All reader reviews by Chris

Chez Mal

Going to keep this one short:

Best mash ever !!

Everything else pretty good, all be it not cheap

Will return

Sunday, August 24, 2014
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

In a word….WOW

Ate here about 3 years ago and it was good, however last week returned and it was maybe meal of the year so far.

Sat at the bar and had 8 courses between 2 of us with matching wines and nothing failed to hit the spot.

Butter was the best I have had in London (although the Boundary in Shoreditch is a close second) and the amouse with Parmesan and popcorn was beautiful.

Starter highlight was the poached egg with Bayonne ham, and the quail main was stunning.

Service had that rare quality of being very professional yet they also could appear relaxed and able to share a joke or 2 (I hate the stiffness of so many high end restaurants).

And to top it all I felt it was very good value for money, for what we ate and drank.

Cannot wait to return...

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Brasserie Zedel

After a couple of rather good yet rather expensive cocktails at Hix's bar round the corner I headed to Brasserie Zedel with the perfect person to comment…a Parisian girl.

The menu could not be more French, so much so that we had to choose 3 starters as we could not narrow our choice. Goats cheese and beetroot salad, egg mayonnaise and the crab were all perfect bistro dishes. Bread and butter was also very very good.

Mains were also good but not quite in the same league. Poulet riesling and the Sea bass were good but small portions (hence the price).

Service was good, had a couple of Lilet's to start and a 500ml carafe of Sauvignon Tourainne. A couple of coffees rounded off a nice meal but considering this place is known for it's cheap prices still racked up over 110 pounds for a quick pre theatre meal.

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Byron (Spitalfields)

Only my second visit to Byron (the first being about 2 years ago) and have to admit I should not have left it so long.

Going to keep it short - double cheese and bacon burger, juicy and perfectly cooked. Skin on fries and onion rings great and malt chocolate shake thick and creamy.

Service was as expected, friendly and efficient.

Not the cheapest burger around but worth the extra pennies.

Will be back soon.

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Brasserie Blanc (Tower of London)

Had a rather good meal here last night, rather unexpected for a chain.

All food ordered was good with the cod main course being the highlight. Service from our Spanish waitress was quick friendly and professional.

Wine list was mostly French and although not silly expensive not cheap either - we had a straight Chablis for around 35.00.

The menu is very French and extensive, but also not cheap, well over 30.00 for a filet steak, but I guess that's London.

My only real complaint was how they lured us into the restaurant. A board outside advertising live French music every Thursday night, but after ordering the food and drink and asking about it was told no music tonight. Shame.

Friday, July 18, 2014
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5


Bodean's (Tower Hill)

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Used to be the go to place for American BBQ in London but since the influx of many other rivals Bodeans have failed to raise their game. Boss hog platter for 2 last night was simply poor last night. Sausages and chicken thighs were stone cold. Baby back ribs were ok but not falling off the bone. Pulled pork was good but also not hot enough, burnt ends were in fact burnt end, as there was only one and the normal highlight the beef rib was not up to scratch. Yet the place was busy as always so maybe they do not care any more. Used to be a favourite but not any more.

Sunday, July 06, 2014
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 2


Market Cafe

Without doubt my new favourite hangout in east London.

In the past few months I have tried most of the menu.....all the pasta starters, the rib of beef for 2, the veal, the cold meats and the scallops have all been good. In fact the scallops were so good I was distraught on my last visit to find them off the menu.

Service is always friendly, the wine list is short but well priced and the place has a real buzz.

Do yourself a favour and check this place out.

Sunday, July 28, 2013
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Tanner & Co

Mid week dinner and we ventured south of the water to try out this new opening. The whole school/gym look of the place worked for me and there were some nice touches.

Food on the whole was good, with the oxtail starter and the curried fish mains being the high light. My rib eye was fine but really lacked flavour and was served on those boards I hate so much.....the steaks get cold so quick.

Service was friendly and enthusiastic.

Overall a solid meal and if I was in the area I would return.

Sunday, July 28, 2013
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Cote (Soho)

If you are expecting top quality produce cooked to perfection served flawlessly then don't come here. If however you want decent food cooked well with simple service at a good price then this is the place for you.

Came here for Saturday lunch and despite not being a fan of any of the chains I have to admit I could not really find fault with anything.

Will be back without a doubt next time I want something quick, good value and relaxed.

Sunday, July 28, 2013
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Tapas Brindisa (Soho)

In a word WOW.

Without doubt the best lunch I have had for a long time. Always been a big fan of the London bridge site but only been here the once before last Saturday. Meet a mate for lunch and have to say nothing we ordered was anything less than great. The scallops with pea & bacon and the garlic prawns were a highlight, as were the ham croquettes and the roast pork belly. We must have ordered about a dozen dishes and washed it down with 3 bottles of Albarino. A dessert and a couple of coffees finished the meal and it all came in at under 200 pounds which sounds a lot but considering how much we ate and drank, was a steal.

Service was very good, our waitress knew the menu very well and was very sweet. If I had to find fault, near the end of the meal our waitress finished and the new staff taking over seemed to rush us a little.

Otherwise a top notch lunch.

Sunday, August 05, 2012
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


34

Stopped by here for a late Saturday lunch a couple of weeks ago and although I could not find much to fault I found the whole experience underwhelming.

The menu is steak heavy so after a couple of starters we both went for the USDA 300g rib eye. The quality of the beef was very good but at 35.00 they were both slightly overcooked (medium not medium rare) and just warm. Sides were good but again pushed the price up.

The wine list was as most of London overpriced but we found a decent Bordeaux (pontensac) at a reasonable price.

Service was friendly and charming but not overly polished given the prices.

Overall if I was not paying and in the area I would go again but in reality I doubt I will.

Sunday, August 05, 2012
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Cafe Caribbean

Had a pretty tasty and quick lunch here the other day. I have not had jerk chicken for years so I might not be a good judge but it had a nice kick to it and the rice and peas were also good.

Service was quick and friendly, and at about a fiver for 3 bits of chicken, rice and a bit of salad, pretty good value.

Just a shame they had run out of the curry mutton!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8


Roast

Have been using Roast a few times recently but more just in the bar for drinks and snacks, so due to a family get together thought Sunday lunch would be good.

First off the place looks stunning with views over the market and even St Pauls. Our table for seven was huge (so often 7's seemed to get squashed) and the whole room feels light and airy.

Food on a Sunday is a set menu @ £32 for 3 courses and in truth was a mixed bag. Starters were all a bit plain, lacking in flavour and in my scallop dish, size as well, 3 queenies. Mains were however top notch, with the roast chicken, beef, pork and sucling pig all being both plentiful and packed with flavour. Puddings were however a bit like the starters, with the exception of the cheese. Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake and some other plain sponge I cannot remember were not what I was expecting. Where was the trifle, crumble or steamed pudding ?

Service however was good, our waitress new the menu well and was helpful with any questions we had. The sommelier was also great and we had a decent Albarino to start, a few bottles of a cracking Pinot Noir from Washington and finished with a sweet wine from Kent.

Overall a very pleasent lunch, so much so that im going back on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Theo Randall

Had a very unexpectedly great meal at Theo Randall last night.

The place is cool and relaxed with well spaced out tables. Service was good, very quick and super friendly.

However it's the food that really surprised me. One of us had the set menu @ 3 courses and a glass of fizz for £29 the other went for the a la carte. My nettle risotto was stunning as was the veal pasta starter. Mains dipped a little but were still very good, the guinea fowl rustic and tasty and the calves liver cooked perfectly. Chocolate cake for pudding was nice but a little to rich for me, were as my friends cheese was good but did not have a choice of cheeses.

Overall a very good meal and the set menu is an absolute steal for this level of cooking. And on another plus note, it was good to see Theo in the kitchen and cooking.

Will return for sure !

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Galvin at Windows

Dinner at Galvin last Saturday night, and all told had a great evening.

First off the service was very good from the hostess through to the great sommelier, our waiter and the food runner. All the staff were on the ball, knew their jobs but more importantly in my book were also relaxed and had the ability to share a joke.

Now on to the food, we had the 8 course tasting menu with matching wines so I wont go into detail of every dish. However the standouts were the asparagus with peas, Parmesan and crispy chicken skin and the lightly curried John Dory. Thats not to say the other dishes were not good, they were all high quality almost perfect plates. The matching wines were also all top notch and really complemented the food perfectly.

As for the restaurant itself, it is well laid out, so as to give as many people as possible a stunning view of London. My only real fault with the place would be the atmosphere just seemed to lack a real buzz. As good as the food, wine and service were I just felt there was something missing.

In short a restaurant with very good food and service. I would return but more likely for an early evening meal than a special occasion.

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Rodizio Rico (The O2)

Went to watch some NBA at the O2 on Friday night and popped in to Rodizio Rico for a meat feast beforehand.

The menu is priced at £23.50 for unlimited salad buffet and skewers of meat. The buffet had a good choice with lots of different salads, beans, rice, potatoes, pastas and sauces. After an initial visit to the buffet the waiters started doing the rounds with the meat. The rump of beef, loin of lamb, beef skirt and chicken hearts were all very good. The chicken wings, garlic bread and pork were also pretty good and it was only the beef kebabs that were a let down, tasty but very tough.

Service for the food was good but we waited at least 10 to 15 minutes for each round of beer we ordered.

Overall not bad at all, just over £100 for 3 of us, and we were all stuffed when we left. Will go again for sure.

Sunday, March 06, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Kenza

Had a meeting in Liverpool Street so thought I would give Kenza a try for lunch. Took a while to find the place and then descended down into a very deep basement. The place is huge with lots of tiled floors and wood carved walls and lots of booths.

We went for the express lunch menu priced at £11.95, which was great value for what we ate. We had a mixture of meze to start which included some great hoummus and pitta. Mains were also good with some tasty lamb with rice and salad.

We were not drinking so stuck to water and cokes but I thought £3.50 for a small glass of coke seemed steep.

Service was fine a little pushy to start but otherwise okay.

Would try again if I was in the area and would like to try the a la carte next time.

Sunday, March 06, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


The Boundary

This is without doubt my new favorite place in London. The main dining room is well laid out with a good combo of booths and tables, a beautiful little bar and a wonderful open kitchen.

The food lives up to expectations, the charcuterie trolley is very good and plentiful, and both the loaghtan lamb and duck mains were also top notch. Desserts were the only slight dip with the chocolate millefeuille being the worst dish of the night.

Service was great, cool and calm and very knowledgable. Was great that the sommelier could remember the wine I had drunk on my first visit 3 months earlier.

Have been a few times now in the last few weeks and will continue.

Sunday, March 06, 2011
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Mint Leaf

What an unexpected surprise it was eating here last Saturday night. After having a very average meal at the city branch and reading the poor reviews here I thought the place was going to be bad.

However after getting to the restaurant and having a couple of well made cocktails in the bar, we moved into the main dinning room. We shared the mixed starter which was very good, big juicy tiger prawns, lamb, chicken, quail and more. Mains were okay, we both ate the lamb bhuna, along with some good spinach and the best lentils I have ever had. They were so good we ordered another helping.

The wine list was good, not cheap but we found a good beaujolais for about £35.

Service seemed a bit all over the place except for our waiter who was great, there when you needed, very friendly and all round on the ball.

Overall a cool place, with good food, good service but at West end prices, for 2 we paid about £150 including 1 bottle of wine and a few drinks at the bar.

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


Cantaloupe

In the early 2000's this place used to be my second home, whether it be Friday night drinks, a cozy dinner for 2 or lazy Sunday's.

So after meeting up with a mate for a quick lunch we opted for Cantaloupe. It was a Tuesday lunch so the place was dead, but we grabbed a couple of beers, got a table and ordered some steak sarnies and chips. The food came quickly and we tucked in to a better than average sandwich, good bread, lots of rocket and decent meat. At £20 for both of us it was pretty good value for a quick lunch.

Overall and nice little pit stop and I will have to stop back for an night out.

Friday, February 04, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Luc's Brasserie

Luc's has been around for I guess 15 - 20 years now, and with Luc long gone and the restaurant going through a couple different owners, I felt it was again time to try the place out.

The place has a great buzz and a nice atmosphere, but the tables are far to small and packed together far to close. The first floor was full but only a handful of tables were in use upstairs, so I think they can spread things out a bit.

The menu is geared towards the type of clientle that come here so lots of red meat and red wine. Prices are around £18 - £25 for mains but we went for the lunch menu priced at around £18 for 2 courses. The mains of Toulouse sausage with Choucroute was good but the Onglet lacked flavour and the chips were not great. Dessserts were fine the chocolate mousse being better than the lemon tart. All washed down with a bottle of Brouilly for about £30.

