All reader reviews by Delores VanCartier

Thalassa Seafood Restaurant & Bar

I really fancied a greek fish mezze for my birthday but don't really know of any greek restaurants that do this in London. It is either meat, or just a relatively small selection of dishes.

I found Thalassa through just looking around on google. Their menu looks great. Where else to go for a fish mezze than a restaurant specialising in seafood? Exactly!

It is a bit of a trek from the depths of Hackney, where I live but it was a nice day for an adventure. We showed up without a booking (just two of us) - not expecting a fully booked restaurant so early on a saturday. The manager was very accommodating though and found us a table for a couple of hours.

The food here was plenty and delicious. We enjoyed watching regular customers arriving and warmly being greeted by the staff. People obviously love coming here..

We had a great time. The staff were really warm and lovely. The food was fresh, tasty and delicious, with perfect portions.

It was worth the trip and I will make the trip again.

Thank you Thalassa for the warm greek hospitality.

Monday, June 08, 2015
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Londek Cafe

Well, I am not Polish and have never had a polish grandmother's cooking. But I can tell you that the cakes here are AMAZING! So much choice and they are all delicious. Usually I pig out and have TWO cakes. Sometimes I am double piggy and take some home too!

I have only had the hot food once and that was yummy too. Very wholesome. I will go back to try some more of the hot food but will have to drag a Polish friend with me to tell me what stuff is and help me choose.

This is a little gem in Stratford, a short walk from the HORROR that is Westfield. If you want to be served by staff who are happy that you're there and enjoy food that is lovingly prepared and served, leave the mass retail hysteria of Westfield behind you and make a little stroll to Londek.

You will go back.

Oh the coffee is very generous, hot and tasty too!

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9


Sakonis (Harrow)

It's over a year since I last reviewed this restaurant and I have been back quite a few times since. I am shocked at the low ratings it is still getting. Harsh critics!

Okay so I am not an Indian so can't make comparisons with home-style indian cooking. But I enjoy food and carefully decide where I eat food and spend my money. The food at Sakonis is delicious and lovingly prepared. It is very much a canteen style restaurant to know what you expect. The food is lovingly prepared and well presented. There is a lot of choice. Staff have been lovely and are attentive at replenishing the food. They're really sweet and helpful at explaining what everything is and are happy to make your visit as happy as possible.

The comments about the size of some bread portions being small and plates/bowls being small are unfair. It's obviously to minimise waste. The whole point is that you can have as much as you want. Just fill your bowl up again!

I was introduced to Sakonis by a local friend who took me there and loved it.

Now, I make a two hour journey to from East London to Harrow and back to visit Sakonis as a treat and have dragged friends there with me every time - all of whom have been back or have asked to go back together.

Sakonis is a unique place in London. I hope they keep up the good work and I for sure will be coming back. (as often as my waistline allows!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Dosa World

I can't believe this restaurant has not had a review yet! Let me be the first.

I have walked past Dosa World many times while visiting Brick Lane - but i have always been with friends and they always opt for a more traditional curry restaurant, of which there are lots in the area.

Dosa World is the only one that I know of, in the area, that makes South Indian food. I love dosas!

So to treat myself, last week, I decided to order some food from Dosa World for delivery at home. They told me that I was outside their 3 mile radius, but would deliver if I order over £25. I am just on my own so that is a lot of food, but I really fancies it and am happy to have leftovers for a couple of days, if it is delicious, so I decided to go for it.

I am vegetarian and wanted dosas and some curries to go with it. The man on the phone was very helpful in suggesting and explaining dishes on the menu. So helpful in fact that he made me spend £40!! Those Indians really are good sales people.

Food arrived about an hour later - hot, and delivered by a friendly driver. I had:

Masala dosas: these are best eaten fresh off the griddle of course, when they are still a bit crispy. However, for a delivery at home, these were delicious, with a generous filling and came with coconut and chilli relishes. The sambar was sweet, tangy and spicy. lovely in fact.

Cauliflower and pea curry: cauliflower was just firm enough and the peas popped when i bit in them. both signs of fresh food. cauliflower and peas go mushy quick, when overcooked or been around too long. this was just perfect.

chana masala: i really loved this. peas were just the right firmness and the sauce and spices delicious

chili paneer: chilli paneer is one of my favourite dishes and i always order this when it is on the menu. everybody seems to have their own way of preparing though. some dry, some saucy, some sweet and tangy, some more savoury. Dosa World's chilli paneer was tangy and saucy. it was delicious. Just one tip for the chefs at Dosa World: good food really doesn't need food colouring. It'll taste just as yummy if it isn't bright red. In fact, it might even be nicer! :)

Malabar vegetable curry: lovely thick coconut sauce. a wider variety of veggies in this would have been nice. but it tasted good.

