All reader reviews by Kedi
This place seems I think to have improved, though I don't frequent it that often purely for food remorse reasons, ie feeling like a fat bloater!
Fish is good, obviously better when freshly fried. Smaller size is still more than ample. Not keen on the chips as they tend to sit around getting soggy. Last time they were undercooked and they always seem to be very pale looking, and too chunky. Like 3 would fill you up! I often go for cod and mushy peas instead which is classic comfort food done as well if not better than the next chippy along which is Fish Central. Which is overrated in my view.
I think for cod chips and peas to take out it's £8.50 which isn't too bad as it's enough for me to split and eat it for 2 meals. Never eaten in only ever takeaway orders. One staff member was a bit grumpy and sullen but that was only once. The guy that fries the fish is quite funny if you get into conversation with him..
Tried steak and kidney pasty the other day and it was superb. Not too much gravy, busting with tender meat and fluffy not too greasy puff pastry. Every day since I have been craving one! Might succumb on Saturday when hung over. Way cheaper than fish and would be madly filling with chips. I fear I will increase in mass significantly since I got reaquainted with this place! Chips get 5/6 but other things 8 hence the 7 rating for food. Giving 5 for atmosphere and 6 for service as I only ever take out, staff seem nice but can't say about the restaurant waiters.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 7
Went here and tried loads of potatoey things! Shameless carb binge ( potatoes, c'mon I am Irish!)
Pretty good, nice atmosphere and shabby chic decor. Chairs could be comfier. Champ, pink firs, dauphinoise were all great. Want to try some salt cod fritters but no room. Asparagus was excellent. Took pink firs home (raw ones) and made tortilla, chips as well as just boiled. Those ones are so nice you can eat them with salt, on their own. No butter required!
I liked it but my companion felt there could be more main meat dishes.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6
I loved the place so much when i was a little tiny kid. my eyes would bulge out on stalks at the sight of the enormous pancakes! and it was the only time i got to have maple syrup and cream in my main meal!
Sadly it is tired and lame now...the decor hasn't even really been updated since literally the early 80s!
Definitely avoid...and the savoury pancakes have always been vile, really cheap slimy toppings. Though i never got the point of anything other than syrup, cream, lemon and sugar or at a push, nutella on a pancake! The place looks really dirty now which is very offputting. Walk up a bit further towards Oxford St and there's a French bistro that i forget the name of on the same side of the street which is way better if you are hungry and in the area.
Monday, April 08, 2013
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 2
Went back after a year or so and we were a very big group eating early on a Sunday. Really lovely food but I have to say I left hungry!
It was not their fault as we were all just randomly ordering small plates and sharing, so I only had one of whatever was on the plate.
Decent salmon nigiri and rolls, really tasty seaweed salad. I adore that slippery slightly rubbery texture of seaweed! Really light large prawn tempura (de-veined which they weren't before) and sweet and sticky chicken teriyaki skewers. Only let down was beef teriyaki I found too tough, despite it being rare. Star dish was some moreish soft but firm prawn dumplings. A little bit of crunch round the extremities and really tasty filling.
Thumbs up all round, though toilets are pretty rubbish so knocking 2 off for that and 1 off for tough beef. Still recommend and value is good.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9
Didn't think I would ever need to do a new review, but have to say after defending the food here I went yesterday and the ribs and pulled pork weren't good at all... Pork was a sad pile of shreds of almost sawdust dry meat with no sauce whatsoever, portion also smaller (though in the circumstances that was a blessing)
Ribs were very tough and hard to cut with the dreadful school canteen style blunt knife. The flavour was there but it looked rubbish, and hurt my mouth to eat. It used to come easily, unctuously off the bone.
The slaw was old and sad tasting in a tiny polystyrene cup like you get from backstreet chicken shops...the slaw Itself was marginally better than a chicken shop but used to be delicious. Now tastes of cheap mayo plus it was billed as being around £3 on the menu which really annoyed me...Also waiting staff ignored us throughout and I had to get my own beer from the bar even though it was nearly 3pm and about 3 tables occupied. The barman looked confused and sweaty, and slightly distressed.
Anyway thumbs down, they have disappointed a fan from the start and now I won't come back. I felt this meal was poor value as we had one disappointing main meal, 2 beers and apple juice from concentrate for 30 quid Inc service. If food and service were good then fine, but sadly Red Dog lost a life long fan that day.
Friday, February 08, 2013
Food 3 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3
The pizzas in this off the beaten track pub are amazingly good. The chef is Sardinian ( I think ) and they do quite a few pizzas, though some seem to cost more than others in a way that doesn't correlate with ingredients. Eg spinach and egg on pizza is £2.50 more than speck and gorgonzola... Apart from that it's a nice pub, shabby chic with amiable staff. Music sometimes good, sometimes horrific, often during the same hour!
Definitely worth it for the authentic tasting pizzas and they have a few interesting beers. Giving 7 for service but it being a pub, there isn't really any but staff are efficient and friendly. Some of the pizzas are very good value and beers are standard hoxton prices.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
It was extremely busy, with a scary number of devastators being ordered, bacon cheeseburgers were lush but took way too long to arrive and elements of the service were frankly shambolic!
