All reader reviews by Ben

Cafe Mode (Endell St)

Cafe Mode ain't posh so don't go expecting a groundbreaking Italian experience or a restaurant that has a major "wow" factor. It is basically a nice little cafe/bistro - something that London (especially Covent Garden) is desperately short of.

They do a nice range of pizzas, pastas, salads, burgers etc. Beers and wines are quaffable and the atmos is laid back. Best of all the prices are very reasonable.

If you are in town and you want somewhere to grab a bite to eat that is easy-going and reasonably priced then Cafe Mode is for you. The enduring support it receives from its regulars is testament to its consistent delivery of a pleasureable experience.

Friday, October 05, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9


Not recommended.

The Oriel seems to have come a long way in terms of its service. The bar and waiting staff were fine. Certainly a little snooty at times, but that in a way that adds to the classic European ambience. Perhaps "distant" is a better word. Only real complaint there was that the pepper-pot grinder did not notice that he had run out of pepper. This suggests a lack of care to me but is not the end of teh world.

The food, however, was more reminiscent of an Angus Steakhouse than a quality restaurant. I had chicken stuffed with mozarella with an "Italian" sauce and sauteed potatoes. The cheese was rock hard and totally flavourless. The Italian sauce seemed to consist of tinned chopped tomatoes with a few olives thrown in to give it a mediterannean flavour. The potatoes were nearly raw and covered with grease. My partner had a mushroom risotto that had the taste and texture of Polyfilla, served in a greasy bowl with fingerprints on the edge. Our co-diners all opted for steaks. These looked a bit more presentable but the accompanying sauces were probably bought-in and tasted as though they were packed with additives.

Good company made the night but I would be tempted instead to eat at home and then head to the Red Lion pub round the corner.

Friday, October 05, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 1 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 3

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