Malabar paratha: a delicious flaky bread that was great with the chick pea curry and also dipped into the sambar.

garlic paratha: this was not as flaky as i expected for a paratha. in fact it was more like a chapatti. also more dry than the Malabar paratha. nice flavour and there was fresh garlic visible in the bread.

I will definitely be visiting the restaurant next time and i am sure order again too.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Marine Ices

I reviewed Marine Ices about a year ago and this is the first time I have been back since. It seems that the restaurant is under new management. They have also closed part of the space which used to be the ice cream area so it is now a fairly small restaurant.

I made a trip to Marine Ices especially for the ice cream sundae.

I had a huuuge sundae as a treat and it was really delicious and beautifully presented. The services was lovely and friendly. I had a nice time here.

The ice menu has shrunk. There are less sundaes, less flavours and less toppings to choose from while the price seems to have gone up a bit from what I remember.

This is not Italian Gelato as it is made with double cream and not milk custard (like gelato should be). But it was nevertheless delicious.

I didn't look at the food as I've never been impressed with that here. I am glad that Marine Ices is still around - though definitely not the place it used to be anymore.

I hope the new owners do really well. They seemed to be energetic and very attentive. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Tad

I can't believe that Tad has not yet been reviewed. It's been around for years and it is always busy!

It's one of my favourite places to eat in Hackney. The food is fresh and the quality great. Staff offer excellent and friendly service. The grilled dishes from the charcoal grill are delicious and portions very generous. What is there not to like?

If you like Turkish food, I highly recommend this little gem in Hackney.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Sakonis (Wembley)

A friend of mine took me to the Harrow branch of Sakonis and I had such a lovely time there. I was delighted to find out that there is also a branch near where I work in Wembley. I went straight after work, all excited, only to walk in and find out that the buffet doesn't start until 6.30pm! I had almost an hour to kill. I made the journey especially and it is worth the wait so I happily browsed some local shops and went back at 6.30.

The buffet had still not been laid out. I asked about it and the lady behind the counter said that it is usually out but because it was a Tuesday and there were no customers, they were just doing it later. Makes sense of course - why lay out a whole buffet if there are no customers? I was the only person there!

I said that it was a shame coz I was really looking forward to it and I'd been walking around for nearly an hour waiting. The lady said that I could still order food as normal off the menu and they will prepare it. I declined because I came for the buffet. I like it because I like looking at all the food and tasting different things. Anyway, I said it's okay - just bad luck - and that I will come back another time when they're more busy.

The lady spoke to one of the chefs and then said I should sit down - they will start cooking the buffet for me and if there is anything I want first I can tell the chef and he will make it straight away. WHAT AN AMAZING SERVICE IS THAT!! I certainly didn't expect that. It was so lovely of them. I sat down and read my book for a bit and the chef came over to call me when he had brought some food out. The rest followed quickly. It was amazing.

The food was lovely. Really delicious and prepared and served with love. The restaurant layout and design is very basic canteen style, but I tell you that this is the best and most generous restaurant experience I have had in London - having lived here 15 years.

It is true that the extra charge for eating in is very odd, for a buffet. It didn't bother me because I think that the total of £14 is still a good price for this treat.

Friday, March 15, 2013
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Sakonis (Harrow)

I was taken here by a friend last week and I had a really wonderful time. The buffet was amazing. There really was a lot of choice of dishes. So many, that I couldn't even taste them all. it all looked delicious and fresh. Because they don't put buckets full of food out, but just smaller containers that they keep topping up as and when needed, the food in the buffet is always hot and fresh.

As per the comments of the reviewer below - it is true that the puris are mini size. But how is that a problem in an all-you-can-eat buffet? You can take as many as you want to eat?

For me the smaller size is perfect in fact because it means that I could taste a little bit of as much as possible.

£14 is not cheap for a veggie buffet, but the quality is good. The staff is so friendly, and the food is delicious. It was a special treat and worth every penny. I will be going again and bringing my friends!

