All reader reviews by Dutch_Food

Terroirs

If you like good unusual wines with plates of cold meats and cheeses, this is the place to go to. Even dessert was of very good quality. The tables are a bit cramped and if you don't like meats the menu can be limited.

The service was friendly and the meals are well presented but the main deal is the very large choice of wines - no Hardys or Mondavi wines here but from small vineyards from mainly France and Italy.

One word of warning the bill climbs very quickly with the wines and various plates of ham.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Kitchen W8

Went here for midweek lunch recently and had the fixed price lunch (3 courses for just under £20).

We were very impressed with the food - usually when there is set meal the ingredients are of lesser quality but not here. The atmosphere is very pleasant and the service was top not obtrusive but there when you need them.

We will be going back!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


The Orange

Had Saturday lunch here. The place was already full when we arrived at 12:15 - very popular with families.

Service was friendly and there was a good vibe. The menu is not too long (usually a good thing) with quite a lot of pizzas. These are not cheap - small ones cost around £9 and large ones around £14. We first shared a starter of fried calamari. these were well done but nothing special. For the mains we had three pizzas and the lamb pie. The pizzas were ok, we've certainly had better in London. The pie was home made with fresh mash on top but the meat was an unappealing grey.

We didn't try any dessert as a big group of about 20 girls had come in and the service suffered.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6


Les Deux Salons

We went here for Sunday lunch after booking online (credit card details requested, very cheeky). Ariived at about 12:30 and the place was deserted, only two other tables were occupied.

Service was efficient and we ordered a mix of starters and main courses. Most started were very ordinary except for the Snail pie. The mains were even less attactive, the best was the cod but at over £21 a big rip-off. We ordered some side orders as well, but these again were very small and expensive. A lot of food was accompanied by the same vegetables all drpping in water - was the kitchen in such hurry.

The place is rather gloomy, especially when so empty. So overall not a great experience as the bill was on the high side.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3


Polpo

We went there last Saturday for lunch and arrived reasonably early so we got a table immediately. I'm not sure why people complain about very long waiting times. If it takes too long then just leave, no good suffering. One should also know that it's difficult to find a table in London after 18:30 by just wandering in and hoping for the best.

Anyway, we ordered about 7 different dishes, some were great (broad beans, ricotta, mint bruschetta), some average (the arancini was too salty). The MGM drink was great and the service was fine (most people seem to complain about this).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Iberica (Marylebone)

We went there last last Sunday. Only downstairs is open with an adapted menu - paella and a short list of tapas.

When we came in the place was reasonably full which surprised us considering the unusual location which is very quiet on a Sunday.

Service turned out to be well meaning but very amateurish:

- We three times had to ask to remove the vast array of glasses on the table - they are keen for you to order wine

- They took our order for soft drinks and after a number of failed attempts finally only brought tiny coke bottles.

- We ordered bread but this was forgotten about.

- It took ages to pay

Now the food, the two tapas we ordered were good, but £8.00 for a normal portion of fried squid is pushing it.

The paella was big disappointment priced at £18.50 per portion. It says on the menu that it takes 40 minutes to freshly prepare. This is a bit of a gimmick, you don't need to prepare every plate of paella from scratch. In any case it was NOT freshly prepared, there was thin film on top the paella obviously where it had been under a hot lamp for a while (I just hope it wasn't microwaved). For two and at that price the number of ingredients and portion was very mean.

All in all a big disappointment, especially considering there are such good Spanish restaurants in London like Barrafina, Lolla Roso, Dehesa, etc.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 2


Caramel

During the weekend this place is very popular with sometimes people queueing outside. Could so many people be wrong? Well more or less.

This not the pace to relax and have a chat whilst sitting in comfortable chairs. Service is ultra efficient to the point of robotic - it reminds me of the touristy restaurants in Italy, every customer is an item to be processed as quickly as possible.

Then the food, there are a lot of different types of breakfasts plus the option of creating your own. After we ordered our food it showed up about 5 minutes later. This in a place filled to the brim! How do they do this? Well most of the food is evidently kept under hot lamps as everything was luke-warm or colder. The quality of the ingredients seemed ok but a fried egg that is half cold, I think I would prefer to go to a proper greasy-spoon where everything is fried on the spot.

Moral of our visit, do not follow the crowd!

Monday, December 07, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 5


Shish Willesden

This place has gone bust, maybe not surprising considering the most recent reviews.

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Overall rating 0 stars
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0


Vapiano (Great Portland St)

This place is worth a try if you are in the area otherwise it's quite unremarkable.

As some people have noted the ordering of food can be confusing and time consuming. When we went, we had to wait quite a while for the freshly prepared pasta. Some queues can take a while and if you are unlucky (some staff are a lot more experienced then others) you could end up waiting for 30 minutes. The food itself is ok, the pastas are stodgy maybe a bit like German food.

