All reader reviews by QZ

Ottolenghi (Islington)

Felt like I'd been mugged.

With main courses costing £10-£13 and salads/side dishes costing aournd £7, I was pretty shocked to read "all dishes are starter size & we recommend you order 3 per person". So its £30 before you order any drinks. The salads were nice enough but the prawns were a huge disappointment. There were 3 pretty tiny prawns swimming in a plate of oil and puree. Terrible terrible value. The lamb was excellent - beautifully cooked and a relatively generous portion.

The waitress was really annoying and kept refilling our water glasses every two minutes (in an attempt to get us to buy another bottle undoubtedly) Other than that the service was good.

We had a nice evening, but for me it was ruined by the fact I felt like an idiot for paying those prices. It was packed though, guess there really is one born every minute.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 1


Bam-Bou

Overpriced. Watered down cocktails. Mediocre food. Staff who behave like they are better than their customers. Definitely not going back & wouldn't recomend it to anyone else.

Monday, August 25, 2008
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 5 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 1


Stingray Cafe

Stringray is our local and it's absolutely amazing value for money. You can have a couple of pizzas, a salad and a bottle of wine and escape for under £30.

Try the mexican pizza - its delicious, and the steak, chips & pepper sauce for £10.50 is the best value anywhere i've found in Islington. The food is basic - but very reliable.

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


The Ivy

Five of us went here for dinner, having secured the table just that day (credit crunch perhaps?). Overall it was a lovely dining experience with exquisite service and a buzzy atmosphere. The starters - Scallops, Oysters and fish soup were very good indeed. The mains, not quite as tasty - my pork was quite oily and the shepherds pie a tad over rich. But the baked alaska made up for it all - delicious ice cream and soft meringue set alight at the table - just superb.

On the downside, they have hiked the prices up considerably since my last visit. Its difficult to find a bottle of wine for less than £35, so the evening worked out at £80 a head. Was it worth it? Yes, it probably was !

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6


The House

I really don't get this place, or the good reviews. I went for dinner there last night & it was my third ever visit. The venue and ambience are fine, but the food is overpriced and not particularly good.

For starter I had the Salt and Pepper Squid which was £7.50. For that I got two tiny pieces of squid on top of some diced roasted red pepper. It tasted ok, but I was blown away by the price they charged for such a tiny portion. It was more akin to an amuse bouche. Total rip off.

For main two of us had shepherds pie - which again was passable, although my colleague found hers too salty. My other friend had a goats cheese ravioli, which was so salty, it was unpleasant to eat. No one asked us if everything was ok & when we complained at the end, the waitress didn't seem to care & it still appeared on the bill.

We had to chase the order of a glass of white wine, ask for cutlery - overall definitely not worth paying 12.5% service charge. I definitely won't bother going back. A disappointing experience.

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 3 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 1


Galvin

This was my second time at Galvin, and overall I thought it was very very good.

I donít agree with other comments on the service Ė I thought it was excellent and well judged. We were relaxing and taking our time over the menu and the waiter checked in on us every so often, but didnít put us under any pressure to order. When we finished our bread, another basket magically appeared. Everything we asked for arrived in good time and the wine was left on the table so we could pour it ourselves - which I much prefer.

We all enjoyed the food, though the starters menu was limited. I had the crab lasagne, which was very delicate and delicious. Others had the fish soup- which looked a little thick to me, but they all enjoyed it. For main I had the duck, which was very tasty, but be warned, it is very meaty! It comes with black pudding, bacon and some other type of meat. I wasnít quite prepared for the heart attack on a plate that it turned out to be! My friend had a steak, which was perfectly cooked and she polished off every morsel. The ravoli and red mullet also went down well.

With pre dinner drinks, two bottles of red, one white, some water and teas, the bill including service was £65 a head, which I felt was reasonable for the evening we had. I donít think the food is exceptional, but it is certainly competent and the atmosphere is lovely. Iíll definitely go back.

Friday, July 25, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Scott's

Three of us had dinner here on a Saturday night at the end of April. Despite phoning six weeks in advance I was only offered either 7.30 or 10.30. I took the earlier time but on the day, Scotts called and asked us to be there at 7 & that they would need the table back at 9.30. Bit cheeky I thought & annoying as there was no real atmosphere in the restaurant until almost 9pm. Just as things were hotting up we had to leave

Anyhow, overall I thought the food and service were excellent. To start we shared some oysters and a dressed crab which was really just a plate of white crab meat with no herbs or seasoning - v odd.

For mains I had lobster thermidor, at £38 not a cheap option, but was delicious and a real treat. Another of our party had dover sole which was very delicate. We had two desserts & a glass of port each, along with one bottle of wine the bill came to £260 for three. Which I actually thought wasn't too bad given the quality of the dishes we had gone for. If you order oysters and lobster you expect to pay a lot.

Niggles? There were a few - the constant pouring of water every time we took a sip was annoying. The empty dining room until 8.30pm. But overall I would definitely recommend this restaurant ( + I saw David Furnish on the way out and the doorman "mistook me" for Cate Blanchette- hey it made my night )

Monday, May 21, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6


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