All reader reviews by Anonymous
Dreadful. Noisy and yet lacking in atmosphere. Food is expensive but unimaginative and poor. This is in no way a pub, it's a mediocre restaurant.
Go to the fantastic Indian Rasoi on the other side of the road instead.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Food 2 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 2 | Value for money 2
The flavour combinations and use of ingredients are really imaginative and work brilliantly. We chose to have the vegetarian set 10-course menu and the meat/fish one - simply so we could taste all the dishes on offer.
Both menus were excellent - standout dishes were the grilled salad, the hake with chicken skin [it just works] and the duck. We'd probably have preferred more desserts  and fewer savoury dishes but that's a minor quibble.
If you like good food and enjoy seeing what amazing combinations a chef can create then visit here. The staff are friendly and the service is slick.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
Food 10 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
Dreadful. A group of us ate here after a mistake in our booking at a nearby restaurant meant we needed a quick alternative.
We had misgivings on seeing that the restaurant was almost empty [everywhere else was full] and we should've walked at that point.
The food was bland, I asked for my dish to be spicy, it was barely spiced at all. One of my friends couldn't eat her tofu dish it was so disgusting. Even the rice was undercooked.
The only positive is that the amount of meat in the dishes was quite generous but if it doesn't taste good, that's a small consolation.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Food 1 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 3
Two of us ate here on a Tuesday evening. Luckily we were in a corner away from the main dining area upstairs because it got quite full and very loud as the evening progressed. Lots of city suits on expense accounts [by the look of it].
Food was competent but not particularly exciting. The service was good but not very friendly.
Overall, it's a good venue for the area - the City lacks any decent places to eat - particularly if someone else is paying. But it lacks atmosphere somewhat and is pretty loud in the main part of the restaurant.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6
Nibbles with drinks were a bit odd, bacon popcorn is lovely, the bits of flavoured 'batter' less so. They came with a delicious dip but it's impossible to dip wafer-thin batter, it just disintegrates and the popcorn didn't fare much better.
But that was our only gripe.
We had the tasting menu [£79/pp, not cheap but good value] and the dishes improved throughout the meal [possibly related to our wine consumption but don't think so!]. The cod and the beef were some of the best we've ever had.
Lots of 'snow' and 'foam' but the concentration of flavours in these was remarkable.
Slick, friendly service without being obsequious. We saw the chef talking to another table [possibly regulars, certainly wealthy] and he came out a few times to check the restaurant, which is good to see.
An unusual restaurant, not well known but great quality.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
We got a table at short notice even though the place was busy. Nice decor and staff were efficient.
Short menu looked promising - liked the idea of food freshly sourced from what the market had available - but we found the portions a bit meagre and the execution of the dishes not quite up to the price level.
Pork belly was good [but small] and the beef had hardly seen the flame. It was tender enough to take it but I prefer my meat a bit more cooked. My fault for not returning it to the kitchen for another try but feel they should also have asked how I wanted it.
There aren't many decent options to eat in Borough Market on a weekday evening [most are overpriced, overhyped and/or overfull] so I would consider it again if pushed.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
We had some concerns before coming here as the newspaper reviews had been mixed. But this is a lovely little restaurant. Fairly casual dining and decor with very nice staff and good Italian food.
The menu is short and includes more unusual cuts etc [rabbit, tripe, lamb neck] but don't le that put you off. There is plenty to tempt anyone, including vegetarian options.
A very good wine list and some interesting cocktails make this a nice dinner date option for couples, friends, or business colleagues.
The ice cream is gorgeous - smooth texture and fabulous flavour.
We visited on a Tuesday night and the restaurant wasn't full but I'm sure this will change as it gets more established and its reputation spreads!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8
Nice spot - excellent tea, but the food just isn't any good.
The place is quite popular but I can only assume most people don't mind stodgy food or are craving it in this cold weather.
The hot dishes are stodgy and frequently have grease floating in them, it's hard to find something on offer that isn't covered in cheese or full of pasta/potato.
The salads also seem to be heavy-handed on the oil. Last time I had one, my dish was swimming in olive oil.
Really really want to use this place more frequently but the food just isn't good enough. Tea only from now on!
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Food 3 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7
Two of us visited on a Saturday lunch time. The restaurant wasn't full and it was a pleasant venue. Yes, as others have said, it's dark but that's the building style and it's fine.
Menu was short and competent, service slightly less slick - friendly but a bit haphazard. It didn't really detract from the meal though.
We had dover sole [excellent, beautiful white flesh] and duck with chickpeas [cooked and flavoured well]. We followed this with a hazelnut and raspberry tart and the best bread ice cream we've ever tasted. The orange and thyme sorbet was also great, really refreshing.
We didn't like the prosecco and wine being served in small tumbers and that actually prevented us ordering any more - a minor quibble but sometimes being trendy doesn't work.
Overall a nice venue and good food at a good price [for the area in particular].