First waitress was terrible, and we were within touching distance of the bar.. After our first three beers we wanted were off (one she told me about 5 mins after I ordered it) she then took twenty minutes to get us 2 lagers from the bar a metre from our table! Luckily an affable and slightly embarrassed waiter got us our beers long before she bought them again...which was after our starter was finished but she or anyone failed to take away the dirty plates. I must state staff were all friendly but the main issue was waiting for drinks when being the closest table to the bar! Yet again, our beers of choice were off as well which was a shame but not a big issue as the main event was always the meat feast!
Wings were delicious as was the 3 different BBQ sauces on the table.
A good 45 mins after we ordered the burgers appeared. Huge and we both had to deconstruct them and forgo the bun. I personally wasn't a fan of the cheese but the meat itself was lovely. The waitress tried to blame me by saying the reason why the meal was taking so long was because I wanted a well done burger! Well I'm not daft, I know its not because of that, it's because there was about 8 devastators coming out the kitchen in the first half hour we were there! That in itself shocked me, as the normal burger was hefty enough! Slaw was yummy but a bit pricey at 3 quid for a portion. Still the burger was good value and the fries not bad at all.
Really like the food and most staff were very charming, they were rammed busy but service could still have been more organised.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Food 8 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7
This branch has fairly pleasant decor. You usually know what you will get with pizza express and I have become very fond of their thinner larger romana pizza bases. I feel they could be a bit more generous with toppings. If you order four seasons, be ready for disappointment as there is only cheese on one quarter of the pizza. This is not made clear in the menu and is quite frankly ridiculous. Who would ever request a pizza with a quarter cheese?
Also, one of my old faves, the nicoise salad has had all the nice bits taken out. It is now a tuna salad with tomatoes. Dull in the extreme and a massive rip off! I asked what had happened to the potatoes, green beans and red onion, and they said they no longer keep potatoes on the premisies. I find that preposterous considering they are one of the cheapest ingredients!
Stick with romana pizzas, which are light but filling. They introduced a new one with ham hock, boiled egg, capers, anchovies, olives and peppers and that went down a treat last time. Also have always loved their garlic bread.
They used to do half price vouchers all the time but haven't seen one for months, which is a bit of a shame. Giving 5 for food but it would have been 7 had they not tampered with ingredients of the nicoise!
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6
Still loving cay tre after all these years, though prices have edged up somewhat to the point it's not such a regular for me. Though it's busy round Lunch me and Mum still could chat easily. Evening slightly more boisterous crowds make it hard to do this though. Service more efficient than Viet Grill, and the chilli squid was lovely, tender, with crunchy light batter. Could have done with a few more for 8.50 or there abouts. Love the water spinach and regretted not taking what we didn't eat of it home. Slightly odd situation at the end when we asked for the lid for our bottle of 3/4 full sparking water as Mum wanted to take it home. The waitress came back with the bottle; a wodge of bog roll, encased in cling film in a slim sausage shape crammed into the top where said lid was supposed to be! We giggled and hasten to say, left the water. Apart from that service was fine, no complaints on food and the lunch menu is good value if you like noodles, pho etc which I don't really, but I love the vong fish and I guess that does have noodles in it now I think about it.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
Thought I would post again as some have had bad experiences recently which is a shame.
I went a couple of weeks ago again and found it lovely. It was our anniversary on a Sunday and busy but staff were fine. One lady could have smiled more but I'm not bothered by stuff like that when the place is full.
Hubby said the burger with bacon was one of the best he'd ever had and I had beef ribs and pulled pork. It's very sweet but I love that and the beef ribs had just the right amount of bite while still coming off the bone nicely. I love the slaw that comes with it but I guess it's pretty easy to make. Obviously had a doggy bag!
One thing is there always seems to be a few beers off every time I come, to the point it has always been the case I couldn't have my first choice of beer which is all I drink. Nonetheless this is a good place in Hoxton. I tried Pitt Cue at their truck and I think this is on a parr, and in the area it's one of my favourite eateries.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7
Called to warn them we were stuck in traffic and they were very nice. Place was packed with mainly middle aged casual folk, I was wrong to assume it would rammed with suits.
We were given a spacious red leather booth but waited a while for the beer menu to appear. Went for their own pale ale and hubby had guest ale, both light and drinkable. Much less gassy than the lager I am used to.
We went for the Dover sole, liver and mash and the burger, after a couple of crunchy black pudding croquettes. Other croquettes had prawns and something else in them. A bit fast food tasting but moreish nevertheless.