Service was fine, a bit slow for the mains (30 minutes ) but the place was busy and we skipped starters.

Would I go back ? Not sure, maybe .

Friday, February 04, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Thai Thai

About 10 years ago you could not move in London without seeing a Thai restaurant, and although im sure there are now fewer they seem to be still going strong.

After a couple of drinks around Old street we turned up just before our 7.30pm booking, but we were not seated until just before 8pm. The menu was classic Thai with all the classics on it, and we opted for a mix platter starter, then a jungle curry, panang and some noodles. The starter was very average, the main course curries a little better with the pad thai being the only really good dish.

We washed it down with a good bottle of Kiwi sauvignon blanc for about £25.

Service was not great, bit slow but friendly.

Overall not great, doubt I would go back, but im sure they will do okay as the place was packed, everyone taking up the 50% off I guess.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Came in here for lunch last month to escape the Christmas shoppers and all told had a pretty good meal.

The place looks stunning, lots of reds, greens and blacks. The bar area was busy and buzzing, but we ate upstairs which was a little more subdued. The menu is modern French with tapas style portions, so we had about 5 dishes between the 2 of us. The filet of beef with foie gras and the macaroni cheese with chicken were the highlights. Prices were very high for the size of the portions but the food was of a high quality.

The wine list was as expected top heavy on French and very expensive, so we went to the USA and had a great bottle of Pinor Noir from Oregon for about £50.

Service was good, our waiter new the menu very well and was very friendly, he was unable to sell us the main course of the day though, but that might be something to do with the £100 price tag (homemade pasta with shaved truffles).

Overall a very good food in classy surroundings but with prices to match. Would go again and take advantage of their set lunch menu next time.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Barbecoa

Having tried many restaurants with a celeb chefs attached so thought it was time to give Mr Oliver a try. After a couple failed attempts to get a table on several different nights, I finally got one last Friday at 5.45pm.

Upon arrival we were shown to our table by one of the receptionist and given the menu. First impressions of the place was good, a mixture of tables, booths and private cages in a dimly lit dinning area. A semi open kitchen showed more chefs than you can shake a stick at, and on the floor they also appeared to be tripping over themselves.

The menu was a mixture of grilled meats and bbq classics, and after a couple of average starters we went for the Sea bass and pulled pork shoulder. Now there was nothing wrong with these, I just felt they did not justify the huge price tags. With the sides added on the pork was over £20 and the Bass over £30, for this money you can eat far better in London.

The wine list was short and sweet, and we had a good bottle of Amarone for about £70, but pre dinner drinks were also marked up at £5.50 a bottle of beer.

Service was very friendly but a bit all over the place, asking several times for our order, struggling to open the wine and just avoiding eye contact when you need something.

Overall something a bit different for London but really not worth the money, as the review below says, without the Oliver name attached this place would not be doing the business it is. It's a shame people dont try some of London's little independent places from time to time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Byron (Covent Garden)

After a couple hour walk through London, we arrived in Covent Garden ready for a good feed. We were going to grab a bite at Sophies across the way but having heard good things about the burgers here we gave it a try.

First thing the food - the burgers were very good, quality meat cooked medium rare and in a good bun. I went for a double cheese and my friend went for cheese and bacon. Sides were not as good however, the onion rings were fine but the chips were luke warm, greasy and just not really tasty. To drink we had a couple of good milkshakes, thick, creamy and a good size.

Service was what you would expect from a burger bar, not really expert but very friendly and quick.

For 2 of us with a side each and a drink each it came to £37 including tip. Not bad value for the quality of the meat, which at the end of the day is why you come here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Eastway at Andaz

I used to love this place 10 years ago when it was called Terminus, but standards seemed to have slipped in the last 2 years, so I thought I would give it one more chance last Friday. Big mistake !

First off the food was very poor, except for the Ribeye steak which im told was good. I went for the club sandwich (on the menu it said free range chicken, bacon, tomato and egg mayonnaise club sandwich). What I got was 2 different sandwiches - a toasted chicken, lettuce and mayo one and a bacon, fried egg and tomato one. Please if you are listing a Club then serve one, it also came with the worst soggy chips I have had in ages. My starter of deep fried Mozzarella was also poor - cold, greasy and not melted at all. The place was not busy and if you have an open kitchen you dont really want to see the chefs standing around drinking redbull all night, nad then producing poor food.

Service was also not a patch on what it used to be, with our waiter really not having a clue what he was doing. When we asked for the bill we waited 5 minutes before getting it - 2 minutes later it was whipped away and replaced because they forgot to charge the wine. Another 2 minutes and the waiter was back to again change it because this time he forgot a main course. When he returned with our THIRD bill I told him he can go away again and bring me a fourth one with the service charge removed.

Overall very poor in terms of food, service and value. It was a shame as the eveing started off well in the bar of 1901 next door - I wished we had stayed there.

Sunday, December 05, 2010
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 3


The Boundary

Had a meal here last night and all told it was a great night. To start with this is a stunning restaurant to look at. After going down a few flights of concrete and rather unappealing looking stairs you then emerge into a beautiful looking bar. This then leads into the main room with a open kitchen and well spaced out tables. We were shown to a nice corner table, ordered a couple of drinks and looked through the very French old school menu. I cannot remember the last time I saw dishes such as choucroute, grand aioli and calfs brains.

Starters were okay to good, the fish soup being good were as my langoustine were just okay. For mains we choose to share the whole les landes rotisserie chicken, with some spinach, chips and some lovely garlic mayo. The chicken was really top notch and tasted like chicken used to. Next we had cheese which looked great but there was not a huge choice and they were a bit to cold. For dessert we also shared 6 straight out of the oven madeleines which came with creme fraiche. On ordering I remarked to the waiter how it was a shame they were not served with a warm chocolate sauce, so it was a nice touch when they arrived that we were given both.

The wine list was very good with a great range to choose from, we had a great bottle of white burgundy and a couple glasses of red with the cheese. Prices although not cheap were sensible and not over the top like many places.

Service however was the real highlight, from the receptionist to the charming manager. However it was the assistant manager/sommelier ( I think he was the assistant but he knew his wines and gave good advice) who was the standout. If I had to find fault with the service the waiter who went through the cheeses was very grumpy and it seemed like a chore for him to explain them to us.

Overall a great meal, after we got used to the side by side seating (not great for talking), and I will be back for sure. And at £200 for 2 pretty good value for all that we ate and drank.

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8


Bar Boulud

I never really go out in the Knightsbridge area, so when I found myself there last Saturday I thought it would be good to try Bar Bouud. After hearing great things about Daniel Boulud's New york flagship restaurant I had been wanting to try this place since it opened.

After a quick drink in the bar while we waited for a table, we were then led to the main restaurant. The place looks cool, light and airy despite it's basement setting. The menu reads really well with a huge choice of classic French dishes along with an American influence. We started with a shared platter of charcuterie, which although being £28 was well worth it. 5 different terrines (2 chicken, lamb, beef and pork), some great cubes of pig head, 2 different hams and some saucisson. It also came with toast, 4 pickled veg and mustard. It was plenty for 2 but could have been enough for 3 or even 4 people. Mains were also good with my Piggy burger being cooked a lovely rare and my friends Coq au vin was top notch. Cheese for dessert was the only let down with the choice not being great and the cheeses themselves not being in good nick.

The wine list was top heavy on Burgundy and Rhone (I think this is were the chef is from) and also top heavy on prices with little under £50. We ended up with a nice Chorey les Beaune for about £60, which went well with all the dishes.

Service was also very good, our German waitress was great as were all the staff who looked after us.

Overall a cool place with great food and a nice buzz, not cheap but as I have said before, where is in London nowadays.

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Mehek

Dear oh dear, wish I had seen some of the reviews before going here last night. Without question the worst and most expensive curry I have had, ever.

All the food was bland and tasteless. My butter chicken had clearly not been cooked in the sauce with the meat clearly having holes in it where it had been cooked on a skewer and then dumped in the sauce at the end. Sides of lentils and spinach were okay but not worth £5 a pop. My chicken dish when added to the rice and lentils came in at over £20.

Service was also poor (with the exception of the barman), and a tip to the waiter, when taking an order try looking at the customer and not over our heads at everyone else.

We had a nice bottle of Rioja but again at over £25 not cheap for what it was.

Oversll a really poor place that I will not be returning to, I doubt they will care as somehow the place was packed.

Friday, November 05, 2010
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 2


Le Saint Julien

Met a couple of friends for a meal in Smithfield market last night nad ended up in St Julien.The place looks like a typical French brasserie, with lots of mirrors, brass and tightly packed tables.

The menu is also classic French and priced at 3 courses for £29.95. Starters were good with the Foie Gras being the highlight, the snails in garlic butter were also good. Onto the mains and these were very good with the lamb shoulder and braised rabbit being really top notch. Desserts were okay but not up to the standard of the first 2 courses.

Service was good, both friendly and knowledgeable.

The wine list was short but covered all bases and we had a nice bottle of NZ sauvignon blanc and a cracking bottle of Claret from St Julien.

Overall a great night that ended with a few more drinks in one of my fav pubs the Rising Sun.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Tortilla (Leadenhall Market)

Was wandering around Leadenhall market looking for a quick bite to eat and came across Tortilla. Mexican street food seems to be flavour of the month at the moment in London with loads of places springing up.

The menu is straight forward and we opted for a couple of buritto's, one with pork and one with chicken. They come loaded with rice, beans, salad, cheese, sour cream and guacamole.

Service was fine and very quick and we had our food within a couple of minutes of entering the place.

Overall a good place to fill up at a decent price. For the 2 buritto's and a couple of beers came in at under £20.

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


Refuel

After seeing 'The town' in town on Saturday, I met a friend for a late lunch at Refuel.

The restaurant is part of the Soho hotel and to me the menu reads as if catering for everyone. There must have been 10 - 15 starters and the same amount of mains. Starters were tiger prawns with lentils and pasta with guinea fowl and bacon. My friends prawns were fine but a little bland and my pasta was also lacking in seasoning and also the bacon that was promised on the menu. Mains were a little better with the quality of both the halibut and the beef being good but again everything seemed a bit bland, And at £22.50 and £28.50 each without sides they were not worth the money.

Service was a little slow and although freindly it seemed rather lacking in some of the basics.The wine list was fine, a little on the expensive side but we found a bottle of Montagny 1er cru for less than £35.

Overall and nice looking place but all rather average for the prices. To many other places to try than to return.

Monday, October 11, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Auberge Du Lac

Had to meet some of the family out of town for lunch so with settled on Auberge du lac.

We ariived at 1pm and as it was such a lovely day we were shown into the consevratory, served some water and given some nice canapes. We choose from the lunch menu which was very good value @ £32,50 for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine. Of the starters the cauliflower soup and the ham hock terrine were good, and of the mains the cod with salmon croquettes was very good. Dessert of chocolate tart was fine and the cheese selection was impressive (but a £5 supplement).

The wine list was typical of a 1 star restaurant both in terms of choice and price. However as we had 2 glasses of wine included we stuck with them, the South African sauvignon we had was perfect for my cod.

Service was relaxed, friendly and very professional.

All in all a nice restaurant with great views and a bargain of a lunch menu.

Thursday, October 07, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Roast

After almost 2 years of wanting to try out this restaurant (mainly because of the great pork sandwiches I have had from Roast to go) I finally found the right occasion for Sunday lunch.

5 of us arrived at 2pm and after a slightly long wait at the reception we were shown to our table. The room was pretty full and the place had a nice buzz about it, that got even better when the live music struck up in the corner.

We followed everyone else and opted for the 3 course Sunday lunch menu for £30. Starters went down well with the potted salt beef and the pea soup getting thumbs up, however my scotch egg with piccalilli was not great. And because we got our starters very quickly after ordering (less than 5 minutes and quicker than our wine which was ordered at the same time) I doubt it was cooked to order. Mains were very good all round with the roast chicken, beef and pork being top notch cuts of meat and all served with good roast potatoes, courgettes and cabbage. Slight issue with the spuds, all the tables of 2 around us got a bowl to share but we only got 2 between 5. On asking for some more we got them but no mention that we would be charged another £4.50 for them. Desserts were okay but seemed a bit lackluster, the cheese however was pretty good and served at the right temperature.

The wine list was very good with a broad range of wines, prices were as usual for London on the high side but I have seen a lot worse. We had a couple bottles of Chapel down Bacchus reserve @ about £35 a bottle and then a great Pinot noir from Oregon for about £50.

Service was okay but they seemed to me to be under staffed as it was hard to get their attention a couple of times and they in general seemed rushed.

