All reader reviews by Cat

Latium

Deeply disappointing. Judging from the raft of good reviews, I must have come on an off night (Monday). Welcome was lukewarm at best but they did seem understaffed for the number of diners.

No matter but we had to wait 50 minutes for the starters to arrive. Normally I would say that we are pretty uncomplaining and appreciate that fresh food takes time to come. After 40 minutes though we were trying to catch the maitre'd's eye. Without much success until he saw us after 49 minutes, then quickly bolted into the kitchen. Starters arrived one minute after that which leads me to believe that they had forgotten our order. Again remediable had anyone come forward to apologise. Pasta was good but nothing memorable - perhaps the long wait had taken the shine off it.

They must have been trying to make up after that as mains arrived virtually as our starters were being cleared. Husband's steak was covered in a gloop of borlotti beans. Meat was good quality, but neither of us has ever experienced it being served in bean soup before. Bizarre and not too pleasant either by all accounts.

We gave up on desserts and escaped before any further culinary damage could be done. I'd like to say that I'd go back to give them another chance but I just can't bring myself to.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4


L'Autre Pied

I visited last Thursday, all five of us doctors who eat out regularly - so no comments about our eating/educational background please.

While the food we found to be generally acceptable, we arrived at 8.30pm and didn't finish our meal until 11.15pm due to the protracted wait between courses. One out of us didn't order a main course and therefore didn't actually receive any food until 9.45pm. And we weren't dawdling over our starters.

What I found astonishing was that there were no vegetarian dishes at all on the menu. Chef did accomodate the non-meat eater in our party but the report on this was not favourable. "A mushroom mush" I think were the words used.

So here's my honest critique of L'Autre Pied. Would I be rushing back - hardly. But if you all see a backlash of a series of reviews now all defending the restaurant and trying to pick holes in my account, make your own judgement.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Millbank Spice

I felt I had to write to redress some of the negative reviews below. Two girlfriends and I had a very enjoyable evening here last Friday. I love my food and in my opinion Millbank Spice is definitely a cut above the standard curry house.

We ordered some Chef's specials not usually found on most menus, as well as the traditional favourites . I could really taste the spices in our King Prawn dish (I'm afraid I can't remember the name of it - Asahi?) which was dressed not too heavily in an well flavoured but original and unusual sauce with large butterflied King Prawns. No little frozen shrimpettes for us! Chicken Tikka Masala was creamy and tasty and unlike many Heinz Tomato based sauces that I have had in the past. Luckily we had some excellent Peshwari Nan at hand to mop it up.

Service started off brisk and a little curt, but I think this was no different to the standard of Asian efficiency found in most restaurants. In fact, we went on a major charm offensive to coax a smile out of our waiter; once he realised that we were enjoying the food and was there just to have a good night, he relaxed and became much more friendly

Highly recommended and we will definitely return. Extremely good value as well. Between three of us we had poppadums and a shared starter, 3 mains and 1 side, rice and nan, and 3 pints of beer for £22 each including tip.

Thursday, February 28, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Asakusa

I really love this place. I eat out every week, usually somewhere outrageously expensive and more often than not go home disappointed. I haven't been so pleased with myself since discovering Asakusa. I hate the hackneyed term "hidden gem" but I'm struggling find other words that describe it as well.

It is located at the dingier end of Camden just around the corner from Mornington Crescent tube. The service could be more charming but is functional and efficient. And the decor isn't going to be featured in Homes & Gardens Magazine in this life or the next. But who cares when the food is this good.

Lightly battered tempura how it should be, tasty tender black cod and succulent spice simmered belly of pork were just a few of the dishes I would recommend. Sashimi is very fresh with a great variety in their mixed set. With a serviceable bottle of Sauv Blanc, £26 per head. Can't beat it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Floridita

Given the choice between having dinner at this place or something that you'd need a healthy shot of penicillin for, after Friday night's experience, I would be tempted to punt for the latter.

I will give them some credit. My vanilla and passion fruit mojito was the highlight of the night and the music was a laugh. Drink and dance here by all means but NEVER be tempted to eat.

Having seen some of the ghastly reviews on Floridita, I was seriously considering bailing out after one of my colleagues organised a night out here. And I would have done so if it hadn't been the leaving do of one of my friends.

We were sat down for nearly an hour before any food hit our table. Crab croquettes were mainly potato, and my suckling pig was not just dry but arid. Dessert was passable but barely memorable. Coffee was lukewarm and did not come with chocolates as described. For this we were charged an exorbitant £45 per head + service.

Good company should have made it a good evening but a dampener was put on the whole evening when the bill arrived. £62 per head for a very mediocre meal and the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine per person. Beware if you are thinking of booking a party here. Our table was booked for fifteen and we were charged full price for the 3 who didn't turn up. I would be more understanding if this had been around Christmas time but not on a wet weekday in January. If I had been on my own I would have argued strongly for knocking the service charge off given that it had been pretty dire all night, but didn't want to further embarrass and ruin what was left of my friend's leaving do.

So be warned that this place is not kind to either your stomach or your wallet. Run for the hills if anyone you know suggests going here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 1 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 2


About Thyme

My fiance and I live in Pimlico but rarely eat out locally choosing usually to go further afield. However, it was a cold Monday night and having previously had a good experience at About Thyme decided to give it another go. They were clearly very busy on the night with a large party upstairs but at no point did we feel anything but well looked after.

The food itself was well cooked and the fresh ingredients used were reflected in the clean flavours. For starters I had courgette flowers stuffed with mozzarella and my fiance, beef carpaccio. Both were delicious as were the partridge and quail that we had for mains.

After our main meal, Izzy the owner whom we had never met before came and chatted to us about his fresh food philosophy which was evident. A friendly and welcoming gesture which was much appreciated.

I can see that some of the review below are negative but I can only say that we haven't had such a relaxing and enjoyable night for quite some time. Perhaps people who haven't had as good an experience as us feel more of an urge to leave reviews than others who go away fully satisfied. I would recommend About Thyme and that you try it to make up your own mind.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Atami

Very fresh food lovingly crafted and presented. I had some reservations after reading some of the other reviews but my anxiety was firmly displaced after trying the 10 course taster menu last night. This is by far the best Japanese food I have had in the UK. The service was a little rough around the edges but charmingly so.

I thoroughly enjoyed it but I did visit with two strapping men who seemed less enamoured of the meal than I. The 10 courses did take some time to wind their way to us and although exquisite, some of the earlier courses are no more than a mouthful each. The later dishes are slightly more substantial but by that time my companions were only half joking about sending out for chips.

Clearly each course takes time to prepare and culinary artistry rather than quantity is the name of the game. My advice is not to go ravenous to Atami or to expect a huge carbohydrate comfort feed otherwise this may end up taking the edge off your evening. Quite pricey but worth it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 10 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


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