Friday, March 15, 2013
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Vijays Chawalla

i have been to Chawalla a few times and always had a lovely time and a nice meal. I took a vegetarian friend there for the first time yesterday and she was also very impressed and vowed to go back. The food tastes fresh and full of flavour. The staff were friendly and helpful and quick with clearing and cleaning the tables.

This is a very popular restaurant and there is often a queue for tables. We happily queued for half an hour to get a table and when we left there was still a queue out the door. I think this fact says more than any review can do.

I recommend this restaurant highly. The food is not only tasty, but you can also tell that a lot of love has gone into it.

Monday, February 04, 2013
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Sanghamam

Sanghamam is my favourite place for an Indian lunch in Wembley. It's extremely good value and the food is tasty. The restaurant is basic but clean and spacious. The staff are very friendly. I can recommend this place highly.

Monday, November 12, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Banana Tree (Soho)

I had a lovely lunch and a great time here. i love asian food and it is nice to be able to choose from various asian cuisines. the choice of dishes was very good. the service was very friendly and efficient and the quality of the food also great. reasonable value for money. i'll definitely go again.

interior design is modern, open and light. a lovely place to have dinner.

Thursday, November 08, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6


Leon (Soho)

Not much to say about Leon's food as it is good quality, fresh and healthy fast food at all the branches. Staff at this Soho branch were really friendly and chatty when I visited. I'll definitely go back again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


C&R Cafe Restaurant

C&R restaurant is a little gem in London. Food is delicious and spicy. It gets very busy at lunch times so best to get there earlier rather than later. Staff are quick and efficient. Portions are generous and well presented.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Bintang

went here last night for a friend's birthday.

it's a very small and cosy restaurant and the staff were very friendly and helpful. it is BYOB which is good if you like wine or beer with your meal.

the menu is nice with a lot of choice and the food was delicious. all of my friends complimented the food.

i'd definitely recommend it and would go again.

as it is a small place, it is probably a good idea to book a table

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Malaysia Kopi Tiam

I am sad to see the comments about bad service. I went here this week for the first time. The service was impeccable and friendly. They were all very sweet. The waiter was very patient and helpful in explaining everything and even adapting the dishes to my and my friend's weird requests. (my friend doesn't eat seafood and i don't like pork).

the food was delicious. we had the malaysian carrot cake, gado gado, fried mee noodles and hokkien noodles. the portions were generous and the food was tasty. when i left i decided that this might be one of my new favourite restaurants in london.

prices are very reasonable.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Scoop (South Kensington)

I pop into this branch of Scoop every week on the way home from my course. Nothing like a little treat for the journey.

The gelato is delicious. Fresh and light with delicious flavour.

There are a lot of flavours to choose from but I usually stick to my traditional favourites.

Portion sizes are generous and the staff are always friendly and helpful. They're happy to let you have a small spoonful to taste if you want to try something.

Seating is a bit cramped but it seems to be that this is more a take-away kinda place.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Oddono's

I love my gelato and when I am out and about I always like to have a look to see if there is a nice gelateria when I can pop in for a treat.

Oddono's counter at Selfridges has been one of my favourites for many years. I recently discovered their little cafe in South Kensington and have been there a few times since.

The staff are always smiling and friendly. Warm, Italian customer service!

Gelato is delicious of course. I usually go for the traditional flavours like straciatella and pistachio - but there are plenty others to choose from.

Price is average compared to other gelaterias in London. Serving size could be a bit more generous - but maybe that is just because I am greedy and the gelato is so good!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


Gino Gelato

I can't believe nobdy has reviewed Gino Gelato yet. I suppose it is not a restaurant as such.

I have been going here since it opened and it is my favourite gelateria in London.

I grew up on the continent, where Italian ice cream is more common and really missed that when I moved to london. There seems to be a belated rise of gelaterias in London and I can't express how delighted I am.

Gino is fab. The gelato is fresh and light. The choice of flavours includes all the classics and a few avant garde ones to tempt you into trying something new. The staff is always super friendly and cheerful.

I make a stop off at Gino's every single time I am in central London. A real treat.

Monday, July 09, 2012
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


Granger & Co

One of my best friends took me here as a little treat. I wouldn't normally queue for a restaurant, and certainly not outside, but my friend got there early, queued and got us a table.

I had scrambled eggs with a side of gravlax and my friend had ricotta cakes with banana. The food and the coffee was lovely. Okay, it's not cheap, but the portions were generous and I thought worth the money.