Overall not bad, for 3 courses for 5 people and 3 bottles of wine and 5 or 6 six other drinks the bill was about £70 each. And that was after they amended the bill after overcharging us about £15.

Would go back but will not rush.

Monday, September 20, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Kitchen W8

Had wanted to eat in the Square for a long time but for what ever reason was never able to, so when a friend wanted to meet for lunch near South Ken, we thought we would give it's little sister a go.

The place looks great with well spaced tables and a relaxed cool vibe.

Service was very good with that nice balance betweenfun and formal. Extra praise goes to the manager who looked after us very well all afternoon.

Onto the food, first off the breads were okay but had much better elsewhere. However once the starters arrived things really took off. My chicken raviolio was rich and full of flavour and friends sardines were equally good. Mains were just as good with my belly of Veal being of a really high standard. We washed this down with a couple of bottles of white Burgundy from a decent sized wine list at a decent (ish) price.

We finished off with a couple glasses of red to go with our cheese, which although was not a great choice, was well kept and of a good size.

As for value for money goes it was not bad, with starters under £10, mains around £16 and wine from £15 a bottle. They also had a set menu with 3 courses for about £20 - great value for that level of cooking.

If I lived near I would be here once a week !!

Monday, September 06, 2010
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Tinseltown (Farringdon)

Would just agree with all the other thoughts below, food of a very poor standard.

The burgers are the cheap frozen kind you get at burger stands, but at 3 times the price.

I had hope for the milkshakes as I had heard they were good but to be honest although they were not bad they were very average. Give me an Ed's milkshake anytime.

Service is poor with the staff not appearing to want to be there or even wanting to serve.

Overall, the worst dining experience I have had for a long time.

Friday, September 03, 2010
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 2


Launceston Place

Have to say I had one of the best meals out in a long time last night at Launceston Place. The place looks cool and modern but keeps some of it's old looks. ( I guess it used to be a pub at some point).

Service I felt was very good, they did all the things you would expect from this level of restaurant, yet all the staff were relaxed and happy to chat or share a joke.

Extra praise must go to the sommelier, even though we did not ask for any advice on choosing the wine he was charming and friendly. Talking of wine we had a stunning bottle of fume blanc from Didier Dagueneau from a compact yet expensive wine list. Really not much under the £50 mark and we ended up spending almost twice that for our bottle.

Food on the whole was good, the amuse was light and refreshing and both our starters were good. Mains were however very good with my lamb being the real highlight. My freinds cheese course was well kept but there was not a huge choice with only 6 cheeses being offered. I went for the smoked chocolate with laphroaig ice cream, and it was without doubt one of the best things I have eaten for a long time, the only down point being the wooden slate it was served on, to small and not practical, (Im glad im not cleaning the table cloth). At £45 for 3 courses plus all the extras not bad value at all for this standard of cooking.

I really good little restaurant, by far the best in the D & D stable at the moment.

Will return without doubt !

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


American Bar (The Stafford)

Popped in here yesterday afternoon to escape the rain and ended up staying for a bite to eat.

The courtyard setting is great and I loved the look of the bar, very old school but my type of hotel bar.The food was everything you would expect from a bar in a 5 star hotel at 5 star prices. My club sandwich was good as was my friends fish and chips, but at £14 and £19 each they needed to be.

Drink prices were verging on the ridiculous, £9.50 for a Baileys and £14 for a Pimm's gave me a shock, but we also had a bottle of Pol Roger which seemed good value at £55.

Service was fine, a bit to pushy at the start, coming to ask if we wanted another drink every 5 minutes and then the opposite when we wanted our champagne topped up and had to go and hunt for our bottle.

Overall and cool place for a few drinks for a special occasion.

Sunday, August 08, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Tortilla (Bankside)

A group of us popped in on Saturday lunch and all left happy and full.

More of a take away place than a restaurant ( there are maybe half a dozen tables ), we pitched up at the counter, ordered, paid and tucked in. I had the large Burrito which was packed with rice, beans, pork, guacamole, chesse, sour cream and chilli. Everything looked fresh and tasted good and along with a couple of cold beers cost me £12.

Overall a nice little place that is just right for that fast food we all sometimes crave.

Monday, July 19, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Pescatori (Fitzrovia)

Dinner with a couple of friends here on Wednesday night and overall had a pretty good time. The room was not to busy but still had a nice feel with tables not to squashed together like many other places in the area.

Starters we had a Scallop risotto, a squid salad and a crab cake. The rice for the risotto was not cooked enough but all the other dishes were good. Mains were also good with the king prawns and the gnocchi with tomato the highlights. Tiramisu parfait for dessert was also good.

Service was fine nothing great but nothing to complain about. We washed everything down with a couple of bottles of Sardinian white and a couple rounds of Grappa after dessert.

Overall pretty good and would return if I was in the area, but doubt if I would travel across London to eat here.

Friday, July 16, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Christopher's

Have had drinks in the downstairs bar a few times over the years, and finally got round to trying out the restaurant last Saturday for lunch.

We arrived at about 2.30pm and were shown into a pretty empty dinning room and given the menus. First impression was the room was very hot with no sign of air con and all the windows were shut.

We had a couple of Pimm's ordered our food and a bottle of Gavi di Gavi. Breads were fine as were our starters, however a Ceasar salad and a tomato and mozzarella salad are hard to get wrong. The wine was not very cold and we had to ask for an ice bucket. Next on to the mains, my friends fishcake with spinach was okay, again very simple. However my 6oz ribeye with 2 fried eggs was a without doubt the worst dish I have been served for a long time. Ordered rare it came well done with both eggs also cooked to death, I sent it back and after 5 minutes it was with replaced with one that although was no longer well done it was far from rare and the eggs were again overcooked.

We shared a cheesecake for dessert, which was okay but Im sure it was not made in house, just far too perfect looking.

Service was the only saving grace to the meal with the 3 different waiters who looked after us all appeared to know what they were doing and handled the returned steak very well.

At about £125 for 2 it was not good value for the standard of food on offer.

Friday, July 16, 2010
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4


Tapas Brindisa (Soho)

Im a big fan of the Borough Market site so it was about time I made it to their new Soho restaurant. At first look this one looks cooler and calmer with slightly less tables and chairs packed in. It feels much more of a restaurant than a Tapas bar, a point made clearer by the fact you can book here unlike Borough Market.

Service was fine, friendly and welcoming, but considering there was only 3 or 4 other tables over the course of 2 hours it was a little lazy.

On to the food, most things we tried were very good, pork belly, garlic prawns, chicken croquettes and the goats cheese with orange blossom honey were the highlights.

We had a couple of nice cold bottles of Gavi from the all Spainish winelist.

Overall a nice little place to spend a few hours but it lacks the buzz of it's older sister.

As for value for money, I was not paying so not sure of the final bill, but prices seemed pretty standard.

Friday, July 09, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


28-50 (Fetter Lane)

Popped in for a glass of wine last night, just to try it out, and ended up staying for several hours.

First off the place looks great with nice solid wood tables, nice wine storage (old boxes) and some nice mirrors so even if you are sitting facing the wall you can still see everything going on.

The wine list is just the sort I like, not too short and not stupidly long, about 60 - 80 I would guess. A good selection are available by the glass, carafe and the bottle which is great if you want to try a few. We had a glass of Champagne and one of Chablis to start then a carafe of Mersault, all were good except the Champagne could have been a bit colder. By this time we were getting hungry so moved to a table and tucked in. Duck rillettes were very good, and reminded me of one I used to eat at my grandmothers in France. Mains were just as good, a nice pork belly and a decent rib-eye & chips. With these we drank a bottle of St emillion and a very good bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir, both were under £50. Cheese and desserts were fine but a bit of a let down after the first 2 courses, and at £8.50 I thought the cheese portion was a little small.

Service was very good, the (I guess) manager was very friendly and looked after us well, as did the charming waitress from St.Tropez.

The only down side was it was not really busy so lacked a bit of a buzz, I guess everyone else was watching the football.

Overall very good, and not bad value but saying that we still notched up a bill just over £200.

I look forward to working my way through their wine list over the coming months.

Saturday, June 19, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Pearl Restaurant & Bar

Came here dinner here a few weeks back with 3 friends and it was without doubt one of the best meals I've had this year. We started with a cocktail each in the bar then moved into the restaurant. Tables are well spaced and we were given the menu and some nice little canapes.

Now onto the food, we were on the 3 course and a cocktail for £39 menu, and there was 3 choices for each course. Between the 4 of us we tried all 9 dishes, and with the exception of the lamb starter we were impressed with everything. The pre starter and pre dessert were also of a very high standard, and overall the food was stunning value for £39.

The wine list is as expected, long, covering all areas and expensive. We had a nice bottle of sauvignon/semillion from Australia then tried a few different reds by the glass. On a bad note our first 2 choices of white were out of stock, as was our first choice dessert wine.

Service was good, and the manager had just the right balance of knowing when to chat with us and when not to.

I will be back for sure

Saturday, June 19, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Il Bordello

I used to eat here a lot when I lived just around the corner, so after meeting up with a friend for a couple of pints at the great Captain Kidd pub across the road I was really up for some pasta and a good bottle of red.

Service was as always very friendly if a little pushy, they do like to get you in and get you out. We started with some garlic mushrooms to share along with some bread to mop up all the lovely garlicky butter. To follow the 4 seasons pizza was top notch, thin and crispy but loaded with toppings. I went for a classic carbonara which was very tasty but had far to much cream in it and was just to rich to finish.

The wine list is short but well priced and we choose a fantastic bottle of Barolo at just over £30, a bargain.

In short a great local restaurant to have, with good service and a huge menu to choose from.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Mala Restaurant

After watching the final day of the football and having a few beers, a curry was the order of the day. We (4 guys) were in the St Katharines dock area so headed over to Mala, a place I've walked past dozens of times but never been in.

First impressions were good, the room is bright and well laid out, with plenty of space between the tables. Service was fine, polite and pretty quick. Due to the area prices are on the high side so after ordering a bottle of Rioja for about £20 we went straight for mains.

Mains were around the £12 mark, we had 3 chicken dishes, a tikka, a jalfrezi and a madras along with a lamb boti kebab. Rice and naan's for everyone along with 2 different dal's and some aloo bombay completed the meal. Portions were big but although everything was fine some of the food just seemed to lack in flavour.

Overall not bad but a bit average for the price, The final bill for the 4 of us with 2 bottles of wine came in at about £140 including the service.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Galvin Cafe a Vin

After coming here just after Christmas and having a good lunch thought I would try it again last Saturday when I was in the area.

It was 1.30 when we arrived and there was only 1 other table in the place so I found it strange that we were given a tiny table squashed in the corner. All the tables are small here and when you have bread, water, wine and food on the table there really is no space to move.

Food was good but nothing more, starters were plain and mains were good but in a first for me none of the mains came without potatoes of any kind. We asked if we could get a side dish of mash or new potates we were told they dont do potatoes of any kind and they dont do sides, not really a problem just very strange.

Service was a mixed bag with our waitress being very hard to understand and being a bit on top of us all the time, but the manager was very nice and handled things well.

The wine list is short and sweet and we had a very good bottle of Italian red at about £50.

Overall not bad but a big disapointment compared with my last visit.

Thursday, May 06, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6


Clos Maggiore

Having wanted to try this place out for a while I finally managed to get round to going for lunch on bank holiday monday.

First off the place looks warm and friendly, with the downstairs room having a nice atmosphere, unfortunately we were tucked upstairs where there is only about 5 tables and it was all a bit hushed.

Anyway on to the food, starters were good with the foie gras terrine being the highlight. As for the mains we both had fish and they were both top notch. I had a trio of fish with a great saffron sauce and my friend had something I now cannot recall but Im told it was stunning. We skipped dessert but both had cheese, there was a good choice and they were in good condition. I have to say I did find it strange choosing our cheese from a menu rather than a trolley but this is a minor detail.

Service from the lone waiter in the upstairs room was good but he seemed rushed as he was doing everything himself and doing it well.

The wine list was well over the top at I guess 1500 - 2000 bins, so it took a while to find something but we had a good bottle of Pouilly fuisse for about £50.

Overall a great little restaurant with good choice and not bad value. A couple glasses of champagne to start and a couple of port with our cheese pushed the bill up a bit to about £170 for 2 including service.

Will return for sure !!

Thursday, May 06, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Brasserie Blanc (Threadneedle St)

Thought I would try out another new addition to the city, so went down for an early lunch today. It's only been open a few weeks and it still looks nice and new, a bit too many Mr Blanc books and goodies to buy on display for my liking.

