All reader reviews by Lucy


I last wrote a review of this restaurant in 2007 and was pretty complimentary.

I returned on Tuesday as part of a party of 4. We all agreed that the food was fantastic - my rare venison was delicious and a chocolate tart was velvety smooth and not too heavy. Portion sizes were just right and the menu was interesting and varied. The vibe is that of a pleasant, intimate and upmarket bistro.

With a main and a pudding each, a bottle of wine and some aperitifs including service charge, it was about £40 each. So not cheap but not hugely expensive either. I would definitely be back.

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


I was expecting something absolutely ghastly based on the reviews here and was dreading it. The food was good value, filling and tasty. The staff were polite and helpful. Sag paneer was delicious.

I think the reviews misrepresent this restaurant. Fine dining it ain't; gourmet delicacies it ain't, but folks - it costs less than £7 to eat here.......

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

St John Bread & Wine

A return trip after a gap of a year or so....

Still excellent, simple and tasty food. Pleasant service and great recommendations from our smiley waitress for both food and wine. Oysters were fresh and delicious and duck salad particularly succulent and morish. A nice surprise was a hearty vegetarian lentil dish which was my dish of the night. I think a good place for a non-try-hard date, although there were parties of all sizes the night we went.

The atmosphere was a little dead and it was very cold the night we went. I sat with my jacket on the whole time. And it wasn't quite as good value as I remember.

I would definitely return.

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Excellent sushi and sashimi. You can stand and wait for the conveyor belt (traditional conveyor belt fare but very popular) on the ground floor or book a table on the lower ground for a la carte. Kurumaya, as other reviews have pointed out, is HUGELY popular at lunchtimes during the week. If you want to sit at the conveyor you'll need to get there at noon. A better time to go is in the evenings when it is easy to get a table downstairs without booking.

The sashimi platter is deliciously fresh and their hand rolls are excellent. The hot dishes are great too - particularly the eel, pork belly and soft shell crab. One of my favourite places to eat sushi in London. Not cheap but certainly not expensive for what you get.

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Wild Honey

Not really up to scratch and would not return. I understand the concept of simple but interesting modern bistro food at relatively, reasonable prices but I think Wild Honey fails to deliver this. There are lots of places running with this at the moment but some (like L'Autre Pied, Magdalen or Galvin Baker Street) are more successful than others (Wild Honey, Arbutus).

The problem for me was that the cooking and ingredients just really weren't up to scratch. I'd rather pay a little bit more and have a top notch meal than less for something ok but distinctly unmemorable. I found the food (pigs head, eel, lamb and rabbit) uninspiring, bland and samey. It wasn't awful but it just wasn't interesting or delicious enough. A real disappointment.

Service was great - attentive and friendly and the wine was good. Our meal (with wine, coffee, water and cheese) came to £150 for two. I'd rather have paid more to have something tastier and more impressive. As it was I felt £150 was too much for what we ate. A real shame as I wanted to like Wild Honey.

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 4 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

I found it to be totally, ludicrously overpriced - can't think I will ever visit again.

My reasoning is that there are other places that fill all of its niches already and are either cheaper or the same price with a much more pleasant atmosphere. For example; Maze or Le Cercle do tapas style portions better and cheaper; Pied a Terre, Club Gascon or Morgan M would be my choices for modern French food; chemical gastronomy is covered by Tom Aiken.

Just not my cup of tea. At all.

The one plus point is that the red, velvet bar is pleasantly warm and relaxing.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0


Had a very pleasant lunch here a few weeks ago with great food and good service. The place was packed at lunchtime with a combination of media folk, no-fixed-employment Mayfair types and businessmen. The decor was really well done - understated and moden but not too stark.

The food was innovative and tasty - we both had fish starters - a scallop tartare and smoked white fish. We then went for the piggy option (in both senses of the word) - pork belly done in two ways and presented in two separate servings - roasted and in a sauage roll. Both were delicious. For pudding we managed to eat a rhubarb cheesecake. The sommelier was knowledgable and charming and found some lovely by-the-glass wines for us to try.

We ate a la carte but I noticed that the lunch menu was very reasonable. I would definitely recommend this place for business lunch (or any sort of lunch). One thing worth mentioning - I don't think it's going for the romantic dinner-a-deux clientele and I'm not sure it has the space or the inclination to cope with big groups (although there seems to be private dining downstairs).

Highly recommended - similar restaurants might be Pied a Terre and Pattersons.

Friday, February 22, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

La Petite Maison

I ate her on a Friday night with a female friend. We were slightly irked when we made the booking as they operate two sittings and we were told we could sit at 7.30 or 9.30pm only. We took it on the chin though and went for 7.30pm.