Service was fine. Efficient. I was horrified at the number of children in the restaurant when I arrived, but actually it was fine. No screaming, running or misbehaving kids.

It was a really lovely brunch with my friend. Not sure if I'd go there again. But that's just because I don't normally go out for scrambled eggs. :)

I was the only non-white person in the restaurant. It always feels a bit odd when that happens in a city like London - but hey, that's probably a characteristic of the area itself more than anything else.

Overall a really lovely experience. I recommend it.

Thursday, July 05, 2012
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5


Melati (Peter St)

I have been going to Melati for many years and it is still my favourite Malaysian restaurant in London. The staff are lovely and I have enjoyed every meal I have had here. This place has been around for a very long time and has become a Soho institute - there is a reason why it has survived so long, and that is because people love coming back.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Marine Ices

I have been a fan of Marine Ices for many years. But I don't know whether the quality there has slipped, or if they just haven't kept up with the rest.

The ice cream is a real treat. The same it's always been. Delicious and generous portions. However, quite a few Italian gelato outlets have opened across London and have certainly raised the bar on quality and authenticity. Most of them beat Marine Ices hands down. Key indicators is the pistachio ice cream. a good quality authentic italian pistachio gelato is made with high quality pistachio paste and no colouring. The resulting ice cream has a rich nutty flavour and a khaki colour. Not bright green.

Service at Marine Ices is perfect. Friendly and efficient. It has a real family business feel.

The restaurant food is sadly very mediocre. On my last visit, our calamari arrived limp and rubbery (no sign of crispiness in the batter), and the quoattri formaggi pizza was bland and some of the cheese hadn't even melted. Stuffed mushrooms were oily and just tasted of salt. breadcrumb and parmesan topping on the mushrooms was soggy and greasy with a lack of any signs of being grilled or baked. I thought they were microwaved or reheated.

I will probably go again sometime for ice cream if i am in the area, but definitely skip the restaurant food.

The most authentic gelato in London is no longer found at Marine though...

Monday, February 14, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 3 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


De Hems

It is sad that the food in this pub is more a reflection of it's location in touristy central london than it is of Dutch culture.

The food is awful. Traditional Dutch bar snacks such as bitterballen, frikandellen, frites and kipsate served in traditional cheap bad British pub style. (greasy, tasteless, lukewarm and plonked on a plate with a poor leaf of limp brown lettuce).

Any Dutchman would refuse to pay for it - and so should you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 0 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0


India Club

One of my friends has been raving about this place and took us on an adventure back to the days of the Raj. It was quite an experience. What a bizarre place - tucked away on the Strand.

It was really cute to discover one of the hidden delights of London - but to be honest, the food is really not that good. Not even for basic.

For authentic Indian food, at very good value, the best places are still in the Eastend.

Any of the canteen restaurants in East Ham beat the India Club hands down.

Thursday, December 02, 2010
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 2 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 2


Gaylord Restaurant

I took my parents here for a meal as I thought it looked lovely. An upmarket Indian restaurant with upmarket prices.

What a disappointment. The staff were slow and unattentive. The food was very mediocre and was not even throroughly hot when it arrived at the table.

I refused to pay the 15% service charge which was included in the bill. Firstly because it was more than I would normally want to leave as a tip, and secondly because I did not want to leave a tip at all.

This baffled the staff even more. They did not even understand what I meant - why or what I was asking them to take off the bill. We waited so long for the new bill to arrive that in the end I just popped out across the road and got some money out of the cash machine, came back and paid my bill in cash - without the service charge.

Monday, November 15, 2010
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 1


Leon (Spitalfields)

Leon is a great place for a hearty lunch and healthy food.

Food here has always been great though they don't change the menu often.

The only downside are the shared toilets. For a reason that I have never understood, women ALWAYS take ages when they go to the toilet and hence there is always a long queue for the ladies toilets, while there is rarely a queue at the men's toilets.

The problem with the shared toilets is that as a man, I now also had to queue for the toilets which were all hogged up by women. gggrrrrr !!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


The Real Greek (Spitalfields)

went here last night with a friend and i am glad that i did not check the reviews beforehand as they are pretty bad.

experience wasn't bad at all. it was fairly quiet and the service was friendly and quick.

i am not a great fan of greek food. it's just a lot of meat - i like meat, but i prefer some more flavour and spice. that's just a personal preference though. i just find greek food generally quite bland.

food was fine. tasted fresh and arrived hot. portions very small for the price. our bill came to £25 each for food + one soft drink. we had 3 little mezzes each. it was enough food to fill us up but for that money we definitely could have had a proper feast elsewhere.

incidentally, all my greek friends hate this chain.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 2


Las Iguanas (Spitalfields)

I've been to the branch on the southbank before which is always full of really, really, really awful and loud and drunk hen nights.