Now on to the menu, if im honest I found it very middle of the road and unimaginative, nothing wrong with that but just had dishes that you can get in every other restaurant in town. We shared a platter to start which had some cold meats, pates and salads on it. We followed this with another starter each, a rather bland Caesar salad with chicken and a slightly better asparagus poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

The wine list was short but had a good choice by the glass and was pretty good value, we had a glass each.

Service was fine nothing more, was expecting French staff but the team seemed to be mostly Italian.

Overall £45 for 4 starters and 2 glasses of wine, not bad value but I doubt I will be returning, just to average in every aspect.

Friday, April 23, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Enoteca da Luca (Devonshire Square)

After being open for a few months thought it was about time to try this wine bar, so went along with a friend for lunch a few days ago.

First impressions are very good, the place is bright and airy with lots of wine and food on display to eat in or take away. We grabbed a table in the corner, ordered a bottle of NZ pinot noir at about £25 (good value in my book) and looked through the menu.

The food is called Italian tapas so we ordered 6 dishes to share, this was not as easy as it sounds as 3 items we wanted were not available. The place was pretty busy but the near 20 minute wait for the first couple of dishes to arrive seemed a long time. When we did get the food it was average at best, the garlic bread seemed to have no garlic and the roast pork belly with apple and garlic salad came without the salad, just 2 slices of meat and strangley a glace cherry on top. The chicken and avocado panini was the same as you would get from any sandwich shop and the only really good dish was the speck & cheese piadina.

Service was very friendly but a bit slapdash, had to ask for water about 3 times and dessert was forgotten altogether.

Overall I think this could be a cool place to spend an evening with a few friends and a few bottles of wine, just dont expect to much from the kitchen. We ended up with another bottle of wine so overall spent near £90 for 2 people, wine was good value, food not so much.

Friday, April 23, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 5 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Sweetings

Had lunch here last Monday and this place has not changed in the years since I went last.

Service was fine, friendly and knowledgable, although some of the waiters have been here for years so it should be good.

Food is 100% fish and we went for a crab cocktail and a prawn cocktail to start. Both were very good but at £13 and £9 each they had to be. Mains were not so good, the cod with parsley sauce was good but the scampi were a bit plain and not worth the £15 charged for 8 scampi and nothing else. Sides were okay but again not cheap at £4 each.

The wine list was short and white only and we had a bottle for about £22.

The place has bags of charm and the place was busy for a Monday, but at just over £100 for 2 courses each and 1 bottle of wine not the cheapest place around.

Monday, April 12, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Le Paris Grill

Walking down the stairs into this basement restaurant almost feels like stepping back in time. We arrived for a late lunch at about 2pm to a full and bustling dinning room.We were shown to the last table left ordered a couple of beers and were explained the specials of the day by our waitress.

Service was ultra friendly from what appeared to be a French and female only team even though they seemed to be very busy.

As for the food we skipped starters as having been here before I knew portions are pretty big. Steak tartar was very good and made at our table and the ribeye, although it lacked real depth of flavour, was cooked as requested and came with sauce, chips and tomato. We squeezed in some cheese from a nice selection again served at the table and had a good bottle of Clos du Val cab sauvignon for about £30.

Overall an enjoyable meal that although not cheap it was good value for money. I can see why this place is still going after some 30 odd years, simple and unpretentious.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Mint Leaf Lounge & Restaurant

A mid week dinner at mint leaf in the city - and my first impressions of this restaurant were not good. First off I do not understand the need for giving credit card details when booking a table for 2 on a week night (as it turned out the place was never full while we were there) and also the need to call me back a few hours later to confirm the booking. Anyway things did not improve upon entering the bar to very loud thumping dance music, the place was not busy and ot was only 7pm.

Service was fine, apart from the look on the waiters face when we asked for tap water and a slightly long wait when trying to get the bill.

Now the food - what we ordered and ate was pretty good, the tandoori chicken and the crab & fish cakes were very good but came out of the kitchen in less than 5 minutes which always worries me. Mains were also good with the lamb curry and side lentils being the highlights.

The wine list was very extensive and we had a good bottle of pinot noir from Trinity hill in NZ.

My main issue with this place is the prices - 2 starters, 2 curries a and a couple of sides came in at about £80, add another £35 for the wine and the service and this place was very expensive for what you get. The wines were all at least 4 times shop prices. £64 for cloudy bay sauvignon blanc ? - I know several other restaurants in the city where you can get it for at least 20% less.

Overall pretty good food but at vastly over inflated prices in a strange night club type atmosphere.

Doubt that I will be back !

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5


St Pancras Grand

Had the Champagne breakfast here with a few mates before a weekend in Paris.

The breakfast was fine, about 50g of smoked salmon topped with some scrambled eggs and served with some buttered toast. Coffee and a glass of fizz are included for £19.50 a head, not bad value, but on the buy one get one free offer it was very good value.

Service was fine, although our table had no napkins and we were not offered any.

The room looked nice but with only one other table taken it lacked any sort of buzz.

Overall would return if I was catching a train but would not travel across London to eat here in the evening.

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8


Hawksmoor Spitalfields

Have had many good meals here over the last few years so thought it was time to see how they would handle the French side of my family, so booked a table for 7 last week.

First thing was trying to find the way in as they have moved the front entrance, along with the toilets and the private room. Anyway made our way to the bar for a couple of drinks and a look at the menu.

Service was very good on a very busy night, our waitress was very friendly and new the menu inside out.

Starters were fine, nothing amazing but good produce, simply done, prawn cocktail, crab on toast and grilled squid were all fine. However the main reason for coming here are the steaks and they did not let us down. My 400g ribeye was packed with flavour and was very tender, and the 1.4 kilo Chateau that 5 of my group had was perfectly cooked rare and was enough for 5 people ( but not cheap at £168 for one piece of meat). Sides were very good as were the desserts.

The wine list as I have said in the past is not cheap (over £35 for a Fleurie ?), but we had a good Chablis to start and then a stunning magnum of Zine from Ridge vineyard for just over £100.

If I had to find something to moan about it would be the room was far too noisy and it was hard to talk. I dont remember this being a problem in the past so not sure if its due to the refurb work as the main room is now smaller.

Anyway another good meal and will be back for my steak fix soon.

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Le Pont de la Tour

Returned to Le Pont for the first time in over 18 months after a couple of not very good meals in the bar side and have to say was glad I did.

We had dinner in the restaurant for 7 people and the set £42 - 3 course menu had enough choice for everyone. The food was very good, but not great, but was far better than the food served in the bar on my last visit.

Service was friendly and the English (yes I know they are a rare breed in London) head waiter was very good and knew his menu well.

Wine list was as ever long and expensive but managed to find a couple of good wines from the Boony doon winery for under £60.

Overall much better than expected and will give them another go in the future.

Sunday, February 14, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Eastside Inn

Had dinner in the bistro side here last Monday night.

First impression the place looks nice and inviting and the open central kitchen looks stunning. The menu reads well but is very short for the size of the place with about 8 starters and 6 mains to choose from. Service was good with our waiter knowing the menu well and he was able to answer our questions easily.

Breads were warm and tasty and the starters of duck rillette and onion soup were both good but not outstanding. Mains were better with my prawns in a garlic sauce served with a green salad being very good but not cheap at nearly £18 for 5 fair sized prawns. We then got a pre dessert of some sort of rosemary ice cream (I dont think you normally get this in the bistro, I guess the chefs were bored as the place was very quiet). We finished of with a shared chocolate dessert that looked and tasted very good.

The wine list was very short less than 12 wines in total, but the main restaurant list is available if needed. We had a pichet of white at £19.

Overall a nice addition to the Smithfield area and I would try it again on a busier night. It would be nice to see the chefs in action, as I think this would give the whole place a real buzz.

Saturday, January 16, 2010
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Galvin Cafe a Vin

Popped in to try this new place between Christmas and new year and overall had a very nice lunch.

The menu is short but seems to have a bit of everything on it and we settled for herrings and a ham hock terrine to start with both dishes being simple but well executed. Mains were just as good, my friends duck being the standout dish but my tart flambee was also well done.

Service was good, a little to pushey for me, we were asked 4 times while we ate if everything was okay.

The winelist was short but a good choice by the glass or 475ml 'pot'. We chose a petit chablis (475ml) at about £15 not bad value.

Overall 2 starters, 2 mains and the wine came in at just over £60 including the service.

Will go back and will try the main restaurant next door.

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Gaucho (Smithfield)

Table for 10 guys just before Christmas, and although everyone had a good time I do feel this is the most overated chain in London.

The decor in all the restaurants I have been to is nice and looks stylish and sleek. The menu also reads well with a good choice of cuts and sizes. Service was also okay, friendly and pretty quick (the restaurant was however only a third full).

Now onto the steaks, I had the 400g rump which was cooked perfectly rare, but really lacked flavour. The bearnaise sauce seemed to have no tarragon in it so was basically a hollandaise. Sides were okay but nothing to write home about.

My main problem with this place though is the price, at just under £600 for 10 people with NO starters, 10 steaks, sauces and sides, 4 desserts, 3 bottles of the cheapest red wine on the list and about 25 bottles of beer, this was poor value for money. We spent almost £30 just on sauces for the steaks, and you get a tiny pot each not enough for your steak.

About my 4th visit to a Gaucho grill and Im pretty sure my last.

Saturday, December 26, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3


Hawksmoor Spitalfields

After several drinks around east London the only thing on my mind was one of Hawksmoor's ribeyes and a good glass of red. So after a quick call they got us a table at short notice and we arrived shortly after to a heaving restaurant.

We took the last empty table and ordered 2 400g ribeyes, 2 chips, spinach, mac & cheese abd a bottle of Cline Syrha. Service was friendly and very quick considering how busy the place was.

About 20 minutes later our steaks and sides turned up looking great but if Im honest as good as they were they seemed to lack the depth of flavour I remember from previous visits. All the sides were good but lacked seasoning, and the bearnaise sauce was very good.

Finished up with an outstanding chocolate sundae and were back out inside an hour. At just over £100 its really not the cheapest place to eat but it's still the top place for steaks in London in my eyes.

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


Le Cafe du Marche

First off this really is a charming looking restaurant down a little cobbled alley with a rustic bustling dinning room.

However for me that is as good as it gets. The menu is not the biggest with about 8 choices for each course but what I dont like is there is a set price of £33 for 3 courses with plenty of supplements on top of this price. If you fancied the beef then another £7 is needed. On top of this they have a 15% service charge for very average service. So 3 courses ended up at £46 per head before any drinks or wines from a pretty expensive wine list.

As for the food it was not bad but just very average, fish soup was pretty good but everything else was over salted in my mind.

Overall not bad food, great looking place but to pricey for what you get and as someone who is not a fan of automatic service charges I found the 15% included over the top.(And this is from someone who takes the service off if it is not deserved and will leave up to 20% when it is really earned)

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 2


St Germain

Had not been here for a while but popped in with 3 friends last week for a quick bite and had a great value meal.

We started with a cocktail each in the bar as the were buy one get one free and then moved in to a nice booth in the restaurant.

It was a Monday night so they were running a 50% off food offer. Starters were good with the pork belly, squid and crab cakes all being very good.Mains were also good with the rib-eye syeak and the steak tartar being the highlights.

Washed down with a nice bottle of red for less than £25.

Overall 4 cocktails, 3 starters, 4 mains, 2 sides and a bottle of red + service came in at less than £90.

Service was as always very good and ultra friendly and the waiters clearly know the menu inside out.

I cannot think of better value in London.

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Chez Gerard

I can only echo the previous reviews in how poor the Chez Gerard chain is.

Have been to 3 branches over time and they have all bad below par, with the last visit to the city one the worst.

Steaks very average in quality, not too hot and poor value for money.

Service is also very bad with our waitress taking 5 minutes to bring out our 4 mains, sauces and 6 side dishes while a couple of other waiters just stood and chatted (so much for teamwork). Staff also had a poor command of English and did not know the menu or winelist at all.

Overall I doubt very much I will be trying out any other Chez Gerard's again.

I am amazed they are as busy as they are, there are far better places to eat in the city for less money.

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 5 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 2


Le Boudin Blanc

Had a very good lunch here yesterday, and I can find very little fault with this charming restaurant.

Lots to choose from on the menu, our starters were fine, mains of steak tartar and the confit of duck were both top class and the chocolate fondant pudding was the best version of this dish I have ever had.

The wine list is huge and on the expensive side but we found a good chablis 1er cru for under £40 but had to spend a lot more to get a good pomerol for our mains.

Service is very good and ultra friendly and in Lionel they have one of the best hosts in London.

Overall very very good but not a place to go on a budget.

Sunday, December 06, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Goodman Mayfair

My second visit to Goodman's and although there was nothing wrong with my first visit this time was far better in almost every way.

