All reader reviews by NB

Song Que

Great food - the Pho was the highlight (just like the window says), but the cold pork rolls weren't far behind. Salt & pepper squid was pretty good as well.

You definitely don't go here for the service or decor, but it doesn't matter when the food and prices like this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 9 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 9

Great Queen Street

I've been to Great Queen Street twice now and been very impressed both times. The restaurant is set up nicely so it feels comfortable whether you are there as a table for 2 or table for 8.

Great food, especially for sharing - the rib of beef for 2 is some of the best beef I've ever eaten. Haven't tried it, but the beef wellington (for 5) looked phenomenal.

The wine list is priced very nicely with quite a good selection. The rib of beef and a bottle of Priorat makes for a great dinner out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Green Cottage

I originally went to this restaurant because of the reviews on here and I've now been about 3 times. Absolutely fantastic food at very reasonable prices.

Highly recommend the Peking Duck - it is some of the best I've ever had. The salt & pepper chicken and the Cantonese beef are also fantastic.

A regular favourite now!

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

The Dovetail

After visiting this place it is safe to say it is very hit and miss.

The service seems to be quite poor - messing up orders has happened both times - and on our last visit one person's order was left off completely, which meant they never got their food until everyone else had actually finished.

It has quite a good beer selection and the food does sound quite good, but it really is the luck of the draw as to how it will taste (and when it will arrive).

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6

Baozi Inn

Baozi Inn is a new discovery for me, but it was so good I went back again the following week. Such a nice change to get excellent food and a drink for around £10.

For starters the baozi's were decent, but lacked a bit of seasoning and sweetness. The chicken and vegetable dumplings were both excellent. I can definitely recommend the ribs for a main, which are served in a broth with noodles - the meat literally falls off the bone.

Excellent food at a bargain price - highly recommended.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10

Pearl Restaurant & Bar

We went to Pearl after being impressed by the head chef Jun Tanaka on several TV appearances. The bar itself is quite a dire place - it feels too cold, the drinks are too expensive, and the only redeeming quality was a very stylish pearl 'separation' between tables. Also, the wine cruvinet system (dispensers that allow for small tastes, whilst keeping fresh) looked to be completely empty. The prices of the drinks here are obscene - I've never looked through a 'by the glass' list to see so many wines that were around the £20 mark. I'm all for fine wine, but there really wasn't a good selection in different price points.

The restaurant was a nice surprise after the quite shocking experience of the bar - beautifully decorated, well set out with nice spacing and with the grandeur you would expect in such a building. Some tasty hors d'oeuvres whet the appetite - especially the venison carpaccio. The soup that followed - basically an amuse - was served in a proper bowl and was absolutely perfect - jerusalem artichoke soup with almond foam (and almond slivers that gave it great texture).

Entrees were mixed - the salmon was too big a portion and lacked some finesse and presentation in comparison to other dishes. The scallops with frogs legs was tasty, with stunning presentation, but the legs were dry and had way too many herbs crusting the outside. For a main, the pork belly with scallops was absolutely spot-on. The unusual addition of little cubes of pineapple made this dish sing and it was definitely the highlight of the night. Surprisingly we were so full after this that there was no room for dessert, but I wished there had of been after seeing an intricate chocolate creation come past.

The wine list was fairly extensive, but yet again the mark-up on prices was nothing short of extortionate. Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was £56 (retail around £13-14), Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc a shocking £77 (retail around £20), and Ata Rangi Pinot Noir a cool £99 (usually under £30). Plus service, of course.

The £50 for entree/main/dessert (including the little starters/soup) is pretty good value for the high quality of food - but the wine prices definitely leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Monday, March 03, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Just had an anniversary dinner at Yauatcha and it was the 4th time I've been. The flavours of the food are spot-on and are reasonably priced if you order little dishes to share between 2 (or the table).

Jasmine smoked ribs are my favourite, but the salt & pepper squid, char sui pork buns, duck pancakes, and the baked puffs are all great. The service isn't fantastic - but the worst thing that happened was having to wait 20mins for our booking (with about 5 other groups) the last time we went.

Downstairs is much nicer in my opinion - the decor is very nice and dark - and the long fish tank steals the show. Upstairs is ok but feels much more like a cafe than a restaurant.

It is very much a refined Chinese restaurant and the bill comes out very similar to many places in China Town - but the food and flavour really is elevated to another level.

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

Camden Brasserie

Saw many of the reviews praising this place, but after going I can't quite understand why.

