All reader reviews by johnmorr

Le Gavroche

Lunched at Le Gavroche today (our 41st wedding anniversary) and had an exemplary meal. The service is not intrusive - it's buzzing, with all the serving staff darting about like swallows, as my wife put it. We had the set £48 lunch menu, which is really excellent value, including half bottles of wine and water per person. One misses the presence of the legendary Silvano as maitre d', but as usual Michel Roux Jr. casually walked around to chat with the diners - and not in a self-important fashion but genuinely interested in what people had to say. And also to show, no doubt, that he really is working in the kichen rather than merely lending his name to the enterprise.

I mentioned the absence of Silvano, but must remark upon the exceptionally capable flame-haired identical withy-slim French female twins who handled much of the detail of the dining room. The service was not totally impeccable - at one point we dared to try and fill our empty glasses in the absence of the sommelier, at which one of the twins pounced from across the room and did the honours. No refilling problems after that...

The food was as excellent as one would expect - I'm not going to go into details, only to recommend that any readers try it themselves. Maybe if you go for the a la carte you will have exalted expectations which would be hard to meet, but the set lunch menu is excellent value. If we had not indulged in two glasses of superb Sauternes (Chateau Les Justices) at £13 each with the dessert it would have been about £120 for two including pre-lunch drinks and service at 12.5%. Now that the pound is approaching parity with the euro, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a 2-star restaurant in France offering anything like similar quality and value.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


Hong Kong

Went to the London Hong Kong today for lunch to celebrate my son's 35th birthday restaurant - chosen because he fancied Chinese and the Hong Kong was supposedly child-friendly - we have a 14-month old granddaughter. The food was good enough, and I suspect we'd have done better going a la carte than (for reasons of speed) choosing a standard menu (dim sum plus main courses). The portions were over-generous, but one can't complain. It was noticeable that most of our fellow diners were Chinese, which says something about the place.

Wouldn't have bothered posting this review had I not read the earlier ones last night and as a result approached the meal with some trepidation. Today the service was fabulous. Quick, attentive, good-natured and every member of staff wanted to interact with our grand-daughter. The staff seemed happy and working well together and when (inevitably) the little one dropped chopsticks and spoons on the floor they were instantly whisked away and replaced with no fuss.

From which I conclude either:

a) The London Hong Kong staff have taken notice of the criticisms here and raised their game - or:

b) You need to take a toddler there with you to get the best out of them!

I've given a 5 rating for food on the basis of what we had, but suspect it could be higher with a better selection from the menu - other diners seemed to be doing somewhat better.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 5 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 7


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