Mains came quickly, the fish was delicate and had a bit of caper butter and nothing else. Really nicely cooked and we had half each. Only concern was the large number of bones. My first 2 bites had go into a napkin! I soon got the hang of separating the soft pearly flesh away from said bones! Liver was to my taste underdone, but I didn't specify. Asked the waiter just to take the same one (I had cut it in half but not eaten any) and cook it a bit more. They duly obliged and it was really delicious. Hubby's burger was good but not the best, his chips were triple cooked and crunchy though. Really enjoyed everything and the waiter, a Canadian chap, couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. He got an extra tip! Would thoroughly recommend this place, though the prices are pretty steep. We ordered red cabbage as a side but it was really just a ramekin of very sweet warm chutney. I think the prices are a little high and I would have been happier with a side of steamed broccoli or beans, but green stuff didn't feature much other than the sprig of watercress on the liver as garnish!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6
Decor is pleasant in a trendy club kind of way. We had the back area reserved for a large group at lunch but there were maybe 2 other customers. It was a Friday so not a great sign of success.
First course was a choice of 3 things, a pear and Stilton salad that no one really fancied, squash soup (looked fine, bit dull so didn't order it) or fishcakes which most people went for. I think there were only 2 of them, if that and they were very small, and potato heavy. I could not tell what fish it was but in the normal menu they had crab, which these didn't. A few green lentils and tiny bits of cooked carrot did not work well as an accompaniment. Lemon had to be requested which is a pet hate of mine with fish in restaurants. Some liked them but I found them dull in the extreme.
Mains were chicken, risotto or steak. Most had bavette steak but mine was from a fatty side bit, thinly cut and actually a bit underdone. (and I like bloody steak) it was billed as med rare but the difference in doneness varied loads from diner to diner. It had a very metalic taste that I found extremely off putting, and some white mush that I could not identify and had no taste at all. I have never had such a disappointing steak! Some colleagues liked it but the chicken looked so much better. I didn't eat my dessert but one guy had his given to the wrong person and then they claimed to have run out... Of vanilla ice cream!? I mean come on! They found some soon enough when he said he wanted another plate of risotto instead. This made the waitress very freaked out. How much does the risotto cost them to make.. £2 or something. Though he was a bit cheeky asking!
They only served a couple of obviously frozen chips but did bring more out begrudgingly.
Big group so hard to judge but apart from us it was empty... Not impressed unfortunately as it does look the part. Staff ok but not particularly friendly to be honest...
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Food 2 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3
Having slagged this place off to the max but due to time constraints, I came back as a friend had something that seemed nice yesterday. Ordered the same as she had, chicken chilli rice with veg. Needed extra soy sauce but contained tender chicken pieces and slightly underdone cabbage as well as other veg.
Very generous portion and added steamed broad beans and grated carrot at home, while soaking up some excess chilli oil at home for dinner, which redeemed it well. 2 meals or 3 could be had but the excess of chilli oil was an issue. Staff member who served me was grumpy and charisma free, though I waited for no more than 10 mins in total for my takeaway order.
One lady who had asked how long her food was and was running out of lunchbreak, only for the surly, not busy female cashier to make her reorder, then simply saying 'you don't want it?' when all she wanted to know was when her food would be ready. They gave people tickets like in a supermarket deli but the staff still had no knowledge or decency to give the poor woman a straight answer.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Food 5 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 5
Beer selection very dull, chips actually very nice. Staff can sometimes have quite a bad attitude but the one barman with long hair is quite sweet. Outside bit is ok... Would rather go to the George and Vulture round the corner for a pizza to go with my pint. Had a sandwich from here once and it sucked. Seems to attract stag dos etc at weekends which isn't fun for smaller, female dominated groups.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Food 4 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5
Finally got here after months of meaning to. No excuse really as I work 5 mins away but don't often have the financial wares to extend to more then a couple of quid at lunch so that's my excuse. Waitress was lovely, from brazil and served us well. Only gripe was the singular portable card machine being commandeered by a table of about 8 tourists all paying by card separately. In the end paid at the bar as I was fearing the inevitable call from work finding out why I wasn't back yet!
Food was lush, shared the rib and pulled pork platter which was accompanied by home made coleslaw. Massive amount even between 2 and really tender and sweet. Green salad was not on the menu but they gave us a lovely one with onions, sweetcorn and lots of romaine. Delicious! Madly filling though so no need for dinner.