Monday, November 21, 2011
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7
Six adults and one child booked for the pizza restaurant but were moved next door to the Turkish part. Not a problem as both menus are available in both venues.
Mixed meze starters were average, luke warm and small servings. The hummus tasted of nothing at all and there was only one small strip of pitta bread per person to go with it.
Mains were passable, risotto managed to be stodgy and watery at the same time. One of the pizzas was missing a topping [there were only 4 to get right]. The Turkish specialities were the most successfully executed but surprisingly bland for such a rich cultural cuisine.
Service was patchy and we had to ask for a number of items twice.
It served its purpose as a place to meet and it wasn't too expensive but we'll be reluctant to return.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 5
We went on a Friday night - it was busy but the staff were able to find a table for 3 after a short wait. Staff were friendly and competent and kept us up-to-date on timings etc.
The menu had quite a few Vietnamese specialties to tempt and we tried the hot prawn noodle soup, spicy chicken & noodle salad and a beef in a spicy sauce.
Overall we thought the food was very fresh tasting and quite authentic [we've been to Vietnam] but could've been spicier [or asked how spicy we wanted it when we ordered] and the meat/fish element wasn't very generous - but these are minor points. Nice local venue, reasonable prices and we'll definitely return.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9
Dr C and I went to the tapa room for brunch last Friday. We'd heard there are queues out the door at the weekend which had put us off visiting before.
We arrived at about 10.30 [breakfast is served until 11.30] and the downstairs cafe was about two-thirds full. The guy who greeted us - possibly the manager - wasn't exactly friendly or welcoming but he was efficient. He offered us seats at the high central table but I'd spotted a side table coming free and asked for that. He said yes but seemed reluctant about it - we felt like we'd been judged and fallen short somehow...
Anyway, the food. We'd checked the menu beforehand and were excited at trying some of the interesting and unusual flavour combinations on offer. I was going to try the Turkish-style eggs but saw them at another table and they looked a bit 'sloppy' so I opted for chorizo with sweet potato mash and a poached egg. Dr C had salmon on sourdough with eggs [bit like eggs florentine]. We also requested a bowl of granola and yoghurt to share.
Coffee is excellent - although quite small cups and not as hot as I would've liked [for a flat white]. After two cups I really felt I'd hit my caffeine quota for the day.
My chorizo/mash/egg combo was gorgeous. I was a bit disappointed that the mash was cold and I detected a hint of vinegar in the white of the egg [I know it helps in the cooking but I find it jars too much] but got over it pretty quickly! The flavour combinations with subtle hints of star anise and toasted cashews and garlic were excellent.
Dr C wondered if he'd made a bad choice after seeing another table's dish of bacon, eggs and black pudding but was quickly satisfied once he tucked into his own. The salmon had large flakes and everything worked together really well.
Although we were quite full we managed to finish the granola. It contained black sesame seeds, pine nuts, oats, raisins, sultanas and doubtless other nuts and seeds all toasted and honey coated - delicious.
We left feeling very satisfied and didn't need to eat again until dinner - which is quite unusual for us! We'd certainly like to return for the food and perhaps the surly service will have cheered up by then too.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7
I have been reluctant to visit this restaurant as I thought it was all style and no substance. However I was looking for a last-minute venue which served relatively simple, non-spicy food and BBR had tables free - sorted.
The decor and general vibe is like a quieter sibling to The Wolseley - leather banquettes and soft lamps. Staff were friendly and efficient.
The menu didn't grab me - the selection didn't really seem to have anything that was light, fresh and healthy. Fish was fried or in sauces, meat pies, burgers and the like were all on there. The only salad was a caesar - not very interesting.
We skipped starters and I chose the crab cake with a quail's egg on top and my friend had sole goujons. We knew that any accompaniments would be small so we also ordered new potatoes and green beans. The food arrived very quickly and I was surprised by how small the portions were for the price. The potatoes were great, the beans a little too crunchy for my tastes. The crab cake was a bit under-seasoned but nice, the sole was good and we paced ourselves.
A bottle of Kim Crawford dry riesling helped it all go down.
We decided to have desserts, partly because we were still peckish. The desserts sounded good - much more appealing than the mains [but I do have a sweet tooth]. We chose a trio of ice creams [chocolate, peanut butter and salted caramel] all were very good. My friend's chocolate fondant looked a bit flat when it arrived but tasted good and oozed in the correct way.
We weren't rushed by the staff and the ambiance was good. Overall it was a pleasant meal but more down to the company and the atmosphere than the food. Visit for competent food and service but with little flair.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6
I keep returning to this pub but after a recent visit, I won't go again. It's just not good enough to bother with.
The tapas is ok but as most of what we ordered was made elsewhere - cheese, charcuterie, bread, babagnoush [to be fair: probably made by them and it is good] - then that isn't hard. What lets it down is the quality of the food for the mains. Between us we had fishcakes [dry]; pork cheek with lentils [not cooked long enough for this type of dish] and lamb kebabs with tabbouleh [very tough, chewy lamb]. My lamb dish reminded me that I'd had exactly the same complaint last time I ate at the pub - the meat isn't good quality or it's cooked badly, or both.
