All reader reviews by Lordsoandso

Gessler at Daquise

Spruced up since the kitchen fire, the place still looks fairly stark, but functional and tolerably intimate. Just two vegetarian options, I went for the Polish Platter, a smattering of a few of the dishes on offer. Saurkraut, dumplings (think vegetarian Gyoza), potato etc. all very tasty and well prepared. My partner went for beef goulash with rice. Reportedly flat and dull to taste. Apple strudel was fine, some nice desserts on offer. Overall portions are a bit mean given the price and relatively humble ingredients. We've been meaning to try Daquise for years, it makes a change from the usual cuisine, the flavoured Vodkas are interesting and reasonably priced, but the atmosphere less than perky and the service more or less completely deadpan. An interesting experience but not one I will be rushing to repeat. We expected more considering how busy and well established Daquise is. Worth a try when you are bored of the usual favourites. Wodka off Kensington High St offers a better if pricier experience, but they smile sometimes and that helps a great deal.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 5 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 4

Chez Gerard (Chancery Lane)

Company Xmas Bash this time. Veggie options consisted of Spinach Tartlet with Pommes Frites (Pie and chips), and a few middlingly unimaginative options for starters and dessert. I've never been much of a fan of French food, and I wasn't looking forwards to another French chain experience (I always think of Cafe Rouge as a Bernie Inn menu translated). Atmosphere very good, staff very helpful and forgiving of me, having arived early, switching the seating arrangements around to avoid all my fluey colleagues. Goats cheese ciabatta starter was good, if not quite as warm as one would hope, with a fresh rocket salad. Quite presentable. Main turned out to be more goats cheese on a bread base, with tomatoes, accompanied by more rocket and a rather mean ash tray-sized bowl of chips for every four of us. Sides of vegetables and all was done very well, no complaints, except for the chips supply. Dessert was a chococlate log, very dry sponge but a delicious heavy chocolate cream coating and cherry sauce saved it from complete failure. We had a French Cabernet Sauvignon, which was disappointingly lifeless and an odd menu choice considering the traditions and variety that France has to offer. Overall, a good experience, a little pricey per head but probably a place I will return to one day. As a veggie, this sort of cuisine rarely caters well for me, so that is a compliment. Worth a try.

Friday, December 22, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


First time for us at this relatively new place - much bigger than expected and perhaps this was why it was pretty empty on a saturday night. The interior is pleasant but it lacks that lived-in feel of an established restaurant, I'm sure that will come. I had pipian verde and my girlfriend a spicy chicken dish with rice. The menu is quite impressive, few mexican places make authentic mle sauces and mine was really good. Tortillas are spot-on, I am sure the fajitas will be excellent. They don't have a full range of mex beers - I like Dos Equis and Bohemia but Negra Modelo rocks. Overally the food was good if perhaps our choices weren't inspiring. The menu is not the standard tex-mex fare and there are a few good veggie choices. I'd just like to see some black beans as a side and -please god - some real oaxaca cheese... Service was way too attentive - we were asked how our meal was going at every fork-load and my girlfriend had her plate snatched whilst masticating. They could have left us alone in peace for a while, to savour an otherwise romantic atmosphere. Overall, a good place just finding its feet. The bar nextdoor is a cool hang-out for pre dinner drinks. We'll definitely go back and try some of the other menu options.

Monday, August 21, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

Angie's African Cuisine

Not many veggie options but the plantains, jollof rice, beans and sauces worked very well. My first taste of Nigerian food - and very impressive it was. Service is slow but the food is fresh - no microwaved short-cuts here. THe fish was praised by everyone. If you like spicy food and are bored of the usual tex-mex or are looking for something different, give Angies a try. Surprisingly we were the only table on a Saturday night, so I can't big up the amtospehre but the food was very good, the staff friendly, the cook came along for feedback and we had a good night. Hardcore Nigerian guiness added a good touch.

Sunday, August 13, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8


I grab lunch here sometimes. It's only open weekdays I think. The food is superb, good service, the set lunches have great portions and the atmosphere fine. The best Japanese restaurant I've found in London, it wipes the floor with places that cost five times as much.

Friday, April 14, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


I can echo the comments below. We had lunch today, a good price for indifferent food. The place looks nice enough, but we only deduced where we were expected to sit as the sullen waif of a waitress picked up two sets of chopsticks from the table set for four and sleepwalked past us. I sensed it wasn't going to be a big tipping day. The tempura wasn't too bad, my girlfriend had some a vegetarian noodle dish, but if was chinese takeaway slops. I've had worse and for a fiver it's a cheap lunch, but bring your own smiling friends. If you want authentic Japanese food, and something like the superb service you should expect from a Japanese restaurant, try somewhere else.

Friday, April 14, 2006
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 7

Santa Lucia

Yep, not what it was. We had a group of 20 and they just could not cope. We ended up waiting on ourselves sharing small starters and the slabs of pizza (good though it remains) were just insufficient and took a lifetime to arrive. I couldn't get attention for more wine. We left hungry and sober and £40 a head worse off. Not a good night out, but I might go back with my girlfriend, when I've cooled off a little, because it's been fun before. Then again, there are a few decent places locally, so maybe not.

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 5 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 2

La Rueda (Kings Road)

Not bad. About ten of us, service a bit slow at first but improved and the staff were friendly and helped the atmosphere. I'd recommend it to friends as everyone seemed to enjoy their meal and the wine was good. Just one problem: I'm vegetarian and there apears to be only one veggie option (paella) as a main, and it wasn't the best I've tasted. I ordered spanish lentils (stating my dietary restrictions) and it came steeped in ham. It did however prove very popular with everyone else! A good night out but pretty rubbish if you're veggie (you'll find more option in an Argentine grill, so bring sandwiches!). That apart, worth a try.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6

Blue Elephant

I simply don't understand the disappointments expressed here. I took a girlfriend for dinner last sunday, we had a superb evening. Good, unobtrusive service, fantastic atmosphere (although I know the place gets rammed full some nights and that could diminsh the experience a little) and great food. I'm not an expert on Thai food, mostly it all tastes pretty similar to me but we left this place singing it's praises. Presentation and quality were terrific. Atmosphere perfect for a romantic evening, especially the poolside tables. We don't drink too much and spent around £50 sharing a large starter. You can spend a lot more if you choose to, but we thought it was good value. Good vegetarian options.

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 7

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