All reader reviews by Waltshaw
We started going to Benitos Hat when it first opened. My partner and I only eat free-range meat, so before we went we asked whether they used free-range chicken. They said yes. Great.
We have been about half a dozen times over the last two years, but recently I noticed standards slipping and had a less pleasant experience.
So, I emailed them (three times before I got a response) to ask them whether they did use free-range chicken, and it turns out they don't.
I don't know if I was misinformed the first time I asked, or whether they have driven standards down in order to expand. Either way - I'm not impressed, and won't go back.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 3
Baltic is one my new favourite places to go in London.
I've been twice recently, once for a lovely romantic date in the evening, where we ate caviar, veal parprakash, sea bream and spiced apple cake. Another for a Saturday lunch with a friend when we sat in the bar area and ate mixed blini platters.
My partner and I care quite a lot about where our food comes from, especially meat. Before we went to Baltic for the first time I e-mailed them asking about the meat they serve. I had a response within an hour telling me exactly where it all came from, and yes, it is pretty ethical stuff.
On both occasions the staff were attentive, friendly and excellent in helping us negotiate the extensive vodka menus. On both occasions the atmosphere was just right for what we wanted, and on both occasions the bill seemed pretty reasonable for what we had.
Most importantly the food is great, and I really recommend the Keta Caviar blinis with a glass of babika vodka, it is light, fresh, tasty and a bit different. A great new find just a few minutes off the beaten track.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
Franks Cafe is a pretty unusual place, not least because it's the only time you will be surrounded by a cool crowd who look like they came on a fleet of scooters from Hoxton, which may lead you to think it will be overpriced, but surprisingly it isn't.
Drinks are reasonably priced and the bar food is good value and good stuff. Grilled sardines, tomatoes on toast, corn on the cob - basic bbq stuff but tasty. The views are pretty amazing - with a panoramic skyline across London that is even better at sunset.
So what's not to like?
The toilets, that's what. Possibly the worst I've encountered in London, and probably worse than most festival toilets. They are really just buckets, and after a while... well I shan't go on about sewage, but it is not pretty. What really bothered me though was seeing the chefs coming out of them in their aprons, which is why I won't be going back.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 7
Went to The Table for lunch this Saturday. It was about half-full, and the atmosphere was quite nice. However the service was incredibly slow. We had to wait 15 minutes for anyone to take our order, another 15 minutes for a glass of water (which came in a dirty glass) and the food took over 25 minutes. Considering it is pretty standard cafe-brunch food, there is no reason for this. everyone knows how long it takes to poach an egg.
The food was pretty good - uncomplicated, but tasty. However I was so hungry after waiting so long for it, I would have eaten a scabby horse.
At one point I counted nine members of staff (there were about 15 diners) who kept huddling together for chats. When we were trying to get someone's attention for the bill, they miraculously disappeared, apart from one waiter who was obsessively filling sugar bowls despite the three tables all waiting for their bills.
The service was inattentive and we were not asked if everything was ok. Though they were very thorough when it came to adding the 12.5% service charge (which was handwritten on the printed bill). We didn't pay the service charge, and no one looked up when we left.
I find it hard to believe this was just an off-day, as they weren't that busy, and there were plenty of staff. They just didn't seem to have a clue how to run a cafe. There's laid back, and there's backwards.
I won't be going back.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Food 6 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 4