Service was pretty much what others have said in reviews, brusque, rushed and not particularly efficient. At 10.45 we were told it was last orders - although surely in a restaurant that rule doesn't apply? They were very clear that they were closing soon however and the lights went up at 11pm on the dot. The interior is noisy and it was hard to have a conversation. Almost £200 for four of us although we did have 3 bottles of wine and some beers so that accounted for a fair proportion of the bill.
Quite simply - never again. There are other more pleasant, better eateries to be found in London.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 6
On first arrival we found the restaurant's ambience to be disappointing. Slightly too many covers for such a small space, dingy lighting and very noisy. Our orders for drinks weren't taken for about 20 mins and we were starting to wonder if we should leave and go to one of the nice-looking Persian places nearby.
Food ordering did take a while to come through, we were left waiting for about 25 mins in all before we were asked, which wasn't great. Other tables also seemed to be waiting but then a rush of dishes came out and the service picked up. Obviously they were pacing themselves and giving the kitchen some time.
We had lamb sweetbreads with pea shoots and peas to start which was delicate, caramel-charred and delicious. Mains of lamb rump with minted courgettes and veal steak with celeriac were well-cooked and flavoured. The quality of the meat was excellent. We finished with rice pudding with rhubarb and milk pudding flavoured with lemon with fresh raspberries and laits du chats - both were lovely.
A couple of glasses of wine and some bread and the bill was just over £80 not incl. service - very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food.
In all, we had a very good meal but didn't experience any of the friendly service [it was competent] and personal touches that others have noted. As said, we didn't like the decor or ambience either but with food this good we would recommend it overall.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 9
We visited on a Tuesday evening with an early table for 7pm. The smell that welcomed us was a little offputting - fish and bleach! The staff were welcoming however although the surroundings were a bit canteen-like and clinical, we felt it would be better for lunch than dinner.
We were shown the menu and the specials and chose to share the 500 starter of mixed bruschetta and cold meats. It was large and the meats were good quality, the tuna carpaccio was disappointing [as was the crab - which had shell in] but the others were fresh and tasty.
Our mains of roasted rabbit and monkfish tagliatelle were classic rustic Italian, with clean and simple flavours. Dessert of lemon sorbet and apple sorbet with rhubarb were very good too.
In all, we liked the restaurant and thought the food was competent and tasty but we weren't blown away by the overall experience.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 7
Small bistro with a nice ambience and the staff are friendly and quite knowledgeable. We weren't bowled over by the welcome or service but it was efficient.
The menu is short and very French. I had lamb shoulder - good flavour but a bit chewy and fatty. There were some bits I couldn't eat.
My friend had cod with aubergine puree which she liked. We shared duck fat chips - great, and some greens - bit tasteless with a strange sauce that we couldn't really work out.
The dessert menu was quite long but the chocolate delice and the vanilla cheesecake were both lovely.
Prices were fairly average for a venue like this in London but seemed a bit steep for what we ultimately got. Overall, a good meal but very rich and the next day I really felt like I'd over-indulged.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6
We ate in the upstairs dining room which had a 2-hour turnaround on our table which thankfully wasn't enforced. The food, as with Salt Yard, is mainly good and imaginative and the staff are friendly and knowledgable.
The dining room is nicer than Salt Yard's but still got quite noisy when almost full so we ended up shouting a bit.
We had buffalo mozzarella with roasted tomatoes, pork belly with white beans, salt marsh lamb and asparagus with soft boiled egg. We wanted to have scallops but at £4.50 per scallop we couldn't justify it.
All the food was flavoursome and the pork belly was light and crispy with no hint of fat. The lamb was very chewy and my partner wouldn't finish it, for the price I wasn't going to leave it!
Overall a competent meal but the size of portions for the price is pretty outrageous. Luckily I'm on a diet or I'd have needed more. With 2 glasses of prosecco and one biscotti/choc truffle dessert, the final bill was just over £60. I know this is london and the quality is good, but that still smarts.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4
This tearoom is near my office and I appreciate a comfortable and relaxed spot to spend my lunch hour occasionally.
The range of teas are good and overall well-brewed and flavoursome.
The food tends to be hit and miss. The soups are often good but the scones served with them are frequently stale [even though they re-heat them]. The sandwiches are dry and not very adventurous - the quiches etc are good; the cakes vary between good and dry or too sweet.
My biggest problem is the staff - they are friendly which is great, but so slow to serve, clear tables or clean them. I have frequently spent most of my lunch break surrounded by dirty crockery and crumbs. Even when the plates are taken away, they rarely clean the table at the same time.
On my recent couple of visits, the music has been too loud to make it a nice spot to drink tea and read. Such a shame. I shall continue to visit but probably not as frequently as I did.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Food 7 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6