All reader reviews by James Holden


Quite simply dire. 3 of us went for dinner on Monday 1st November. The ragu was too salty and had very little flavour. Pizza was just poor. Lasagne was described as OK. How a traditional Italian can get it wrong on classic dishes I do not know. We were not expecting the world for £8.50 in pretty prime real estate, but pizza express or Ask can churn out decent pizzas for at the same prices that are far superior in quality. Would never go back.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 2 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 2

Lower East Liquor Bar & Bistro

Went for dinner as part of a group of 12 on a work Christmas party, Thursday 10th December, sitting in a private area at the back. I was really quite impressed. The food was pretty good, it's not fine dining, it's just good honestly described food. I had the leg of lamb steak which was very well cooked, it came pink, seasoned and rested, so beautifully tender. I also tried a piece of the steak, bursting with flavour and again cooked and seasoned to perfection. A few comments were made that the lobster might have been a little over cooked though.

The bubbly Spanish girl who served us was fantastic, our glasses were always topped up, she was well organised and we wanted for nothing all evening.

I'm not sure how to describe the atmosphere. It does seem more like a bar than a restaurant, but then it is Christmas, it was lively but not intrusive. I am not sure what to say about value for money as it was a work funded meal… 3 bottles of champagne, four courses, wine with dinner, coffee and liqueurs came in at £66 per head.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Smiths of Smithfield

Went for a work Christmas party on Friday 11th December. 12 of us having dinner on the second floor.

Service was fairly good, I think taking into account the size of our table and the remainder of the restaurant being full. I'd say they could have done with at least one more waiter.

Food. The rabbit papadella was lukewarm by the time it was served and lacked a little flavour. Salt cod fritters were pretty tasty though. Burgers were described as truly excellent. I had the 9oz rib steak which was excellent too. One thing that disappointed me was the accompaniment, a pot of mustard mayonnaise. Maybe it's just me but for a steak that size at £14.50 I might have hoped for some bearnaise, or even the option to pay extra for it… I didn't ask to be fair though. Some fairly nice wines on the wine list, though the better quality seems to begin at £30+ a bottle.

Atmosphere was good, buzzing but not too loud. I'd say the value for money was pretty good. Though someone else was paying, so not sure how I would have felt paying for it myself.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

Wahaca (Canary Wharf)

Lunch on Friday 27th Nov. Fast friendly service with the same delivery system as Wagamama... it comes when it's ready.

Tortilla chips and guacamole were really good and a very generous dollop of guacamole it was too, not spicy enough for my tastes, but then there are three choices of chilli sauce on the table for you to pep things up: a bottle of Devon grown chilli sauce which has a really big kick to it (beware) and two smaller bowls of mild green and red smoked chilli.

The food is good, favourite dishes were the Huitlacoche Quesadilla and the Smoked Herring Tostada. We went for the sharing menu, which at £19.75 was very good value for money and plenty of food for two. Will go back for sure and will venture onto other areas of the menu.

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8

Canteen (Canary Wharf)

I can't think of a single redeeming feature of my experience. Seated and given a menu, so far so good. Waiter approaches and we say we are ready to order. Companion orders caramelised onion with sage tart with sausages and mash for main. Waiter then asks if my companion knows what the soup of the day is and if he would like it. No thanks, I'll have the tart I just ordered… I ordered the same tart and the eggs Benedict for main course. "I'm sorry sir, but we don't serve those at lunch time". I point out the heading that says "Breakfast - served all day", waiter says they do not have any muffins, I point to the lady to my right who has a plate of eggs Benedict in front of her…. You can see where this is going...

Starter arrives 20 mins later and is simply a slice of tart served at room temperature. It was just an onion mush served in pastry with no texture or real flavour. It was garnished with a few chunks of iceberg lettuce with a pleasant yet under seasoned dressing.

I'd love to tell you about the main course, but it took so long not to arrive that we had to leave to get back to work. All in all we had been seated an hour. We ended up being charged £17.50 for two slices of tart and two cokes. On reflection I should have asked for the bill to be comp'd as I had lost my lunch hour and had to buy sandwiches to eat in a meeting.