Friend had chilli burger which was huge with a soft shiny brioche looking bun, again with slaw and chips. Chips were crispy and had that slightly see through look that I know to mean I will enjoy them! Didn't try hers but she loved it and that was the way I felt too! Think my hubby would adore it. Place was male dominated. We were the only all female table, nothing wrong with that though. It's a bit hardcore for us to eat on a regular, sadly. Unless I suddenly rid myself of my chronic gym-phobia!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8
Having seen recent reviews mentioning upselling, I agree wholeheartedly they are very evidently profit driven. Of course everywhere should know how to make money bit when customers feel pressured and ripped off there's no point. Their booking system is shambolic and attempting to deal with them in a professional capacity was hard, as a customer it was worse...not good value, staff untrained and food is accurately described by another poster as sub pub grub. Thumbs down...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 1
Really loved this place when it first opened having eaten delicate sole and quite a few juicy, just the right kind of chewy bavette steaks. Damn right what others say, lost it's way big time. Even from 2 hrs ago when it had declined from opening, this is dire. More like a failing wannabe gastropub in Greenford next to an A Road food wise at this stage. And so expensive. Exmouth Market has a few pricey places but Medcalf takes the proverbial, along with Bincho (2 chickens rectums for 9 quid or whatever..) that I am fleeing to Clarkes pie and mash forever more.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Food 2 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 1
Some people seem to have had a bad time with the service and I can't say I blame them as it's not massively slick and the place can be cramped. I think retro 80s is what you can hope for when it comes to service and decor but it's well meaning and the delivery service is the best Indian one in the area. Prawn biryani comes in a very generous portion and prawns are plump and more plentiful than many. Chicken and lamb dry tikka is usually very tender and plentiful. Last time was no exception. It's old school and no mistake and not a glam night out, but it's really consistent and the delivery comes on time, adequate in temperature along with a few comped popadoms. What more could you want on a Friday night in? Nothing ground breaking but total hit as a lazy end of week treat in my view.
I am scoring lower for atmosphere as I have eaten in many times and prefer delivery to be honest!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8
Nice and spacious and was not too busy, but we did wait a good 10 mins to have our order taken. The drinks were a bit slow but food came promptly after.
I just had water spinach (morning glory) which had whole garlic cloves. Would have preferred it to be cut up as I was using chopsticks and I like some chilli but I could have asked for it. I do love it though and hadn't had it since I was in south east Asia a few years ago. Portion was a wee bit stingy but I think the idea was to have it as a side. My appetite at lunch is always pretty minimal so it was actually just right. Ordered rice as well and only had a spoonful, it wasnt all that fresh.
Companion had vermicelli bowl with pork in betal leaf (delicious) another porky thing in puffy crunchy coating (also lovely) and prawn spring roll (underwhelming and by the time I tried it, quite soggy)
They loved it and portion was huge. I am not mad keen on cucumber when it's had contact with heat but that's just me.
Non alcoholic cocktail was carton juices and absolutely tons of ice. Beer was fine, can't remember the name but it was the only Vietnamese one they had. Overall enjoyed and pretty good value for the vermicelli bowl, less so my veg dish.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
Went to Gem on Friday night and the decor and atmosphere were lovely, with some beautiful lights covered in jewel like stones. There was also a rather bizarre wooden contraption attached to the ceiling.
It was airy and the comped spinach bread is really tasty. Food pretty good but nothing too fancy. Generous portions of grilled stuff. Kofte, chicken and lamb shish, lamb shank and the single chop in the mixed grill were all popular being tasty and tender. Falafel looked a bit dry and am not keen on bulgar wheat tomato starter, though the taboleh was rightly heavy on herbs with just a smattering of bulgar. Service is efficient but one waitress huffs, rolls her eyes, sticks her lip out and frowns, before turning on her heels every time I asked for anything. I wanted small plates to share, she bought them over and said we don't need them. I just said 'can we just have them please?' and she plonked them down without a smile. Useless! Rest of staff were fine. Pudding in set meal totally meh but by that time we were stuffed.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8
Had an enjoyable enough early dinner with 2 friends. Sat outside and the wind was doing annoying things to the tablecloth, but they said they had no clips so we grinned and bore it.
The ingredients are not of the freshest highest quality but for the price it represents good value. We had duck, pork belly and lamb. The lamb was meltingly tender, the pork could have done with slower, longer cooking and the duck was pink but skin a bit flabby. All meat portions were generous but I felt the cabbage with the duck was a bit too sweet as it was accompanied by sweet potato. Side dish of broccoli carrots and potatoes wasn't really needed. Good really as the potatoes tasted like a week who's left overs. One diner liked the mash but another said it tasted like cheap margarine.
I didn't get pudding but tried the sorbet which was pleasant if slightly runny. My cocktail took an age to arrive meaning I had to drink quickly as my friends had finished their pudding, even though I ordered it at the same time. Think they could do with an extra member of staff on the floor. Still an enjoyable meal and very inexpensive. Toilets were grubby though.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 10
Lunch yesterday was pretty good. Crispy squid was tasty and not rubbery at all as it often can be, but would like the tentacle bits instead of just bodies.. Which makes me suspects it's from frozen.. Duck was ok, not that generous a portion but accompaniments were fairly fresh. Certainly not pricy, informal eatery and I should say their fresh rolls are better than those at cay tre. Or at least they were on this occasion.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8
Not quite as bad as the reviewers below but not fantastic. Though I was really expecting sub Eds Diner circa 2000 style food and was pleasantly surprised by the fries. They were plentiful, crispy and fresh but I could not finish them.
Had po boy shrimp sandwich was was rather dry. It contained a sort of thousand island mayo but not much of it. The bread wasnt that fresh and of course the heavily battered prawns within were straight out of a freezer catering pack. Not indedible but pretty dull really, and not worth the 7 odd quid. It was basically a sub roll with about 5 battered prawns and lettuce inside.
