All reader reviews by Aphex

XO

Another link in the Ricker chain, which is increasinly becoming formulaic, and, dare I say it; chain-like. This one looks like a cross between E&O and Eight Over Eight, which given its background is perfectly understandable. the food here was, admittedly, both interesting and often very good. The king crab claws with pepper mayonniase were the best I have ever tasted, I usually find crab is simply not worth the price, but these were succulent, delicate and tasty allatonce. The claypot chicken was another high point, dates and waterchestnuts adding flavour and texture to a dish which was a delight to someone like myself, who usually shuns the fowl in search of more heavy meat and poultry. The foie gras gyoza hit the spot, as did their incredibly rich coffee-like sauce. A miso soup with peeled edamame and poached quails eggs was "interesting", although the stock for the soup was exceptionally rich, the whole dish somehow did not work for me, the edamame even started irritating me halfway through. The chilli salt squid was slightly disappointing, not as good as I remember it being at E&O, and the fresh mint tea was spoilt by skimping on the quantity of mint. Overall though the meal was full of flavour, well designed, cooked and presented. Also it was v. filling. The service was slightly chaotic - just teething pains I think - but very friendly, and we left feeling over-stuffed (our fault), and having enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Japanese Canteen (Holborn)

Despite some of the negative experiences of other diners, I give this place a thumbs up and eat here regularly. It doesn`t pretend to be anything but cheap and cheerful - the word "Canteen" in the name is a subtle hint - some of the dishes are really good, although admittedly there are a few duds. I recommend the curry, chicken teriyaki donburi or salmon chilli fried rice with a side of dumplings, edamame or miso soup. All are inexpensive and perfect for a hot lunch. The sushi may not be very exciting in terms of range, or very well presented, but this belies excellent quality of fish (much better than Itsu or Wasabi) and the portions are generous. Some other places cut the fish so thin you can read a newspaper through it, not here. The staff can sometimes be a little brusque, but it is fast food, not silver service.

Thursday, December 21, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


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