All reader reviews by Janey

Eat and Two Veg

I went here for lunch with a friend just before xmas and found it really good! We had a smoothie and main plate (which are really big) for just over a tenner each.

The decor notably does not look as slick from the inside as the outside, but staff were non-obtrusive, and most importantly, quick enough to fit lunch in in an hour - which so many places don't seem to manage!

The veggie cheesburger was really yummy, with loads of chips, a pile of salad and a pile of coleslaw. Cold plates meant to food goes cold a bit fast, but it didn't last long in front of me anyway!

A wide range of smoothies/soft drinks makes this good for non-drinkers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

Belgo Centraal

I have been to Belgo (and its 'bierdrome' branch in Holborn) many times, and it is consistently a good, reasonable priced and fun place to eat! Service can be brisk, but given it's in theatreland that's what most people want.

The main fare is mussels and belgian beer, but they also do good chicken, tasty sausages and lovely tarts for the veggies. Desserts are a bit hit and miss, particularly the waffles, which can arrive going gold and chewy on busier nights.

Centraal seems to have two areas downstairs, one with cubicles (left as you enter) and one with communal benches (right as you enter). I would recommend booking for the cubicles if there are four or less people - it's easier to have a conversation.

Don't be put off by the waiting area/bar on the entry level. It is always packed, but is not as claustrophobic as it looks from outside. Tables are ready so quickly, even on a Saturday night you probably won't even finish your beer before you are called to sit down.

They also do a good 'beat the clock' deal where you pay the time you arrive on weekdays. This offer fab value for money - you get a large portion of mussels and a beer (value £12) for a little as £6! Also look out for the annual lobster festival - I haven't found a 1lb lobster for £16 anywhere else in London lately!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9

Giraffe (Marylebone)

I went here for dinner with a friend and found it good fun. Nice staff, great atmosphere and good size portions. It's not a gourmet restaurant, but prices are very reasonable and the 241 drinks offer they do in early evenings made it a bargain!

The main course I had (chicken) wasn't to my taste, although there was nothing wrong with it. What I thought made it remarkable, was that the waitress noticed that I hadn't finished and asked why. I have been to so many places where they don't blink an eyelid if you leave your whole plate.

The manager actually came over, very nicely, and asked what I didn't like about it, as apparantly they made the sauce in house and wanted to know what could have been better. They then gave my friend and I a free drink! I thought this was a very thoughtful gesture, especially as I had said it wasn't bad, just not to my liking.

A restaurant that cares that much what its customers think will keep them coming back - I'll have no qualms about returning.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

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