.
30 July 2014

Restaurants & Bars

Find and book great restaurants

Find a Restaurant

Register here for your Square Meal Guides

 
Poll

What do you think of diners smoking e-cigarettes in restaurants?

 

Blog Reviews from London Dining Reviews

(menu)

Reviews of London restaurants, cafes, patisseries, bakeries, gelato shops and other dining and eating venues


  1. Charlotte’s Place is an intimate 54 seat restaurant located on the corner of Ealing Common in a 150 year old house. Established by Charlotte Kearns and her husband the restaurant has been thriving in its peaceful location since July 2005. The venue is cosy, intimate, modern and elegant with a traditional British/European menu on offer and high quality seasonal ingredients. The restaurant has recently received The Good Food Guide’s London Restaurant of the Year 2013 accolade and boasts 2 AA rosettes, not without good cause. Staff are friendly and accommodating, tailoring my menu to suit my personal taste. I’m so impressed with my lunch I have to ask where the current Head Chef Greg Martin formerly worked. It comes as no surprise that he formerly graced the premises at Heston Blumenthal’s 3 Michelin starred Fat Duck, The Dorchester Hotel, Michelin-starred La Trompette and the award winning Quay and Foveaux restaurants in Sydney...

  2. Opened in April 2013 The Terrace on Holland Street is a chic, formal, modern, bijoux dining space owned by Sara Adams, founder of Kensington Square Kitchen. Head chef James Kelly formerly worked at a Michelin rated gastropub in Highgate and The Tea Palace in Notting Hill. Food is primarily British, low-key, precisely executed and well presented. The focus is on seasonal, locally sourced food. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it’s not trying to, so it’s a nice little spot for flavourful food in an upmarket setting...

  3. Founded in 1999 by celebrity chef and author Theodore Kyriakou, The Real Greek encompasses six restaurants across London and provides traditional, home-style Greek cooking in a largely mezze format. It’s a basic chain restaurant format and the menu provides very simple and healthy Greek dishes. The restaurant chain received the plaudit of Restaurant Magazine’s UK Healthy Eating Chain of the Year in 2010. Of course, Greek cuisine is inherently more virtuous...

  4. The Spice Market is a broadly Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant housed within the trendy, flashy 192-bedroomed W Hotel, Leicester Square. It’s an outpost of three Michelin starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s celebrated Manhattan restaurant. Such accolades can only lead to great expectations, so it’s no surprise really that reviewers have been somewhat unkind. Guardian critic Jay Rayner lost the will to carry on before dessert arrived and Telegraph critic Matthew Norman scored a dismal 2/10. It really doesn’t leave much for food enthusiasts to be optimistic about. The restaurant website promises me a sultry atmosphere but it’s more reminiscent of an upmarket night-club with a loosely Asian theme. There’s a relaxed lounge vibe with an open kitchen space, gold mesh sliding screens, brass lanterns, jatoba flooring, black low leather seating and bottles of exotic spices lining the counter. It’s contemporary and pretty inoffensive. Other reviewers have complained about the low tables but just short of 5″2 I’m rather enamoured with a correctly sized seating area...

  5. Lo and behold, a chef who can cook fish correctly. It’s just past midday and I am dining at Le Metro Bar and Brasserie in The Levin Hotel. It’s big sister next door, The Capital may boast a Michelin star but Le Metro is conjuring up perfectly good food for diners. Indeed the bijoux, stylish, closeted basement bistro attracts the local Harrods employees for lunch on a regular basis and it’s easy to see why. It’s an accomplished effort. The basics of good cooking are adhered to, in my meal anyway. To start with I’m presented with a sizeable plate of goats cheese salad that is fresh, simple and tasty. It makes an impressive change from the wilted offerings I usually receive in cafes and restaurants alike. My salmon main has a light pesto sauce, abundance of crisp green beans and is tender and melting (I asked for it rare and the chef delivered). The sticky toffee pudding is an old British classic executed superbly with a creamy and hot custard. Food that should be hot is hot and vice versa. It’s starting to seem like a miracle after some of my latest dining episodes...

  6. Brasserie Zedel is bustling with diners on a Thursday lunch-time and I am initially a touch overwhelmed by the clatter and ostentatious French decor. Tourists, business people, the odd celebrity (I spot Miriam Margoyles), tourists, families and everything but the kitchen sink is eating here, but it’s easy to see why. The food is distinctly French, cheap as chips and really rather middling. It’s not earth-shatteringly innovative, it’s not supposed to be. My fish is cooked well, my egg mayonnaise is a pretty plate and desserts are delectable. It’s clearly heaving with people for a reason. Is it ostensibly French? Perhaps, it’s a tourist hot-spot and I feel like I’ve entered a scene in Moulin Rouge, but at £2.25 for a starter that’s better than many I’ve consumed in more expensive restaurants, I’m not complaining. Critics seem to love this art deco dining hot spot, with The Guardian’s Jay Rayner calling it lover letter to the classic Parisian brasserie. It’s certainly glamorous in one sense, inhabiting a space formerly occupied by a columned ballroom. A lavish chandelier, deep red hues, marble cladding and velvet banquettes characterise the haunt...