The frustration for me is that the restaurant has only been open a week and they are obviously ironing out a few issues. But why don't they just take a few less tables and get things right rather than taking on too many tables and falling so far below expectations. Would I go back? Why should I? It just seems they were more interested in taking my money than delivering good service and food. They do not deserve my repeat custom. Actually on reflection I will go back, but only to ask for the refund on today's "lunch"...

Friday, October 23, 2009
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 2

Le Gavroche

My wife and I visited on Wednesday 21st October and ordered the menu exceptional with accompanying wines. Quite simply I was blown away by the entire experience. It was far and away the best meal I have ever eaten. Each dish was agonising to eat as the portion dwindled on the plate and you realised the taste sensation was soon to be over. I could not eat slowly enough to savour the meal fully. The wines that went with each course were perfectly matched and exceptionally good. I wont bore you with a description of each course, you have to experience it yourself to realise how the cooking has been elevated to an art form.

What I will say, having had tasting menus at other 2 star London restaurants, is that I really felt that Le Gavroche is great value for money. I did not say it was cheap, but I did not feel ripped off in any way. A slight delay in the service of the meat course saw our red wine topped up, unusual but much appreciated. Also portions for the cheese course were very generous, I am used to getting 4 postage stamp sixed morsels of cheese before the waiter whisks the board away, quite the opposite here.

It would be churlish not to compliment the waiting staff, they are fantastic and really add to the overall experience. I truly can't wait to go back.

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10

Green's Restaurant & Oyster Bar (Cornhill)

Went for lunch on Wed 21st Nov. Really very good indeed. I had the crab cake starter and rump of lamb for main. The crab cake (comically mispronounced by the waitress) was stuffed full of fresh crab and not a lot else, really surprised as I was expecting at least 50% potato. Served with crème fraiche and a lemon wedge it was fresh and very very tasty.

The lamb main was delicious with beautifully pink and flavoursome lamb, the side disk of cauliflower gratin was very good too with a lovely mature tangy cheese sauce. Side dishes were all very good too, al dente vegetables and great chips. Others reported the calves liver as absolutely delicious.

The Bill: I was not paying the bill, but the prices looked to be pretty much average for city lunches

The Venue: it has to be said it is a very impressive building with the oyster bar (old Lloyds Bank HQ) visible through the internal windows, very pleasant surroundings

The service: friendly, helpful and efficient

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Sofra (Covent Garden)

Went for dinner on Tuesday 15th Sept 09. We were a table of 9 and went for the 3 course group menu at £20 per head. The meze of vegetarian starters was generous and pretty good. I went for the mixed grill for main and was very disappointed. The chicken, lamb and kofte had all been grilled as I expected, but had then been smothered with a very wet salsa which took away the crispy outside of the grilled meat. The meat must also have been marinated to an extreme as it was very spongy. Yes, the menu does describe the meat as moist, however it had no texture what so ever, it felt wet and mushy as I ate it. Edible yes, enjoyable no, disappointing as this should be the house specialty. Others in the group said the lamb tagine was very good.

The temperature in the restaurant was also way too high, it was really uncomfortably hot towards the end of our meal even though it was cool outside. Service was adequate though we struggled to get a waiters attention to order additional rounds of drinks. One positive is all the beer was very well chilled.

Overall I was disappointed with the whole experience and do not see any reason to recommend the restaurant nor, sadly, would I go back.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 4

Jamie's Italian (Canary Wharf)

Went for lunch again today. Fri 4th Sept 12:00. After my last review (14th Aug) I was nervous. Seems I was right to be.

