All reader reviews by Jedi

Mercado

Another thumbs down I'm afraid. The one positive thing I'd heard about this place was that the mole sauce was decent. Unfortunately this has now been removed from the menu (I overheard the chef telling another table that he'd just "updated" it). The complimentary nachos were dry and the salsa tasteless. The wait staff appear to be very poorly trained too: after 15 minutes I enquired about my prawn burrito and it was brought out immediately. This made me wonder how long it had been sitting in the kitchen and the fact that it was luke-warm confirmed my suspicions. I also noticed that another table barely touched their food and the waitress took most of it away. Not only is the food here quite average but it's very overpriced. My £9 burrito contained all of 4 prawns. It's a shame because with a little extra attention (or new chef) this could be a really good restaurant. Oh and when I asked my waitress for the bill she walked off, only to return with a pen and pad and started taking the order of another table!

Monday, September 03, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 2


Cay Tre

Had an early evening dinner here last week and I have to say the experience was very enjoyable. We were seated promptly as we had pre-booked a table. As we sat the people next to us were served with the mackerel which smelled amazing. The waitresses were very polite and helpful.

We tried the Pho beef rolls to start which were ok fell apart instantly, I think we would've been better off with the paper prawn rolls which looked very good. The kangaroo squid was good also.

For mains we shared the c atfish and the torch pork belly special which were both served in clay bowls - the catfish being lit at the table. Both were delicious but the catfish was a little more like salmon than I was expecting. The only bad point was that the dishes were a touch more greasy than they needed to be.

No desserts but special mention has to be given to the flower tea. The waitress asked I wait a moment for the flower to infuse - what happens next is quite lovely and something I hadn't seen before. I won't spoil the suprise!

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Obalende Suya Express East

I agree with the reviewer who said the food is not very good quality and is pre-prepared. At least this is the case with the take-away suya. I tried the lamb suya with jollof rice after an evening out and at £5.99 for a take away I felt it was not good value for money compared to what you can get for a similar price in the area (delicious Turkish kebabs or Chinese across the street). The only thing that appeared to be freshly cooked was the lamb and even the fried plantains were pre-fried. The lamb itself was quite bland even though it was spicy.

Itís a shame because I was looking forward to finding alternative take away option in the area. Not a great representation of Nigerian food, though to be fair I have not tried the restaurant.

Friday, August 17, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 4


Brick Lane Beigel Bakery

Absolutely 10/10... or more. This place is obviously a real institution, with freshly prepared beigels piled high on the shelves and the counter stuffed full of cakes and pastries. Every time I go I want to try everything, it all looks so delicious! It's always a real effort to decide. The salt beef beigels at £2.50 are particularly amazing, steaming hot and heavy on the mustard. The cheesecake is also good, though I'd advise letting it warm up a bit first. Great value - one of my favourite places in London!

Only bad thing is there's nowhere to sit but that's part of the charm.

Go there! Now!

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10


Tokyo Diner

Went here a couple of months ago with a friend. We walked straight out when we discovered they wonít do sashimi. Sushi but no sashimi. Come on people, itís just the fish without the rice! The waitress refused to just give me just the fish, so we left. According to a previous reviewer they donít do tempura either. I guess itís cheap but Kintaro up the street are around the same price and do everything youíd expect to find at a Japanese canteen. Not worth it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 0 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 0


Ekachai (Liverpool St)

This is a good place to go for a quick lunch near Liverpool Street station. It's better than a Wagamama - the food is about the same quality but a lot less salty and you get seated and served much faster. The previous reviewer is right about the seating arrangements, the staff are very particular about where you sit even when the restaurant is nearly empty. The music is really awful too, probably fine for the lunch time rush but not great for a more relaxed after-work meal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4


The Diner (Shoreditch)

One of my favourite fall-backs in the Shoreditch/Hoxton area for yummy (but fairly pricey!) fast food in a relaxed atmosphere where you can hang out and have a good conversation. The dťcor and layout of the diner has been really well done too and thereís always at least one American in when Iíve been there! I normally order a burger or hotdog with fries and a milkshake. The shakes are £4 each but well worth the money and definitely better than the meagre desserts. The hazelnut and banana flavours are absolutely divine. Iím reliably informed that the breakfast blueberry pancakes are excellent too. The service is relaxed, with the staff hanging out at the bar and they donít pressure you to leave after your meal so you feel like you could sit there talking all night. Beats Hamburger Union type places hands down. Will definitely return.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 6


Little Bay (Farringdon)

My friend and I chose this restaurant after our dinner reservation fell through. I have to say it was a huge mistake! The quality of the food is little better than chain pub standard but at least 50% more expensive. The cheese burger was cold and honestly tasted like a supermarket hamburger. The desserts too were flavourless and clearly straight out of a packet. The service was reasonably good but the kitchen was in full view and chefs were clearly disgruntled as they kept shouting to the wait staff. More than once a waft of cigarette smoke came into the restaurant from the kitchenÖ Do yourself a favour and avoid this place. The Chop House over the road (or any other restaurant near Exmouth Market) looked a better bet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 2 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 1


Suchard Thai Restaurant

Popular lunchtime Thai eatery in the Tooley Street area and nearly always packed (one might say cramped) so reserve a table unless you want to get seated by the loos downstairs. A typical dish will set you back around £5-10 and the staff are very willing to mix and match menu items with different combinations of meats and seafood. I tried the Pad Thai which was fine, didnít appear to be pre-made but was made using a lot of sweet sauce. Portion sizes are substantial, the food came out reasonably quickly and the service was attentive. My friend had the Ďfamous green curryí which looked delicious!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6


Song Que

Good place to fill up cheaply on very decent food if you're in the Shoreditch area. My friend and I went here around 9.30 on a Thursday evening and it was packed.We were seated quickly but took a while to get our orders taken. The waiters rush around everywhere so don't be afraid to pin one down to take your order.

We shared the soft shell crab for starter: the typical spicy deep fried seafood fare (2 pieces per person). Given it was probably pre packed it took ages to arrive. This was quickly followed by my pork and prawn pho and his seafood noodle dish. The noodles were tasty, if a bit greasy. The pho was good and substantial though a bit thin on meat and served with a side of bean sprouts and chillis.

If you're looking for a healthy option the soups and salads are probably your best bet as much of the food is deep fried.

I'd definitely recommend trying the Triple Colour dessert for £2. It's served in a glass and contains a layer each of beans, green sweet noodly-type things and coconut milk. A strange but sweet combination of flavours. Uniquely weird! The bland pistachio ice cream was a bit of a let-down though.

We were amazed that the whole bill came to £24.40 for two. I didn't drink but my friend had a beer. Very reasonable price and food much better quality compared to Viet Grill further down Kingsland Rd. Would go again.

Friday, August 10, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8


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