Lobster bisque was good and my Caesar salad was the best version of this simple salad i've had for a very long time. My friends filet was a good size and cooked well and my new york strip was full of flavour and great value at £18 including my salad to start, decent chips and a very good peppercorn sauce. (This was part of the lunch set menu, a la carte prices are a lot more)

Wine list has a nice selection but could do with more options by the glass. We had a nice bottle of Chateau Batailley 2004, but at just over £70 a little overpriced, but as I have said so many times before, normal for London.

Service was good and all the staff were friendly and knew their menu.

Overall very good, far better than any of the Gaucho chain, a little ahead of Maze grill but a touch behind Hawksmoor as far as the steaks go.

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Eastway at Andaz

I used to eat here a lot when it was called Terminus and returned for the first time in a couple of years to find although the place looks the same the food and service is now very poor.

All the waiting staff appeared to not want to be there and it seemed to be a real problem when you asked for anything. The menu is very boring full of pastas, burgers etc..

The food we had was very bland and not cheap at all. The wine list is short and again very expensive, but I guess this is to be expected given the location.

One last thing, I know its part of a hotel and that they serve breakfast in the same room, but setting up the tables all around you for the next morning at 9.30pm gave the impression they wanted everyone out. We didn't hang around.

Sunday, November 08, 2009
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 5 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 4


Sophie's Steakhouse (Covent Garden)

Tried this place for a late lunch in August and ended up having one of the better steaks i'd had for a long time.

Service was very friendly but a little to scripted and American for me but overall was good.

The menu was full of all the classics from prawn cocktail to Ceasar salad, but the steaks are the main draw here.We had a couple of very good ribeye's, some good chips, creamed spinach and bearnaise sauce. The quality of the beef was very good and they were cooked very well.

Starters and desserts were fine but nothing special as were the pre lunch cocktails.

The restaurant is huge and fely a little empty at the time we ate but I can imagine it being really busy with a great buzz on a Friday or Saturday night.

I fely the steaks were not bad value for money for the quality but cocktails and starters were overpriced in my view.

Would go again !!

Sunday, November 08, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

One of the best places I can think of for solo dining or if you are with a friend who just wants a drink but you fancy a quick bite.

Grab a seat at the bar, order a nice carafe of something cold and white (we had a nice picpoul de pinet) and order a couple of dishes to snack on. The home smoked salmon with blinis was great as were the simply poached langoustines with the best mayo i've had in a lond time.

Service was smart and quick and at £70 for a couple of starters, some good bread and butter, and 2 carafes of wine not bad value at all.

Saturday, November 07, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Cote (Tavistock St)

Had a late Sunday night meal here recently and overall was pretty impressed. The menu reads like a greatest hits of French classics, and the place has a certain rustic charm about it.

Service was fine, nothing special but very friendly. Food was pretty decent, again nothing special but decent produce cooked well and served at a good price given the location.Grilled lobster and chips was very good for the £25 price tag (a whole decent sized lobster, chips & a good bearnaise sauce), I was told the filet steak was also good and the chocolate mousse was a perfect end to the meal.

The wine list was not huge but like the food not overly expensive.

Overall a good standby restaurant when after a quick bite when in the west end.

Saturday, November 07, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Cellar Gascon

Without doubt one of my favorite places at the moment for a good glass of wine and some excellent charcuterie. Very good wine list focusing on the south west of France with a good choice by the glass. Food is all tapas style with most dishes costing about £4 to £6 per dish. Gascony pie & the tartine of shrimps are both very good.

Service is quick and the staff seem to really know there stuff.

Not the cheapest place around but a cool venue to impress.

Saturday, November 07, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Hache (Camden)

Popped in here last night before going to a gig nearby, having wanted to try the burgers here for ages.

First thing the service. Fine at taking food orders or pouring wine but trying to get a smile out of either of the 2 girls serving here is impossible. All I can say is if they dislike the job as much as it looks like they do they should think about a change.

That aside the burgers were fine but nothing more, frites were very good but the onion rings were very greasy. The wine list was short but had a great bottle of Rioja Crinaza for £18.

Overall for 2 people £50 all in.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Addendum

Went here on Saturday night as it is close to home and they have a 50% off food offer and a free cocktail.

The place is modern and light with the bar behind overlooking the main restaurant.

The menu was very straightforward, almost a little boring but then this is a hotel restaurant. Starters of wild boar Scotch egg and shell on prawns with lemon mayo were both good, as was the Ling main course. I had a Rib eye for main which was very tasty but a little more medium than the rare I wanted, and a little on the small side. Desserts were fine and the free cocktail was not to bad either.

Service was very friendly but not to proffesional, a few things were forgotten and they did not charge me for my wine until I told them.

Overall good food at a decent price ( with the 50%, a little high without).

Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Artisan

My second time here for lunch and everything was as good as before. This time we were a table of 8 for Sunday lunch and the staff looked after us very well.

As I said on my previous review the food is very good with plenty of choice on the set menu and they were still dishing out canapes, amouches, pre desserts and the like all through the meal. At £25 for 3 courses this is a real steal. The restaurant was a lot busier this time and the place felt less like a hotel dinning room.

At just over £400 for 8 people including 4 bottles of wine, water and coffee, this place is great value for money for Mayfair.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Hamburger Union (Dean St)

Had been here once before a couple of years ago and remembered having one of the tastiest burgers in a long time. Returned last Saturday for lunch and afraid to say they did not live up to this memory.

We were not asked how we would like our meat cooked, but somehow got one rare and one very well done and very dry. Onion rings were very greasy and the chips were luke warm. Service was fine but all they have to do is take your order at the till and bring your food out.

No atmosphere to speak of as the place was empty except for one other table. Overall £25 for 2 cheeseburgers, 2 sides & 2 soft drinks.

My second and last visit to Hamburger union.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 5


Wahaca (Covent Garden)

Popped in for a quick lunch ( there was no queue), and had a pretty good time. Food was fine, not as good as on previous visits, the beef salad was a little dull, but the Wahaca mixed platter was pretty good.

Some nice unusual and refreshing soft drinks to choose from and the service was ultra friendly and very quick, except for the drinks which came after we got some of our food.

Always good value for monet at £40 for 3 very full up people.

Friday, May 15, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Orrery

Went last Sunday for lunch, for 3 people and on the whole had a good time.

2 menus to choose from a 3 course lunch menu @ £25 and a 3 course a la carte @ £43. Not a whole lot of choice between them with asparagus appearing 4 times (2 starters & 2 with mains), beef 3 times and salmon twice. No pork, lamb, duck or chicken for mains. Anyway what we did order was very good, first rate breads to start, a nice little amouche and a very good cheese trolley to end.

Service was very good and all the staff appeared to know the menu well.

Wine list was a little steep with a lot of cheaper bottles out of stock (eg only one pomerol below £100 and that was out of stock).

Atmosphere was nice and calm and the room was bright and well laid out.

Overall £350 for 3 with pre lunch drinks, bottle of white, red and port. Not cheap but as I have said in previous reviews very few places are in London any more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


maze

Bank holiday Monday & decided to have lunch at Maze. Table was booked for 12.45 and when we arrived we were promptly shown to our table, asked if we wanted some water and then left for 5 minutes with no menu or wine list.

The place was now filling up at about 1pm and our waiter arrived gave us the menus etc and explained the idea of tapas style portions. We both opted for the lunch menu of 4 courses for 28.50, plus we ordered an additional 3 dishes between us. Found a good bottle of Viogner from Cline estates on the wine list and we were served some lovely warm rolls with butter.

With the exception of the wild garlic Veloute (too thin) & the strawberry trifle (all we tasted was mint) for dessert all the dishes were really top notch. The lamb confit and the peanut butter parfait being the real highlights.

My real problem with this restaurant was the gaps between courses. I see from some reviews that the dishes come very quickly, this was however not the case for us or some of the tables around us. I don't mind small portions but if I have to wait 15 minutes between each of my 5 dishes then I really do need all the bread they can give me.

I think the idea of small portions only work in two ways. One in a tasting menu were the dishes come quickly one after another or in true Tapas style were the are delivered to you when they are ready so you have 3 or 4 dishes at the same time.

Service was fine but nothing special, a bit pushy for me but that is the Ramsay way. I really do not need my water glass filled up every time I take a sip, and at one point I got topped up by 2 different waiters without even touching my glass.

As I said it was busy so the room had a nice buzz, and I did notice a late table get through their dishes much quicker, so maybe avoid the peak times.

£155 for 2 with one bottle of wine felt a little on the high side for me.

Overall a bit like a theme park, lots of long waits for 60 seconds of joy.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Gaucho (Piccadilly)

Maybe it's just me but I feel im missing something when I go to a Gaucho. So many people bang on about them doing the best steaks in London yet every steak I have had there (including the one I had at the Piccadilly branch) has been fine but nothing more. I can honestly say that the steaks at my local JD pub are just as good and a fraction of the price. And don't even get me started on paying £2.50 for a tiny pot of Bearnaise sauce. My pot only covered about a third of my steak so I asked for some more and was charged another £2.50. After some chips and mushrooms my £17.50 Sirloin was about £30.

As far as the restaurants themselves go they all look great, I like the all Argentine wine list, but again not the prices, and the service is generally fine.

Maybe it is just me but from now on if I want a good steak I will be sticking to Buen Ayre or Hawksmoor instead.

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Comptoir Gascon

Had dinner here last night and although the food was as good as always the place came up short in atmosphere and service.

Piggy treats to start were good and a bargain at £7 (more than enough for 2 to share). Mains were good, however side dishes impressed more ( duck fat chips & the carrot/artichoke puree). All washed down with a good bottle of red for £19.

Service as far as taking orders or bringing food out was fine but between the four waiting staff there was not a hint of a smile all night and no extra effort was made.

Overall good value for money.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8


Hummus Bros (Soho)

After walking past many times over the past year or so, I finally had my first lunch at Hummus Bros at the weekend and was very impressed.

The concept is basically lots of different toppings of your choice all with hummus as a base. Had the Mexican beef which had a nice kick to it, which went well with the cool hummus. All wiped up with some nice warm pitta bread.

Service was very friendly and the staff new the menu and explained any questions we had.

Had a couple of soft drinks and some free mint teas to finish and the bill came in at £18 for two people.

Without doubt I will be back next time I fancy a quick snack in the area.

Monday, April 27, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Soseki

Went for dinner to Soseki last night and although I really wanted to like it, it fell short on many fronts.

We choose the £50 menu (as they were offering a 50% discount on it) and some of the dishes were very good (the chicken/custard, seabass soup and veg tempura the highlights). However some of the dishes including all the sushi we tried were a little bland. At £25 the food was not bad value but at £50 it was well overpriced in my opinion.

Service was friendly but a little slow & they could do with more toilets. Only one each for men & woman which leads to small groups of people hanging around waiting their turn. Again no problem in a pub but in a restaurant with these prices it surprised me.

The plum wine served over ice made a refreshing change to sake.

On a positive note the place looks great and is a very relaxing place to spend an evening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5


Artisan

Not really much to say except to repeat what most reviews of Artisan say.

Very well cooked and thought out food, with good service in a very nice dinning room.

Had the Sunday lunch menu @ 3 courses for £25 including truffle popcorn and 3 different canapes and an amouse bouche before the starter. Another AB before mains, a pre dessert and finally petit fours.As far as value for money goes this top notch, but as good as the food was it was all a bit to much for me. Just as the taste of one thing was going along came another, non stop for 2 hours.

That said I would go back no question but would choose a week night as the restaurant was very quite on a Sunday (9 people).

Wine list had a good mix with prices on the high side.

Monday, April 20, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 9


Clifton Restaurant

An all round decent place for a pretty good curry & bottle of Cobra.

I normally avoid Brick lane and seek out better restaurants down the side roads or a bit further away whenever I fancy a curry, but if I had to pick one place on Brick lane that had always delivered it would be Cliftons.

Food is simple and straightforward, but done well, service is not to pushy (like many down Brick Lane) and prices are fine.

If you are in Brick Lane make sure you walk right to the bottom and give Cliftons a go.

Monday, April 20, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Marcus

As far as good food, wine and service goes this place is without doubt the best place in London at the moment.

Easter Monday Lunch at the Berkeley for 2 people. We started with a glass of Champagne from the Champagne trolley, served water and some little canapes to begin. We choose from the Lunch menu @ 3 courses for £35. We found a good bottle of unoaked Chardonnay on the list for £35 and then received a beautiful little shot glass full of sweetcorn soup before our starters arrived. One note on the winelist if you want to splash out you can but there was a lot of choice around the £30 mark.

Starters were very good with the quail being the highlight, as was the poached chicken with asparagus for main course.

