All reader reviews by Susana

Royal China Club

Royal China Club is our fixed destination for dim sum when we are in London. For some time Yauatcha was finer but since more than 2 years I would argue that Royal China is better and more competitively priced. The atmosphere is somehow nicer as well, many Chinese families encompassing several generations give a special touch to the place. Service is friendly as compared with standard Chinese restaurants.

In summary, reliable dim sum, not to the level of Hakkasan or Yauatcha in the good old days, but consistent and with good quality ingredients. The standard list is always supplemented by some specials providing lesser known options.

Thursday, August 02, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Roti Chai Dining Room

I am really surprised that this place is not packed to the limit. We visit it every time we are in London and the food has always been fantastic. The spicy potato cakes and the lamb kebabs are absolute favourites. If I must faul something, I think the bread, both nans and parathas, are not up to the standard of the rest of the food. Service is polite and unobtrusive.

We look forward to our next visit!

Thursday, August 02, 2012
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Yashin Sushi

We were quite unhappy after our visit to Yashin. Sushi is good but presented in the most minuscule version I have ever seen--micro sushis. Definitely too expensive for what they are. Atmosphere was not great and the service is the worst ever experienced in London. We were brought the bill without asking and after going to the ladies I found my shopping bags on the stool. I guess I should be happy that they did not kick us in the butt when we crossed the door...

Appalling.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 7 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 3


BarShu

We visited BarShu after the reopening and our expectations were fulfilled. Fantastic food in a friendly surroundings and at a more than reasonable price. I noticed that perhaps the level of spiciness may be have been moderated to accomodate westerners taste, which I am glad as initially some of the dishes were too much for me. I hope this does not compromise the Chinese clientele; certainly there were plenty of "locals" when we dined there.

For me BarShu is a must whenever in London. A gem.

Sunday, March 07, 2010
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


The Albany

Extremely good quality/price ratio for this local neighbourhood restaurant. Pleasant atmosphere and charming service. Not to be missed if you happen to be in the area and even worth a detour.

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Red N Hot (Euston)

We visited Snazz Sichuan on a thursday evening. Initially there were not many tables occupied but people started to pour in steadily, including a medium size party. Service was attentive and most informative from the begining, explaining the menu and making suggestions if asked. We enjoyed all our food, most notably the cold browm fungus in sesame oil and the "fishy" aubergines. My husband complained that the twice cooked pork belly was not spicy enough and still longs about Bar Shu reopening. I was fine with the hotness; I certainly found the prawns with cashnuts dish more than just fragrant!

A very recommendable venue for those that want to try something else beyond familiar Cantonese cooking.

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Sake No Hana

This is our fourth visit to Sake no Hana and the escalators seem gone for good. It was only in our first visit that we could climb in style!

This time we went for lunch and the menu is a bit different. than in the evening. We particulalrly enjoyed our choice of sushi (shame that Botan Prawn is never available) and sea bass prepared with miso sauce. Desserts were a high, with a fantastic white chocolate pistachio mousse with lychee sorbet. Service is fine and the atmosphere pleasant.

Negative side: I really hate the expedition to the ladies. It is extremely claustrophobic, with a dimly lit lift arriving at a lower ground floor that looks like a nuclear bunker.

Very positive side: 40% off offer make Sake no Hana worth value for money for even normal mortals on no coorporate accounts!

Sunday, August 09, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Fino

We had lunch in Fino on Monday 3/8. We enjoyed our food, despite we may have not made the best possible choices. Ham croquetas were good but too heavy on pepper and dishes of tuna tartare with avocado and slowly cooked pork belly were fine but not glorious. More succesful were the arroz negro and a nibble of chips with chorizo. Portions are very moderalety sized and so was the desert, a very decent tarta de Santiago. It is a very pleasant room and the atmosphere was nice; service so-so. One waiter did not seem to be enjoying his work too much.

Overall, and despite the Spanish saying that "comparisons are hideous", I think that the food at Iberica is better, if both places seem to share a twist for very small portions...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Nahm

We visited Nahm on a Tuesday night; it had been our list of desirable venues for a long time but somehow always got relegated to the side. Not this time!

The restaurant was quite empty and never filled up to more than half its capacity. Clientele was not homogeneous, very elegant Louboutin shoed French lady on our left, ugly baseball cap + ugly T-shirt guy further away. The room is not particularly nice but not as unwelcoming as other people say. That on the scenery. Concerning the food, amuse-bouches made us to have high expectations and one of the starters, a salad of squid and braised pork, certainly fulfilled them. Absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the other starter, a mussel-based soup was little more than a (very) hot lemon juice with basil. Horrible. Mains were a John Dory green curry (excellent) and a guinea fowl red curry (very very hot). We had the bad idea of having desserts, staggeringly priced at £9.50, and, honestly, they were almost revolting. Babyfood textured coconut something. Very disappointing.

