All reader reviews by The Mark


Baltic appears to have lost its way. Went recently on a Sunday night. The environment remains pretty and the chairs super comfortable.

- Cool barstaff on arrival. Perhaps it’s cool to be cool.

- Limited wine list by glass or ½ bottle. The waiter described my first choice as ‘rough’ so he upsold me to a Rioja around £7 more (for a ½ bottle).

- Two side dishes recommended by the waiter, only to find the mains came with more than sufficient ‘extras’. Upselling in its less obvious form. Felt wasteful. One dish was unappealing and left mostly untouched. No enquiry from staff.

- The worst Rum Baba, which was more like a bagel than a baba. Left untouched as it was pretty much inedible. Waiter enquired but not at all interested in my comment. No deduction offered, no apology.

- Lack of interest in follow-up service once the big ticket items were ordered.

So, even though a couple of food items were fine, it left me feeling ‘done over’ by the experience. If you’re not interested in your diners’ experience, don’t run a restaurant.

Friday, February 11, 2011
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 1

Cay Tre

From a food perspective, this place rocks. The menu is extensive, they have increased their wine list although some are perhaps moving a bit too far up the price curve.

Service and ventilation are perhaps the weeker points, although there have been some glimmers of home recently on the former category.

I will keep returning for the food and takeaway, as it's the best in the Hoxton area. If they found another restaurant and warmed up the staff, this business would beat the others hands down.

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8

Prism Brasserie & Bar

I lunch at Prism every few months, generally with clients. One of several things that impresses me about Prism is that it is possible to remain focused on discussions while i) the room fills with the lunch crowd around you ii) the staff anticipate your needs. I believe this is only possible when a restaurant takes its 'Service' as seriously as Prism does.

At my last lunch, Prism received six solid votes of approval. Service was effortless and very well balanced. The sommelier was very helpful and arrived within a second of me looking up. Enjoyed the Tyrrells Semillon very much: c'mon Australia!.

My salmon was cooked-through as I requested (brilliant touch by the waitress who anticipated my request by 2 seconds). My fellow diners confirmed their meals were excellent, generally tending towards the fish side of the menu. Overall, the lunch was a cut above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Casale Franco

Dined here last night with a friend who is half Italian (to continue the debate over Italian authenticity). It is one of the few Italian restaurants my friend will frequent.

The service is balanced and the decor individual, if a little quirky in parts.

We shared a good antipasto of cheese (Pecorino I think) and pear, and then excellent mains of pumpkin ravioli. A large glass of quaffable red wine, a sweet liqueur to finish and we were out again for £30 a head including service.

After being treated and fed this well, I will be back.

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Bow Wine Vaults

High quality food, a good glass of wine and professional service for lunch within 1.5 hours. Impressed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9

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