I walked through the doors at 12:00 and waited in line for a table. The doors were propped open and the Canary Wharf wind machine was in full effect blowing through the restaurant. I reached the front of the queue and asked for a table for two. I was asked if both of us had arrived and I said no but that my colleague would follow in 2 minutes. I informed the lady that we had already chosen our food so was ready to order. I was told that was not good enough and that I would have to wait for my colleague to arrive. I commented that this was strange as it had not been an issue on my previous visit. This made no difference. I asked what would happen if I wanted a table for one. By this time I was running out of patience and given the queue behind me was growing, it was looking less and less likely that a table would be available when my colleague arrived.

So there you have it, visit one I was served undercooked pasta and visit two I can’t get a table.

Friday, September 04, 2009
Overall rating 0 stars
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0

Jamie's Italian (Canary Wharf)

Lunch on Fri 14th Aug. Tbl 2/1 Chk # 4188. Seated at 11:48. Ordered a meat antipasti platter for two as a starter and two bowls of pasta for main. The antipasti took a while to arrive but was absolutely delicious with some amazing Parma ham that just melts in your mouth.

The main courses arrived at 12:45 which we felt was pretty slow. Companion went for mushroom ravioli which was reported to me as delicious. Sadly my pasta was undercooked, I'm not talking al dente, I mean undercooked. The sauce tasted really good but the dish was just inedible. I am convinced my dish had been made with dried pasta rather than fresh as I had to pick the uncooked bits of pasta out of my teeth. Biting through the pasta revealed raw white pasta in the centre, something you don't get with fresh pasta in my experience. It surprised me as there was chap right next to us making fresh pasta…?

The waitress immediately swept the plate away and fetched the manager who was suitably apologetic and offered to prepare the dish again for me. Unfortunately I had to be back in the office for 13:00, so I had to decline the offer as it was now 12:50. The manager said the dish would be taken off the bill, though to be fair given the delay and the fact that I missed lunch, maybe they could have done more. Bill came to £27.65 for two cokes, the shared antipasti and the bowl of ravioli. Service not included.

There's nothing wrong with the service, all the staff are courteous and efficient. Our waitress seemed embarrassed at the situation, it was nice to see she really did care. The restaurant was very busy and there was a queue at the door throughout, so perhaps a few less tables would be a good idea while they get through the teething issues of training and building their new team. Overall I am still hungry writing this review and disappointed that such a basic avoidable error could be made.

Friday, August 14, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Byron (Kingston)

Went for lunch on Sat 8th Aug. My wife and I both went for the mushroom and Swiss cheese burger. I asked for medium but mine was a cooked a little more well done, but to be fair it was still very juicy and full of flavour. What I really liked was that the burger came with a choice of fries or salad on the side.. unlike another burger place that charged me £4 for fries and a dip recently...

I went for the choc malt shake and my wife for the strawberry. They are seriously good milkshakes, my one year old daughter will confirm that and cried her eyes out when we stopped feeding her, she's not done that before!!

Service was very friendly and helpful, no groans when we asked for a high chair, and no groans at the mess we left after feeding our daughter. 2 burgers, fries, side salad and shakes came to £26.

I have given high scores because for a burger restaurant it is really good within its peer group. Really nice informal lunch. Will go back for sure.

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

Taste of Mogul

Had dinner on Saturday 7th March 09.

I've eaten here quite a few times since the restaurant openend 5 years or so ago. It was the best of the mid priced Indian restaurants in Twickenham.

Last night's dinner was sadly an absolute disaster.

The service was downright awful. I arrived 10 minutes before the rest of our group, I did not get the drink I ordered until 10 minutes after the rest turned up. When I asked where my drink was, I was told "ladies first". We had dips for poppadoms delivered, but no poppadoms... this took 10 minutes to resolve, The food then took the best part of 50 minutes to arrive after we ordered. It is worth noting, the restaurant was not busy, less that 50% full. One of our group had a sizzling dish poured over her hand and lap. All in all a disaster.

The food was no better than the service. At least three different dishes seemed to be in exactly the same sauce. The chicken in the dishes was dry and overcooked. The tarka dahl was bland. It was just low grade.