I went to the Spitalfields branch for the first time yesterday and had a really lovely time. The service was friendly and efficient. The food was generous and tasty! I will definitely come back again.

Monday, November 08, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Princi

This place is AL-WAYS busy - and there is a reason why. The food is all very fresh and delicious, though I do agree with the other reviewers who've said that it could be hotter. It's true - the hot dishes are never hot.

I've never been disappointed in the taste of the food and like to try something new everytime I go.

The staff are okay - not smiley, not particularly friendly. They're not rude, but just a bit cold and bored.

Thursday, November 04, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6


Ping Pong (Spitalfields)

Been to different branches of ping pong a few times and decided that the Spitalfields branch is my favourite one after eating there with my sister. We enjoyed it so much that we went back for another big meal within a week!

We prefer ping pong to traditional 'proper' chinese dim sum restaurants because we don't eat pork and the majority of dim sim in chinese restaurants are pork based. At ping pong there is a lot of choice in seafood which is why I love going there.

Both times, we opted for the unlimited dim-sum option. You do need to have quite an apetite for that, I must admit. But at less than £19 per person, it is definitely worth it. I worked out that it is good value for money as long as you order at least 6 dishes each, and that is really easy to do for most average eaters.

The food tastes fresh and delicious. The staff are really friendly and helpful.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Rosa's (Soho)

Went here for the first time a few weeks ago. What a lovely little place. It always makes me happy to see a restaurateur who understands their customers who don't just want good food, but also a nice place to eat and socialise.

Food was great and arrived quickly. We had Thai curries. Staff were friendly. It's a really cute place. Feels like sitting inside a wooden dollhouse or a cigarbox. :)

One small nag was that on the day that we were there, the front door was open (because of the hot weather) and all the smoke from the smokers at the pub next door blew inside. That's only a very small thing though as I particularly dislike the smell of other people smoking while I am enjoying my dinner :)

I'd definitely go here again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6


Rasa Sayang

I love Malaysian food and haven't found many places in the westend that do a good one. I walked past Rasa Sayang a few times. Time Out reviews are cellotaped to the window. Can't be that bad? Most reviews on here disagree. So a couple of weeks ago when I really wanted to try some Roti Canai, I thought I'd risk it. The place looks very basic. Cheap furniture and no atmosphere or interior design whatsoever. I didn't particularly want to stay and 'soak up the ambiance' over a meal so it had to be a take away. Staff were short and not particularly friendly or unfriendly. It didn't really bother me as 'service with a smile' is generally something unknown in Chinatown.

I didn't have to wait too long for my food. I ordered the roti canai and a chicken curry and took it home. Flavour was very good. Meat was a bit stingy for the price. Roti canai was 'okay'.

I think the food was okay. It really wasn't that bad. I might even go back some day in the future to try something else.

In the meantime - the best Malaysian food in Soho HAS to be Melati on Peter Street. Go there instead.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 7 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 4


Maison Bertaux

Maison Bertaux is an institution and full of character - and that's really the only reason to go there. though i am sure there once was a time when Bertaux served the best French patisserie you could find in Soho, they sadly haven't really managed to keep up with the likes of Patisserie Valerie, Amato and even Paul - all of which serve cakes and pastries of a far superior quality and choice (at a better price too). At £4.50 a piece, you won't be coming to Bertaux for the cake - it must be the ambiance. Saying that, ambiance and character does not have to sacrifice hygiene and housekeeping. The Maison looks like it hasn't seen a bottle of bleach in 30 years.

Friday, May 28, 2010
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 2 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 2


Pacific Oriental

The restaurant looks very impressive and stylish and the decor is glamorous - but for some reason they've often got football or rugby showing on several giant tv screens in the restaurant.

i can see they are desperately trying to lure in business from the city gents having after work drinks in the area - but it doesn't appeal to me as a diner.

