All reader reviews by SHamilton

Michael Moore

If ever a restaurant needed a visit from Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares show this is it. Massively-egoed chef Michael Moore is knocking out overly complicated food he thinks is amazing and wondering why the place is half empty all the time. And will surely only get emptier and emptier if he carries on like this. Fussy French classical food. Starchy waiters hovering over you. No atmosphere. Get the feeling you are being watched and expected to compliment every course. I had some ridiculously-titled dish which came on a plate divided into four sections - a piece of lovely slow roasted sticky belly pork - for some strange reason twinned with a piece of lobster, a salad with a seafood sauce and some mushrooms. The two tastes of lobster and pork were totally mismatched even though both things were pleasant enough on their own. Why not just serve the pork or the lobster? The flavours clashed so much it was nasty. Sadly the grand ambitions of Mr Moore are not matched by the style of the place. Really tacky paper menus behind plastic with that naff italic writing. The sort of menus you find at a pub which serves frozen food. And the wine glasses were dusty. Unforgivable. We were sat at a horrible table right next to the bar - with the maitre de's book next to my head so he was knocking my skull every time he wrote something down - and the restaurant was more than half empty. Moore needs to move to new premises or refurbish. He can cook but he is cooking the wrong thing in the wrong place. Don't waste your money because it's not cheap. He needs to learn the crucial lesson than less is Moore.

Thursday, August 09, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 2

Konstam at the Prince Albert

A great restaurant which transcends the (admirable) gimmick of sourcing all its food from inside Greater London.

Set in a converted pub near Kings Cross, two happy chefs served up wonderful food from behind the bar in full view without stress or fuss. They seemed to be having a good time - and their enthusiasm was infectious.

The waiter was amiable, charming and knowledgeable.

General friendly ambience and high quality cuisine.

We enjoyed braised ox tongue and celeriac & hazelnut soup starters. Chicken (with braised chicory) and a gorgeous big pork chop (with bacon dumplings) as mains.

The desserts are a speciality. We had a marmalade sponge pudding with clove ice cream - so good it made us laugh out loud.

Konstam has restored my faith. These are the good guys, striving hard.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9

Rivington Bar & Grill (Greenwich)

Had an excellent set menu Sunday lunch for £18 a head yesterday. Superb smoked mackerel pate starter; partner loved her parsnip and oragne soup. Lovely roast beef with cripsy roast spuds. Two big wedges of Neals Yard cheese and oatcakes to finish (which is £7.95 alone on the a la carte). Good, friendly service. You can pay close to this for an ordinary and disappointing gastro pub lunch. Excellent place. I'd previously been to the sister restaurant in Shoreditch. The menus are similar - and the cooking seems to be of the same high standard. I cannot fault either place.

Monday, January 29, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

St John

So disappointed. This is my favourite restaurant. But last night was dreadful. We were left waiting to be seated for ages. Then it took over ten minutes to order a drink and longer to order food. The two top items on the menu were off - pork and veal. So we ordered hare. Then they brought me the wrong starter and informed us the hare was off too. Left with no option but to order a replacement item - roast beef. It was appalling. Thick strips of cold white fat made this cut tough and unpleasant. They had the cheek to charge £22 for each piece of beef - which was more expensive than the hare. That was just for a small piece of meat with some luke warm beetroot. The waitress was brusque throughout. She did not once ask if we were happy with the meal. We were allowed to leave without a goodbye from her or the maitre de. I hope she was to embarrassed to talk to us. To make matters worse the renowned owner Fergus Henderson was in the dining room having dinner. Perhaps his staff were too busy fussing over his table to pay us any attention. But that is unacceptable at the restaurant voted 'London Restaurant Of The Year' in this year's Good Food Guide.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3

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