  7. Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar has already made a huge success of the Mayfair based Benares, which takes Indian cuisine to a fine dining audience with a good deal of style, enough tradition to sate spice devotees and innovation to delight some of the gastronomic intelligentsia. Fusion is most definitely the theme and I wondered if this extended to his lesser known Petts Wood Indian Essence restaurant, which seems to play greater homage to more traditional dishes than it’s centrally located sister. You wouldn’t necessarily know about it unless you’d scoured the web but it’s worth highlighting for numerous reasons. Kochhar was the first Indian restaurateur to gain a Michelin star, the restaurant is slick and pretty easy to get to from Victoria, the food is fabulous and it successfully showcases good Indian cuisine. You won’t find spicing for bragging rights here, it’s a more upmarket Indian dining experience...

  8. I can’t really bring myself to enjoy gastropub food. For the most part it’s below average and despite the proliferation of gastronomically focused pubs, the food is pretty pitiful compared to the offerings in Michelin restaurants, who very often charge similar prices. That said, The Guildford Arms, a relative newcomer to the Greenwich area having graced the neighbourhood for four months is worth a mention. With an elegant first floor restaurant and contemporary, chic, clean decor in the pub downstairs it’s an oasis from the city and actually serves some fairly good British food. Indeed I am as impressed by one of their starters as I have been in fine dining establishments...

  9. The food critics don’t like Portuguese inspired restaurant Notting Hill Kitchen much, and it makes me nervous. There aren’t that many great Spanish and Portuguese restaurants lining London’s streets and I am apprehensive of another dismal or below average dining episode. Head Chef Luis Baena is clearly passionate about his craft and using high quality ingredients, as he describes the more sustainable rearing of Iberian pigs and his focus on ethical produce. Pata Negra ham tasting fabulous is testament to this process. His passion is slightly infectious and I consume far too many tapas sharing plates for one small individual. It all leaves me rather overwhelmed...

  10. I’ve stepped into a 1970s airport lounge and I’m travelling first class to a two AA rosette culinary extravaganza, that might have earned a third, if the food was less confusing. The Petrichor Restaurant is located within The Cavendish, a four star boutique hotel in the heart of Mayfair. The present building was originally opened as a hotel in 1966 and was considered as one of the most modern hotels of its time. It now feels rather dated, like a travel lodge. There are too many garish patterned carpets and other references to 1960s style luxury. The space is attractive and large enough but requires some modernisation...

  11. London has plenty of bohemian, stripped back cafe concepts and Counter Cafe in Hackney Wick is another one of these, with its wooden slightly shoddy furniture and trendy creative types working away on Macs. Marooned within a rough looking art studio (Stour Space) it’s an absolute bugger to get to, so if you’re anywhere else other than Hackney in London you might well end up settling for somewhere else. Still, it’s also rather scrumptious, so despite my slightly irritating journey there and craving for something more aesthetically elegant I soon settle down into a creamy flat white and supremely satisfying vegetarian breakfast. I have to queue for a bit to get in on a Sunday lunchtime but the staff are utterly effervescent, singing and dancing as if Saturday night never happened. It’s somewhat infectious because I’m warming to the bald decor...

  12. Published : Sunday, 24th November 2013

    The Square | The Square: Stuffy but consistently good food

    The Square headed by Phillip Howard has been serving up a fine dining experience for over 20 years in London’s Bruton Street. Bearing two Michelin stars the restaurant unquestionably provides well-presented and commendable cuisine in one sense, indeed it has a barrel load of critical acclaim, but it’s a trifle boring. Howard is also co-owner of The Ledbury, the critics favourite and Kitchen W8, other Michelin starred establishments. He has also worked under Albert Roux OBE at the Roux Restaurant Groups and graced the kitchen at Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s. Howard is renowned for his elegant classical French cooking and has so many awards he probably doesn’t know what to do with them...

  13. Sometimes you don’t want a chef to have spent hours coiffing the food on your plate into a work of art that quite frankly tastes mediocre. Neither do you want the poor excuse for food sold at most gastropubs, even the good ones. Sadly these offerings are aplenty and it was therefore a refreshing change to eat at Reform Social and Grill, a restaurant housed within The Mandeville Hotel Marylebone, that aims to bring diners a quintessentially British dining experience...

  14. Published : Saturday, 23rd November 2013

    Hispania | Hispania: Homely Spanish Tapas

    On a typically rainy afternoon in London I’m having Spanish tapas again. Tapas is de rigueur everywhere apparently, whatever the origins of the cuisine. Hispania’s restaurant manager points out that the Spanish don’t eat tapas at lunch-time, they have three set courses, that’s why this Bank based eating establishment is broadening their menu. I quite agree with this ethos. I prefer a more holistic plate of food that has more complementary flavours. For now though I’m having tapas because Hispania still has a predominantly tapas lunch menu and I want to try a range of options, because I’m greedy. I had a particularly delightful tapas experience at Boqueria in Brixton and I’m on a mission to find some equally good Spanish food...