All reader reviews by Sam Smith

The Rosendale

I went to the Rosendale last Saturday night after a few months of anticipation. I had heard, from fairly reliable sources, of this amazing, award-winning gastro-pub in West Dulwich. I was not disappointed, at first. The interior is tastefully decorated and the atmosphere is vibrant. My first hint of disappointment came when I perused the rather dull and unimaginative menu. I then noted that our waitress wore the most anguished expression. I was on tenterhooks every time she was in the vicinity, expecting her to burst into tears. Service was extremely erratic, varying from the tragic and hopelessly incompetent waitress to a rushed, harried and mainly ineffectual Danny de Vito look-alike. Drinks took about twenty minutes to arrive. Many wines were not available. Food was mediocre and prices somewhat steep. Changes to the menu were not reported but alternatives were served without warning or apology. After registering a complaint about my pitiful single scoop of off-tasting vanilla ince-cream served in a ramekin (when I had ordered lemon curd ice-cream and was expecting something resembling a resturant standard desert), the staff stared at my group with stony contempt. We beat a hasty retreat! Sadly, my Rosendale experience was extremelyy anti-climactic.

Monday, March 03, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4

Skylon Restaurant

I took my husband here to celebrate his birthday. It was wonderful stepping into this airy space with its swish, clean lines and muted colours, after braving the slashing rain and gusty winds on the South Bank. The panorama is magnificent, always request a table with a view. The stylish staff were competent, if not a bit brusque, perhaps their brief being to emulate continental efficiency and aplomb rather than hearty good humour. The starters and mains were a gustatory delight (simple, sophisticated and cooked to perfection) but the desert was slightly disappointing, lacking imagination or any particular flair. This was slightly ameliorated by the tasty tidbits sent courtesy of the kitchen. Interesting variety of wines by the glass and no condescension when ordering this way, or when ordering non-alcoholic beverages. All in all an expensive but fine dining experience, with a spectacular view of the Thames to boot.

Monday, January 14, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


My husband took me there for Sunday lunch, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The decor and ambience are stylish but the service could be better. It is always irritating when you have to flag down a waitron to get service - this happened a few times when it was obvious to any sentient being that we were waiting to order. Perhaps food ordered can be brought out in stages and not dumped haphazardly in front of diners . The food is good but not fantastic and perhaps not worthy of the prices. The ground floor shop is a delight for the senses and service is friendly and helpful. It seems endemic to London that waiting staff are incompetent, disinterested or downright rude. Such a pity, when the city holds so many gastronomic, and other, delights.

Monday, January 14, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5

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