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 7


Wahaca (Covent Garden)

After being put off by the long queues outside every single time i tried to go there, i finally decided to just put up with it and see what it is all about. I went with two other people who'd also never been before.

we had been standing in the slow moving queue for some time contemplating whether we should give up and take our money and hunger somewhere else when the woman in front of us turned around and said "it is definitely worth the wait!" - i thought that was quite funny and so we decided to stay.

we got out table after about 20mins - i hate waiting, but this was not the worst i've experienced. the staff were really nice and friendly. the restaurant is very loud and noisy so not the best place for a date or conversation.

The food is very reasonably priced. We ordered 2 tapas style dishes each. The food tasted fresh and delicious. We all enjoyed it. One of my friends had the churros with chocolate for dessert which were delicious too.

there isn't really much on the menu in terms of healthy food (most of it being deep fried) but it is really tasty and a lovely tread.

I'll be going there again.... one day when i feel ready to face that queue again.

Thursday, August 06, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Mimosa Bar and Grill

I went to Mimosa one evening when I was actually looking for Bistro which used to be situated around there. As they had a meal deal - 2 courses for about £9 - and i fancied grilled food, I decided to give it a try.

The woman at the door was very friendly. It was only about 18.30, so not busy at all. I was the only customer inside, there were a couple other tables outside having drinks.

Service was very very very slow. I waited ages before they took my order and about 40 mins before my food + drink arrived at the same time.

I ordered fried calamari as a starter, and a mixed grill with salad as a main. the starter of calamari consisted of, I am not joking, 3 squid rings each the size of a 50p coin, served on a small heap of shredded cabbage. I can't believe they dare to charge money for that! I am sure it wasn't meant to be haute cuisine.

the mixed grill with salad arrived like it was also just plonked on a plate. lacking presentation there. the "mixed salad" that was served with the meat was just more shredded cabbage, with tomato and a blob of cheap honey mustard dressing. the meat was undercooked - even after waiting 40 mins for it to arrive. Kofte was red and raw inside and lacked any kind of seasoning or flavour. i picked on some pieces of lamb but left pretty much everything on my plate and decided to leave.

I waited another half an hour to pay for my bill which arrived with 12.5% service charge.

Okay, it was a cheap meal - but if you are looking for eating out on a budget, you can get a much better standard of food and service elsewhere in the westend.

Thursday, August 06, 2009
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 1 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 2


The Drunken Monkey

The reason why The Drunken Monkey serves 24hr DimSum is because it comes out of a freezer bag. And a very cheap one too. I should know because I have been buying the exact same bags of frozen dim sum in Chinatown for a few pounds a bag for years and I recognise the taste immediately.

I guess it is okay if you had a few drinks and want something to eat - as it is marginally better than those hotdogs they sell on the street, but if you want to go somewhere for dim sum, i would avoid this place and go somewhere in Chinatown instead.

The interior looks quite spectacular from outside with all the red chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and it usually looks lively in the evenings. Looks like a fun place to have a drink basically.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 1 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 1


Yauatcha

I've been going to Yauatcha for years just for the amazing looking cakes. it is a nice treat after an afternoon of shopping or if i have people visiting me in London.

Staff can be a bit slow and you can't really rely on them to explain anything on the menu. They just don't know or make it up as they go along. They are very friendly though.

This is one of my favourite cake places in London.

I have never been to the dim sum restaurant - mainly because most of the dishes involve pork and i don't eat that, so there's not much to choose from for me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


La Porte des Indes

i took my parents here for my birthday dinner and we had a lovely evening. i agree with the other reviewers that the food was a bit overpriced for what you get, but the decor and presentation does make it a refreshing difference from your average indian restaurant.

The cuisine is different from the average indian restaurant, but if you read up the restaurant, or check the menus - you will see that they are not intended to be 'typical indian'.

The food, though expensive, was fine and we finished it all. The good thing about it was that it was not greasy or covered in a layer of oil, like I usually get in Indian restaurants.

Service was friendly and attentive the evening that we were there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 3


LMNT

This is a litle gem hidden in Hackney and I am so glad that it's there.

The decor is unusual and I love taking friends out for dinner here.

The food is frech european and great value.

It does get a bit hot in the alcoves upstairs but it is great for novelty value and very cosy/unusual.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Yoshino

I am only familiar with Yoshino's take-away counter on Shaftesbury Avenue.

It's definitely the best place to get very reasonlably priced sushi in the westend. It's great if you want to grab some lunch or have a picnic nearby.

