All reader reviews by Soap

Brasserie Blanc (Threadneedle St)

Booked for a quick lunch with a friend. Service good and attentive, space itself it nice. Menu looked good - typical French classics - but my choice was very disappointing. From the Specials board; slow cooked lamb shoulder with winter veg - ideal for a revolting England February, right?

Sadly the lamb was tasteless, gristly and mean of portion size, the gravy was thin with fat globules floating on the top, the carrots and parsnips very few and the mash was almost runny. For £16+ that's a bit hard to wear.

My companion's roast chicken and fries seemed to be more than adequate, so hopefully this is just a very weak dish.

Thursday, February 06, 2014
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 2 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 4


Fredericks

Frederick's certainly promises a great deal - the venue is lovely (although all the hard surfaces in the conservatory area make for a somewhat noisy dining experience) and the menu is limited but full of potential. They have a vegetarian menu, which is a big plus, although the dishes lacked any real enthusiasm for making a genuinely interesting veggie dining experience.

Of the starters, the scallop dish was incredibly small and lacked any hint of the promised chorizo, with the pepper and tomato mimosa being incredibly overpowering. The dress Colchester crab was similarly mean (and at £13.50 a go these aren't cheap starters) and the avocado sorbet was tasteless. The chicken liver/foie gras parfait and plum compote was good, and the aubergine salad was dull but passable.

Our vegetarian was brought a salmon main course instead of risotto - an inexcusable error which took 15 minutes to rectify, by which time the rest of us had finished out main courses. The 'Fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef, fondant potato, summer vegetable parcel, horseradish jus' turned out to be fillet steak, asparagus and a strange, bland, reconstituted potato. No bite to the horseradish jus, very disappointing - use of the word 'parcel' rather suggests something delicious in filo pastry, but it was not to be. The steak itself was very good. The duck dish was appalling - four tiny slices of breast on top of something which looked like it had come from our local Chinese takeaway.

We elected not to have dessert or aperitifs and made good our escape. Even with our pre-dinner drinks comped as recompense for the error, the price was well over £75 a head - pretty steep for three scallops, a piece of meat half as big as my fist, six stalks of asparagus and two glasses of wine. You can eat far better and at significantly less cost elsewhere in Islington. Go there instead.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 1


Bacchus Pub & Kitchen

We went for the Sunday roast, but I will definitely be back to sample their tasting menu.

The Bacchus is situated on an unprepossessing street just over from Hoxton Square, where the cool kids hang out. Its very traditional outside and low-key inside, with gentle ambient sounds caressing the diners. The staff were welcome and friendly our French waitress especially keen that we enjoyed ourselves.

They offer four roasts, including a vegan option - a nut, seed and veggetable roast which was the main reason for our visit - so few London pubs carry on their roast menu throughout the summer, which is a tragedy.

I plumped for the 10-hour-roasted Hereford sirloin and my husband went for the nut roast. Presentation was good; whole roasted garlic cloves jostling on my plate with goose-fat roasted potatoes and a wonderful, crispy Yorkshire.

The beef was sensational; melt in the mouth and very generous slices. The gravy was absolutely staggering I queried what was in it to make it so amazing - it's slow roasted over two days with veal bones. Ive never tasted anything like it. Same with the stuffing; awash with delicate flavours including garlic and rosemary which complimented everything on my plate.

I can't recommend this place enough; brilliant experience.

Monday, August 09, 2010
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Il Bordello

Having lived in Wapping for 5 years, I am very sad that we have only just paid a visit to Il Bordello.

I can only add to the glowing reviews (not sure which restaurant the 'Harvester' analogy reviewer went to, but it sure wasn't this one).

I booked late in the day and we were shown to a table in a fairly crowded area of the restaurant, but upon hearing that it was our first visit, the head waiter was having none of it and arranged a window table for us.

My caprese salad was extremely fresh and completely delicious, my husband's bruschetta were even better, and the portion sizes are really generous.

My hand-made crab ravioli was utterly gorgeous - the sauce awash with prawns and huge flakes of fresh crab, and again my husband's ravioli funghi was beautiful - smokily rich mushrooms and fresh, hand-made pasta.

The only sad part was that we were unable to finish our mains, so large are the portions. The bill was entirely reasonable, too. Go!

Thursday, August 06, 2009
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9


Saf

Just stunning. Having a vegan husband often means that fine dining isn't on the menu, if you'll pardon the pun, but Saf boldly flies in the face of this.

The restaurant itself is airy and subtly decorated, with friendly and welcoming staff. We started with a couple of organic beers before making our way to our table. We had some delicious edamame whilst waiting for our starters, which were worth the wait.

The beetroot ravioli was a real surprise; the nut 'cheese' actually tasting like a light cream cheese, which is amazing. My husband's starter of chive pearls, on sweet potato latkes with apples and sour cream was good enough for a Michelin-starred establishment. My main was the meal's highlight; a mushroom croquette with truffle alfredo and rosemary, accompanied by minute pickled vegetables - a real explosion of tastes and all raw, which beggars belief. My husband declared his lasagne one of the best vegan meals he's ever eaten.

We skipped a sweet course but I will be dragging anyone who'll accompany me so that I can revisit and try the rest of the menu. Inspired stuff.

Friday, May 23, 2008
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


China City (Leicester Square)

Totally disorganised, dreadful service. We went there for a friend's birthday and I don't think they got a single person's order 100% correct. We received our starter just as we were leaving, but they still attempted to charge us for it.

Despite their being a surfeit of staff, few could speak English and this only added to the chaos. Really detracted from what was supposed to be a fun celebration.

The sound quality of the karaoke is awful, too. The food itself was fair, but I've eaten far better elsewhere without feeling ripped off.

Friday, August 31, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 6 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 1


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