All reader reviews by Z

Babylon at The Roof Gardens

Went along for lunch one saturday in december. Was cold but clear and sunny, a perfect day to enjoy the great views from the roof gardens whilst seated inside.

Staff were cheerful and polite and service was efficient without being obtrusive. My friend had a food allergy which I'd mentioned on the booking, and as soon as our waiter came over he asked us about it, told us which menu items were suitable (or could be modified) and said he would confirm everything with the chef. This kind of thing makes a real difference!

We both went for the 2-course £18 lunch menu, opting for starters and mains. The food was fine, but nothing special. Portions are relatively small, but for lunch I tend to prefer this - and you can always go for the 3 course menu for few pounds more. Total bill including soft drinks and coffee came to £60 for two, which seems reasonable given the location and style of the restaurant.

Unfortunately didn't get a chance to explore the gardens since we were pressed for time, but will definitely come back sometime to take a look round. The outdoor seating in the restaurant is probably great in the summer (but probably in high demand too!)

Overally pretty happy with the experience. I wouldn't suggest you come here specifically for the food, but the view and the great service make it a pleasant dining location. I would recommend this to others with the above caveat, and would certainly come back again.

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 6 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8

Oscars (Whiteleys)

Two of us went to Oscars in Whiteleys on a Sunday evening. The restaurant is nice enough inside and our waitress proved to be helpful and friendly, coping well with the fact they seemed to have run out of many of the dishes we wanted to order!

The food was passable, but certainly nothing special. We went for their special christmas menu, and the total bill came to around £55. Overall I think the prices, especially on the standard menu are a little high given the very average quality of the food.

So although the service and the general ambience are fine, I think Oscars would be well advised to either drop their prices or improve their food. The only reason I would come back here is that there are very few halal mexican restaurants in london.

Also as an aside, if you have kids, this place seems quite family friendly - providing high chairs etc.

Monday, December 15, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 3


Been here a couple of times in the evenings on the weekend and during the week, and can't say it's ever been particularly busy, so never needed to book in advance. One of the few non-indian halal restaurants in the area, the food is simple and straightforward, with most of the main dishes being based around various types of kebab with rice. They also do a selection of stews which I've never yet tried (maybe next time!).

Service has always been friendly and helpful, and the food is good value for money. The two of us had starters, mains, soft drinks and tea for around £45+tip. They do a lunch menu too, which I'm sure is a very good deal, although I've not yet had the chance to try it.

I've no doubt I'll be back in the future and would certainly recommend Saffron to others.

Thursday, November 23, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9

Soho Thai

Tucked away just off Wardour St, this Thai restaurant is good little find. We arrived at around 8:30 and the place was packed, but we only had to wait a few minutes before the two of us were seated. However, it looks like booking might be a good idea if you have a larger group.

The menu offered a simple selection of standard thai dishes with several veggie and fish options. Our food arrived quickly with ample portions. As soon as we had finished our meal, the bill turned up without prompting - the staff were obviously keen on turning tables round quickly. This wasn't really done impolitely or in an intrusive way, but this clearly isn't the place to linger after your meal.

Overall, I'd say this place is great value for money (came to around £20+tip for two mains and soft drinks!) and would certainly recommend it. Also, according to the other people who were waiting for a table, the food here is much better than the ever popular Busaba Eathai round the corner which always has ridiculous queues.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Went here for lunch on a Saturday around two, and the place was quite quiet. The restaurant is quite atmospheric inside and the decor in keeping with the Lebanese theme (as far as I know!)

There were 3 of us and we decided to go for the light mezze option from the lunch menu. Service was prompt and cheery and the food was adequate although nothing particularly special. The chicken wings were slightly burnt, leaving a bitter aftertaste...not certain if this was intentional, but we were dubious. We followed with mint tea which was poured from an impressive height and was a refreshing end to the meal. We had a go at reproducing the pouring technique with the pot of tea left at the table, but never managed to to do it quite the skill of the waitress...

The tea came with a selection of sweets, baklava and peanuts, which we weren't really expecting, but since it was there, we decided to tuck in. The cushions made it a comfortable place to linger over tea, and the staff certainly did not try to rush us in any way (although this may be different when it's busier of course).

We were slightly surprised by the bill - it came to around £60 for the three of us for what was a relatively light lunch. Generally, lunch menus tend to offer quite good value and I often use them as a way to try a restaurant before committing to using it as dinner destination. So overall, although I can't fault the service or decor, the not particularly good value for money and unmemorable food mean that I don't think I'll be coming back or recommending this venue to others. There are plenty of other Lebanese and middle eastern restaurants around, so I think I will give the competition a try...

NB: According to the waitress, all meat served here is halal.

Sunday, November 19, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 3

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