We then opted for an additional cheese course (the choice looked to good to refuse) for £10 per head and had a half bottle of Fleurie.

Then came a pre dessert of jelly with something that I now cannot remember.

Next was dessert and all I can say is I can now see why everyone raved about Marcus's custard tart. Excellent pastry and a lovely light custard filling. Went well with a glass of pudding wine. And at the very end you get the Bonbon trolley, by far the best petit fours I've had in London.

All in all the food was top notch and this is only the second restaurant were I would give 10 out of 10 for food in London.

As for the service it was everything you would expect from a two star restaurant yet slightly less formal and more relaxed. For me this is a plus point and for near four hours I never felt rushed at all.

A tour of the kitchen ended the meal and in this day an age of celeb chefs it was nice to see the name on the door also in the kitchen on a Monday afternoon, with time for a few words with his customers.

If I have to pick one negative it would be I found the cost of a small espresso, £5 a little high.

Apart from that £220 for two people for all that we ate and drank was the bargain of the year so far.

And a special thank you to James the sommelier for looking after us so well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Goodman Mayfair

Popped in for a quick lunch on Saturday having wanted to try the new steak house on the block for a while. I have to say although the food was pretty good I was slightly disapointed overall.

The restaurant was not even a third full but I found the service a little slow and awkward. Maybe it's me but im getting a bit fed up with the waiter bring out a tray of raw steaks and going on for 5 minutes about which is better than which. I also hate it when I am repeatedly asked if everything is okay throughout the meal (4 times in total and twice when I had my mouth full).

The food was good, we choose from the lunch menu and had soup and a salad to start followed by a steak and salmon for mains. The sauces and fries were top notch as was a creamed spinach side.

All washed down with a bottle of Brouilly for about £25.

Would I go again ? Im not sure, for me better than the overrated Gaucho grill chain but far behind Hawksmoor if you want a really good steak.

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


Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's

Had lunch at Claridge's on Easter Friday and had a very good but not great meal.

After entering the hotel we made our through the beautiful lobby and bar and arrived to the reception desk to be greeted by 3 hostesses and a propped up copy of Gordon's great pub food book. Im all for upselling but this looked a bit tacky in such a fine dinning restaurant.

We were shown to our table, given menus and some mineral water. The restaurant is not big, I would guess 80 covers when full, but the first thing you notice is the sheer number of staff. I counted 22 on the floor in all, and as good as the service was it just felt to full on for me. At one point we were served by 3 different people in under 6 seconds.

The service felt very impersonal and scripted. After ordering my Onglet the waitress told me that 'Chef Ramsay cooks it medium rare', fine by me but I doubt if Chef Ramsay was in the kitchen.

As for the food we went for the lunch at 3 courses for £30. 3 choices for each course, with the gnocci starter, Sea trout main and the chocolate mousse with blood orange sorbet being the highlights. Included in the menu was an amouse-bouche and a few petit fours with the bill.

The sommelier was very helpful helping us choose a nice Pouilly Fusse that was not to oaky.

The room was only about half full (we were there between 12.15 and 1.45) so slightly lacking in atmosphere.

One last point we were told when booking and via email and when we arrived at the restaurant that they would need the table back at 2.15. when we left just before 2pm there was still plenty of empty tables and the table next to us were rushed through their lunch because 2 of them turned up late. On 2 occasions while they were waiting they were approached by a member of staff to remind them that the table had to be returned by 2.15.

Overall good but could be much better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Tapas Brindisa

Saturday night at Brisinda was always going to be busy but after a 30 minute wait and a couple of glasses of wine next door our table was ready at the promised time.

Service was good and very friendly and all dishes ordered came out quickly.

The menu is not the largest so it was disapointing that so many dishes had run out by 8.30pm. No pork belly, No ham croquettes ( my favorite ), no potato omlette etc .

Anyway the food we had was good with special praise for the goats cheese with orange honey.

Overall a pretty good.

Monday, April 06, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Vertigo 42

The perfect place to start a night out or to impress.

The views are spectacular, the staff seem on the ball and the whole operation is very slick.

The food is okay and I would have to say overpriced but you are paying for the view.

The best thing is to simply come here with a few friends a just have a bottle of Champagne before going somewhere else for dinner.

Prices are high with house Champagne starting at about £50, but when you take in to account a trip on the London eye is about £12, here you can get great views as well as a glass of fizz. for the same price.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote (City)

Finally got round to going to Le Relais de Venise last night and went in with mixed ideas after reading some of the reviews on this site.

Firstly it was about 8pm and the place was about half full so no waiting involved (they dont take bookings).

We were warmly greeted and showed to a table and explained the concept of the place, ordered a bottle of wine from a tiny list of less than 8 wines and ordered our steaks.

We were then served our green salads with some French bread. The salad was simple and fresh and had a nice coating of dressing but my request for some butter was rejected with the 'they dont serve butter in Paris so we dont serve it here' line which i'm sure they have to repeat a lot.

Then came the steaks on what can only be described as the smallest plates I've ever eaten a main course from. However the meat was cooked blue as requested, the frites were hot and crisp and the sauce was plentiful. As other reviews have mentioned the best bit is when you have nearly finished you get another helping of steak and some more frites.

As for the quality of the meat, it was not the tastist entrecote I've had but as it comes covered in their secret sauce which was very tasty I didn't really mind.

Service was very French with some of the managers looking a bit grumpy but Maud our waitress was great.

Overall about £30 - £35 per head with wine for a very enjoyable meal. Would I queue 30 minutes to go in, no chance, but if I was passing and they had space I would go again.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Livebait (Covent Garden)

Had dinner here with 3 friends and found the whole place to be rather bog standard.

The place was busy but this is to be expected given the location next to covent garden and the lion king.

Service was okay with our waitress initially confused as to why we ordered 3 different bottles of wine at the start (We all could not agree on the same wine).

The food was very hit and miss with the crab cakes starter and haddock mains being good but the prawn main and all the puddings were poor.

Prices were on the high side but again not surprising given the location.

Overall not a great meal and not somewhere I would travel to eat at, maybe try again for a pre or post theatre meal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Ping Pong (St Katharine Docks)

Went for a quick supper here on Sunday night and like my last visit had a cracking little meal.

The restaurant was about half full but the bar was busy so the place had a good atmosphere.

Service was friendly and fast, with all our dim sum arrivingwithin 10 minutes of ordering.

As for the dim sum they were all good with the chive & prawn and the pork buns being the standouts.

Had a couple of ginger and carrot cocktails which were also good.

Overall 8 dim sum and 3 drinks + service came in at £34.

Good value in my book.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


St Germain

Had another good meal there last night, made even better with the 50% off the food that they offered on a Monday night.

Foon was simple yet fresh, clean & very tasty.

Service was a as good as ever and the place was busy so a lovely buzz about the place.

If I have to complain it would be that the Italian white we were drinking ran out after the first bottle and it was so good the next wine we chose seemed a let down.

Been many times now and will continue.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9


Bodean's (Soho)

Had a early Sunday lunch at Bodeans and I really cannot believe how far downhill this place is going.

Firstly we asked for a booth but was told they are for 4 or more people only, fair enough if the place is busy but at 12.15 on a Sunday we were the only people there.

Secondly the menus on the tables were dirty and looking around it was clear the place needed a good clean.

Next we ordered a couple of beers which were plonked on the table minus the nice frozen glasses they used to have.

Then came the ribs, what used to be tender and moist was now burnt and dry. I got the feeling they may have been sitting around from the previous night.

Then after clearing our plates no hint of a warm towel to clean up, so had to go to the toilets to wash up.

Overall really poor and a real shame. I've been going here nearly 5 years now but I feel my love affair with Bodeans may be over.

By the time we left only 2 other tables were taken and the booths were still empty.

Monday, March 16, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 6


The Real Greek (Spitalfields)

By far the best meal I've had in a chain restaurant for a long time.

Sampled about 18 dishes between 4 of us on Saturday night and all were so much fresher and better than I had expected.

Mythos beers all round went down well and the sole waiter was quick, friendly and knew the menu well.

Was very quiet (maybe 6 tables) so not much atmosphere to talk about, but then the whole of the market seemed quiet.

As for value at £120 for 4 including several rounds of beers & service, I thought it was very good.

Monday, March 16, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


La Petite Auberge

I've been here a few times in the past and always ended up having a great night.

The menu has a huge choice on it and although the food is not the best in town it is simple and usually well done. My pancake filled with ham and leeks followed by a nice steak was great.

Service can be a little slow but whenever im there the place is packed.

The wine list is short but like the food simple and good value.

If you want fine dining don't come here but if you want decent food at a decent price rolled in with a great atmosphere then give this place a try.

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Kwan Thai

Great views, decent service but very bog standard thai food.

The menu was like every other thai menu I have seen and all the dishes we had were fine but just a little boring.

It was a Saturday night so fairly busy but the decor seems a little tired.

Prices seemed okay for the area and the portions were large.

All in all not bad.

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Cafe Rouge (St Katharine Docks)

Been twice since this branch opened as it is close to home and on both occasions had a decent if uninspiring meal.

Classic French menu with all the right boxes ticked and at a pretty decent price.

Wine list was short but again not overpriced so could be an ideal spot in the summer for a couple of drinks. Service was friendly.

Friday, March 06, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Brick Lane Beigel Bakery

Hard to compare this place to other restaurants on this site but as far as a good salt beef beigel you simply cannot beat this place.

The staff are always cheerful, the place is always packed ( and I've been every day ot the week, lunch times, evenings, 3am and I think even on Christmas day), and the beigels are the best in London.

A regular haunt for over 25 years !

Friday, March 06, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Patterson's

My second visit to Pattersons and again it was great on all fronts.

The food was slightly on the small side but very rich so was enough if having 3 courses. The scallop starter and pork 3 ways were the highlights.

The winelist seems to have expanded with a lot more choice than on my previous visit and we had a very good Montagny 1er cru.

The place was busy and even without music the place had a nice buzz.

Not cheap but then were in Mayfair is.

Monday, March 02, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Gourmet Burger Kitchen (Spitalfields)

Im not sure what the fuss is about this chain of burger bars. The actual burgers are okay and the garlic mayo with the fries is very good but thats about it.

The ordering system is strange the staff don't seem to happy and the wine and drinks list is short.

Overall okay but if I want a burger I can think of several places to go first.

Monday, March 02, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5


Maxwell's

Came here for a bite to eat late Sunday aftrernoon.

Crab cakes and calamari to start were much better than expected and good value at around £6. Mains however were not great with the chicken & bacon club costing £11 and a mixed salad with a few strips of steak near £14. Both were okay but not worth the money.

Cocktails were on a happy hour and the Mai Tai's we drank were not bad. Service was friendly and quick and although the music was a bit loud for me the place a a real buzz.

Might not be back to eat but will for a drink.

Monday, February 16, 2009
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Le Boudin Blanc

Booked the private room in the wine cellar for 8 people for a birthday dinner and had a great night.

Food was as good as always as was the service. The food is good value for money for the area and has a good choice for everyone.

The only down point of the night was the winelist. Very expensive and some of the wines we had were not great for the money, the chassagne montrachet for £60+ was not great nor was our red Burgundy. And when I wanted to order some Cloudy bay sauvignon I was told it was not a good choice so I opted for a Jim Barry riesling which was good but again near £60 a bottle.

All in all we had a great night and would like to thank Lionel and his team for everything.

Monday, February 16, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


The Forge

Returned to the Forge on Saturday lunch for the first time for a while and nothing seems to have changed.

Still a lot of choice on the menu but while the food is not bad it never really excites either.

The wine list appears to be bigger and better value, we had a good Chablis 1er Cru for about £35.

Service was freindly and quick although there was a reason for this. We arrived at about 1.15pm on a Saturday lunch time to a empty restaurant and when we left an hour and a half later we were still the only people they served all lunch.

Monday, January 19, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 7


Mews of Mayfair

Without doubt one of the best meals I've had for a while.

The menu was short but just enough choice for everyone & the food was really top notch. All the dishes we had were great with the only complaint being the food could have been a bit hotter (plates were cold and the food came from dowmstairs on a dumb waiter). Prices were very good with starters between £5 - £9 7 mains no more than £20.

Wine list was good but not cheap, our 2007 petit Chablis was to young and at £35 to expensive. We had a good bottle of St Emillion though for about the same price.

Service was good and the place was nice and busy.

Only other complaint was they kept the main door open & even though we were upstairs there was a cold breeze from time to time.

Will go back

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food

The worst breakfast I've ever had.

Asked to wait 5 minutes upon arrival as they had to set up a table. No problem there until they take you round the bar into the restaurant and then you see at least 10 empty tables ready to go.

