All reader reviews by Chris K.

Livebait (Covent Garden)

Had pre-theatre dinner here with my partner last night. This was a follow up to my last visit in March 2007. We chose from the fixed price menu.

For starters my partner chose the grilled goat's cheese, which she pronounced as delicious, and I had a smoked haddock and cress salad with a diced beetroot and horseradish 'sauce' (an interesting combination but lacking a bit in bite for my liking). I also thought the salad could have done with a little more haddock (perhaps you would get this if ordering from the a la carte menu!).

My partner had the traditional fish and chips and thought the quality of the fish was good and cooked to perfection, so my experience on the last visit was perhaps just unfortunate. This time it looked, smelt and tasted good although a hearty eater might have complained at the size of the portion. My grilled chicken served on a bed of rocket with roasted new potatoes was well presented, nicely cooked and tasted good.

I had a dessert - a flat apple flan with dob of creme fraishe but was a little disappointed that it didn't have a stronger taste. Perhaps some caramelised sugar wouldn't go amiss, or a twist of lemon on the apple. Coffees rounded off the meal.

The set menu comes in at between £14 and £15 pounds for two courses and an extra £4 for a third course. Even so, we had no difficulty in clocking up a bill for £71 by the time all the extras and gratuity had been added, partly due to the £18 charged for a pretty mediocre bottle of wine, the equivalent of which you would expect to pay about £4-5 pounds for in a supermarket.

The service was friendly and for the most part efficient, although the staff were very hard pressed to look after a very full restaurant.

There is a buzz and vibrancy about the place that is great for the right occasion but it's definitely not a place to go for a romantic meal as it is pretty noisy when full.

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

Livebait (Covent Garden)

Popped in here for lunch and chose the set menu option. A £1.50 additional cover charge brings French bread with butter and fish pate - delicious. The Louisiana crab cakes chosen as a starter were well presented and tasted good. For my main course I had ordered traditional fish and chips with tartar sauce and I was full of expectation having seen this dish being delivered to other tables. When it arrived, a good sized portion, the predominant aroma was of the oil in which it had been cooked - most unappetising. It tasted better than it smelt but was very oily. I suspect the cooking oil had become overheated and also that the fish, freshly cooked and hot, had not been properly drained before serving. I would feel inclined to give this restaurant another chance but I would probably give the fish and chips a miss after this experience.

A 12.5% service charge is added to the bill.

Friday, March 16, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

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