Overall, a very mixed experience. Some outstanding dishes and some rather awful ones. A bit like the Louboutins and the baseball cap mixture!!!

Service was pleasant, informative and most attentive.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 6


Keelung

Second visit to Keelung; this time on a friday evening with a party of 6. We booked for 6.45 to avoid the big crowds and the restaurant was pleasantly busy but not too noisy. Service was most attentive and charming but the food was not as good as on our first visit. Assorted seafood noodles were soaked in too much sauce and not as crispy as they should be. Even more disappointing were the two dishes with prawns, including Sichuan pepper prawns. They lost their heads when touched and were not as firm as we remembered them from our first visit. Freshness is a must in a seafood restaurant and Keelung should not let standards drop. On the positive side, cuttlefish and spicy beef dishes were most interesting; fresh and well prepared. Desserts are fantastic, I love the bubbly dumpling with egg yolk inside.

I really hope that Keelung will not end up being a mediocre Chinatown venue but the interesting place it seemed to initially aim to.

Sunday, July 26, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Auberge Du Lac

We had lunch a la carte, as the lunch menu failed to attract enough interest. Both starters and mains were very well received, most notably my main dish of pigeon. Desserts were utterly disappointing, totally out of place in a Michelin starred restaurant. Surprisingly, the little cookies accompanying the coffee were excellent. Service was most attentive and we enjoyed our apetiser in the pleasant terrace facing the lake. After lunch, it is really enjoyable to walk around the surrounding grounds.

It is a nice place, but juzging only by the food's quatily, many other restaurants in London serve more interesting dishes for the same price. But they are not set in parland...

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Theo Randall

We are just back from having a meal at Mr Randall's restaurant. Starters were very good, both my calamari and my husband's carpaccio scored high points. Main were also fine, I would define my tagliatelle pescatore as correct, but in no way exceptional. As a dessert we shared an almod tart with braised apricots, followed by two macchiati at a staggering £4.50 each with not petit four in sight.

Overall, I would say that the food is good, both ingredients and preparation, but too pricey for the type of setting and the type of service provided. This is a hotel restaurant and I guess that having children at dinner as well as prams and breast feeding mums is, or may be, part of the surroundings but it is definitely not my ideal for a night at a restaurant. If the ambience is the one of a relaxed neigbourhood restaurant at lunch time, I want my macchiato priced accordingly.

I do not have any feeling for coming back unless we adopt several children....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 5


Ba Shan

As a dumpling-lover, I was at ease. I found the place charming and with a menu that departs from the beaten track. We went for an early lunch on Sunday and the restaurant quickly filled up. Service was most attentive and willing to help.

But we still miss Bar Shu!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Keelung

We really enjoyed our dinner at Keelung on a thursday night. Place was full and at times quite noisy, with some lively groups of fashionable Oriental people.

Food was very good. I cannot comment on how athentic it is, as this was my first taiwanese experience, but I liked everything we tried; in particular the seafood noddles and, uncommon for most Asian places, the excellent desserts. Service was friendly and informative but slow at the end of the meal.

I am looking forward to go back.

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


St John Bread & Wine

Honest, down to earth food at a very reasonable price. I had an excellent crab and wonderful smoked mackerel, followed by madeleines with a double expresso. The place attracts a rather trendy crowd and the atmosphere is lively; may be too noisy for my taste. In any case, an absolutely recommendable venue.

Sunday, May 24, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Iberica (Marylebone)

I have to support the views of my fellow Spaniards. This is an absolutely authentic place and I really hope that it keeps as it is. Perhaps I would welcome an extra 2 ham croquetas in the plate (4 is a bit stingy) but that is all.

I found the service friendly and attentive and fortunately we did not have long waits between plates.

I have now made a booking for having a paella on a Sunday and cannot wait!! Mmmmmm.

Friday, April 10, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Brookmans

We went to Brookmans on a Sunday lunch and enjoyed some traditional lamb roast. It is a nice venue, sort of New York style within a beautiful Georgian building. Standard of food was not bad but I am unsure whether it is worth value for money to go for a full price evening meal if you compare it with a venue in London or even some places in nearby St Albans. We may give it a try nevertheless.