Ordered 2 eggs benedict & 2 teas and waited. 5 minutes later nothing, 10 minutes still nothing, then after more than 15 minutes the eggs arrived. Half a muffin, a bit of ham and two poached eggs with a pretty good hollandaise sauce. As I was taking the last mouthful our teas turned up which we declined and asked for the bill. 10 minutes and three requests later the bill turned up including the teas at which point I just left the money for the eggs on the table and left as the manager was busy dealing with another complaint.

In my view the most important thing in a airport restaurant is the speed of service and at near 40 minutes for 2 eggs benedict this was poor.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 5


Buen Ayre

Part two of my steak craving took me to Buen Ayre a little rustic place in Hackney.

Service was okay and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere when busy.

However the reason to come here the the huge slabs of Argentine beef. £45 got us a huge platter with a 14oz sirloin, 12oz ribeye, 2 sausages, grilled cheese and the best black pudding I've tasted for a long time. Sauces came with it to and the only extra was some garlic fries which cost £5 but was enough for 2 people.

All washed down with a nice Cabernet from the all Argentine wine list.

My only complaint was that one of the steaks was more blue than the medium rare we asked for.

Will go again

Monday, December 22, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


maze Grill

Went with four friends for a late lunch last week and had a good but not great meal.

Service was okay, friendly and quick.

Starters or 'small plates' as they were called were all good with the soft shell crab being the highlight.

Now onto the steaks, 5 different breeds with 3 or 4 cuts of each with prices from £10 for Onglet up to over £100 for Wagyu. All the steaks we had were cooked well and nice and tender but they were not the most tasty steaks I've had. £15 for a 10oz rump sounds good value but add on £2 for sauce & £3.50 for each side and the bill adds up. As for the sides they were all top notch and the sauces were good too.

My main fault with the food would be the wooden boards they serve the steaks on don't really keep the meat warm very long (not like a nice hot plate).

Wine list was short with not much under £30, but we had a couple bottles of good Carmenere from Chile for £22.

Monday, December 22, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Las Iguanas (Spitalfields)

Stopped in for Sunday lunch and considering it's a chain the whole experience was better than expected.

Food was okay with all mains around £8 - £12 and with the market in full swing the place had a nice buzz.

Service was very good with our waitress really knowing the menu well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


1901 at Andaz

First visit here since it changed it's name and decor and have to admit the place looks stunning. Saturday night in the city is never going to be very busy and there were only a handful of other tables eating but a few tables drinking gave the place a nice atmosphere.

Now on to the food, I've never been a fan of restaurants who have just one price for all the starters (£10), one for mains (£22) and so on. There is no way my scallop starter should cost the same as my guests smoked haddock starter or the duck liver starter and the same for the mains. As for the taste I found it all a bit bland and the portion size way to small. The mains of Brill and Venison were both given the thumbs up.

The wine list was a good size but very little under £30. We had a nice bottle of pomerol for £84, but the listed vintage of 2000 was not available so we had a 2001 instead at the same price, I felt this year should have been cheaper but no reduction was made.

All in all 3 starters, 3 mains, 3 glasses of champagne (£15 each), a bottle of white, a bottle of red and 2 cocktails came in at just over £300.

Would I go again? I doubt it very much, I don't mind spending top dollar for top food but for these prices the food simply was not good enough.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 5


Smithfield Tandoori

Went with a group of 10 on Friday night and was pleasantly surprised.

Food was pretty good with a good choice of dishes and the place had a decent wine list as well.

Service was okay and we felt a bit rushed towards the end but all in all not a bad place for a curry. Prices were a little high, mains around the £10 mark + £6 for rice and sides.

Not as good as some of my favorite haunts in the east end but far better than anything you can get down Brick Lane.

Monday, October 27, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante (Botolph St)

Walk past here every day and finally tried it recently and wished I had not.

Poor produce not well looked after in not very nice surrondings.

Dishes came out cold or not at all or to other tables before being picked up and then brought to our table.

Staff all looked a bit depressed and the whole experience was poor.

On a positive note they had a great choice of Spanish wines.

Monday, October 20, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5


Le Bouchon Breton

Escaped the hustle of the market for Sunday lunch and left with mixed feelings.

The place looks great with a long bar to the right as you enter and space for over 120 covers laid out to the left.

Firstly the menu is a great read with every French classic on from snails & frogs legs to Choucroute & chateaubriand. Prices vary greatly from 2 courses for £12 (Sunday only I think), to £20+ mains.

Food when it arrived was good but nothing more, good produce cooked well.

Service was okay but a bit to full on for me, but I guess this is what happens when you have 14+ staff on the floor and only maybe 30-40 covers.

The winelist was one of the best I have seen in a while but in my view vastly overpriced. They appear to times every bottle by 4 so for example Chateau Palmer 1990 was a whopping £470. The same bottle in a shop would be between £120 - £170, and I have even seen it on another restaurant list in the city for less than £250.

Overall not a bad restaurant at all but im not sure I would rush back.

Monday, October 20, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6


Le Boudin Blanc

A classic French restaurant in every sense. They had one of those menu's that you want to order everything from it as it all sounds great.

We ended up with mussels and steak tartar to start and followed it with pork belly, duck leg and sea bass for mains. All the food was great with my only complaint being potion size a little small ( my pork could have been twice as big and i would have finished it).

Desserts were okay, a slight let down from the other dishes.

Service was very quick and very friendly and the place and a nice cosy feel.

Wine list had a great choice but like so many places now huge mark ups on some of the wines, Chateaux des Annereaux 2004 (I think that was the year) was vastly overpriced at over £45.

Otherwise a great night out !

Monday, October 13, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Bodean's (Tower Hill)

Have been to the poland st branch over 20 times over the last 5 years so when they opened up in Tower hill I just had to try.

As for the food all the dishes except one were up to their usual high standard.

The ribs, pulled pork and sides were great, however the meatloaf was possibly the worst thing i've eaten in a very long time, and I love the meatloaf at the Poland st branch.

Service was a little slow but very friendly, but everything from the tables to the menu seemed a bit dirty, maybe it was just the time of night (after 10pm).

My other main gripe was the lack of cocktails, just the one!!

Although much closer to home I will sticking to Soho in future.

Monday, October 06, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


The Fire Station

Had a late Sunday afternoon lunch here as we couldn't find anywhere else still serving. In a word AVERAGE.

The menu was like a Gastropubs greatest hits, Steak sarnie, fish & chips, sausage & mash, Ribeye steak & chips, roast of the day etc...

The food when it came was pretty poor with only the steak being of good quality, but even this was cooked wrong.

Service was poor with our waitress knowing nothing about the menu or wine list, she was however friendly and trying her best.

Wine list was short but good value unlike the food.

Monday, September 29, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


Vinoteca (Farringdon)

Nice little wine bar that serves good food at a decent price. The menu is short but changes all the time so always something new to try.

Service is friendly & quick considering how busy they get and the place does have a great atmosphere.

My only real complaint however is a big one. The last three times i've been in they have been out of stock of the first THREE wines I wanted. Whats the point of having a 200 Bin list if you are out of stock of half the wines.

Other than that a nice little bar.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Patterson's

Had dinner for 4 last Saturday and left a little let down. The room itself looks good with a nice glow from the fishtanks and the tables are a good size.

As for the food the only real complaint would be the portion size which was a little on the mean side. The cooking was very good and you could tell they are using good produce. The pork belly with scallops, Turbot starter and Chocolate / Banana pudding were the highlights.

Service although very friendly and willing was poor. If the waiter wants to play the 'put the plates down without asking' game then make sure you get it right as two people got the wrong food on all 3 courses. A second bottle of wine was ordered prior to getting our mains but it never showed up until the desserts were being ordered at which point we declined it and ordered a sweet wine instead.

As for value for money I feel 3 courses for £45 was a touch steep. We booked on a 40% discount which brought it down to £27 for 3 courses which then represented very good value.

The winelist seemed a little short and very expensive - the Vasse Felix Sauvignon / Semillion we drank was £33 which is more than 4 times the price of the bottle in a shop.

One last thing the 12.5% service is added to the whole bill before the 40% food discount is applied so you pay a £5.62 tip on a £27 menu.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 9 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Ping Pong (St Katharine Docks)

My first visit to a Ping Pong and I have to admit the whole experience was much better than I expected.

Service was friendly and quick although I think their system of crossing of your food on a list as they bring it a bit strange (at your table).

The actual Dim sum was good and tasted fresh, had a lot better elsewhere but had a lot worse as well.

It was a bust Friday night so the music was loud and the place had a nice buzz.

To drink we had the chilled plum wine which really went well with some of the dishes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Benares

Came here for lunch on Saturday to escape the rain and had an all round great lunch. Had the lunch time set menu of 3 courses, a glass of wine, coffee & petit fours for £30.

Tandori salmon & the spicy lamb salad were both great and had very subtle spicing. Fish stew & chicken with coconut cream were equally good as mains. Mango cheesecake was nice and light as was the chocolate mousse however the mousse was a little on the small side as I could have got it all on a teaspoon.

The wine that came with the menu was okay and we had a half bottle of Bourgogne blanc from Olivier Leflave which I thought was great value at about £15.

Service was friendly and quick, and the little hand towels are a great little gimmick.

Only downside was a lack of atmosphere as there were about 30 people in a 100 seater restaurant.

Prices looked high on the evening menu (20+ mains), but will be back for lunch or for a special occasion diner.

Monday, August 11, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


The Forge

Had a dinner for seven here recently and although there was nothing really wrong or bad about the place there just nothing to make me want to go back.

Most of the food was okay but none of the dishes really excited.

Service again was okay while the winelist seemed very uninspiring.

The restaurant was not to busy so not much atmosphere to talk of.

Maybe a good place for a quick pre or post theatre diner.

Sunday, August 03, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7


Wahaca (Covent Garden)

Had lunch at Wahaca yesterday and overall had a great lunch. Service was very American with a least five people saying hello on the way in and have a nice day on the way out. Our waitress was very friendly and seemed to know the menu and she explained a few items for us.

Ordered a couple of corona's and the summer selection. The beers were ice cold and the food appeared in what seemed like a couple of minutes.The Quesadillas were great as were the beef & pork burritos. Guacamole & black bean sides were also good with the chicken Tostada the only dish that didn't go down well. A couple more ice cold beers ended a quick lunch nicely.

I notice that a few reviews say that this place is not 'authentic Mexican', well I've never been to Mexico so I can't compare but I can say that this place serves some of the best Mexican food in London.

As for value for monet 4 beers and loads of food came in at £40. I will be back!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


Le Pont de la Tour

Went to the bar at the Pont last weekend for the 1st time in 4 months and things have not improved. No air con so those not lucky enough to get a table outside really felt the heat.

Food was okay and at a decent price but not a huge choice. Servive was however a real joke. I counted 24 tables in the bar with about 18 of them taken. For this amount of people they had just one waitress who as hard as she tried she could not cope. There appeared to be another waitress for the outside tables, two barman and a couple of food runners (who still needed the waitress to serve the food). There also was one manager who seemed to do nothing the whole night except hide behind the bar and only came out to sit and chat to a regular.

This place used to be one of the top places to eat in th 90's but I feel it's time has passed.

Monday, July 28, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


Ed's Easy Diner (Soho)

For me this place does the best burgers in London hands down. Decent choice of burgers, great chips (with cheese) & beautiful creamy milkshakes. Service is as expected very friendly & the juke box makes a fun atmosphere. Forget all the new gourmet burger chains and try Ed's.

Monday, July 21, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Almeida

A very average meal. 3 courses for £17.50 sounds good but you get what you pay for. Food was okay but portions were very small. Main course hake was more like a starter. Ordered wine about 1 minute before mains arrived but it was not served until after we were finished, service in general was poor considering the place was not busy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6


Tapas Brindisa

Popped in mid week and had some of the better Spainish food i've had in London. Didn't have a booking so we were told it would be a 30 minute wait, no problem and after a pint in the market came back for our table.

The small space was packed by this time and although it was loud you could stil hold a conversation. The menu was short but sweet with enough choices for everyone, garlic prawns, chirizo & ham croquettes were all great.

Service was quick & friendly. 9 tapas & 3 glasses of wine for £75 seemed a little high but for good food in London it was okay.

Saturday, July 12, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


The Ambassador

Went for Sunday Brunch having wanted to go here for a while. On paper this place seems to do everything right, yet in practice it just didn't quite work for me.

The brunch menu seemed to be more of a lunch menu with a few additions, no fishcakes, smoked salmon & eggs, pancakes & maple syrup, BLT's or any items I expected to see except eggs benedict or waffles. The food we had was okay but herrings & sour cream and eggs benedict are hard to get wrong. Toast came untoasted (eg bread) and service was slow but very friendly. Only about a third full so atmosphere was very quiet.

