ah I never used toptable. The restaurants always seemed weird. That's funny, I used to work right in Tower Hill so not too far away. I love the Borough market area though I wouldn't say the food there is cheap. That's fine though. I saved on rent to splurge on food. Hate English sandwiches though. They are always the worst/most bizarre combinations in the world. Prawns and cress. bleurgh. The Magdalen is right around that London Bridge area and they have great food though I never made it there. Ah and you're right by The Rake as well! Lucky lady! I love it there.
Yeah, it depends on your budget and whether you are converting to dollars all the time. A $7 dollar lunch doesn't seem bad on its face, but when it's £7 and you're doubling it to convert to dollars, it makes your head spin to think you're paying that much for a sandwich and a bag of chips. One of the things you have to get used to here is not converting; otherwise you simply go insane.
Don't really know what top table was like when you were here, but at least now they have some awesome restaurants on the list: Asia de Cuba, the Landau, a couple of Gordon Ramsey cafes, lots of top hotel restaurants. It's my goal to eat my way around to city so I try to go once a week.
Yeah, English sandwiches are totally gross. Marmalade and stilton, egg and watercress, and more similarly yucky stuff. We have a sandwich bar downstairs in the office and every time I order a tuna sandwich and ask for mayo on it they look at me like I am insane, ask me why I don't want "buttah" and remind me that there's already mayo in the tuna salad (even though there's barely any in the British version). At work, especially on busy days when I can't leave the office to eat, I've learned to eat for sustenance rather than for pleasure.