All reader reviews by restaurant_hopper

Thai Room

What a great place! I moved to the area a few months back and was lamenting the lack of Thai restaurants... until I stumbled across this place. Hidden in the back of Bow Wharf, a modern complex of offices and food/drink places off Grove Rd, this single-room long retaurant is a truly fantastic neighbourhood Thai.

My favourite is the Pad Kra Prow - perfect flavours and they are not afraid to make it extra spicy when I ask! The staff are very friendly and attentive, service is excellent, and atmosphere mellow.

I am not sure why there are negative reviews on here - I do agree that their massaman is not at all a classic massaman, however that dish is the only lownote of this place (in my rather regular experience!)

Monday, September 14, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Rasa N16

One of the top Indian restaurants in London. Outstanding every time - recommend pretty much every dish I have had here.

Monday, July 14, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Rasa Travancore

Bad bad bad. Avoid. I am a huge Rasa fan - however I have only been to the vegetarian Rasa, which sits on the other side of the road from this Rasa. On a Saturday night 'vegetarian Rasa' was full. Rather than waiting 30 minutes we popped across the road to 'evil Rasa', assuming this place would be of similar quality. Next time I will wait 30 minutes.

Firstly, while the space is larger with more seating, it does not have the same atmosphere at vegetarian Rasa. Yet this was the least of the issues. We ordered the same starters as we have at the other Rasa, and there were no issues with these. Before we had finished the poppadum 'snack mix', the waiter took it away. That was fine with us, as we assumed the mains were ready to come out. However there was nothing for 20 minutes. Straight after our poppadums were removed a couple who arrived well after us, and had finished their starter, recieved their mains (oddly similar to ours...).

After 20 minutes I asked a waited if our mains were coming. He assured me all was ok. I checked against 10 minutes later, still ok. When the other couple were finishing up their mains (they had arrived after us!), I went to the main service area and asked again. They tried to fob me off, however I politely pointed out that the other couple had finished their mains which were similar to ours, and could there have been a mix up (ie: they made one of a similar order rather than 2!). Easy in a busy restaurant, and we were quite relaxed about this.

However the killer was that the guy who looked like he was the manager on duty that night pretended to look into orders then assured me that the kitchen was just busy, and that the other couple had been served first because they had not had starters. Now this was not the best statement, as I had been stickybeaking on their interesting looking starters!

I am still stunned that a reputable restaurant would not simply apologise for its error and fix it. Instead an outright lie. What else are the lying about in there? The mains came out a few minutes after this. They were two fish curries. One was below average, one was really quite nice, neither made up for the service. I will not be returning here. A real let down to the great Rasa chain.

Monday, July 14, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 6 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 4


Waterhouse Restaurant

I went to this restaurant with a bit of trepidition, given the mixed reviews peppering the internet. I went mainly because I love Acorn House, its sister restaurant, yet Waterhouse is relatively 'local'.

As you can see by my star rating, this trepidition was definitely not justified - we had a fantastic experience at the Water House. We were given a lovely table on a Friday night, in a welcoming space.

The service was friendly, from the moment we were greeted at the door, through to the friendly girl serving us, to leaving. The waitress was able to answer all my questions about dishes, and was exemplary throughout (I take it Water House has learnt from other negative reviews saying the staff did not know the menu... no longer the case).

And the food? Exceeded my expectations. We shared a tapas style platter for a starter. All the ingredients were good quality (the artichokes and goat's cheese were particularly good). The bread (3 varieties) was some of the best I've had in a London restaurant. Yes, you do have to pay for the bread, however I did not have a problem with that in line with the restaurant's aim of minimising waste, and the quality of the bread.

The mains, however, were the standout. My companion had a rabbit and couscous dish which was perfectly judged between sweet and savoury. A memorable, deep flavour.

My main was (surprisingly) the outstanding moment of the meal. Perfect homemade large ravioli, filled with balls of salt cod, in a butter and truffle (and garlic) sauce. Let me assure you they do not skimp on the truffle. It was heady, and I spent the rest of the evening in a truffle induced haze of happiness. One of my most memorable dishes ever - I will go back just for that.

Only two complaints about the meal. 1. The dessert was below par and misleading. I ordered a 'raspberry tart', which turned out to be a curtard tart with a few berries on top. Not ideal for someone who does not like custard tarts!

