All reader reviews by hp5al

Soho Spice

Awful.

Went here on a week day for dinner and there is a bar/club downstairs. It started off ok but when the downstairs kicked off the clashing sound of the resturant music the music below made the whole experience even worse. We were kept waiting for ages for everything.

When the food came it was not as good as the last time I went and if anything it was the first time I did not want to finish my food (this only happens when I'm ill as I tend to love my food and I am a tad greedy). The flavours were overly strong and the water we ordered came in handy.

The waiters althought slow were polite but the whole thing of the pounding bass from beneath makes me never want to go back. There are many other places to eat on Wardour St that you should try instead. If you are definitely set on eating Indian then there is a place across the road from Soho Spice.

Friday, November 17, 2006
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 3 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 1


Vic Naylor's

This place is near where I work and have passed it many times. When I finally ate here it was amazing. Can be a little pricey but if you're looking for a little treat and it's close by then you should go here. Dinner in during the times of the year when it gets dark early is perfect as they had an open fire which added to the ambience.

The service was as good as the food and I will be going back.

Friday, November 17, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Wagamama (Bank St)

Have eaten at Wagamama's a few times at at least 4 other locations. The last three times have been at the Canary Wharf branch.

The service in all various but one thing I have recently found that seem consistent very time for the past year is that 'Wagamama' must be Japanese slang for 'dull'. No matter what you order I have noticed that by the end of the dish you feel as thought there is the same generic taste though out the whole dish. The times when I have ordered the udon noodles they have been over cooked to the point that it's all gooey, not good considering all you have to do is boil them. What you get for your money too makes you enjoy your food less. There are many other places that you can go to for noodles and such other than here.

I doubt whether or not I would come here or to any of the other branches for Japanese food again

Friday, November 17, 2006
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 3 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 1


The Ritz Restaurant

We went here as a party of 5 last week for a friend's birthday. The surroundings was breathtaking and the service impeccable. However that's where it all ends.

For £35 each I wasn't every impressed with the food. Granted we had a glass of champagne included but still it was pretty poor show food wise. The selection of sandwiches were bland and the scones which were provided were tiny fancy sized ones with no currents (the cream and jam was very nice though). The cakes too were just awful. You're better off going to some where like 'patisserie valeries' or 'pauls' for some proper cakes.

You really are paying for the kudos of just sitting in the Ritz which I found to be a bit of a tourist attraction. There were lots of people with cameras and were there thinking that this good high tea.

There was a dress code which is understandable but it was a shame that the birthday boy was not dressed in a jacket and tie (but was extremely smart) and so was made to change into a jacket and tie which they provided which made him look worse (think the most horrific tie pattern possible teamed with what looked like his big brother's suit jacket). I have no idea how this made the place look any better.

All in all it's a shame as I was so looking foward to having tea here but I ended feeling as though I was a tourist visiting London thinking that this is what 'posh' Londoners do. For a much better experience and more luxurious surroundings (if that is possible as the Ritz was nice - if somewhat tired looking in some places esp the ladies powder room) then your better off going to the Library Bar in the Lanesborough Hotel (Hyde Park Corner). No dress code (they even allow jeans) and you get the most amazing experience.

Friday, November 17, 2006
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 2 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0


New World

I have been going here for the past 20 years and have yet to find a better place.

Yes the decor is faded and old, yes the staff can be slow and rude *but* the food and the value for money is something else. Having them bring the food around in trollies is a touch.

Have taken many different people here both from the uk and abroad and everyone has always enjoyed it.

Other modern places have tried to recreate the dim sum experience but they have either not been authentic enough or charge you stupid money (replacing good food for fancy surroundings). This place is definitely the place to go for down right good dim sum.

Friday, November 17, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10


Xich Lo

Have been here twice and on both times have been given a little freebie taster, which at first is all good but then when I got the bill it was just as well. I found it a little bit over priced for what I got. Have been to places where I have paid a lot more and not minded as everything was pretty much spot on.

The food is good here, there's no doubt about that but I don't feel it's true to what Vietnamese cusine is about. It's as though they've tarted the dishes/ingredients up...a lot...it's like Vietnamese food gone ultra posh...so posh that I didn't really recognise some of it. This is not a bad thing at all as I did enjoy the food but as I mentioned it's not what I would call authentic. The only familiar dish was a starter consisting of asummer roll and spring roll (which tasted great) but even then it was all 'gucci-ed' up.

The service wasn't great..it wasn't rubbish either. Just slow and it seemed as though staff didn't really know what was going on at times although having said that they did try their best.