Sunday, March 08, 2009
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 5

Le Pont de la Tour

Food: 7. Chose the blue cheese and cranberry tart for starter, only grumble was that I could not find any blue cheese on it. Main course was the warm salmon, potato and green bean salad, very nicely cooked flame grilled salmon. Went for the ice cream sundae for pudding. Tasty food, but more of a summer than a winter menu in my opinion?

Service: 7. Service was good, maybe a little impersonal, could be a little warmer.

Atmosphere: 7. Nice buzz, not too noisy even though we were sitting quite close to the piano. Tables are a very close together.

Value for Money: 10. Pre-booked and went for the 3 courses and a glass of wine for £17.50. Can't grumble about value for money with that. It was nice to see a restaurant that refilled the bread basket without being asked and then did not try charging us for it. Fantastic value for money with the special offer.

All in all, I would definintely go back, but I am not sure how tempted I would be to order from the a la carte menu...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

The Empress

Visited for a work Christmas lunch on Friday 5th December, 3 course meal for £30. Restaurant was not busy, 4 other tables. Seven in our group.

Starter was a Brie fondue, it was simply just a pot of melted cheese, some chutney and melba toast. Pretty uninspiring. Main course was pheasant which was terribly dry, so much so that 2 of the three of us who ordered it had to send it back. The roast potatoes had obviously been in the fridge overnight and had that unmistakable flavour stale flavour they get. Followed up with a very tasty Christmas pudding, go figure!

To summarise the food was pretty bad and very expensive considering the quality. No reason at all for such bad food given how quiet the restaurant was and the size of our group.

The only positives were the service, the head waiter dealt with our complaint very well and a fantastic Bloody Mary which was very very good.

I would agree with the other reviewers that The Empress has a great location, atmosphere and service… it just needs to get the food sorted.

Monday, December 08, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 3 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 4

Sri Nam

Had lunch on Wed 26th Nov. Had the Laksa soup... man is it good for £7.50! Having spent a chunk of my mis-spent youth in Thailand, I can honestly say it was the closest I have tasted to the food I ate over there. Really very good.

Service is typically Thai, friendly yet very relaxed, none of the waiting staff have stress related illness I bet! :-)

Will go back for dinner and review again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

Retro Bistrot

My wife and I had lunch at Retro on Saturday. I ventured on to the a la carte menu for the foie gras starter and duck main. Washed all that down with a 2003 reserva Rioja and followed it up with a plate of cheese and the plum souffle. For a non Michelin star restaurant, it really is one of the very best meals I have had

We ate there again on Sunday with 14 friends. Everyone thought the food and service was fantastic. Nobody could beleive what good value the set menu was!

Will go back again and again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10

Retro Bistrot

At last a quality local restaurant for Hampton & Teddington. Having eaten at Le Retro a few times, it's great to see the winning formula expanded . My wife and I went for Sunday lunch last weekend and we were blown away by the quality of the food and the price. We both had exactly the same meal: a goats cheese and pear tart as a starter, followed by roast belly of pork with puy lentils for main and finished off with a chocolate brownie and ice cream.

A three course meal for £14 is almost unheard of nowadays, but for the food to be cooked and served to such a very high standard and in such lovely surroundings is extraordinary. The goats cheese and pear tart a perfect savoury / sweet combination. The pork belly was juicy and tender and came with plenty of crackling. The chocolate brownie was heavenly.

The wine list was good too with a good number of the wines available by the glass and carafe too. The Muscadet with the starter was fresh and clean, the Cahors with the pork was good and punchy. All in all a very good reasonably priced meal. Will back for a full dinner ASAP.

The reason for my very high rating on the food is because it is exceptionally good food at an exceptionally good price.

Monday, September 29, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9

Friends Restaurant

Visited for lunch on Sunday 28th September 2008. My wife and I agreed that the selection of starters was not very appealing, we eventually settled on the charcuterie terrine and kedgeree. The terrine was almost completely tasteless with some unidentifiable pieces of meat set in it, the wasabi dressing was very good but was sadly the only discernable flavour on the plate. The kedgeree had burnt onto the bottom of dish, but was nonetheless pleasant.

