All reader reviews by A Stockbrokers' Clerk

Balham Kitchen and Bar

Moderate concern mounted ahead of my progress to the BK&B last night - the reviews below make for ghastly reading and yet the word-of-mouth from chums and colleagues was pretty strong.

And after all that? A rather good experience for an enjoyable "school night" meal out. The place itself has had a lot of money spent on it and is pretty cool. In terms of the important bit (the gnosh) we both went for the chicken pie which was mid week comfort food of the best sort. Well cooked, plenty of meat and 'shrooms, lashings of creamy mustard sauce and a generous pastry lid to boot. Throw in to the mix good service (notwithstanding the loss of our table booking) which was attentive and not overstretched and an interesting (if New World biased) wine list.

Well worth a look.

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5

Vasco & Piero's Pavilion

Popped in here for lunch with a client. A recommendation from a colleague, and a big thanks to David for this sort of pointer. We both started with the taglietelle with beef ragu (good homemade pasta matched with a proper meaty sauce). Then we moved on to the cod (scrumptious) and pork scallopine milanese (the flavour works well). And then we weren't going to have pudding but the inobtrusive but fast service had got us to this point in 35 minutes and so puddings (good Italian classics) were ordered and very well received. Accompanying this were a couple of glasses of house red. That is as in good red wine that the house should put its name to.

All in all a very solid lunchtime venue for businesslike, tasty and welcoming lunch. As my guest said,"pass my thanks to David for a very good choice." And who could disagree with a client?

Friday, January 27, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Having criticised Galvin in the past, I have to say that it was pleasantly complete turn around this time out. Maybe being the early lunch sitting on a Sunday is the better way about (cf our earlier late week night sitting) but our snails (scrummy and full of garlic, herbs and nuts), my pork (good sized chop cooked perfectly with a lovely prune reduction) and my girlfriend's monkfish (roasted simply with a shellfish risotto) were a mile away from the disappointment last time.

Add to that that a reappraised wine list featuring an expanded and interesting selection of wines both by the glass (and the pichet style 475ml "pot lyonnais") addressed the other failing last time round.

I am glad that we gave Galvin a second chance and would say that it is well worth a visit for the upmarket bistro experience, or as they would say "bistro de luxe".

Sunday, January 15, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5

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