Monday, June 30, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


The Ivy

A bit of a mixed night at the Ivy on the weekend.

Starters of Lobster tart & steak tartar were great but followed by sub standered mains. Veal Holstein was okay but the Ivy burger was the driest bit of meat I've ever attempted to eat. On telling this to the waiter he agreed that others had already mentioned this to him. Baked Alaska for 2 people foe dessert however was good & a bit of table side cooking always looks good.

Austrian white wine was lovely & the service was very slick. Suprisingly the place didn't seem full but the atmosphere still had a nice buzz.

Monday, June 23, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Comptoir Gascon

A return to Comptoir last night and everthing was as good as last time.

Duck rillette, seared tuna, roast pork & the barigoule were all of a very high standard.

Service was good, although the place was not full & the wine very good.

A bit more expensive than last time at nearly £190 for 3 people, with the cheese at £9 a plate a bit on the high side. However for this standard of cooking I'll be back.

Monday, June 23, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


St Germain

Third visit in 3 months and have to say this place just gets better and better. Food is great tasting, simply presented and very well priced.

Service is possibly the best in London, wine list is short but covers most areas and the atmosphere is great.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Butlers Wharf Chop House

Have been here many times before (& even left a good review on this site), but I just had the worst meal out in a long time. Food was poor, the pork was so dry and the mullet main course far too small (maybe 100 grams).

However the service was even worse, things forgotten, no smiles, no pouring of wine, stale bread, wrong wine served, I could go on and on.

I asked for the service to be taken off and the bill was snatched from the table and the new bill slapped on the table. When I gave the girl my credit card I asked if she was curious as to why I wanted the service to be removed to which she I answered "I didn't serve you so I don't care". Never again!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5


Coq d'Argent

3 of us went for the jazz lunch at Coq d'Argent yesterday and had a nice meal.

All of the nine dishes we had between us were of a high standard and of a good size, and at 3 courses fo £30 not bad value either.

The place was quiet, as it was a Sunday in the city, but the jazz band gave the place a nice vibe. My one main problem was with the wine list. Yes there is a great choice with over 300 bins to choose from but there is very little choice for less than £30 a bottle.

We ordered a Billicart-Salmon Rose to start which was presented and opened and we were told it was the last bottle. No problem so far. However on tasting the wine we all agreed it was corked. The sommelier said no problem and gave us back the wine list to choose another bottle.This is where the fun started. Tattinger Rose? out of stock

Billicart-Salmon NV? out of stock.

At this point we thought we would go straight to white and ordered a bottle of Pouilly fume. It was brought over opened and again we were told it was the last bottle. Wine was nice and when we finished the bottle we had to go back to the wine list. Sancerre? out of stock Gavi di Gavi ? out of stock. And one more choice I can't remember was also out of stock before we settled on a sauvignon blanc from the Loire.

I just don't understand why a restaurant like this can't simply mark of bottles they are out of stock so as not to waste so much time choosing a bottle only then to find it not available. Apart from the fun with ordering the wine the meal was good and I will be returning.

Monday, June 09, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Nakhon Thai (Wapping)

All in all a pretty good thai restaurant in a great water front setting.

Service was quick and friendly, food was good (drunken duck & panang curry were the highlights) and the wine list covered most areas.

With the 50% off the food for 3 people and 2 bottles of Gavi the bill came in at £103 including service.

Apart from the lack of fellow customers (it was a Sunday night) and what appeared to be the owners sitting at the bar watching their waiters every move it was a good meal and a welcome addition to the area.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 8


Boisdale of Bishopsgate

Im afraid to say this was an expensive and not very good meal.

Food was okay but prices are high (£25 plus for a steak) and the service was terrible. We had to carry our own wine including glasses and ice bucket downstairs when we wanted to go to our table. The manager spent the night sitting at a table talking and didn't seemed concerened anything.

To top it of i have never seen a wine list that states the wine must be paid for even if it corked or out of condition. Wines on the list were also not cheap, Craggy range sauvignon blanc for £35 is lot more than other city places.

Decor also looks tired.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4


Gilgamesh

Went for a Sunday night meal to Gilgamesh but came out feeling slightly let down.

Firstly the decor, it does look great and it's hard to fault.

Service was okay, nothing special and the place was not busy so it might be a bit slower say on a Saturday night.

However my main problem was with the food or lack of it. we booked on the 50% off set menu, and I have to say what we got would not have been worth the full £40. It appeared to me that this set menu only exisits so they can knock 50% off for online bookers.

The actual food was pretty good (watermelon & duck salad and the lamb on green mash were highlights) there just was not enough for the 3 of us eating.

Next visit I'll stick to the a la carte.

Monday, May 19, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


St Germain

Second visit to St Germain and had another great meal.

The food is good and at a decent price and the service was again outstanding from our Australian waiter. The place looks good and has a nice buzz when it fills up.

Monday, May 19, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Hawksmoor Spitalfields

Another great steat at Hawksmoor last night. The 600g ribeye was cooked just right and was washed down with a nice bottle of Cline Zinfandel. The place was busier than on my last visit and this made for a much better atmosphere.

Not a cheap place but a must for steak fans.

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Arbutus

Have to agree with some of the other reviews here and say this was a major let down. Everything from start to finish was poor. Waited 15 mins for drink order to be taken and then another 10 mins for them to bring the bottle. When it did arrive it had no label but they told me it was what I ordered. I pointed out that I had ordered a rose and this one was white and then it took another 5 mins to find the right bottle.

Food was okay but not great and one dish was forgotten.

After desserts we had a bottle of Champagne and as they were 7 of us on the table I expected the waiter to spread the bottle around so we all got three quaters, but no he pored 6 full glasses and one got none. (We ordered another bottle)

Even the table was not great, but 3 tables for 2 put together, with no space at the head so 4 had to squeeze on one side.

In a word poor!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


New Tayyabs

The best curry to be had in London !

Yes you have to queue, yes the service can be abrupt and yes sometimes they bring your drinks, starters and mains all at the same time.

However these are things I can forgive in order to eat here. And it's really cheap and you can bring your on wine.

Forget Brick Lane and go to New Tayyab, you wont regret it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


Il Bordello

Il Bordello is a really good place for a quick pizza or pasta. The service is very friendly and quick and the place seems to be packed all the time, even on a Sunday night at 10pm.

Menu also has a good selection of meat and fish but prices are high, although portions are HUGE.

As I said the place is busy so may not suit a quiet romantic meal, but if your in Wapping give it a go.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


Big Easy (King's Rd)

Went to the Big Easy for a late lunch last Sunday and all in all had a good meal.

Service was friendly and quick and the menu was extensive. Starters were small for the price with the baskets/plates filled up with nachos to make the portions look bigger, but what we ate was okay.

Mains were better, the ribeye steak on the bone was a great piece of meat and it came with a few onion rings and the best bearnaise I'd had for a long time. All other mains were good except for a beef fajitas which were all veg and little beef and were poor value for £15.

Wine list was great and very well priced, £37 for Cloudy bay, I can think of only a few places cheaper.

Cocktails on the other hand were not so good and overpriced, £26 for a jug of long Island iced tea.

Overall not bad at all, and would go again if in the area.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Smiths of Smithfield

Without question the worst service to be had in London.

The food is good and the place looks great but after having problems with the service on the last three visits it's time to call it a day.

I will not be returning, which is a shame as it used to be great.

Friday, May 02, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 7 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5


Le Beaujolais

A cracking little bar in the heart of the west end.

Nice bottle of Sancerre for about £25 and all the staff were really friendly.

The place was nice and busy with what looked like lots of regulars, and the atmosphere was great.

Did not eat but the menu looked simple and rustic and the food I saw going out looked good.

Monday, April 21, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Incognico

A very, very average restaurant.

3 of us ate here on saturday night and all left rather dissappointed. The food was ok but for near £40 for three courses it was not up to scratch. Service was below par, with drinks forgotten and the bill taking a long time to come.

Overall at £200 for 3 people including 2 bottles of wine there is much better value to be had in London. I feel this place is a bit of a tourist trap.

My first and last time in Incognico.

Monday, April 21, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4


Le Pont de la Tour

The following review is for the bar & grill not the main restaurant.

Been here over a dozen times over the years but I doubt I’ll be back for a while.

The food choice and quality have taken a nosedive and the service is going the same way. If a restaurant is going to charge me 12.5% service on my £30 bottle of wine then they should either make sure my glass is topped up or they should leave the bottle next to my table so I can do it myself, not 10 feet away.

As for the food it's not bad it's just a bit bland and boring. What we ate was fresh and well prepared but you need more choice: 2 types of steak, 2 types of chicken, 2 types of fish in breadcrumbs, 1 other fish dish, lobster and a veg option.

The one area that I cannot find fault is the atmosphere. Always a nice buzz and the pianist is great. The hustle and bustle of the bar is the main reason I eat here rather than the main restaurant.

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7


St Germain

Saturday night at St Germain and to echo the previous review, we had great service from someone who clearly takes pride in what they do.

Food was good and at a decent price, room was nice but only half full but still a nice buzz in the place.

All told 3 starters, 2 mains, 2 desserts and 2 bottles of wine and service came to just over £100.

Will be back!

Monday, April 07, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

Got a table in the oyster bar of Bentleys on Saturday night and had a great time.

Food was good, Asparagus & duck egg, fish soup & pollack the highlights.

Tables are really packed in here but I felt this gave the room a great atmosphere.

Service from the reception to the barman was good but it was our waitress (Katie)who stood out, she was simply great!

Value for money was not bad, good selection of white wine in 250ml carafe's let us try several wines at a decent price.

And to top it all were sitting next to Hugh Grant!

Monday, March 31, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8


Gordon Ramsay's Boxwood Cafe

Sunday lunch at the Bowwood cafe for seven people.

Nice bright airy room with a decent sized round table. Service was good, friendly and efficient.

Food tasted great and the portions were a good size.

We had a couple (3) bottles of Chablis for about £30 a bottle and all had 3 courses and the bill came in at around £450.

Water, sides,drinks in the bar and service pushed the bill up a bit but for this standard of cooking, value for money is not too bad.

Friday, March 28, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Bodean's (Soho)

If you like ribs then this is the place for you. I must have been 20 times over the last 3 years and I can think of only one occasion when Bodean's has let me down.

1. Food is great with top marks for the pork ribs, pulled pork, clam chowder & corn bread.

2. Service is always quick & friendly.

3. Beers & cocktails are good & at decent prices.

4. Great value for money with the 'pig out for a tenner'

Without doubt one of my fav places in London.

Thursday, March 20, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


Gaucho (Tower Bridge)

Went last Saturday for lunch at Gaucho, and all in all a little dissapointed.

Service was good and the atmosphere was nice, however it was the food that let the side down.

Starters were okay but very small, side dishes were better, but it was the steaks that that we came for and they were poor for the price. Lacked flavour, to much gristle and overcooked. A lot of my friends love Gaucho so I will give them another go.

On the plus side like I said service was good and wine list was also good, if a little expensive ( £31.95 for a Malbec from Masi).

Cheesecake for dessert was great.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


Hawksmoor Spitalfields

Four of us went for lunch yesterday and found it to be the same as on previous visits. The steaks are great, in both quality and quantity, side dishes good but not cheap and great wine list, but again not cheap.The only thing missing on this visit was other customers as there were less than 20 people in the place.Service was friendly and quick. If you like your meat pay this restaurant a visit.

Friday, February 22, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Butlers Wharf Chop House

I normally eat in the bar here rather than the restaurant, and at 3 courses for £12 you really cant beat it for value. Last visit also had a nice bottle of Chapel down baccus reserve and even with a couple of side dishes it was still great value. As for the food and service both are generally pretty good.

Monday, February 18, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


The Brasserie at The Cumberland

Went here last Saturday and have to say I was rather disappointed. The place was only a third full so the atmosphere was very subdued. Service was good but if anything it was to attentive (clearing our wine glasses away without asking if we would like another bottle). However my biggest complaint is with the prices. The food we had was very good but £28 for halibut without any veg (£4 extra for sides) was steep considering this is a brasserie. We were also charged £2.50 for 2 small slices of toast to accompany our pork terrine starter. All in all for 2 starters, 2 mains and a bottle of wine the bill was £130. As I said the food was good but there is much better value to be had in London.

Monday, February 11, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3


Comptoir Gascon

Went for a meal there in December and had a great time. The large wooden table is just right for a group of 7 or 8.Food was simple and rustic, wine was good value and the service was laid back but attentive.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8


Rosemary Lane

Went last saturday and as usual everything was top notch.Have been many times and will continue.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10


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