22 July 2014

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Blog Reviews from Forks-Up Restaurant Reviews


Fresh Views, Objective Restaurant Reviews

  1. Published : Tuesday, 13th May 2014

    Chez Bruce | Chez Bruce Restaurant Review

    Perched on the edge of Wandsworth Common, the renowned Chez Bruce has long been a destination restaurant for well-heeled Balham-and-Clapham-ites, Chez Bruce Outsideso back in February Forks-Up decided it was high time we saw what all the fuss was about, and phoned to book a table. Informed by a heavily French accented receptionist that “ze restaurant eez very beezy”, we asked for the next available Saturday dinner date which could accommodate a table for 2 at 7pm. Roll around to early April and the day had finally come, our reservation confirmed 2 days’ beforehand by another Gallic staff member, who was at pains to emphasise that we would need to give our table back by 9.15pm at the latest. I have no problem with table turnaround times, and indeed I’d rather a restaurant was upfront about them, but the onus really should be on the restaurant to ensure that come the allotted time, the diners feel ready, not rushed, and don’t really think they’re “giving back” their table by leaving...

  2. Published : Tuesday, 25th March 2014

    Vanilla Black | Vanilla Black Restaurant Review

    et lunch menus are often a great way to experience London’s fine dining establishments for a fraction of the price of an à la carte dinner, but many of the best deals are only Vanilla Black Outsideavailable Monday to Friday. Such was the case with renowned vegetarian restaurant, Vanilla Black – until now. On Saturday 15 March 2014, Vanilla Black started serving Saturday lunches and we at Forks-Up were straight in there to see what was on offer. Tucked down a narrow side street off Chancery Lane, and just next door to the excellent The Chancery (a firm Forks-Up favourite), Vanilla Black describes itself as aiming “to elevate meat-free cookery to a level that delights discerning palates of all tastes, whether vegetarian or committed carnivore.”...

  3. Published : Tuesday, 11th March 2014

    Coach & Horses | Coach & Horses

    London’s restaurant scene offers an incredible amount of choice – from casual café to fine dining, London diners can sample the cuisines of just about every country you can think of. But for vegetarian diners the options are sometimes rather more limited, so it was with a good degree of enthusiastic curiosity that I and my two regular vegetarian dining partners headed to the Coach & Horses, famously London’s first vegetarian pub. Situated on a corner at the southerly end of Greek Street, from the outside it looks like a traditional British boozer – and that impression is maintained when you enter the dimly lit main bar on the ground floor, whose faded carpets and wood panelled walls appear as remnants of a bygone era. The upstairs tearoom, while equally old fashioned in terms of décor, is bright and airy with a welcoming, casual atmosphere and cute mismatched china cake stands and teacups adorning the tables...

  4. Published : Tuesday, 31st December 2013

    St Moritz | St. Moritz Restaurant Review

    Fondue: say the word and immediately images of rich, thick, booze-spiked cheese spring to mind, simmering away in rustic cast iron pans over paraffin Picture at St. Moritzburners, dipped into by diners still wrapped in their woollens as the snow falls in thick flurries over the slopes outside. It’s quite the cliché, but if you can’t make the trip to the Alps, don’t worry – St. Moritz conjures up the ski resort atmosphere right in the heart of Soho. Stepping through the door into the small dining room on bustling Wardour Street is like stepping into an alpine lodge movie set – the roughly whitewashed walls are hung with antique wooden tools; the beams are bedecked with oversized brass cowbells; and the air is thick with an overwhelming aroma of cheese. When we arrived for our 7.30pm booking, the restaurant was almost empty, and oddly quiet, but by the time we rolled out of the door around 10pm, the place was packed...

  5. Published : Tuesday, 12th November 2013

    Le Mercury | Le Mercury Restaurant Review

    Type “cheap French restaurant Angel” into Google and Le Mercury tops the results. Even amongst the myriad restaurants of bustling Upper Street, it is something of an institution – so much so that about a year ago it opened a second branch, Le Mercury (deuxième), with an identical menu just a few doors down the road from the original. My dining partner and I were, naturally, curious to see whether Le Mercury could live up to the hype and, whatever our experience, I was keen to put my own spin on it in a restaurant review. Having called to book a table on a Saturday morning for dinner that same night, I was told that the original restaurant was full, but they could just squeeze us in at the deuxième. Carpaccio de Boeuf The menu at Le Mercury is short and simple: all starters are priced at £4.45, all mains at £9.95, sides at £1.95 and desserts at £3.45, so it seems a sin to have anything less than the full three courses...

  6. Published : Tuesday, 15th October 2013

    Clockjack Oven | Clockjack Oven Restaurant Review

    Restaurants in and around theatre-land (that buzzing area of the West End covering Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Garden) are notoriously busy, especially at the Clockjack Oven insideweekend. Many of the hottest foodie hotspots have no-booking policies, and the consequent waiting times for tables (often in excess of an hour) are enough to drive anyone crazy. Imagine our surprise, then, when one Saturday evening we were able to walk straight in to Clockjack Oven, a funky limited-menu restaurant specialising in rotisserie chicken, situated just off Piccadilly Circus. Given the quality of the food on offer (see below), we couldn’t work out why the restaurant was so empty, but thought it might be because it is so tucked away on dingy Denman Street, which plays home to just one other restaurant, a slightly dodgy looking massage parlour and a relatively unknown shoe store. With its minimalist décor, exposed brick walls, and a mixture of traditional tables with low chairs and high tables with benches and bar stools, Clockjack Oven oozes cool, but remains relaxed and inviting. From our table, we had a great view of the chickens turning in the rotisserie ovens – sitting on their perches, they almost looked like they wanted to wave “hello”, and with the flames licking at them from all sides they made quite an impressive sigh...

  7. Burger. And. Lobster. Those three small words have developed something of a reputation since giving their name to a limited menu concept restaurant in Mayfair a couple of years ago. My dining partner and I had tried no fewer than four times to visit the two West End branches, but were thwarted each time by the “no reservations” policy, the large queue of waiting diners, and our growling stomachs. This time, stepping out of the theatre after a matinee, we decided we would not be defeated. It was time. Time to finally sample the burgers and lobsters we had heard so much about. There couldn’t possibly be a long wait for a table as early as 5.20pm, could there? Alas, as we turned into Dean Street, we could already see the huddles of people in the street, crowding, waiting for their turn to be let in. But then, in a flash of brilliance, my dining partner remembered the newer Farringdon branch. With the City a virtual ghost town at the weekend, we had found a way in. A quick ride on the number 55 bus later, and we were in. Table for 2? At 6pm on a Saturday? Absolutely, right this way...

  8. Published : Tuesday, 16th October 2012

    Café Colbert | Colbert Restaurant Review

    Situated right on chic Sloane Square, Colbert brings the style of the grand boulevard cafes of Paris to one of the most upmarket corners of London and looks set to be a sure fire hit. Stepping through the doors is like stepping back in time, the dark wood tables, marble floors, red leather banquettes and mellow lighting are evocative of mid-20th Century Paris, and the numerous immaculately turned out waiters and waitresses flit from table to table, less brusque but just as efficient as their Gallic counterparts, making sure the diners are properly taken care of. The menu is classically Parisian, ranging from simple snacks like croque monsieur, to extravagant platters of oysters and caviar, to brasserie staples like moules marinière and steak diane...