All reader reviews by Laura

Jamie's Italian (Canary Wharf)

We arrived early (6:15pm) given the inability to book and were seated promptly. The restaurant had a good atmosphere and decor. Unfortunately, instead of being told the 'specials', we were then informed of all the dishes that were not being served - trying to recall, I would guess approx. 8-10 including some classics such as spag bol. The reason being that the menu was being revamped (has it not just opened?!?!?). I would have thought that a menu does not need to go through a transition period but can be simply changed - in fact I know it can. Poor show and it left a few disappointed faces. However, what we did have was good and cooked well so certainly no complaints on the food that was available.

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

Auberge (Waterloo)

This place is pretty poor. The table needed wiping but no attempt was made to do so, the service was slow and the food was a mixture of cold and overcooked. All I had was burger and chips - how can you go wrong with that? Well, the chips were cold and soggy and the burger was like rubber. The salad (I use the term loosely - if was three lettuce leaves) were drenched in a revolting dressing. It could have been there was a challenge in the kitchen to ensure that no part of the salad was left without dressing. The waiting staff were like the Scarlet Pimpernel so it wasn't even possible to talk to them about the meal.

Duff food, duff service and duff atmosphere. If this is the way they run their business, I wouldn't bother going to any of this chain.

Friday, February 20, 2009
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 1


Went here with two others on a Wednesday night. The place was 1/2 full and had a good atmosphere. Overall, I found the food to be either very greasy or dry (rice) with nothing in between or in fact as I would expect - disappointing. Most of the staff were friendly and efficient although one waiter was particularly 'full of himself' with quite an arrogance about him. Shame, as it took the shine from the rest of the guys.

I notice another reviewer was surprised at the total when the bill came - we were a little taken aback by the overall cost for what it was and the size of the portions. Nothing horrendous - it was just disproportionate.

Would I go back? Probably not as the food was below expectation and the portions and prices did not match.

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3

Marquess Tavern

Group of 6 went there last night. We were late but had forewarned and they did not create a fuss. However, when it came to the food, we were all really underwhelmed. Everything was "ok" or "alright" which was very disapponting as we'd read the great reviews. All the food seemed somewhat bland and we think that they hadn't got the basic seasoning correct. My lamb chop was cooked as asked but using mallard's leg instead of breast left my friend rather disappointed and hungry as there was not much meat.

The pub is a wonderful old building and very impressive. However, they need to sort out the acoustics in the dining area as even on a table of 6, you could not hear what was being said only 2 places away.

Nothing hideously wrong with the place but not worth a visit back again to eat but they do have a great range of bottled beers, which would be worth sampling!

Thursday, February 14, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4


Building high anticipation for a restaurant is generally a mistake and this was the case here. I think the easiest way to summarise was that everything was 'ok' but nothing more, other than the antipasti, which was good. The buffalo moz was wonderful - melting and so fresh. For primi we chose seafood risotto (slightly undercooked) and the gnocchi with pork sausage/meatballs (way too much parsley). For secondi it was pheasant, which was overcooked to the point of tough and sent back. The maitre d agreed, apologised, dealt with the matter professionally and courteously and took it off the bill. He offered a replacement but I was quite happy to have the veggies, which had come as part of the dish - he charged me for those! The other main was the pork belly, which was again 'ok.' Eating in the Trattoria is a little cramped but again 'ok.' The smell of the salmon being cooked was overpowering at times and not great if you weren't having it. I liked the buzz of the restaurant and the staff were very professional in a good relaxed manner, which fitted with their casual attire. I left lighter in the pocket and less than satisfied with the experience.

Thursday, February 07, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4


Followed a friend's recommendation to visit Asakusa and as a fan of Japanese food, I was not disappointed. We had booked as we'd been told that the place fills and were very glad - the place was packed. This lead to the only negative thought of the evening - there was a 45 minute wait for sushi. However, we opted to have our mains first and the sushi to follow. The meat was cooked exactly as ordered and melted in the mouth and the flavours flooded through. The sushi was excellent - for those not used to having wasabi in the sushi, note that it is the norm here! The restaurant was busy and our sushi arrived without the other plates being cleared away but I am not going to hold that against them as the food was great. The decor is basic but with food this good, you really don't mind. It was great value for money as we each had 2 large beers, a main, ample sushi and a complimentary green tea, which only came to £20 each (inc. service).

With certainly go back.

Friday, September 28, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10

The Cinnamon Club

We took advantage of the 3 courses & speciality bellini offer for £22 per person. We arrived at 6:30pm & with only 1 table seated, there was an eerie quiet - no music. However, given this is the old library, it is perhaps apt that the only noise is the moving of chairs and whispers? As the restaurant filled, the silence was broken. The service was attentive. The food was v good - the meat and fish melting under the knife. The décor is superb & following delicious desserts, we adjourned to the library bar. Expensive for the food you get but the setting is where the money goes.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6

The Forge

We took advantage of the 3 courses plus a Kir Royale offer (£25pp) as shown on this website. The restaurant has simple decor, which gives it a clean and sharp finish but without a sterile, manufactured feel, which some fall down on. The staff were professional and courteous but as the place filled their availability and attention were harder to attract. I started with the prawn and squid in a chilli and coriander sauce - it was lovely. The flavours complimented each other without being over-powering. I then had the battered cod, chips and peas, which were mixed with mint - very good. My partner tried this dish and remarked that it was far better than the salmon, which was bland as noted by another reviewer. For dessert, I opted for the fresh fruit and sorbets given the 'weight' of my main - these were excellent. Nice and simple and not 'messed with' in a pretentious manner. My partner opted for the chocolate pava, which we think had a hazelnut base - very good although it was presented in a way akin to a piece of pate.

When we left, the place was full but not in an overly intrusive manner. The tables at the rear are a little close together as when it was quieter when we arrived, the noise of the conversation next to us was rather off-putting. However, that may have been a combination of the volume of the person speaking and the emptiness at that time.

I would recommend it to thers and would be more than happy to go again.

Thursday, May 31, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Ten Ten Tei

I have now made 2 visits to Ten Ten Tei, both of which have been a success. The staff are friendly and efficient and you are made to feel welcome. On both visits the clientele has had a strong contingent of Japanese, which I take to be a good sign! That is probably because the food is excellent - I am not claiming to be an expert of Japanese cuisine but I can confirm that it is all very tasty with excellent consistency and fresh.

If you are a wine boff then this is not the place for you - there are 3 types: house red; house white; or plum. However, I am not aware that the Japanese are keen wine makers so that could well be why!? There is of course lager, sake and tea plus other general drinks.

Mention must be made of the venue - do not be put off by it. It has a strange downmarket 'caff-like' set up but this does not reflect the quality of the food. I have been lucky enough to not have encoutered the smokey downstairs as no-one has been smoking on my visits but I imagine that it would be pretty unpleasant and may alter my desire to go again. However, after 1 July it will not be relevant.

Definitely worth the visit and money.

Thursday, May 17, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

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