2. The wine was not fantastic. it was a perfectly decent South African red, however it did not stand up to the truffle or rabbit (ok, possible our fault in the selection there!). More importantly it was not worth the money paid (3rd cheapest wine on the menu I think). However, perhaps this is a lesson in what an eco friendly wine costs - and that I will be taking control of selecting the wine from now on :-)

Finally, the overall price. Around £80 for the shared tapas starter, bread, one bottle of wine, two outstanding, perfect mains, one (sad) dessert, and one coffee.

Judging by London prices yes, you could get cheaper elsewhere, however I have all too often paid this much for below average meals. Here the meal (wine and dessert aside) was just perfect - the cost is well worth it. I will be visiting again.

Monday, July 14, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Hummus Bros (Soho)

I have been to the Wardour Street and the newer Southampton Row versions of Hummus Bros - both are lovely.

The hummus is creamy and the toppings are well thought out. I recommend the mushroom topping.

While you're there, chat to one of the founders (often serving!). Actually, any of the staff will go out of their way to help you decide on the perfect hummus combination for you.

Worth a seat on their communal benches - or get take out!

Monday, March 05, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Salaam Namaste

I have been to this restaurant several times now - and it has easily become far more than a local restaurant to me.

The quality of the food is noticeable in every dish. Well above your bog-standard curry house. Even the poppadums have a distinctive taste, with the gram flour much clearer than usual.

My favourite dish is actually a side dish - the niarmish. I definitely reccommend you try this vegetable side as I haven't had one as good in London. I have had several seafood dishes and they have been fantastic (the king prawns are cook very nicely and are not skimped on); my dining companions have tried lamb/chicken dishes and again great responses.

While I'm talking this place up, the peshwari naan is worth a comment as well. Just the right level of filling.

Overall, this place has an out-of-the-norm menu, but also does the staples very well.

Finally, the service. I have been there when the restuarant is full, and also when it was very quiet. Every time the guys here are wonderful. They make a point of coming to talk to you at the end of the meal and are very concerned about the quality of their food; they love feedback and they do listen!

This place is definitely worth a visit no matter where you are based. Simple, modern decor, friendly, competent service, and a menu worth logging on and writing a review about.

I will be back!

Monday, March 05, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


The Triangle

Brilliant. I didn't expect this little out of the way place in Crouch end to amount to anythign much - but it is a little gem of an eating experience. The decor is unique. The restaurant has been recreated - upside down on the ceiling! The decor is slightly morroccan, and wonderfully eccentric and welcoming.

The menu is just the right length - long enough to spend time agonising over several tempting choices, short enough so that the kitchen can do each dish very well.

And indeed they do. The food was excellent; fresh and inventive. Highly recommend the scallops as a starter.

On top of all this this service was some of the best I have had recently (I see a negative comment from a previous poster - my only guess would be that perhaps their regular staff were out post world cup, or too distraught to be as outstanding as ususal!). Friendly, funny on the ball waiteresses who know the menu well - and were not afraid to check on some menu questions I had.

And the final touch I would not have expected: great cocktails. Actually, I can only speak for the pina colada, which was so good my male companion opted for one after tasting mine, banana leaf and all!

Monday, July 03, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10


Iznik

I am a big fan of Turkish food and after hearing about this little local find I moved quickly to give it a try.

The food is decidedly average. The felafels are on the dry side (although certainly not awful). The prawn sautee with tomatoes and peppers is actually a bowl of the smallest prawns I have ever seen covered in a pinkinsh and very creamy sauce. Not something I have ever seen in a Turkish restaurant (or for that matter in Turkey), nor an experiment in fusion cuisine which came off particlularly well.

I agree with previous reviews that this place does have lovely decor. On my first visit I was seated at one of the side tables, where one person sits on a comfortable cushioned bench. This was perfect for an intimate conversation/romantic night, and did indeed make up for the less than stellar food!

However when I returned to give Iznik a second try (hoping their chef had been ill the first night I came!) my date and I were seated in the middle of the room. Here the restaurant loses its charm as the seating is very close and there is an unfortunate view of the kitchen appliances.

As the food did not improve with a second visit I regret to say this 'gem' of Highbury is somewhat overrated - absolutely fine for a small group having a nice night out, but not worth going out of your way for if you are not local.

Friday, June 02, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 5


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