All reader reviews by nb

The Pig's Ear

Not much good to say about the upstairs dining room of this place. You approach through a cloud of smoke from the pub, up some narrow stairs at the back to a nice "country shabby" dining room (get a table which does not overlook the shambolic kitchen not intended for display but door left open anyway). Starters took 35 minutes but were cleared within seconds of putting down our cutlery. The waiter's attention was concerned only with filling glasses to serve more wine and water.

The salmon starter was very good but the foie gras and apple was poor. The combination did not really work and the foie gras lost all of its richness.

Mains were only served 1hr 20 mins after sitting down, with no apologies.

The mains were both disappointing. The duck with black cabbage and jerusalem artichokes came with chard instead. It was a nice dish, but the plate, the chard and the duck were all cold. The risotto with spinach and parmesan was disgusting. It tasted very watery - with the aroma of dishwater. On leaving most of it, the waiter asked if it was ok but merely shrugged when told it was not. Even helping with coats is too much trouble for the staff here and this is a place where starters are £9 on average and mains (without any accompaniments) are £18.

At these prices, the place was a disgrace; it would be poor at even half the price. Avoid.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 0

Big Easy (King's Rd)

The food is always simple but good. The steaks are great and the cheap weekday lunch is a bargain. The service has always been friendly but slow and this was again the case in Jan 07. However the prices are creeping up. Five years ago it was a bargain. Two years ago it was fully priced. Now it seems too expensive, although there are no alternatives in the area which offer food of the same quality.

Monday, January 29, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 4

Mona Lisa

Great friendly service and real buzz in this very upmarket greasy spoon. I had fish soup, which came with mussels in their shells floating in it for £2 - better than many a restaurant's £5 version - and chicken escalope with spaghetti bolognese which was substantial and first rate. My partner had a spinach bacon and avocado salad and a bacon and egg sandwich, both of which she pronounced to be delicious.

The Mona Lisa fills a real hole in the market and your stomach with comfort food that is really good and very cheap. Highly recommended.

Monday, January 29, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10

The Butcher & Grill (Battersea)

Great atmosphere and a real buzz at Sunday lunch. Service good. However, the meat was the real let down. My partner's fillet steak was ordered medium rare to rare but came medium to well done. It was thoroughly charred on the outside. My calves liver was ordered medium but came well done in an overpowering gravy. The liver was bland in taste and texture and really quite poor. The side orders of spinach and of chips were both excellent. The other reviews suggest another try here is warranted, but this was poor especially considering the high prices.

Monday, January 29, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 2 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 1

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