Hazelnut shake was quite nice, but could have done with more nutty flavour and could have been thicker.
Sandwich, fries and a shake came to over £15 which doesnt really represent value when there is a little bistro up the road where you can get moules frites and a beer for under a tenner.
Staff were nice but seemed like students rather than professional hospitality staff. (nothing wrong with that per se..)
Music is pretty awful but toilets are fairly clean.
Possibly a good place to bring children but dont see myself going back unfortunatley...
I am giving 5 for food as the fries get 6/7 but the sandwich gets about 4.
Friday, March 02, 2012
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 2
Went here last night having been once before about 3 years ago and loved the venison and truffle mash. It was refurbished recently but looked exactly the same as before.. Which seemed a bit pointless! Anyway we had 6 oysters to start and they were good. Size wise fairly small but bigger ones can have less flavour I have found. ( not exactly an expert ) I feel the prices are too high for everything, by about 2 quid. This means that though it's nearer to me than the supermarket I rarely go. Would like to try and get in there for the 50% off lunch if they still do it. Waitress was nice and fairly efficient. I ordered a bloody Mary and whispered if I could have one more oyster to go with it. She obliged and it came in a shot glass, which aesthetically was rubbish but worked well with the drink. Plaice on the specials was well cooked and fresh. Served with finely chopped spring cabbage sautéed in either butter or olive oil I think (I have a cold! Hence bloody Mary with extra Tabasco) we ordered colcannon mash and broccoli sides and they really were minuscule. Tiny little shallow dish about a quarter the size of a starter plate and not good value, though adequately cooked. About a tenner (Inc service) for half a potato and 7ish broccoli florets is extracting the urine somewhat...
Also had snail and bacon Pie starter which was boasting tasty lardons, slow cooked in a rich ish sauce and not quite enough snails. The pastry could have been fluffier looking as it was flat but the waitress did say it was small when I ordered it as a main. I said I know! It's a starter and one thing the well could do better is upping portion size and slightly reducing prices. There is also a nightclub/ bankers bar type thing in the basement that seemed to contain some boorish fools when I passed them on the way to the lav. Will go back if not working one day for the half price offer But probably not rushing back in a huge hurry...
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4
I have had the classic from here 3 or 4 times now. Each time I find the first quarter tasty, then towards half way through I start to find it rich and slightly heavy and just not fun to eat. I looked at the contents today and found the ham inside to look very low quality, almost like a grade above the dreaded spam! I think the pate is rather too abundant too. Looks like I should try the duck with greens and rice as it looked better but don't think I will get the classic again.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Food 5 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5
I am not sure which Tay Do this is as there seem to be 2. I have used this one for 7 yrs or so, by which I mean the one with the northbound bus stop just outside... Well I love this place. Byo, ok prices, tend to get the fresh rolls and chilli squid and also love morning glory with garlic. They do a lunch menu which I have tried though it's a massive portion u tend not to get much meat in relation to rice veg etc. Still understandably as it's only a fiver... The best thing is the chilli squid and stuffed squid but not sure if they still do it. Pho looks great with plenty of fresh accompaniments but haven't tried it as not a big fan of soups/ pho. Bargainous and reliable... I would recommend. Only thing they could add is bahn mi!
Monday, February 06, 2012
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Just been here for work do. Tbh I know Xmas set lunches can be a bad way to judge a place but nevertheless... Cold meats were low quality lidl-esque..stingey with the fairly nice bread. Starters were bland and the best was wild boar on a tiny bit of pappardalle, but it tasted a lot like beef. Other starters were extremely bland and required ample salt and pepper. Parmesan was needed but never materialised. Steak main was pretty good... Not great and not seasoned and advertised rocket was absent, though cooked fairly well with med rare meat throughout all orders. Turkey main was tiny, insipid looking and with a huge cooked apple on the plate, potatoes would have been welcomed as an alternative. Greens with the turkey were delicious, the best thing about the meal! Didn't eat the 3 inch cubes of pannetone with chocolate dip but as a pudding it looked fairly lame for a £25 a head menu. Maybe their pizza is good and staff and decor were good but not the majority of the menu we had sadly.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Food 4 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4
Had a bit of a random late lunch here and it was empty bar one couple. My usual polenta with mushrooms was rich and tasty though the porcini were slightly too gritty and salty, needing more time to be rehydrated. Mums chicken and bacon salad was also a starter but was generous with artichokes, spinach, olives and a crisp bread on the side. We also had roasted potatoes with onions and rosemary which were more like boiled ones but the onions were well cooked and it was a lovely little lunch. For 20 quid in total with a nastro azzuro and a coffee. Good place to bring kids as an alternative to fast food style offerings...
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6
Sneaky concept whereby grinning teenage girls tell you it's self service and priced by weight. No indication of the price per hundred grams and the only tub size was huge. They did tell me half a tub was 'about £2.50' it was in fact a pound more.
