All reader reviews by Simmo


Had breakfast here with friends on a Saturday morning...second time I've been and we made use for the 2 for 1 offer.

Really good experience - great setting, and the breakfasts were very good - we had a blend of English breakfast, Vegetarian breakfast and Eggs Benedict - no complaints from any at all and most definitely better than other classic institutions such as Simpsons.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Gazette (Balham)

What a disappointing experience, based largely around terrible service.

We arrived to order a caraffe of house red (which took 15 minutes to arrive) and then eventually place our orders. I went for the ribeye steak (requested medium rare) and my wife had the calamari risotto.

When the food arrived, the steak resembled nothing like a ribeye and was very well-done. I requested that it be taken back and replaced with the original apology was forthcoming. So my wife proceeded with her food which was ok but alarmingly I was left to look on and see the waitering staff and chefs joke around and drink coffee. 15 minutes later we reminded the waiter that we were still waiting for the ribeye which came 5 minutes later. Once again, no apology. The steak was cooked to medium rare but still a very average cut and something that anyone would be disappointed to pay £15 for.

Given the poor show in service we asked straight for the bill and noted the 'discretionary' service charge to be added on to the bill. Which we took off straight away.

If you want decent French food in the Balham area at cheaper prices, give the French Cafe a chance - and don't even bother with this. It's a shame because Gazette is in a great location and could be so good.

Owners need to seriously review the service and kitchen abilities behind this establishment and up its game as a matter or urgency. Very poor.

Monday, August 23, 2010
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 1 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 2

Nancy Lam's Enak Enak

Given the reputation of both the owner and restaurant as well as the prospect of sampling Indonesian cuisine, we had mixed feelings about our experience here.

The quality and tastes of the food cannot be faulted - we had chicken satay for starter followed by the beef randan and a delicious prawn curry. Wine list was decent, although interestingly all French.

The bad points were as follows: as most reviews comment, the portions really are tiny for the price and certainly we left satisfied with the taste but still hungry I'm afraid!

Also, the desserts were very disappointing - both the banana fritters and the coconut stuffed pancakes looked very sad when they arrived and once again, portions were minimal. That said, we were delighted with our lemongrass/honey drink afterwards which was very refreshing.

In summary, a lovely restaurant, good waiting staff (although very busy), good quality food but I'm afraid Nancy will have to raise her game with the portions if she's going to charge those prices - it could be so good!

Sunday, March 16, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 3

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