All reader reviews by Ads07


We tried La Fina Estampa in February. I decided to book ahead, even for a Wednesday night, which I assumed would be quiet, because it was out anniversary.

When we arrived, the ground floor looked really nice, quite full, with good atmosphere and music. We were about to be seated at a nice table clearly marked 'reserved' when another waiter intervened to say that this was a table that was going to be used by a couple finishing their drinks at the bar.

We were then asked to sit upstairs, alone, in a characterless brightly lit room. At that point I was ready to go somewhere else but my partner managed to convinced me that we should give the food a try since we wanted to try Peruvian food again for the first time since our holidays in South-America. Another couple eventually arrived so now we were 4 people in this upstairs bit.

I asked the waiter which of the two house whites (not Peruvian but Chilean) was more fruity as we did not want a too-dry wine. He had no idea. Not a great start. To be fair the bottle I eventually picked was nice and was promptly placed in an ice bucket.

The food:

My starter of ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice with red onions, coriander and sweet potato) tasted divine and very similar to ceviche I hate in Lima, just a bit less spicy, which is a good thing. Very fresh, a winner if a bit pricey at £5.95.

A main of lomo saltado (strips of beef, served with red onions, coriander, tomotoes and potatoes) was also good. The beef was very tender with enough onions and a good sautéed potatoes base. It could have had a few more tomatoes chunks.

Another main of chicken secco (breast of chicken in coriander sauce) was something we had not seen at all in Peru. It was good if a bit salty.

For dessert we had the classic Peruvian biscuit (whose name I forgot) of caramel-like milk jam in between two layers of crumbly biscuit. This was very nice.

Summary: If you want atmosphere, refuse to sit upstairs or book saying that you want your table downstairs. Most dishes are authentic, served in generous portions and either good or delicious. Everything is overpriced: 1 starter, 2 mains, 1 dessert with bottle of house wine: £55.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 6 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 4

Tito's Peruvian Restaurant

I have not been to this restaurant yet but plan to.

In reply to Pchowla: yes, they do serve chips with everything in Peru! This tells me this restaurant is truly authentic and I will go there to relive a bit of my Peruvian holidays!

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


I have been in this restaurant several times over the last three years.

The atmosphere is more cafe than restaurant. No separate non-smoking area, which is a pain if the table next to you start chain-smoking when you are trying to enjoy your food. Unfortunately, this is a general problem with small size restaurants.

Service is usually efficient, less so on Friday nights. I would say stick to other days or go there early i.e. before 8pm.

The food is generally very good. I like the mussels for starter although they seem to have changed the sauce recently, not an improvement. The steamed dim sum are also good if overpriced.

The mains are a good selection of classic thai curries: red, green, massaman and stir frys. Good honest food nothing out of this world.

Prices are rather cheap.

I'd recommend this for an early dinner on the way back from work or before you hit the town

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8

Pho (St John St)

I have been there three times now for lunch and dinner.

The ingedients are very very fresh, however, the main dishes taste a bit the same to me.

The first time, I had spring rolls (very good) and a crepe. The crepe was very disappointing because very very oily. The filling was beansprouts and noodles based.

The second time I had a bun. Beansprouts & noodles based, the third time I had a pho, want to guess what it consisted of?

This said the staff is helpful and smiling and no problems getting extra herbs in your dish if you want to, which is nice.

Summary: Cheerful, food very fresh but a bit samey.

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6

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