The product itself was divine. Cookies and cream, pumpkin pie and chocolate flavour yoghurt. Way too much but we saved some in the freezer for later. I would go so far as to say it was nicer than ice-cream with a less heavy feeling afterwards. Really lovely treat which I will do again and they did give me free butterscotch sauce...but... Don't bring your kids in here before you know it you will be facing a bill of a tenner a pop with sprinkles and over zealous self service.
They should really display the price by weight but the quality and variety of flavours is pretty good.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Food 8 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4
This is not bad for lunch, in fact without 'going out' ie sitting down for a proper meal with drinks I found this sushi superior to that of Japanese canteen. Sashimi salad was not too bad. No fireworks for sure but good alternative to pret etc near the roundabout.. Another really good one is grab street kitchen on the st next to pret (god not like I use pret all the time!)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6
I think the menu has changed a bit (no crispy frogs legs, my favourite..) and prices increased since last time. That said the food was great. Chilli squid was lovely but a couple of bits became rather too chewy when they cooled. I still found them moreish and the batter was light and not oily. Could have had more chilli but I could have asked! Rice noodle bowl with pork was huge and generous with meat and spring rolls in it. I had a Saigon beer which was ok.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5
went here this evening for my birthday and everything was lovely. dragon sushi rolls were supplied with a microscopic blob of wasabi, would have required a lot more ideally. soft shell crab tempura was delicious, light crispy and moreish.. my hubby tried it for the first time and is now a convert. tempura prawns were also great. aubergine and chicken green curry boasted decent quality meat and an interesting array of veg, including mushrooms that resembled squid in shape but thankfully not in taste. lychee champagne cocktail and pomegranate margarita were divine. decor was spacious, stylish and comfortable with outdoor seating and staff were pleasant and efficient. got 50% off food which meant the whole thing was only a score a head for a really enjoyable dinner.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9
Got lunch here today, small green chicken curry and rice for just shy of 4 quid. Really filling and the chicken seemed of acceptable quality, though there were only about 4 scanty pieces. The addition of butternut squash makes it slightly too sweet but for the price i was satisfied. Would have liked the free option of additional fresh chopped chillis rather than just dried ones.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 6
Went here last night and it was pretty good. Only paid £20 a head which seemed very reasonable. Started with pork dumplings which are flavoursome and quite soft, a slimy but delicious and pretty looking seaweed salad and some tempura prawns. Sadly the prawns had not had their intestines full of poo removed which really put me off, despite the fact they were fresh and the batter was prefectly light and crispy. We pointed this out and sent the remainder of the dish back and it was removed from the bill. We followed this with a beef teriyaki cooked rare and the beef bimbibop (I think thats what its called) which had really nice crispy burnt bits at the bottom. This dish could have done with a bit more greens and there wasnt really very much beef in it, but the flavour was lovely. Steered clear of a very sweet gloopy plum sauce thatw as served alongside it which would have been overpowering. The teriyaki was tasty but I think I would have preferred it sliced slightly thinner. The staff are really friendly and the clientelle is a nice mix of japanese/ korean people, young couples, tourists and theatre goers. I followed the meal with some warm sake which I really enjoyed. We also had a bottle of red wine (I dont drink wine) but my companion said it wasn't that nice, though it did only cost something like £11. Went out for a cig a couple of times and got a good view of several sheepish gentlemen entering the premesis of an establishment boasting 'Models- 2nd Floor' that was ringt next door to the restaurant. Those models seemed to be doing a roaring trade! I would recommend Kyoto to everyone and looked at their sushi as i was leaving. It looked gorgeous. Think I will order that next time.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9
Quite nice time having a quick lunch and the gentleman I took to the manager was very friendly and warm, starting a jokey conversation about being jealous of me having a beer at lunchtime which was funny in a good way. We were in a real hurry so only had starters and my fave polenta and mushroom dish was good, though polenta could have been cooked a bit more crispy. Mums caprese was pretty lame in my eyes but I would never order it anywhere. She was totally happy though. A tomato and a couple slices of mozzarella and 2 of basil really doesn't inspire me I'm afraid! Sitting outside in the sun and it being super convenient while maxing the plastic in topshop etc make this strada pretty good. Toilets are miles away and one was blocked when I went so that is a bit of a minus...if exhausted and hungry while shopping I would enjoy it again though...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5
Came here yesterday for a late lunch and we were pretty much the only diners. Restaurant is quite small and has more of a cafe feel, with artwork on the walls which I beleive is done by one of the owners. Being a Persian food novice we let our Persian host do the ordering, and overall was really happy with the meal. One thing I genuinely didnt like was a traditional yoghurt drink. I guess i was expecting something sweet, possibly with vanilla (it was white with little dark couloured bits in)- when I tasted it it was sour and salty which gave me quite a shock! I think its definitely an aquired taste that one, though was interesting to try something that tasted so unusual.