The main course was mainly roasts and we both settled on the beef which was served rare as promised with roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. The side dish of vegetables was perfectly cooked but pitifully small for two people. Overall it would have been a good dish, but it was let down by the gravy which was a thin tomatoey liquid that resembled the juice you would normally expect with a spaghetti Bolognese.

For dessert we chose the hot chocolate pudding and the orange bread & butter pudding. The hot chocolate pudding was very good, slightly soft in the middle with lovely rich dark and white chocolate sauces. The orange bread and butter pudding was a poorly made bread & butter pudding that had been spread with marmalade which overpowered the dessert and made it sickly sweet.

In summary, the setting and service are as ever excellent, however the menu design, food quality and finishing was poor. At £25 per head, considering the quality of the food, it is not good value for money. I can't help comparing this experience to a recent meal at the two Michelin star restaurant at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge which was £30 for three courses.

Monday, September 29, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4


Went for dinner with 4 friends on Tue 23rd Oct. Pre-booked the 2 course meal +glass of wine for £14.99 per person. Given what we paid, I though the food was really pretty good. I had the chicken liver, bacon and poached egg salad - not a lot of it, but very well prepared. For main I had the Barnsley lamb chop with puy lentils, a decent sized piece of lamb that was pink and tender. The free glass of wine with the meal was not too bad either.

Unfortunately the one thing that let the meal down was the service. I know we were in the "cheap seats" but it really was disappointing. We had two plates taken from the table while three of us were still eating. When the next person finished that plate was taken too. After the remaining two had finished we sat there with two plates for twenty minutes trying to order pudding and more wine, but then could not attract the attention of the waiting staff! We eventually gave up and asked for the bill. That took another 20 minutes to settle. The bill came to £96 for five, which is very good all things considered. If we'd paid full whack, it would have been a lot more and we would probably not have been happy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

Balans (Soho)

Had dinner on Thur 13th Sep 07 having not been for 6 months. First up were delicious cocktails (inc a very good Bloody Mary) with bread, olives and some lovely creamed goats cheese. Straight into the main course and the famous "Balans Burger". It was absolutely foul. It tasted like an economy/no frills quarter pounder and when cut open looked like cheap fatty processed meat. Gone is the fresh ground beef that you expect for a £10 burger. I made it half way through mine before giving up and complaining. We had a bottle of wine (£13) taken off the bill which was nice, but did not quite make up for the three burgers (£30) that then repeated on us all night. It's such a shame as the burgers are usually one of the best in town. Bring back the old meat supplier I say.

Service is as ever fun and friendly, though sitting up at the back we felt a little forgotten and did not get our wine until we had almost finished our main course.

Monday, September 24, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 5 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8

Marcus Wareing at the Savoy Grill

It's a personal thing, but I normally always prefer winter menus filled with game, roasted meats, rich sauces and hot gooey puddings. All the more reason to be very pleasantly surprised by the tasting menu I enjoyed last night at the Savoy Grill.

We safely avoided my pet hate restaurant trap - aperitifs (£25 for two 125ml glasses of Champagne) and went straight for the wine list instead. Ended up ordering a bottle of Champagne anyway that went very well with the first three courses and a superb, Sommelier recommended, bottle of 2003 Montpeyroux for the meat and cheese courses.

The food really was excellent with very well combined summery flavours. There is a real streak of the Mediterranean with the prawn and salmon ravioli on fennel, the monkfish & clam Provencal and the vegetables & olive jus served with the lamb main course. I think what really stood out apart from the execution of the dishes was the obviously high quality of the ingredients.