Come here for nice food but bare in mind that you can get nice food at other places that also offer better value for money and has better service at the same. It's a shame as this place has lots of potential.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4


Bamboula

Have eaten here a few times over the past two years as it's down the road from wher I live and have never been let down. My aim is to come here enough times to have tried everything on the menu...so far can't seem to get past the curried goat or the rundown chicken.

The place is very cosy and you get the feeling the food provided is good honest food. Do not forget to order festivals to soak up the sauce that comes with most of the main dishes.

If you go with some one try to get them to order something different you so get to try another dish as they will both be good.

Service is relaxed; not slow but relaxed and friendly. Great place. I challenge anyone to come here and not enjoy the food.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10


Cicada

I have been coming here for some time as I work down the road from it and last week was the first time in a long time (about 6 months).

The menu was pretty much the same as it was the first time I ate here 2 years ago and food is not as good as I remembered it to be. A lot of dishes were ordered and although there some nice dishes (the sashimi and the chilli salt squid) the other four/five dishes were either too salty or a bit of a let down. I was a little disappointed as I've always liked eating here.

One thing that has remained the same is the atmosphere.

I think that Cicada is best suited as a place to come and have drinks be it a nice hot beverage one by their open fire when it's freezing (they do the best hot chocolate in london) or a refreshing mojito/beer outside in the summer. Staff are always friendly and I have always found it nice to go to for a quick one during working hours or for drinks after work in a Friday.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 5 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Tamarind

Was taken here for my birthday and was a bit stumped by the prices when looking at the menu. Was even more stumped by the size of portions....

However all that had changed by the end of my meal and I was stumped for other reasons. The portions were just right and the food (yes very expensive) was brilliant.

For your money you do get a few complimentary bits and bobs (popadoms & chutney at the start and, at the end, fresh mint leaves brushed with melted white chocolates that had been in the freezer and makes a nice change to the usual chocolate mint).

Better than the food was the service. Everyone there was super efficient and discrete to the point that they were ninja-like and sometimes I hadn't even noticed that empty dishes were removed till later.

This place, unless you had the money, wouldn't be the place you'd go to on a regular basis but for a treat does the job quite well.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


The Dovetail

Took a group of people from work here for lunch on Friday at 1 o'clock so as you can imagine service was a bit slow for a party of 8. It didn't help that when we were shown to our table we weren't even given the menu till about 5/10 minutes later. Still this was all forgotten about by the time we left.

The setting is cosy and the food was enjoyed by *everyone*. The sausages and mash (of which you get a choice three types) which a few of us had was the best I've had for a while. Others had a mixture steak & ale pie, burgers and steak all accompanied by the most gorgeous looking chips (golden and crispy). The choice of beer was also very good (I had an apple beer).

The 'Belgos' chain could do with a trip to this place to see how it should be done.

Will definitely be coming back.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Balans (Soho)

Don't come here for anything other than cocktails and to drool over the waiters otherwise you'll be disappointed.

The food, although given in large portions, was a let down. I had crab linguine which had drizzled over it some weird dressing a bit like thousand island dressing and which took away from the the taste of everything else. My friend knew exactly what to for and stuck to the burger but even that looked like a let down. The bread basket we got was ok but again the flavours we really strong and clashy (about 5 diffent small breads with a salsa). Even with a buy one get one free voucher we went off to Valerie Pastisserie for desserts as the main for me was not all that.

The cocktails menu was good and looking at some of what other people ordered it looked good.

If ONLY the food was as good as how the waiters there looked (very nice indeed). Superificalness aside our waitress was friendly and there is a real buzz to the atmosphere which makes coming here just for drinks a really good place.

Friday, January 27, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 3


Browns (West India Quay)

I went here yesterday and the setting was pleasant enough it felt that I could have also been in Pitcher & Piano/All Bar None bar.

The food was not what I was expecting. It wasn't bad. Again, could have been in a Pitcher & Piano/All Bar One. I had lamb on sweet mash potato. The lamb was not as good as I hoped. All in all £50 for two mains, wine, water, coffee and a dessert. Not worth the money considering Tamarind bill came to £75 and it has a michelin star (fair enough we didn't have wine at Tamarind but I'm willing never to drink with my meal if I get that level of 'yummyness')

The service was brilliant though. Our waiter(and all others from what I saw) was very friendly and polite. Maybe he was trying to make up for the disappointing food. It was a shame was everything else was so nice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 2


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