Starter of aubergine dip was really good, better than ones i have had in Turkish and Greek places. Mains were massive- we ordered way too much and lucky me got to take it home in a doggy bag! It was minced lamb, chunks of lamb, chunks of chicken all cooked nicely and extremely tender, served with mounds of well flavoured white and yellow rice. I could probably have done with some sort of chilli sauce or pickled chillis for the side, but that's just me. Dont even know if such a thing was available. Our lovely Persian host paid the bill, but I did notice the prices on the mains were quite high- £16-17 ish each, though having seen the portion size one plate would definitely do 2 people. The only small gripe was the toilets were a bit old and grubby...they could do with refurbishing. Apart from that I would recommend this as a starting point for people curious about Persian food.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
Went here on Saturday with a big family group. A good time was had by all and I hope the waiters don't hate me as I was rather drunk!
Had snails for starter which were lovely and garlicky...would hope a place like this would know how to do them right and they did. Followed that with entrecote steak which came withvery thin crispy chips. Steak was quite nice, but nothing special really. It was cooked as requested but every time I eat steak now all I can think of is how good it is at Hawksmoor. Many of my group had lamb which they enjoyed, and my cousin has scallops but I have to say they only gave her 3, maybe 4 on the plate with these weird raw tiny carrots...She liked them but not really enough for a main meal.
Warning about the stairs to the loos if you have had a few and are wearing heels..I managed to fall spectacularly which my cousin thought was hilarious but I now have a massive bruise on the side of my leg. Oh well...it didn't spoil my night!
Worth another visit maybe in a smaller group next time...
Monday, July 25, 2011
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
Really pretty location in a newish development near a slightly down at heel area of the canal. Terrace next to a steps water feature was pleasant when the schitzo weather was behaving today!
Sadly the food was neither good quality nor well cooked. We were a large group of about 40 which I know isn't the best way to judge, but the quality of the chicken, beef and lamb was really poor and didn't taste at all fresh. Prawns and squid would have been ok if they were not covered in something that was like the coating from a kfc but with extra salt and bizarrely tons of sugar. There were some stir fried veggies that looked quite nice but none were served to our table, neither was a ginger prawn stir fry which was advertised as part of the menu we had purchased in advance. I found the green curry very greasy and inauthentic in it's ingredients.
It's a shame as I really don't know a good Thai place to go regularly and keep getting disappointed.
Lovely location and they do serve Singha beer which reminds me of travelling...apart from that thumbs down unfortunately.
Friday, July 08, 2011
Food 3 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4
Went again, 3 of us ladies at lunch. Had lamb as well as chicken which was tender and just as good as chicken. Definitely a good spot for a no fuss hot lunch. Would come for dinner too if only I lived closer!
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Extremely poor. Sushi uninspired to say the least, friends had katsu curry that reminded me of ILEA school dinners in the 80s when I tried it. Really drab and desperately inauthentic. Going to try Red Dog Saloon this week as given up on sushi in Hoxton!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Food 2 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 2
Never expect fireworks with this eponymous chain. Nice to sit with a miso soup to recharge while shopping though. Had soft shell crab hand roll which was mainly batter! Like their seaweed salad and I think we were perfectly happy with teryaki chicken. Good for a snack but not the authentic Japanese experience of course.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 3
Went here today and I do still think it's pleasant for a light lunch in summer. With the front open in the sun atmosphere is nice, though still can't get my head round chairs stuck to top of the Walls...?
Really fancied mussels and chips which they do with a beer for 8 quid or a bit less.. Orderd side salad first which was massive and fresh, though I could have done with a bit of red onion. Sadly mussels were off, they told me 20 mins later...dejected, I went for snails but when they came they were grim. The butter had split and was hard on top, the snails bland and shrivelled, the worst faux pas being no discernible taste of garlic in sight. Sent em back and sadly picked at the salad. Waiter produced some crispy fries and a beer, comped...sort of helped as I left full but rather disappointed. The onion soup was fine as was chicken and bacon sales with quails eggs. Portion was pretty good... I think their menu is way too long, they need to focus on feed things done better. Will go for mussels if shopping at some point again though.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Food 4 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5
Haven't bothered with here for ages and when we went on a Saturday around 8 it was completely empty! Used to be busy but there is more competition round here now. Polenta with mushroom sauce was lovely... I always liked it before but there were less mushrooms than last time. My mum had hake with capers but there were no capers on it, she liked it though but when she asked the waiter about them he came back with a classic excuse from the chef..'it is caper sauce, to make it taste more delicious'. Hmmm... If they were there she would have tasted them! Capers have a strong distinctive flavour.
Hubby's pizza base was crispy but the cheese was rather scanty. Green salad a lot better than pervious visits, now containing lightly steamed French beans which was a nice addition.
Not bad really but when they are so quiet the atmosphere was rather lacking, until a loud group of Americans were seated next to us half way through!
So far so blah really...they need to get some good offers or innovate a bit as I feel they are just not standing out enough.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 3
Mind bogglingly cheap what with the sale so thought I would give it a go. Obviously the quality isn't great but I was perfectly happy with the mussels (cooked adequately, fairly plump in size) followed by plaice in cream and wine with spinach. Due to the low prices I treated myself to a cocktail which they alleged contained 2 shots of alcohol but was unlikely to have been more than one. Still tasted pleasant and not too sweet. Atmosphere was busy and decor is pretty hideous, evoking an am dram props department on a serious time constraint, but nevertheless worth a stop for a very cheap 2 courses which was more enjoyable than I expected.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8
Used to be a popular haunt of mine but have to say the food isn't always as fresh as it could be. Prices are good for the area but it really is hit and miss depending on the day. Manager has always been lovely.
