All reader reviews by Fiona

Shish Willesden

There aren't many restaurants within walking distance for most of the residents of Willesden Green, so I do try very hard to like the ones we do have! However, try as I might, it is impossible to really like Shish.

Over the years I've visited the portions have shrunk in both quantity and quality. I have sent chicken back on two separate occasions, once for being practically raw and the second time for being overcooked. The meals were replaced but without apology. On my last visit, the startes were slow to arrive and were rapidly followed by the mains - the waiter tried to take the half eaten starters away and when I asked for them to be left he just shoved the plates around on the inadequately sized table until they reached a precarious balance. Our wine bottle was shifted to a nearby empty table to accommodate this and the taken away, half full and with no explanation, by a different waiter. We asked our waiter for our wine and after some delay a bottle was produced - half full so hopefully the same one that left us!

We canceled dessert and asked for the bill, providing a credit card to facilitate the process. When the bill arrived the desserts were there, as was a service charge. We demanded that the desserts and service charge were both removed which was eventually done by a very surly man, not our original waiter who had apparently left for the evening.

Raising all our concerns with the man who appeared to be in charge, he told us that we should have booked and we wouldn't have had any problems.

Can't recommend this place.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 3 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 2


Sushi-Say

Sushi-Say is an unexpectedly excellent Japanese restaurant in an unusual part of town. I've lived in Willesden Green for 10 years and have visited regularly - it is the best Japanese restaurant in London and I've eaten at pretty much all of them.

Ask the sushi chef what he recommends as you enter - my husband ate several pieces of the finest yellowtail tuna he has ever put in his mouth. Being less adventurous I had a couple of salmon nigiri and the deep fried scallops - fresh, juicy and tender. The tendon, a mixture of prawn and vegetable tempura served with rice and a sticky spicy sauce, is my favourite hot dish but everything we've tried has been excellent. Dinner for two, including a bottle of wine but no dessert, comes to around £70 which we think is excellent value. Long live this marvellous little place.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


Hugo's

We were reasonably regular visitors to Hugo's with our three year old (mostly for weekend brunch) but have noticed a decline in quality and service. When ordering breakfasts recently we were told we couldn't order a half portion of pancakes for our child as there were 3 pancakes in a portion (with either bacon or fruit). When I asked if we could just get 2 pancakes on a plate this was refused - you apparently must choose something from the menu (or presumably there is chaos in the kitchen!) The booking was messed up (written in for the wrong day), the food and drinks were slow to arrive and very nearly cold when they did, and the bill took forever. If I were less honest I could have just walked out. Lots of staff so they can't be being overworked - just slapdash and uninterested. Given the prices this just isn't good enough. Try Jack's instead.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 3 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 0


Sardo Canale

My husband and I took the day off work last Thursday to celebrate my bithday - and as the weather was so appalliong, took ourselves to Sardo Canale for lunch. The restaurant is spacious and warm, with wood floors and a tucked-away feel. Service was very good from a clearly Italian gentleman of indeterminate age who appeared at exactly the right moments. The restaurant was almost empty but it did not feel uncomfortably so.

To start we shared the platter of meats and cheeses which varied in taste and quality - one of the salamis was oily and lacking flavour, but the ham was meltingly delicious. The creamy pecorino cheese was a ricoota-textured white cheese but packed with flavour - I pulled rank and ate my husband's share also! The platter is generous for two and we left a few odds and ends in preparation for our main courses.

I had the crab linguine, which was thick with fresh crab and had a good chili kick. The portion initially looked small but the bowls are quite deep and the pasta so well flavoured that I almost couldn't eat it all. Hubby had the steak, which came char grilled to perfection and sliced across some lovely garlicky potatoes and some just-wilted spinach.

I had room - just - for a very nice pannacotta, although I could have done with slightly more berry sauce.

The wine list was adequate and reasonably priced. Food was delicious and freshly prepared. A great dining experience and highly recommended - it's just opposite The Engineer and is so much better!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


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