I am a fan of the rolls. Tuna mayo and crab being my favourite. They used to do really amazing smoked salmon rolls but I don't like the taste of the new organic salmon they use. It tastes too strong. The set sushi trays are great value too with a variety of different sushi. I wish they did more sashiimi though as I am trying to cut down on rice.

Staff are always friendly and helpful and you get served quite quick.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9


Busaba Eathai (Wardour St)

I love the food at Busaba eathai. I've been here many times over the years and the food's always been good.

There are so many delicious things on the menu that it can be hard not to order too much food or spend too much money. So I like to go here as a treat.

The things I don't like about Busaba are the queues. As somebody from the european continent, I refuse to queue for restaurants. Especially in a city like London where there are so many places to spend your money on food - why should I queue. If I see a queue, I just go somewhere else.

The Soho branch seems to be the busiest. Store St is getting busier too.

The second things I really don't like is the table sharing. It is cramped, and if you want to keep your bags and coats with you, there is just no room. Like Bruno would say: table sharing is so 10 years ago. If I go for a meal with a friend, I like privacy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


The International Bar, Lounge & Restaurant

This is a great little discovery for lunch. They serve a nice choice of dishes + a drink for £5-£6. I am always a bit suspicious about ridiculously cheap lunch deals as the food is usually either not very good, or so small that it still leaves you hungry. It's been nice every time I've been though. The thai chicken curry is one of my favourites here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


The Hill Bar & Brasserie

I hadn't read any of the reviews here before visiting The Hill. I went with a friend who lives local and wanted to try it out.

It was nice and relaxed and the service was friendly. I had a steak and L.P. had salmon. The portions were very big for small eaters like us but it was so delicious that we both cleared out plates.

We both had a great time and it is a nice place to go as a treat and to catch up with friends.

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5


La Forchetta

I am normally not too keen on waiters pulling punters off the street, but S.B. and I were looking for a nice place to eat pasta on Upper Street and the £4.90 for any pizza or pasta dish offer sounded great so we went in.

The restaurant is not very big, but a nice size and the staff are friendly. It was fairly quiet when we got there but it soon filled up and by the time we left there were people waiting for tables.

We both had a pizza with spicy chicken, which was lovely and crisp. The bill came to about 25 quid for the both of us but that was mainly because of the wine. I'm not often in the mood for pizza or pasta but I would definitely go again.

I recommend arriving early or booking ahead if you are planning to go with more than 3-4 people as the space is small and tables fill up quickly.

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Au Lac

i went here with a group of friends on a tuesday night.

the staff were really friendly and nice.

the menu is quite large and everything sounds yummy which makes it difficult to choose.

there were six of us and we ordered a selection of starters to share.

the prawns and squid in salt & pepper were very juicy and spicey. the steamed prawns in lemon grass was an unusual flavour but very nice. we also had quail which i'd never eaten before. the waitress explained to us how to use the garnish of salt and lemon on the quail. it was delicious and juicy and i could certainly recommend it.

as a main course i had a bowl of rice noodles and salad with chicken in lemon grass. it tasted very light and healthy and i'd definitely have it again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Bistrotheque

I've only been here for brunch at weekends, but I am planning to go back for dinner sometime.

as a local, I am a big fan of Bistrotheque because there isn't anything like it in Hackney.

the food is prepared to high standard, the service is good and the staff not pretentious or arrogant. it is not as cheap as we are used in the eastend, but i am happy to pay a bit more for a special treat.

For brunch I have had lovely thick toast with jam, and i have also been here for roast dinner which was a huge plate ful with a crispy yorkshire pudding. yummy !

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Melati (Peter St)

Melati is one of my favourite restaurants in London. The Indonesian/Malaysian dishes are absolutely delicious and definitely the best i have tasted in London. I recommend trying the satay. Melati is one of the few places in London that serves beef satay, and does it well. the meat is thouroughly marinated and very tender. the flavours are a combination of hot and sweet. I can recommend the noodle dishes, especially the istemewa dishes which come with both satay and beef rendang (beef braised in coconut and sweet soy), which is a real delicacy if prepared right. i could eat here every day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


Le Mercury

i have been here a couple of times and it was very busy both times. i recommend booking in advance if you want to go on a friday night or at weekends.

the food is really good value for money and very tasty too. the service was very good even though all tables were full.

the menu is not very big so i won't go there too often, but i would definitely go again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


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