All reader reviews by Sarah, www.arrivalslimited.com

Mala Restaurant

After almost two years of walking by this restaurant (and seeing it empty more often than not), I finally went for lunch today -- and it was great! Such incredible value for money -- the lunch menu (£12.95) will feed you for two meals, and the food is as good as an Indian I've had in London. It's basic, classic Indian, and everything was pretty much perfect.

The service is also excellent, and although the decor is a bit dated, it's probably even nicer at night, when you can sit overlooking the Docks.

Such a good place -- I wish it hadn't taken me so long to finally get there.

Monday, June 18, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Mala Restaurant

After almost two years of walking by this restaurant (and seeing it empty more often than not), I finally went for lunch today -- and it was great! Such incredible value for money -- the lunch menu (£12.95) will feed you for two meals, and the food is as good as an Indian I've had in London. It's basic, classic Indian, and everything was pretty much perfect.

The service is also excellent, and although the decor is a bit dated, it's probably even nicer at night, when you can sit overlooking the Docks.

Such a good place -- I wish it hadn't taken me so long to finally get there.

Monday, June 18, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Asmara

A friend took me to Asmara last night (for my third Eritrean food experience and first in a decade) and it was delicious. Of the two chicken stews we had, the slow-cooked one was the most flavourful, and the shiro was perfect.

We almost fell out of our chairs laughing when the older woman taking orders taught the man and his son next to us how to eat. She prepared a bite and stuck it in the very British father's mouth, surprising everyone everyone, including him.

Such a great place -- and a great bargain!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9


Arbutus

I ate at Arbutus last night with two others, and it was wonderful -- it must be the most reasonably priced Michelin-starred restaurant in London.

I started with potato ravioli (delish) and had the plate of the day (pot au feu, which was full of flavour, and the meat was so tender and the vegetables were firm). The cheesecake was also almost perfect (just a bit of a skin on top), and overall, we were all pleased.

The service was casual but spot on, which could also describe the decor. A very good place!

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Crazy Homies

Crazy Homies is my favourite Mexican restaurant in London, and believe me, I search for it (and know I am not alone here).

Sure the service isn't that great (the hipsters have to work somewhere!), but if you go knowing that, and enjoy the great chips & salsa, excellent guac, wonderful pork gringas, super good margaritas and hilarious atmosphere, then you'll have a perfect time.

Monday, February 19, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Royal China (Canary Wharf)

We ate here before going to the movies last Saturday, and I have to say that I thought it was excellent -- and perfect for this -- a basic, short, delicious, reasonably priced place. Sure, the staff is not overly friendly (though they're not unfriendly either -- as someone else said, they're efficient). But the food is fabulous -- we especially loved the squid starter and the sizzling black bean chicken. Vegetable dishes are a bit overpriced, but everything else was great value.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Clifton Restaurant

As so many out-of-town guests like to go to Brick Lane, we always walk to the middle of it, walk down through the restaurant insanity, and end up at Clifton. The food is very good, and the staff is friendly -- it's the kind of place you want to go to, though you would not want to sit downstairs (but I've never had to in a dozen visits). I almost didn't get a table though, so do book in advance.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9


Roka (Charlotte St)

What a great place for a date! We had a bottle of champagne downstairs in the bar while we waited for our table (a bit sceney, but as it's required, make the most of it), then had two seats at the counter, which at first seemed a bit lame. But the £50/head tasting menu that followed was so good and so fun, that I'd almost hate to return to a real table. The bill was big, but the food was great and the experience was all good.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Popeseye Steak House

I love this place -- as much for what it stands for and the way it presents itself as for the delicious steak. A random street, a funny storefront -- with a more charming interior than I anticipated. The fillet was one of the best I've had in London, and I just wish I lived closer to go more often!

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Anchor & Hope

After giving up on waiting for a table on our first visit (we were a group of five -- which is too big for this place), we returned (as a twosome), spent the hour in the bar with a bottle of wine (and excellent £18 bottle recommended by the bartender), then had the most amazing -- and reasonably priced -- meal. We were seated at a table with four other people (which was surprising, but turned out to be just part of the deal), and it was clear everyone was loving their food. We had delicious mussels to start, and delicious venison. I love this place.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Mela

I ate at Mela on Friday and have to say -- I'm so glad to find a good Indian restaurant in the West End/Covent Garden! The tables were packed together, but the food was good and the wait staff was super charming. All in all, a very reasonable and enjoyable experience, so I will return.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


The Ark

I always love going to The Ark, but I do always feel like I end up spending more than I expect. But the food is great and the ambiance is so lovely. In warmer months, it's also a great place to go for drinks, if you can get a table outside (then order a lot so you can keep the table!).

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Thai Origin

I've never had a bad meal here, and I especially like that you can eat casually upstairs, or have a more formal meal downstairs -- it's perfect for any occasion. The service is always very good, and the disposition of the staff is almost always excellent. And I really love the Weeping Tiger (beef)!

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Soho Spice

A group of us (10 total) had dinner before Christmas, and it was a disaster. After being seated on time at the wrong table, then being asked to wait in the loud downstairs bar (without so much as an apology), we were served the food -- and the vegetarians were given the chicken! The food was unremarkable, but the service -- and general customer care -- was exceptionally bad.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 2


Ffiona's Restaurant

Ffiona's presence -- and mood -- sets the tone for the evening, and if it's your first visit, she'll decide whether she likes you or not. And if she likes you, all of your subsequent visits will be amazing, and she'll remember what you ate three times ago. The food is reliable, comfortable and good, and it's an easy place to while away the hours (over reasonably priced wine). I don't know of anyone she dislikes, but my guess is that people who don't want the intimacy the environment brings are the ones who won't return.

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


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