The food was excellent and of particular note was a wonderful seafood and pernod stew chock full of prawns, squid, cockles and white fish. Delicious. We also had a lovely starter of crab and lobster salad. The stuffed courgette flowers were not so good - the batter a little heavier and greasier than I've had before. We shared all our food (two starters and two mains) and didn't have any problem with everything coming as and when it was ready. If you don't like eating in this way, then perhaps a different place would be better for you. For a glass of champagne each, a glass of white wine each, a bottle of red (it was our Christmas meal - we were celebrating!) starters and mains we paid £85 each. Service was a little haphazard.

Despite enjoying the food a lot, I might not return. We were politely, sympathetically but firmly tipped out our seats at 9.40pm and although we had been warned this would happen and were expecting it, I just didn't like it. You live and learn though, and I can now say for sure that my preference is to eat at places where I can stay for as long or as short a time as I like, and will only be making reservations at such places in the future.

Monday, December 10, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6

Randall & Aubin

I think it depends very much on what you want from a restuarant. This one specialises in seafood and fish and that's why most people go there. It also has loud, poppy music which adds to the upbeat and camp atmosphere they are trying to create. I went again last night and ate fantastic lobster, squid and mussels and had a fun time with two drunk friends.

It's a perfect place to go for a substantial snack before hitting the bars or clubs or if you want a rauccous night with a few friends. You always have to queue and you're going to be perched on bar stools with little personal space between you and the other diners. There's a quick turn around for tables. Service is fun and irreverant and the serving staff are absolutely beautiful. If this sounds like what you fancy then try it, but if you're after a quiet, leisurely dinner for two (or ten) or supper with your grandma then best go somewhere else.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8


Value for money seems to be a particular issue on london eating at the moment - so ....first things first, 4 of us ate 3 excellent courses and enjoyed a bottle of wine and two glasses of champagne (total, not each!) for £45 each with service. Which makes this, without doubt, one of the best value meals of its kind I've eaten in a long time.

The food was excellent - two starters of potted crab were simple and generous and my friend who had a mushroom soup thought it was the best she had ever eaten. All the mains (lamb, rabbit, garlic scallops and vegetarian pie) and puddings were also delicious. I hadn't realised 2 of my friends were vegetarian when booking and I noticed that their choices were very limited indeed. It's not something I've thought about before but it seems to me that this is a shortcoming that needs to be addressed....Perhaps not just at Magdalen though.

The decor was warm and comforting but the service was a little hit and miss. I had to call them over to take our order and go to find a waitress to get the bill. I think this probably needs to be worked on a little. All in all a good eating experience and I got the impression that the cooking would be consistently great with generous portions.

Saturday, November 17, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10

L'Autre Pied

We ate at L'Autre Pied this Friday and had a really good meal. I am a huge fan of Pied a Terre (Charlotte Street) and had also read enough of the critics reviews last week to know what to expect. The restaurant was full all evening and the atmosphere was buzzing. You will certainly need to book to get a table - the only one I could get was 9pm. Our food was delicious - I had the cod cheeks with oxtail and my boyfriend had the mallard. The cod cheeks were exceptional (light, meaty and melt in the mouth) and the mallard was accompanied by a fantastic turnip puree. I had wanted the hare as my main course but it was sold out. Disappointing but my venison was very good indeed and my boyfriend loved his aromatic pork belly. The reviews we had read suggested that the portions were small - I didn't find that to be true at all and neither of us had space for a coffee or pudding. The portions aren't huge but why would you want them to be? Service was great for us all night - no first week hiccups - and the staff seemed genuinely enthusiastic and happy. If I was going to be exceptionally picky I'd say the decor didn't really do it for me - it seemed very dark indeed apart from some large fluorescent green lights and, as is the case in so many places, the tables seemed too close together. The great bonus was that two excellent courses for two people with a bottle of decent red wine was £75 total with service. Pied a Terre is a very special place with "special" prices to match - L'Autre Pied is intentionally more informal and less conspicuously fine dining so you could go more often and not break the bank. I'll definitely go back and I'd say give it a try.

Monday, November 12, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9

The Wolseley

This is a fantastic place to eat at any time of the day with a tasty and very extensive breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner menu. The atmosphere is really lively, the staff friendly and efficient and the decor absolutely breathtaking. It's reminiscent of an upmarket Parisien brasserie. During weekends queues form out of the door for a table in the day, if you don't mind queuing (or waiting at the bar), there's no need to book.

