25 April 2014

Restaurants & Bars

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Blog Reviews from Sybaricious


Sybarite: Person devoted to pleasure and luxury. Delicious: Highly pleasing to the senses, especially to taste or smell. Sybarite + Delicious = Sybaricious

  1. Published : Friday, 24th January 2014

    Graveney and Meadow | Graveney and Meadow

    G&M used to be A Bar 2 Far which was an apt name on the basis that it was rough as hell and a night out would definitely have gone too far if you ended up there which thankfully I never did. What Bar 2 Far's former inebriates and ne'er do wells think of Graveney & Meadow is unclear as they are were not around on the Friday night that I visited. You can create a trendy looking London bar anywhere it seems but you can't quite take the Tooting out of it as we still had to have our bags searched for concealed weapons (I felt for the poor chap as I think my gym kit probably ought to classified as a weapon)...

  2. Published : Monday, 20th January 2014

    Sager & Wilde | Sager & Wilde

    Following a former acclaimed pop-up site, Charlotte and Michael Sager- Wilde opened their eponymous wine bar in late August 2013 to a steady flow of positive press. Wine tasting buddies S, Z & A have been waxing lyrical about it for so long that I finally took a deep breath and headed East. Food is not the primary focus here but that didn't stop all the morsels that crossed our table from being excellent. It is more about the wine though. I would challenge anyone to find a more well rounded list of wines by the glass in London. Yes, there are places that do lots by the glass but you are usually fighting your way through a tide of mediocrity to dig out a winner. Here they are all good. It is evident that each one has been selected with such care and attention that you're unlikely to ever pick a dud. The four of us decided early on that a definite strategy was required in working our way through the list without falling over...

  3. Published : Saturday, 23rd November 2013

    Restaurant Gordon Ramsay | Gordon Ramsay - Royal Hospital Road

    I arrived early and spent a happy quarter of an hour playing with the wine bible whilst sipping an Ayala kir royale and munching on some fluffy little gruyere gougeres. All the big hitters you would expect from a 3 Michelin star restaurant are in there from the full gammut of Bordeaux Crus, through Burgundy and with a decent selection of non French, both old world and new. A 1947 Cheval Blanc for £6,000 or 2001 DRC for £7,800 anyone?! Faced with a multitude of courses for which it would have been hard to get one white and one red to suit all we gave sommelier Jan Konetzki a (somewhat) free rein over wine (he's even got his own flashy website here) and we were pretty happy with the results especially as people swapped in and out different wines to suit their tastes -we must have been nightmare clients. A bottle of subtle biscuity Henriot champagne kicked proceedings off nicely and made a great companion to canapes of quail's egg, black pudding and pork scotch eggs, cured salmon in shiso and Vietnamese style steamed buns with a soft truffled filling...

  4. Published : Saturday, 21st September 2013

    No.20 at the Sanctum Soho Hotel | Gentleman

    The Sanctum Hotel is billed as an "opulent 30 room boutique hotel" located just off Regent Street. Although flashy, it isn't really opulent, its all fur coat and no knickers. It trades on a theme of rock star glamour and glitz but in reality is a little more Footballer's wives. "Faux" is a horrible Gallicism designed to soften the damnation of something being just "fake" but it applies aptly to pretty much everything about The Sanctum. Banquettes are upholstered in a garish gold plush pleather and chairs are the type of burgundy high shine mock croc only previously seen on a hooker's boots in Pretty Woman. If I were to encapsulate the decor in one phrase it would probably be "Vegas wipe clean"...

  5. Published : Wednesday, 21st August 2013

    The Ivy | The Ivy

    Now that the bulk of the celebrity throng has drifted on to pastures new many of the regulars at the Ivy are, (how to put it politely?) getting on a little in the tooth- perhaps explaining the preponderance of comfort food. That said, there is always a buzzy atmosphere, even at 5.30pm when the pre theatre crowd are in full swing. The menu also offers a wide variety of options and regularly changes with only a few stalwarts keeping their place on the list. If you want to go with grilled fish and salad, hold the dressing then that's absolutely possible (you'd be an idiot to but if you're that type then you're probably not reading this blog to begin with...) Summer was in evidence only in that beautiful English asparagus can be found featuring on London menus. There can be few things more lovely than the simple delight of the first crop of English asparagus dipped into fresh hollandaise sauce. The Ivy offers a starter portion for £12 which seemed a little steep for a vegetable starter but it was pretty huge, we shared it between 3 as an ample light starter and used the spears to mop up every last drop of smooth hollandaise. Properly delicious...

  6. Published : Friday, 12th April 2013

    Soif | A Spring Clean: Bistro Blitz

    Various internet and magazine coverage of Soif often describes the style of dishes on offer as 'tapas'. Call me picky or annoying (and you wouldn't be the first) but I have a marked dislike for any 'tapas' that isn't Spanish as it invariably disappoints me. Using the word "tapas" feels completely wrong to describe somewhere that is so completely and utterly Gallic. Everything from the decor of the restaurant to the accent of the ridiculously good looking waiter oozes Frenchness. You get the feeling that only the pesky smoking ban prevents the middle aged Frenchman sat reading a paper at the bar (Le Monde, natch) from exhaling a rising curl of blue Gauloise smoke. A and I opted for the special, Nduja, a dish of spiced, minced sausage blended with chilli and served with bread with ricotta and rosemary. A small plateful of padron peppers were a good addition at £3.50. Little chargrilled bites of green pepper were crisp with a salt crust, and would have been perhaps too much on their own but were great with the nduja and some slices of saucisse seche...

  7. Published : Friday, 27th April 2012

    Sticks 'n' Sushi | Sticks N Sushi, Wimbledon

    Located on Wimbledon Hill in the bit that straddles the area between super posh and well, not so posh, its easily accessible and is going to be a big hit. It's only been open a month and local Wombles L&S already seem to have eaten there multiple times per week (enough to ask for a loyalty card and no, there isn't one. Yet.) I joined them on a rainy Wednesday to sate my Japanese food habit recently acquired in the land of the rising sun. Their picture, not mine! First impressions of the decor are that this is a pretty huge floorspace (maybe explaining why they opened in lower price per sq ft Wimbledon & not Soho). Decorated in the kind of luxe/industrial that Scandinavians seem to do so well; big silver pipes and ducts overhead, a giant brick print curtain across one whole wall but with low lighting, touches of leather and ergonomic wooden seating to keep it classy. The cocktail list is not massively extensive but uses more unusual Japanese ingredients and had enough choice that I struggled to make my mind up opting first for a yuzu and whisky creation then later for a yuzu martini...