All reader reviews by Caroline


Being a mother of three young children, I would like to congratulate Incanto on getting it just right with their younger diners. There are few high end places around which do not in some way manage to make my family feel like second class citizens. Either by fobbing us off on the menu with a "processed something and chips", or seating us in the most isolated part of the restaurant so that we don't 'disturb' other diners.

At Incanto, if you mention that you have children on booking, high chairs are present on arrival. My children love the homemade cheese sticks given while they wait for their main meal of fresh pasta. Their meal includes a free ice cream and if the friendly staff are not too busy, they will even walk my children around to the deli to choose their own flavours giving my husband and I a breather to finish our meals. A fantastic attitude and service that we haven't found anywhere else. Sunday lunch is a particularly popular time for bringing the children judging by the number of other young families there.

We have now moved slightly further away from Incanto but my little ones still ask regularly whether we can go to 'Canto for ice cream. Which we do when they've been good!

Saturday, September 01, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10

Pescatori (Mayfair)

Good grief. What happened to good service. Dinner here was a fine example of how poorly trained waiting staff can really spoil even good food.

I booked for dinner here on Friday night. I have been to the Charlotte St branch several times in the past with good memories so decided to give Dover St a go.

Foodwise, it was as good as I had remembered it. The Shellfish Copper Pot was particularly good and my guests enjoyed their veal and halibut as well. Desserts were reasonble without being particularly memorable.

However, what put a dampener on the evening was the truly grievious service. Apart from the Manager/Owner, the rest of the staff could best be described as clueless - and that's being kind. Not that the Manager could really be said to shower himself with glory. When asked for recommendations, he proceeded to read the entire main course menu before pointing out the most expensive dish, the Shellfish Platter. When my friend demurred saying that she wasn't a fan of shellfish, he looked quite disgusted and said, "that's my recommendation, you don't have to listen."

After that, it really went from bad to worse. It took 40 minutes of first discreet, then less so attempts of trying to attact any kind of attention before we could place our order.

We ordered a Parma Ham & Figs to start , with some Bruschetta to share. 20 mins after they had been finished and cleared away, a waitress tried to deliver the Parma Ham starter again. When told that we were waiting for Main Courses, said Parma Ham dish disappeared for all of 30 seconds before another waiter tried to deliver it again to our table. Once again we sent it away only for the first waitress to come back 10 minutes later with starter cutlery clearly meant for another table. By this time, it was nearly 40 minutes since our starters so we were nearly tempted just to accept another course of starters!

No apology was given for any of this at any point, they simply carried on as if it hadn't happened which makes me think that this is a routine occurrence.

I work in the restaurant industry so when I go out I try to be patient and polite to front of house staff as being curt with them can lead to them being even more flustered, and may be a case of kicking the messenger. However, the staff here appeared cowed and underconfident which to me usually means poor training. The restaurant wasn't more than half full so understaffing wasn't the issue.

This could be a good place. The service just needs a strong hand to shake it into shape. Even the good food and the sweetener of a 30% discount offer won't be enough to tempt me back as it is.

Saturday, August 18, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 8 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 5

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