All reader reviews by Hannah


I went to Arbutus with my boyfriend to celebrate my birthday. We had a fantastic meal, and were very impressed with the service - which was personal without being obsequious. I had a chicken liver terrine, and then pollack with chorizo. Both were excellent. The fish in particular was cooked perfectly; it fell into pearly white flakes at the touch of the fork. My boyfriend opted for the salad of ricotta and potatoes, and then had sea bass. The fish was, again, a notable success. We ended by sharing a creme brulee that we both thought was one of the best we had tasted.

The fact that you can order carafes of wine (250ml each) is a real bonus. We had three, from which I would really recommend the Douro (at about £9 I think). I had it with the terrine, and it was a great match.

This is the third time I have eaten at Arbutus, although this was the first time I had ventured on to the a la carte menu, the lunch and pre-theatre set menus being such good value. The chef and his team are clearly very accomplished, and are not let down by their front of house team, who are excellent.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9

Fishworks (Primrose Hill)

My flatmate and I went to Fishworks last night, for a quick supper. The service was sweet and prompt, and the menu looked promising - lots of simple grilled fish and seafood, staples such as oysters and smoked salmon. I opted for the fish soup (with rouille, gruyere and croutons), followed by skate with black butter, and spinach. My pal went for the spaghetti with clams and then sea bass, and a greek salad.

To be blunt, the soup tasted as though it had come from a tin, although the chef had attempted to gussy it up by liberally dousing it with olive oil and flat leaf parsley. The skate was over cooked to the point of fluffiness, and the black butter needed a squeeze of lemon to take it from sickly oiliness to palatable. It was under salted too. The spinach was far too oily, although it tasted good. All in all, my meal was something of a disappointment.

My friend enjoyed her spaghetti, which came with a generous portion of clams (and with a generous portion of olive oil from the look of it), and said that her sea bass was great. It looked good - simply cooked with garlic and rosemary. We shared a portion of chips, which were delicious and, surprisingly, not too oily.

We had a good time at Fishworks, but there's room for improvement.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


I went to Arbutus for Sunday lunch to celebrate a friend's recent engagement. We had a fantastic time as a result of the (Michelin star-) winning formula of impeccable, welcoming service and delectable food. We had the set lunch, which offers a choice of two dishes for each course, and is a total steal at £15.50 (the website for some reason says that it's £17.50 - not sure why). I had a farmhouse terrine to start. It came with a smear of seville orange marmalade, the bitter-sweetness of which successfully counter-acted the richness of the meat. The pate was studded with green peppercorns which added texture and heat. My main course was a stew of pollock and mussels, served in a copper pot. It was sensational. The fish was really fresh and perfectly cooked, breaking into tender flakes. The sauce was creamy, but with enough sharpness not to be cloying. The rhubarb jelly with vanilla ice cream that I had for pudding was refreshing and fun.

We had two carafes (250ml) of wine between the three of us. I can't remember what the white was, although my friends thought it was great. The Malbec we shared was delicious.

The bill came to £26 a head, including service, coffees and a bottle of mineral water. To have such a lovely time and such a satisfying meal for such a modest price really does re-awaken ones faith in eating out in London!

Monday, February 12, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10

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