The place is also very noisy, with screaming kids running around - upstairs is a bit better.

When we wanted to pay we ended up waiting in another queue.

Go when it's quieter otherwise prepare for a school dining expeience.

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


The Compass

After all the positive reviews (like in Time Out) we thought we should give this new gastropub a try.

We were there on the recent Bank Holiday weekend. The place was quite empty but the best seats were taken so we sat next to the open kitchen. I went to the toilet with our young son but when I came back we still didn't have the menu or seen anybody who might be able to serve us. I went to look for a menu myself but a girl appeared who had been busy cleaning and laying some tables. Useful but not when people have been waiting for some service.

The menu was super short, five mains and for dessert a cheese plate. Ok we thought they are keeping it simple, it won't take too long to cook and it will all be fresh.

Our drinks arrived and then the waiting started. Out of boredom and hunger we ordered the additional bread which turned out to be dry and the portion was small.

Eventually after 50 minutes the food finally showed up but it wasn't worth the long wait. When I asked for some ketchup the watitress said sure I'll get some but nothing showed up, as again she was chatting with some friends.

The people in the kitchen seemed very busy, but as you sometimes see in Masterchef, the ones who give the impression of doing a lot are not the best cooks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5


Santa Maria del Sur

We have been to Argentina very often so can compare the quality of the food with the real thing.

On the whole the meat is good, cooked exactly to order and quite tender. Portions are generous but they should be at that price.

Chorizos and empenadas were very tasty. The only quibble were the dulce de leche pancakes which arrived a few minutes after we ordered them. Definitely not made on the spot.

Service is very friendly and seemed to cope well even though the restaurant is popular for birthday parties.

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


Goya

We ate here recently. Ordered 6 tapas dishes. All were ok, nothing special but nothing too bad. Worse were the croquetas which seemed to have been fried in old oil.

The coca-colas were luke-warm with one ice cube, not great.

The place looks a bit tired but service was friendly.

Sunday, April 05, 2009
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5


Tentazioni

Ate here last Thursday and to our surprise the restaurant was almost full. As I live nearby I had the impression it wasn't that popular.

As it was full the service was stretched from the beginning. The friendly owner kept on dropping things and crashing against tables as she was in such a hurry.

The menu was short but what really catches the eye are the high prices, starters around £9.50, mains £18-21.

We had one starter and this was open raviolo with truffles and figs. This was a very tasty dish, full of great flavours. Unfortunately the mains were a severe let-down. My fish was battered (not mentioned on the menu) and the peanut sauce just didn't deliver. My wife's kebab was at £20 a joke nothing better than you get at £8 at your local Chinese restaurant.

Dessert was ok although again too expensive for the quality.

All in all a big disappointment especially as the bill (with wine) came to almost £90.

Monday, July 03, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 3


The Terrace Restaurant & Bar

Been here twice, once when it had just opened and we were the only people having lunch on a Saturday.

We went again last Saturday and thought it would be great place to have lunch outside. Unfortunately there is absolutely no shade on the terrace so it's only suitable if you want get roasted yourself. We went inside but it's still a very warm place to eat.

It took quite a while for the food to arrive but on the whole it was pretty good. It's not exactly a place for a light bite, the kitchen sometimes aims a bit too high.

Monday, June 26, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


The Garden Cafe

After Inn the Park another park cafe has gone upmarket. There is a take-way section which seems very successful but we ate in the restaurant proper.

As we arrived the receptionist offered a baby seat but after a 10 minute search she gave up. Both seats were already taken, not great for a restaurant catering for families.

We only ordered the mains and 2 child menus but after 25 minutes we were offered the bread (usually £2.50) on the house as food was taking a while. It finally arrived after 45 minutes not great when you've got 2 hungry children. Food itself was mediocre, my chicken overcooked and expensive at £9.

Not recommended

Monday, May 08, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4


Canteen (Spitalfields)

Seems like a winner this restaurant. Arrived at 12:15 on Sunday morning it was almost empty, half an hour later all the tables were occupied.

Service very friendly, we immediately got a baby seat and didn't have to wait very long for the drinks and food.

Food itself was well prepared and very tasty, portions are a bit on the small side especially considering the prices.

Otherwise recommended.

Monday, May 08, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7


The Ultimate Burger (Tottenham Court Rd)

Not very good. Ok it's better than BK or Mac but otherwise way overpriced. Everything adds up quickly and before you know it, a meal costs £15 for an average burger (meat very small portion) some chips, a milkshake and a dessert.

Friday, March 03, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 4


Hamburger Union (Garrick St)

Talk about the emperor's new clothes. Just because this isn't McDonalds doesn't mean the food is good.

The hamburger meat is tiny - like it's been cooked for over 30 minutes, the bread is so-so and the extras are way too expensive.

I guess you pay for the location but I would definitely rate the Gourmet Burger Kitchen much higher.

Friday, March 03, 2006
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 3 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 3


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