All reader reviews by Georgie

La Porchetta (Holborn)

I love the la Porchetta chain - the prices are impossible to argue with and the food is really lovely. The pizzas all taste spankingly fresh and delicious (as well as being the size of bicycle wheels), and the pastas are real value, with huge portions. My spaghetti alla vongole was absolutely crammed with clams (though watch out for broken shells), and the pizzas have great toppings. There's loads of choice when it comes to toppings, and all the old favourites are there nestling next to some inspired combinations. Staff are friendly and efficient, and its a real change to find a chain with such great value in some of the most expensive spots in London!

However, if you're looking for a cheap place to take a date, you might want to give this particular branch a miss. Tables are crammed in close together, and you literally spend your meal hemmed in next to other diners. Fine for the gregarious, but let's just say its not exactly private. If you enjoy listening to the bloke on the next table talking about his sex life, this is the place for you!

All in all, I'd definately recommend this place, but do save more private conversations for another restaurant!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Flaming Nora

I've been here twice now, and I have to say I love the whole schtick. Its a funky, cool version of Maccy D's except with edible food. The chips taste hand-cooked (still with bits of skin on and everything) and the burgers are really tasty. I haven't tried the kebabs but they look pretty good. I particularly like that you can see staff preparing the food, and the kitchen looks really clean. Good selection of lots of different meat and loads of sauces to try as well, all for a pretty good price. The meal deals are particularly good value, especially as the portions are really generous.

Complaints? Well, the first time I was here it was brilliant, but the second time there were a lot of people waiting for food and by the time we got it it was a bit lukewarm, so the staff may have to pick up their service a bit during busy times. If you're feeling fatigued, there are only a couple of tables, so you'll have to eat outside or get the food home quick.

Verdict? Good fun on a saturday night, and a kebab that's a cut above the rest.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Thai Corner Cafe

My boyfriend took me here on our first date - fantastic!

The atmosphere is really lovely, and the waitresses are charming - they're really willing to tell you about the food and there's a fantastic selection on offer. I loved the curried sweet potato, but if you're not sure just ask whats good (just expect a crisis of indecision about what to have!).

Better still, the portions are a good size and you get much more in terms of quality and taste than you pay for. Its a really nice place with reasonable prices, and I can't wait to go back!

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9


Texas Embassy Cantina

I've been here a couple of times, both times by someone else who really wanted to go, and both times I've been disppointed.

The portions are pretty mean for the extortionate price you're meant to be paying, and the food was lukewarm due to sitting on the side for so long. Having lived in Texas, I can also safely say that its not in any way authentic. However, it is edible when hot enough, and reasonably flavoured. The chimichangas are okay and the enchiladas quite tasty (but you'll have to cross your fingers and pray they aren't congealed).

The delicious cocktails are really really steep on price! But, on the upside, the staff dont seem able to add up so the meal always comes to less than you think.

My verdict? Patchy. There's lots of better-value food in central London out there, and the atmosphere is really faked. The only people that seem to be having any fun are the staff, which means poor service for the rest of us.

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3


La Petite Auberge

I came here last week and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Its a very romantic little restaurant and a bit crammed, but the service is good and the food's quite yummy.

I had goats cheese salad (hard to get wrong) while my boyfriend had a good onion soup with loads of cheesy crouton on it. My mussels were delish but could have done with a thicker sauce, but the portion was a good size. I presume my boyfriends steak was good, as he wolfed it down without even letting me taste! For dessert, creme brulee and a great crepe.

The price is a tad steep, which is my only real complaint - for the price I would have expected more. But I would recommend it - I've certainly had a lot worse very nearby!

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 5


Abeno

I've been here once and really enjoyed it! It was a quiet early afternoon slot and so we were literally one of maybe 4 couples, and consequently the service was excellent (the waitress is adorable!).

The food is amazing - I've not got a load of experience with japanese food and Okonomiyaki - japanese-style spanish omelette is the closest I can describe it - is delish! I had squid okonomiyaki and the staff were really happy to make sure there was no pork product in the food, and my boyfriend adored his teriyaki chicken. The staff cook the food in front of you and the lunchtime deals are really really good.

Overall, I was impressed, but having passed by the place during evenings and weekend lunchtimes I can vouch for the fact it gets busy!

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Wong Kei

This place is amazing - I've been coming here since I was a kid, and the fact that it never changes is kind of comforting. Its rude, loud, noisy, slapdash (courses tend to arrive higgledy-piggledy) but FABULOUS. Skip the greasy starters and get straight to the good stuff - the cheapest (and best) noodle soup in london, fab mains (though I tend to give the beef a miss- its a tad stringy) and loads of it!

The food is excellent considering the rock bottom prices and huge portions. And when I say rock bottom, we're talking around 4 quid for a huge noodle soup or plate of Ho Fun. And free tea!

Its no nonense stuff - dont argue about where you sit and dont bother trying to get clever with the ordering - the staff have seen it all before!

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


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