Highlights: the food, environment and a very friendly & helpful Sommelier who did not turn his nose up when we said we were price sensitive when he was recommending wine

Lowlight: the food service felt a little rushed, so rushed that we ordered the extra cheese course to slow things down a bit and relax (very good cheeses BTW, but slightly rushed service)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Le Retro

Recently opened and managed by Vincent the impeccably coiffured Maitre D that locals will recognise instantly from Monsieur Max. The welcome is warm and friendly. Whilst the menu is limited it had changed between our two visits. The food on both occasions has been delicious, uncomplicated and perfectly executed. I had a pear, walnut and baked goats cheese salad followed by a risotto with poached haddock and poached egg. Both items stood out on the menu as dishes that I really wanted to eat and I was not disappointed. My fiancé ordered from the specials and had a Daube of Beef that was just amazing.

There is a totally French wine list with a really good choice of reds and whites to suit all tastes and budgets. The Muscadet and Corbieres we had were both fantastic. One thing I really liked is that every wine on the list is available by the glass, 50cl carafe or by the bottle, so we were able to choose wines to compliment each course.

I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough!

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Le Retro

Recently opened and managed by Vincent the impeccably coiffured Maitre D that locals will recognise instantly from Monsieur Max. The welcome is warm and friendly. Whilst the menu is limited it had changed between our two visits. The food on both occasions has been delicious, uncomplicated and perfectly executed. I had a pear, walnut and baked goats cheese salad followed by a risotto with poached haddock and poached egg. Both items stood out on the menu as dishes that I really wanted to eat and I was not disappointed. My fiancé ordered from the specials and had a Daube of Beef that was just amazing, we ended up swapping plates half way through the main course!

There is a totally French wine list with a really good choice of reds and whites to suit all tastes and budgets. The Muscadet and Corbieres we had were both fantastic. One thing I really liked is that every wine on the list is available by the glass, 50cl carafe or by the bottle, so we were able to choose wines to compliment each course.

I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough!

Saturday, May 06, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

The Oratory

What a find! Had dinner here with 5 friends on Saturday 8th April 2006. We had three courses, coffee, port and 6 bottles of wine (oops!) and the bill came to a bargain £208 including service! Astounding value for money compared to many other places to eat locally.

The food is really quite good. I had an exceptionally tasty mushroom risotto and followed it up with a burger covered in blue cheese and crispy onions. Simple food, yet perfectly executed. Best value is the wine list with the house wine at £7.50, we went for a very pleasant Argentinean Malbec at £9.50 (hence the 6 bottles!)

It's not Michelin star material, but then neither is the bill. Thoroughly enjoyable and I will go back!

Sunday, April 09, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

Aberdeen Steak House

Joking and Dave Burnside's hilarious review aside, this is quite simply one of the worst dining experiences you could ever imagine. This a tourist hell hole that no self respecting Londoner would even contemplate eating in, but amazingly there is a constant stream of lemmings throwing themselves through the door to an uncertain future It shames me to admit that I have eaten here. The food is dull, unimaginative, poorly cooked and expensive, The standard of service equals that of hygeine… very very poor. I would seriously recommend Burger King for a better gastronomic experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 1

Squiffy's Restaurant

This realy is the only decent restaurant left in the Hampton area if you don’t want Indian or Chinese. I have eaten here a number of times and never been dissapointed. The menu changes regularly and reflects seasonal produce. There is a good mix of meat and fish on the menu and there is a good variety of reasonably priced wine. The service has suffered on one of my visits as they do get quite busy, I would also recommend booking in advance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9

The Capital

I wrote a review in Oct 2003 of my experience of the Menu Degustation at The Capital. Sadly I walked away slightly disappointed by two of the courses that I felt were not particularly "sumptuous or decadent" (veal steak main and chocolate brownie dessert). The rest of the food, wine and service were exceptional though.

Not put off entirely, I went back for lunch on Sunday 8th Jan. All I can say is that it was absolutely superb. The 3 course menu for £29.50 is absolutely stunning value for money for such an outstanding dining experience.

I did find it hard to choose a wine near £35 so my advice is: don't be embarrassed to set a budget and tell the sommelier. Aperitifs before dinner came to £25 inc service, cheekily the Champagne offered was £15 a glass inc service! Next time I will forego pre dinner drinks and enjoy wine by the glass with each of the three courses. Can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9

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