth? I gave Michelin inspectors too much respect, and I belittled myself," he later said.

This ungovernable attitude and disregard for authority was what made Marco so compelling. After I found out I was going to one of 'his restaurants', I was quite frankly ecstatic.

Throughout the week I'd been telling friends and family I was going down to London to visit one of his restaurants: Marco's New York Italian London Bridge.

Courtesy of Buyagift, 'The View from The Shard and Dinner with Fizz at Marco Pierre White for Two' package costs £91 at the time of writing.

"A three-course meal with prosecco at Marco’s New York Italian just moments away from The View from The Shard is sure to satisfy your taste buds thanks to a varied set menu of fresh and tasty food made from high-quality ingredients," the site promises.

"If your appetite for adventure is still going strong after your meal, a trip up the tallest building in Europe is just the ticket! The View from The Shard offers a truly spectacular view across the Capital, boasting a 360-degree panorama with 40 miles of visibility on a clear day."

Nuclear disarmament, locating Lord Lucan and sitting through a full episode of Miranda. These are some examples of things easier to achieve than a booking at The Shard.

I called multiple numbers - most no longer in use - over the course of a week and no one at the other end of the phone could seem to help. So in the end, I just settled with Marco's New York Italian. I hope you'll have better luck as I'm sure the view will live up to the promise.

Booking Marco's was simple.

However, if you plan on travelling to London for this via train, God be with you. I won't bore you with the details, but sitting in a bike rack for 3 hours somewhat dampened the vibe. British transport is an absolute travesty and I don't appreciate having to play Twister for £120.

Anyway, back to Marco's.

I met my friend - who was also buzzing - and we ventured out into the big smoke, both promising each other not to look at the menu beforehand. After a bottle of white wine, we buckled.

We couldn't find the 'set menu', but we did stumble across the Tripadvisor reviews. In a comic parallel, we both looked up at each other with disheartened expressions. They were far from kind.

Newham Recorder: Marco’s New York ItalianMarco’s New York Italian (Image: Newsquest)

Despite that, I was still hopeful, it was after all Marco's. So off we went to London Bridge in search of the restaurant.

We found it no problem and were immediately taken aback by the appearance of the restaurant. If they were looking to stick with tradition and go for that rustic Britpop look then hats off, they'd nailed Trainspotting to a tee. The windows reminded me of my local Labour club and an R was partially missing from a 'Marco' sign.

The staff that greeted us were warm and friendly and in all honesty, never put a foot wrong all night. But that was perhaps down to the fact they were far from rushed off their feet, the restaurant was about as lively as a mortuary.

Our server took our Buyagift coupon almost instinctively and placed it atop a huge pile. It was at this point where all my remaining enthusiasm left me.

After being seated in one of the darkest rooms imaginable, we squinted at the extremely limited set menu and decided to cheer ourselves up with wine. Kudos to them, their red wine was fantastic.

I went with the only starter that didn't require the use of your fingers, a salad. Nachos, ribs and wings were the other 'Italian' options.

For my main, I wanted the sirloin steak. This was £11 extra.

Dessert, a cheesecake.

Back to the wine then. Glug, glug, glug. The Chianti really was phenomenal.

Newham Recorder: The red wine was lovelyThe red wine was lovely (Image: Newsquest)

We spoke to another couple sitting near us who were out enjoying their 40th wedding anniversary, they were having a great time and spoke highly of the restaurant. So perhaps we just caught it on an off day.

The couple, let's call them Tom and Barbara, were delightful company and made the whole evening truth be told. From stories of living near Wimbledon to travelling the world, we were having a wonderful time just sitting there, drinking wine and listening to them. Then the food arrived.

My salad consisted of two small pieces of bread, a single leaf of lettuce, and 17 fields of chopped tomatoes. Even Tom and Barbara couldn't lift my spirits.

Newham Recorder: The saladThe salad (Image: Newsquest)

I got some of it down and then anxiously awaited the steak I had paid £11 extra for. The glass of prosecco had also arrived and although I'm far from a fan of the fizz, I gladly accepted.

Sadly, the steak was the final nail in the coffin. It arrived with chips and - low and behold - more tomatoes.

The chips were nice, I mean, they're chips and the steak was pleasant too, a perfect medium rare. However, after a few bites, I noticed that a portion of the outside of the steak - that should be seared - was completely rare. 

Without causing a fuss, I asked the waiter if he could take it away and he apologised profusely, fair play to him because it wasn't his fault. He returned speedily and said the £11 charge would not be included in the bill.

Newham Recorder: The steakThe steak (Image: Newsquest)

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The cheesecake was nice but at this point, I was pretty deflated. I'd built the evening up to be something special and it couldn't have been further from the reality.

At £91, I really couldn't see where the money went in all honesty. Granted, that also includes Prosecco at The Shard which we were unable to do, but it was still a lacklustre experience.

I wasn't expecting Marco to be behind the stove for one night only, nor was I expecting to eat tiny birds under napkins (Google ortolans), but I was expecting, something, you know?

We had two bottles of red wine that came to £68.70, so even with the 'coupon deal', expect to spend a little.

If Marco Pierre White wants to put his name and face to this (there were enough portraits of him scattered around) then he really ought to have a rethink.