The dishes were quite simple - nothing all that interesting on the menu.. so I went for a classic steak and chips. The meat was too thin to give it any real flavour and the chips were really thin fries that tasted more of oil than anything else. It was ok if you were at a cheap pub, but not for £16 or whatever cost it was.

I also ordered a cocktail when the other 5 at my table did - yet mine took at least 10mins more than everyone else.. but there was no reason why. Everyone else had finished their cocktails before I had even started mine - the drinks were very poor for the £5-6 they cost.

Overall it really lacked anything to set it apart from anywhere else - and the cost was way too much for such a basic brasserie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 3


I went here for my birthday with the highest of expectations and came away very impressed (and very poor).

The room and decor is very dark and it gives off a quite serious vibe. All the tables seemed to have only 2 chairs, when they could fit about 5, which gave a nice amount of space for the food and made you feel as if you weren't just crammed in.

Food wise it was of a very very high standard - lovely little tasters of foie gras gingerbread and taramosalata with thin biscuits. The amuse bouche was a really beautiful hot mushroom veloute with cold cep cream.

Normally we would go for the tasting menu, but we decided on the a la carte as it had a couple of main meals we wanted to try that weren't on the tasting. Started with quail with apple, almonds and something like candied pear - absolutely stunning dish.. really clean flavours. My girlfriend had the tuna tartare with pineapple and mooli - the presentation was fantastic and the flavour too. Slightly exotic combination but it worked really well.

For the mains we had suckling pig with mash, chicory and various wild mushrooms. It was perfectly cooked - the chicory flavour was way too strong for anything else in the dish, but the rest was spot-on. We also had the halibut - which came with a few buffalo ricotta tortellini.. these were some of the most potent little bags of flavour we tried all night - like an explosion of cheese and rich butter in the mouth.

The pre-dessert was beautifully constructed - lime/apple granita with vanilla cream and honey jelly. Desserts were of the highest quality.. a rich chocolate gateau with espresso jelly - and a peanut parfait with chocolate mousse. After all this we even were offered a selection of handmade truffles... the plain dark chocolate one was absolutely phenomenal (and we even took the others home in a little Petrus box - nice touch).

Service was excellent and the only downside was the cost - £4 bottles of water and £15 glasses of Champagne are excessive, although pretty much expected, but £5 for an espresso or tea? Crazy money. All up it is hard to get out of there at under £100 a head.. but have the tasting menu and a nice bottle of wine and you could easily spend your months rent.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6

North London Tavern

This is now our local restaurant when you feel like going out somewhere nice, but don't want to be left with a huge bill at the end.

The 'pub' part is ok, but the restaurant really steals the show. A very nice menu - which changes very regularly it seems - so you can go back and always seem something a bit different.

Pork belly with puy lentils, monkfish wrapped in ham, venison stew, halibut with orange and saffron, squid with chorizo etc.. are all well seasoned and well thought out dishes. There is also the ever faithful steak and chips. The desserts are quite good.. and are huge - so order 1 betweeen 2.

Great place for a cheerful night out.

Friday, March 09, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Maggie Jones's

Went here after seeing all the amazing reviews but I left feeling quite disappointed.

The place is nice with a bit of a historic British feel to it (almost French kitchen in a way).

The food was decent, without being amazing, and the prices were through the roof for the dishes you get. It is so frustrating that you have to pay £3-4 for a vegetable side dish as it would be better if there was something extra on the plate instead of a piece of meat and a gravy.

The duck was ok, but with so much bone it wasnt anywhere near as much food as it looked. The lamb was very tender and was definitely the highlight. Desserts were another story the chocolate pot was a complete rip-off at £5 for such a small pot and the chocolate had a terrible bitter taste to it (not because it was dark chocolate, but more because it was low-quality dark, or possibly it had gone off?).

Thankfully the staff were nice and they actually refunded both desserts due to the problem with the chocolate pot a very nice offer.

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 4


Absolutely stunning food - some of the best and most interesting flavour combinations I've ever had.

Picking 4 dishes from the tasting menu is the best idea so you can sample more ideas - even better when the partner orders 4 different and you can share! All the dishes seem so well thought out and are all presented in varying styles and plates.

The BLT is quite a surprise, the carpaccio fantastic, the halibut was amazing, scallops perfect, lamb tender, and the quail with foie gras and chutney was beyond sublime.

So full after 4 dishes, but decided to have a dessert and it was sweet and rich chocolate fondant-style pudding.

Overall the flavours were interesting and inventive, the presentation beautiful, service was helpful, and yes you will probably rack up a big bill but definitely worth it for the amazing food.

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

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