Atmosphere on a Sunday was mixed. If you do not enjoy children, you mat stay away until the evening.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Tsunami (West End)

We had a fantastic lunch at Tsunami. The menu offers an eclectic mix of traditional and more adventurous options and everything we ordered was both fresh and impeccably prepared. We enjoyed some gorgeous sea food tempura and excellent sushi as well as grilled scallops and Nobu-inspired black cod. The restaurant was packed and service was most attentive.

We will definitely be back.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Galvin at Windows

We took advantage of the 50% off food and the sunny weather forecast to enjoy the views and went to Galvin for a late Sunday lunch. It was a rather mediocre experience. Food was adequate but nothing beyond that, service was slow and quite disorganized and the restaurant lacked any form of atmosphere. Perhaps unexpected at a hotel restaurant on a 28th floor, tourists from China and Japan dominated the scene, together with some formal family gatherings. There was havoc in the toilette, with loo paper on the floor, missing and falling pieces on the doors,.. something quite unusual at a London restaurant, I would say.

Pretty uninspiring place, quite ordinary food.

Sunday, December 28, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 5


BarShu

We really enjoyed our meal at Bar Shu. We went for dinner at around 10.15 pm, after a play at the nearby Gielgud. It was quite full and people kept on coming and replacing any table that got empty. The majority of customers were Chinese and quite trendy looking. But the best was the food. Absolutely different from the type of Chinese food we are used to. We had a prawn and nuts and a pork belly dish and were both fabulous.

Moreover, service was very friendly. We will be back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Hakkasan

Today has been a sad day for us. Hakkasan was our absolute favourite for dim sum for many years but I think that I have to agree with previous comments. Its best days seem to be over. The place was quite empty at lunch time and the dim sum was miles away from what it used to be. This time Hakkasan resembled a very average Chinatown venue, with entirely unrefined pastry and thick and soggy Cheung Fun. It seems that we will have to look for a new exciting place.

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 5


Hibiscus

We enjoyed a wonderful evening meal at Hibiscus last wednesday. We opted for the "winter flavours" special menu and the whole experience was faultless. The only minor downside was a table of noisy, boisterous city types that are lately becoming a standard nuisance in London restaurants.

With these standards, Hibiscus is on line for a second star next year.

Saturday, February 09, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Wild Honey

We had lunch a la carte at Wild Honey yesterday. The place was full, including the seats at the bar. Tables for two are extremelly close together, which is not uncommon in London but nevertheless not my favourite feature. Service verged on the caotic side; we had to claim our wine after starters had been served and had longer than desirable breaks between dishes. Same applies to our both sets of neigbouring tables. Having said that, I enjoyed my food. A hearty white onion and chesnut soup, followed by Scottish beef filet with season vegetables puree and a beautiful potato gratin. My husband complained about the blandness of his venison and hated the Jerusalem artichokes but enjoyed the terrine he had as a started. Portions are substantial so we had not enough room for desserts. Prices are very sensible and there is a good selection of wines to be had in caraffes. It is not a bad place but neither it is a very special one.

Saturday, December 29, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Pied a Terre

We visited Pied a Terre on Thurday December 19th and had lunch a la Carte. This was our second time at the restaurant. We sat at the small room on the left, which was not too bad as the main restaurant sounded quite noisy as a result of several large parties celebrating the season. There is room for 4 tables for two people at the small room and all the four filled up despite we were at the late 2.15 pm slot. Freeby of pumpkin and ginger puree got high marks and we were ready for a wonderful meal. Starters were correct but not extraordinary. I had crayfish raviolo, which was blander than expected, and my husband quite enjoyed his breast of small wild duck. The main course, on the other hand, was superb. We both had plaice with apple and king scallop puree, linguine and smoked eel. Absolutely wonderful. The desert list did not appeal to us so we jumped straight to coffee and petit fours, which were fine but we have had them better elsewhere (Tom Aikens for instance)

Our neighbours on the right were known to the house, as showed by several displays by the sommelier. They actually had a very similar meal to ours but we were rather "amused" to realize that they enjoyed TWO extra freebies from the chef. One after their starter and one previous to their desert. No excuse for such an un-egalitarian behaviour!! Noboby in the other 3 tables benefited from that. I find it inappropriate to so openly treat customers differently. We like to enjoy the delicacies from the chef as well even if we do not know the waiters by their first names!!! I did not like such a behaviour, never found it anywhere, and I therefore give Pied a Terre 0 marks for service.

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 8 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


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