Would say go here overall but try and ascertain what is fresh...which can be difficult!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
I never got as far as having anything from this place. Was shopping on Tuesday afternoon and had a bit of time to spare so thought we would sit in the sun and grab a drink somwhere. This place was totally empty at around 3.30 and I asked the waitress if we could sit outside for a beer and a coffee. The look she gave me you would think I was attempting to purchase illicit substances off her. She rolled her eyes and said they did not have a licence for just drinks...explained why the lovely outside tables were completely deserted!
Fine, your loss.. I thought. We walked further up and sat outside an average but perfectly adequate pub. When we finished we walked back past to see 2 tables occupied by men who were conversing jovially with the hatchet faced waitress, drinking beer (there were several empties on the table) with no sign of a crumb of food or even a menu! It seems there is one rule for their mates and another for money paying locals! After that don't think I will be trying the food...
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0
Went again recently and menu has changed a bit and prices up... Had chicken with these long thin mushrooms, there were loads of 'em which I didn't mind though their texture was like rubber, tasty thin rubber..hasten to say my companion gave said funghi a wide berth! Chicken was nice but bony and a bit too salty. We had what I think is known as morning glory..choi sum, can't remember but it was really nice and garlicky. I could eat it with rice alone. Will give another try as convenient for me but hope it's not going downhill...
Monday, March 14, 2011
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 7
So true...looks nice but may as well be a Starbucks. Not even as good as Pret. All that needs to be said really.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 1
Always a pleasure to dine here. Staff are lovely and warm. My cousin who i hadn't seen for 6 years was given a lovely welcome. Kleftiko is tender and plentiful though I often feel mains could do with a bit of sauce. Solution is to save some of the tzatziki from starters to give the meat a little dippage. Portions are large so I often share, in this case a moist and tasty chicken cubes served with mounds of rice. Not such a fan of rice but you can get potatoes instead which are of the roast shape-chip pan fried variety. Not the highlight but pitta is plentiful and forthcoming throughout.
Haloumi and pork meatballs are yummy salty starters. Ballanced out with the fresh greek salad in plentiful quantities-Perfect with a Greek beer or last time, champagne! Ripe melon chunks and small pieces of baklava are often served to round up the meal, sometimes comped, though I rarely have room! (have to thank my cousin for that, though serious hang over tma ) This is the epitome of a cost friendly local Greek place. They have been there about 40 yrs and long may it last! Find out for yourself if in the area ; )
Friday, March 11, 2011
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8
This is ok ish if you do not order meat. I tried chicken green curry a while back and the meat was that shocking grey unidentifiable matter..seriously no characteristic of poultry of any description.
Thankfully the next time I went for king prawn massaman curry which was a lot better and fairly cheap. There were enough prawns though they weren't the tastiest. I reckon that's de riguer for fairly inexpensive eateries across town.
It had potatoes and slightly inelegant sliced peppers and onion...would have liked bamboo or pak choy on the side but it not available. Not bad as a lunch stop and may try the takeaway service...though not before the Thai offering at Charlie wrights round the corner, heard a few good noises.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 7
This place is lovely for a quirky treat. The beef fondue you fry in oil is lovely. It must be fillet as the meat is v tender and the sauces are great. Beetroot horseradish is my fave but there are about 10 of them. Raclette starter is so good, despite my usual cheese in restaurant phobia (only in a sandwich at 11pm in bed when mildly pissed!) but this is melted heaven!
Potato rosti is also lovely and comforting. I love the fact you can eat as much or little of the meat, and anything left comes home to be fried next day for dinner!
Beer isn't great but has a mildly comical label.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7
Tried a pork burrito last night and it was lovely. Plenty of meat and it was tender and tasty. Hot salsa was great but not hot enough for me, though I am a chilli fiend. They also do free delivery over £12 (ie 2 burritos) so will def. try them again...
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7
I thought the buffet at Ginnan was good value and enjoyable, though I am not what you would call an afficionado of japanese cuisine.
If you eat early it costs something like £12- for which you get 5 different types of nigiri x 2, Ginnan special rolls which were mostly nice, 7 hot dishes (you can choose from about 15) and then if you still have room (we definitely didnt)- unlimited sushi from quite a big selection.
Teriyaki chicken was nice and tasted fresh, tempura was light and non greasy. The pumpkin thing was a bit sweet and stodgy and the salad rather pointless (lettuce and tomato- no dressing) but they may have a more asian inspired salad available which I would try next time.
Restaurant is dark but I found it quite relaxing and spacious. Would go again when feeling greedy. I usually get a bit put off this kind of thing cos of the price, but I reckon it's a bargain!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8