All reader reviews by Bel Ludovic

Waterhouse Restaurant

This was the latest of several cafes and restaurants I'm trying breakfast at, in line with a general boom in eating breakfast out. Despite its website stating it opened at 8am for breakfast, my arrival at 8:20am seemed to catch staff off-guard and the sole waiter had to check with the kitchen before I was seated. I remained the only diner throughout.

On a sunny spring morning it's a delightful space, with views right onto the Regents Canal. In the surprising absence from the menu of eggs benedict (which all good breakfast menus should have), I ordered a five-item English breakfast, which came with baked beans and a mushroom instead of the bacon and black pudding I ordered. No filter coffee was available, so I ordered an Americano - which was undrinkable. The service was Gallic froideur personified. I was not bonding with the Water House.

But the food improved my mood. Good quality sausages, slightly overdone but very tasty; eggs, perfectly poached; rosemary potatoes, bacon and black pudding (when they arrived) all hitting the spot, although the bacon was a little too greasy. Toast and freshly pressed carrot juice were fine. The waiter eventually warmed up too, and by the time I paid the bill his formerly stoney face was yielding smiles and his manner had become friendly. And I wasn't charged for the foul coffee that I left untouched.

The Water House is relatively new, so teething problems are to be expected. This has the potential to become one of London's most appealing breakfast spots - the morning sun hits the space just right. But if they're going to bother serving breakfast they need to commit to it, do it propertly, get it right and then start telling people about it. I may go back and give it another chance, but only after it's had time to find its feet.

Thursday, April 03, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 4


Spiga

My friend took me here having enjoyed its pizzas in the past. But he had pizza the night before and I was having it tomorrow, so we both ordered pasta instead. He was aghast at how much the prices had gone up since his last visit; I was prepared to tolerate the expense as long as the food was good value.

It wasn't. My ravioli with venison and four cheeses was among the most nondescript dishes ever to pass my lips, the cheese swimming in a tasteless broth and the ravioli filled with such a mean amount of venison that it may as well not have been there at all. And the portion was just insulting, pretty much starter-sized, for which they charge over £10.

My friend's penne in tomato sauce - hard to get wrong, one would've thought - was a little too al dente for his palate but rather more tasty.

Having polished off my six weedy parcels of ravioli in approximately ten seconds, I remained hungry and hankered for the dessert menu. Despite some tempting-looking desserts, one look at the prices - £7 or thereabouts - and we decided we weren't going to give this lot any more of our money, and left.

Two plates of pasta, a bottle of mineral water and a small beer came to £29.50 including 12.5% service. Pizzas are around the £10 mark and to be fair looked quite big from what we could see being whisked past us to other diners.

Service was fine, decor was blah, atmosphere was on the chilly side.

Friday, February 10, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 2


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