All reader reviews by Dai the Violin

Le Mercury

Fantastice little place that does what it says on the tin. Wonderful precisely because it has no pretences and delivers exactly what you wan from it. The food is delicious - I have eaten food at twice the price that was half as good and as the menu is quite small you can tell it is all freshly prepared by a chef who concentrates on doing dishes he does well. I had duck on a sweet pototoe puree. The duck was delicate and tasty, the puree silk smooth and stunningly delicious. Yes, it is cramped, but that is all part of the atmosphere. This is the type of place that you go when you feel like getting out on a whim or can't be bothered to cook. A perfect antidote to all those over-hyped, pretentious places that serve mediocre food in a snotty atmosphere at ridiculous prices. Everyone should go there.

Friday, August 18, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


My girlfriend and I ate here two years ago for a special occaision and, having had a great meal, decided to return for our anniversary. Sadly, the repeat visit completely soured our opinion of the place. The dining room is stunningly designed and promises much. However, the food and service let it down terribly. As a start the butter was rock hard and no side plates or bread knives were provided, leaving us to cut and butter our rolls over the tablecloth using our starter cutlery. In my mind this is simply inexcusable in a place charging what avenue does (at least £40-£50 per head). We were pleased that the set menu was available on a Saturday night, however the food was bland and forgettable. Skipping dessert, we had a coffee and a cup of hot water with lemon, all very nice, but we were horrified to be charged £2.10 for the hot water. Having turned down petit fours, a waitress then brought a delicious looking plate of them to our table. When we said we hadn't ordered any she said 'Oh, don't worry, they are on the house.' Our brief delight was shattered when the original waiter ran over and snatched them back off the table without any apology. For the sake of a few quids' worth of chocolate, he should have left them there instead of being incredibly rude. When the bill came (after some delay) with the 12.5% service added, no pen was provided in case I wanted to change the amount and the full amount was typed into the credit card machine without me being able to object. When I said I wanted to change the tip the response was a blank-faced 'Oh, I'll have to speak to the manager.'

Overall a thouroughly disappointing experience, especially as the beautiful room promises so much more. Don't bother - you can have a meal made and served with much more thought and attention for far, far less. A waste of time and money.

Friday, August 18, 2006
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 2

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