All reader reviews by Jingo
My partner and I booked a dinner through mycitydeal and thought we got a really decent deal. But the place turned out to be a bit of a let down.
The food was very average. My partner's soup was lukewarm. My duck salad was not bad. The gurnard was way too salty and didn't go well with the lentils. Desserts OK. To sum up there's not much that can be said about the food.
We got a complementary bottle of wine with our booking and the wine wasn't bad at all. We were very pleased with it.
Maybe because it was a Tuesday night, the atmosphere was a little dull. Not many tables and the host of the show had to try very hard to cheer up the audience. She's lovely though. The show's OK but please don't expect a west-end standard cabaret show. A previous reviewer said it's like a bunch of amateurs, I think it's a bit harsh, but I wouldn't pay much to see a show like that. Service was OK.
Although we had a pre-paid voucher, the 12.5% service charge was calculated from the full bill. So basically when you buy online you pay something like £36 (for example) for a meal that's worth £90. You think you get a good deal but then they add 12.5% on the £90 original bill. Pretty tactical!
I wouldn't go back to this place.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Food 4 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 4
From China and a big Sichuan food fan I thought I'd put down a few words for this restaurant.
This is one of the very few restaurants in London that serve real Sichuan food. The Gongbao (kung pao or whatever spelling) chicken is what you'd expect in a Sichuan restaurant in China. So are many other dishes such as Shuizhurou (sorry I really don't know the English name for this dish, the literal translation would be water-cooked beef slices, but don't get fooled by the name, it's actually a very oily dish...) and I really like the cold noodles they do. The spicy fish is also pretty good. This for me is like comfort food and I'm glad there's a real Sichuan restaurant near me. But I can totally understand for people who don't know about Sichuan food, this can be a bit scary, especially when you don't know what to order. (imagine the horror when you see a dish full of tripe, lungs etc.)
I had hot pot once here and I thought it was very average. But to be honest Chinese hot pot in the UK is generally quite bad anyway...
I completely agree with the previous reviewers who criticised the service at this place. Very true! Even when I'm trying to ask for help in Chinese they are unresponsive. Not particularly warm but I'd say it's probably what you'd expect in most Chinese restaurants, especially in the UK. They all speak very poor English.
To sum up, this place is very authentic (the female manager who walks up and down all the time, she's actually from Sichuan and her mannerism and personality remind me of so many people I know from Sichuan, especially that lovely coarse voice... she's very sweet and warm if you speak to her). Food is very good but you might not be able to appreciate it if you don't know much about or don't like Sichuan food. Service is bad. They aren't rude, but very indifferent. I also love the spicy aroma when you step into the restaurant.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Food 9 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
I went there today with a friend. Food is OK but I've had better. Fresh but could be seasoned a bit better.
I wouldn't recommend for serious diners who are into Vietnamese food. But if you're nearby and cannot be bothered to go to the Pho mile, it's a nice place for a cup of coffee and some food.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 6
I have been there twice with friends. Although my friends and I all loved the food (and that's why we went back), we have decided not to go back again because we could not stand the consistently poor service!
The pizzas are absolutely fantastic! Organic and fresh ingredients, and very crusty and crumbly base! I had the pizza with roasted veg toppings, very generous portions of delicious vegetables and LOTS of rocket! My friends enjoyed their food too. We also recommend the garlic bread, which we think is exceptional.
The service is the problem. Generally speaking they're not very attentive and can leave you to wait for quite long periods. The first time my friend got very annoyed when the waitress happily chatted away with her friends seated next to us for several minutes whilst ignoring our request for the bill. We asked again, and she told us to "wait a second" and turned around to continue to chat.
The second time the waitress was actually quite friendly to start with, until she took 15 minutes to bring us the bill despite the fact that there were not many customers (probably 2 or 3 tables aside from us).
Overall, we think it's worth a visit, amazing pizzas if you want to try something different and healthy. But it's no longer high on our list of places to go because of the consistent irritation with the rather slack service, which could easily be improved. I've read other reviews with similar comments on the service but clearly they have not learnt the lesson.
Maybe the solution is to continue going because the food is so amazing, but not to leave a tip or a very small tip if the service is still bad.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Food 10 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6
I've been living in London for a year and have been to many restaurants of different types of cuisine, yet Cay Tre is definitely one of my favourite and surely the best Vietnamese restaurant I've ever been to.
Compared with other Vietnamese places, Cay Tre has a far more sophisticated and diverse menu beyond common Vietnamese dishes like summer rolls and Pho. My favourite dishes are the beef in rice paper and the monk fish with dill, both are cooked on the table and it's such a fun process to either watch the waiters do it or take part in the cooking. The monk fish with dill is a little oily(my only criticism) but it's so delicious and satisfying! It's to die for! The beef in rice paper is probably the most popular dish, freshly cooked beef with kimchi, salad, rice noodles, wrapped in rice paper, with Vietnamese sweet chilli sauce - it's divine!
Other dishes my friends and I all like include the congac beef(extremely tender!!!), the quail curry(savoury and great with rice), wicked cripsy frog, camp fire sirloin beef, and the duck curry.
However, this is not to say Cay Tre is not good at the most common Vietnamese dishes. The Pho here is just as good as any other Vietnamese restaurants(if not better).
Sometimes the waiters can be too busy, but they're all friendly enough. Plus the food is so amazing so you hardly care.
I've been to this place for, maybe 20 times. I still go back every 2 or 3 weeks. If you like Vietnamese food and are bored of Pho and summer rolls, you should really go to this place. If you don't like Vietnamese food, you should really go to this place too - it's your time to explore it!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Food 10 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
I have been to quite a few Thai restaurants in London, just to name a few, Mango Tree in Victoria, Thai Pot in Charing Cross, Thai Pin in Covent Garden, Thai Thai East in Old Street, Chang Mai in Soho, Thai Cafe in Pimlico. I've also been to Thailand and tried some really amazing authentic Thai food. However, I do hold different opinions on this restaurant from those of the previous reviewers' - the food at this place was a disappointment.
We had Thai Fish Cake and Satay Chicken for starters. The fish cake was a little smaller than normal Thai fishcakes(which was OK) and a little too hard(which wasn't OK), not a great texture. Satay Chicken was quite good though but it's also quite hard to screw up Satay Chicken. For mains we shared Chicken Pad Thai Noodles, Beef Green Curry and Crispy Chicken with Basil Leaves and Chillies. The Green Curry was so tasteless, and to be honest I could do better with the Green Curry sauce from Tesco. The beef was overcooked and very very hard. Chicken Pad Thai was OK, I would say maybe less fish sauce, and the noodles were a bit too soft and soggy. The Crispy Chicken with Basil Leaves and Chillies was OK though.
The waitress who served us food was warm and nice and we loved her. But the waitress who brought up the bill was rude. I showed her my TasteLondon card and asked politely if their restaurant happened to be on the list so we could get some discount. She responded in saying "I have never seen this card in my entire life!" and looked at me as in I was trying to not pay the bill or something like that. She turned to my friends and asked "So are you going to pay the bill?" with really bad attitude - what can I say? I certainly wouldn't go back to this place again.
I have to add though the bill was £13 each (including a 15% tip) - which was really really cheap!!! So I would say the value for money is, quite good, if you're not fussy about the quality of food.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Food 4 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7