I'd recommend the Wolseley to anyone - it's great as a pitstop after shopping or sightseeing and I'd be equally happy to going with my Granny, my friends and my partner and be sure they'd enjoy it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9


I would agree with those who have given this restaurant a less than favourable review. I went for the first time on Friday night and it was "ok". Service and atmosphere ok. And food ok...ish. A starter of grilled sardines with a spicy tomatoe salsa was light and delicious. Both of our main courses were far, far too large (I hate it when food is sloppily piled onto the plate so you can't see what it underneath it) and quantity seemed to be the order of the day over quality. I thought the food itself (one pork and one lamb) was quite bland and uninteresting and reminiscent of slightly better than average pub meals. Roasted vegetables were cold, greasy and very uninteresting. This could be a good restaurant but it feels like there's complacency and malaise in the kitchen. I won't be going back in a hurry.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5

Rabieng Thai

It doesn't look like much from the outside but the food at Rabieng is fantastic and very good value indeed. Possibly the most authentic Thai food I've eaten in the UK. We were feeling somewhat healthy so ate grilled sea bass with lime chilli, grilled king prawns and pork with a spicy sauce. The portions were very generous and the seafood fresh and cooked to perfection. One very large portion of rice would have been enough for us both. We ate an awful lot of seafood and drank the most expensive wine on the menu and still managed to spend less than £50 between the two of us. Definitely give it a go if you enjoy authentic Thai food.

Monday, July 23, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


I've been to Metrogusto on a number of occasions over the years, with the most recent being a fortnight ago. I'm afraid to say that I think the standard of the food and the service is going downhill which is a great pity. The staff always seem to be in an absolute blind panic. This is because, when the restaurant is full, there are simply not enough waiting staff to provide a good service to all tables. The food now seems to be just "ok". The portions are far too large and the homemade pasta is incredibly heavy and doughy. It seems that the restaurant now operates a policy of quantity over quality which is always a mistake. And I agree that the strange mixes of ingredients are often more of a miss than a hit. It's a shame but I won't be going back.

Thursday, July 19, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5

Club Gascon

Highly recomended for quality French food with a smart but relaxing atmosphere. The venue is beautiful and very calming - lots of dark wood, marble, grecian blue and a beautiful bar. They were a noticeably diverse bunch of diners on Saturday (all colours, ages, appearance - dress up or dress down - it didn't matter one bit) and the atmosphere was quietly buzzing. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the food with the notable exception of a halibut dish with lardons which just didn't work at all. Foie gras is the speciality and there are numerous foie gras dishes to choose from. There's also a tasting menu which seemed very popular. Service could have been better - we were kept waiting a while for a table and they didn't bring the wine we'd ordered for the foie gras course - but it was only slightly less than very good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7

Fishworks (Islington)

Very very poor indeed. We were so disappointed. King prawns were not cooked and was worried we would suffer as a result. Main course fish was expensive and not particularly tasty. Service was fantastic but not enough to make up for the lacklustre food. Restaurants that should have so much going for them and fail to deliver really make me cross.

Monday, February 12, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 3 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 2


Sadly, very very disappointing indeed. Crab salad nothing to write home about. Rubbery, tough scampi and friendly but remiss service. Won't head back in a hurry.

Monday, February 12, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5

The Drapers Arms

Really delicious, non-greasy, super-substantial cooked breakfast. Yum!

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7

The Barnsbury

Super pub food. Ate here for the first time tonight. Delicious, very fishy (filled with pieces of white fish) cullen skink soup with a huge rarebit crouton and also a very tasty foie gras and chicken terrine. Roast chicken and duck confit went down well. Only problem is the smoke which, being a pub, you notice more than in other restaurants. Will definitely return.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Very surprised at the bad reviews. Service here is fantastic and the food delicious. Soft shell crab salad is the best I've tasted and I love the holy basil beef stir fry and the chicken green curry. The place is always packed so sometimes feels a little cramped and I wonder if that's off-putting to people. It's not expensive at all but it's also not intended to offer cheap eats with quick table turnaround like the other restaurants mentioned in previoous reviews.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Mocoto Bar & Restaurant

Having read the reviews I expected the worst. But service was really great with staff who were enthusiastic and eager to explain dishes. The food was good too. In a party of four, all enjoyed their choices. Rare steak was perfectly cooked and the risotto had rave reviews. The puddings were fantasic especially the chocolate fondant. I wonder if the problems experienced by others were just first month jitters........

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Pied a Terre

This really is a fantastic restaurant. The food is always delicious and the service friendly and slick. Never eaten a meal that was anything less than excellent. Recently, scallops and langoustines, foie gras and tongue terrine to start were delicious. And madelaines and chocolates with coffee were a nice touch. Great cheese trolley too. Just can't fault this place.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9

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