21 August 2014

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Blog Reviews from Culinary World Tour


Food, travel, reflections and the odd jostle.

  1. Published : Wednesday, 6th March 2013

    The Clove Club | Putting love in The Clove Club

    Up the stone steps of Shoreditch town hall and in to the high ceilinged spartan old school space of the bar where we were served a cocktail that was somewhere between a negroni and a glass of Rose wine, served straight up in a coupe glass. Perfect aperitif...

  2. Published : Thursday, 14th February 2013

    Blue Elephant | What’s this thing called, love?

    A merry brigade of food luminaries of the blogosphere attended a Valentine’s supper preview featuring amazing dishes such as steamed egg custard with Foie Gras topped with home made strawberry sauce, lamb shank curry with black wild ginger (an aphrodisiac no less), grilled black cod marinated with Korean ginseng wrapped in banana leaf with caramelized golden tamarind and crispy shallot dip. Need I go on?...

  3. Raymond Blanc is known to most if not all of us as the man responsible for Le Manoir Aux Quats Saison, one of the first hotel restaurants of it’s kind in the UK, featuring an elegantly landscaped market garden, cookery school and two coveted Michelin stars. So it should come as no great surprise that Brasserie Blanc, the junior sibling of Le Manoir, is not simply an embellishment on another justly maligned French brasserie chain I will be tasteful enough not to mention less they turn rouge with embarrassment. At Brasserie Blanc, emphasis is on fresh, seasonal, free-range and freedom food...

  4. Published : Wednesday, 19th December 2012

    MASH London | MASH it up big style.

    Steak, seems to be everywhere in London these days. Unlike some food crazes however, this one is here to stay. Along with a Renaissance in burgers and street food has come a metropolitan fascination with all that is cattle. Big name restaurants including Hawksmoor, Gaucho, Goodman and Barbecoa have blazed a trail to the char grill, paving the way for a capital bouef bonanza. It’s a man thing. Am I right? I’m right. Trust me on this one. Guys feel manly eating steak and burgers. Girls follow suit and peck at the odd pattie or slice through a filet, but only as a means to being in with the in crowd. It’s a sort of beefy Johnson-envy type thing. *ducks volley of missiles* but when you think about it it’s pretty obvious really. Man created cattle over a period of centuries, starting as far back as 10,500 years ago with a bunch of aurochs – a wild version of today’s dopey, domesticated doe-eyed heifers. So now it’s in our DNA to feel like we deserve a good old ribeye or sirloin after those centuries of pastoral graft and husbandry. Historically I’ve never been a huge fan of “the steak” and generally go poultry or piscine, however I’ve recently been lured in to experimenting with slabs of the good stuff and have actually rather enjoyed it, not least of all when visiting MASH, the latest Danish import to bluster on to the restaurant scene. MASH is an acronym for Modern American Steak House, in case you were wondering. Stairwell Occupying the site that was formerly The Titanic bar and grill on Air Street, the imposing facade makes quite an impression. Check your coat and a whirpool of stairs delivers you down to the grand sweep of (yet another) entrance where smiling damsels line your route through to the high ceilinged theatrical bar and restaurant. Palatial super-restaurants, can strike you as being instantly impersonal; those cavernous interiors seeming to accentuate movement and noise...

  5. Published : Monday, 17th December 2012

    Duck & Waffle | Duck down and waffle on.

    Duck and waffle isn’t exactly a predictable name for a stylish London city skyscraper restaurant, but then it’s not exactly a predictable venue. For one, it features elements of a rustic shabby-chic interior, the likes of which you would normally expect to find in a country pub or boutique hotel, not on top of a monolithic skyscraper in Bishopsgate. The menu also features some quirky twists, with plenty of variety at commendable standards and at prices that don’t so much break the bank as leave a minor dent in it...

  6. Published : Thursday, 22nd November 2012

    Tom Aikens CLSOED | Tom Aikens, music to my tastebuds

    Let’s rattle at pace past the sundry details. Location, off the Brompton Road, Chelsea. Posh town houses, low rise tenement blocks. Decor: can’t fault it really. I have an oak fetish and the interior is all oak, from floor to walls and furniture. Lighting is subdued, creating the feeling of an exclusive gallery, darkened at the edges, illuminating the table tops. Views directly on to the street are barely worth a mention but it’s not the point. This is all about the food...

  7. Published : Sunday, 21st October 2012

    Balans Soho | A Balansing act

    There are a lot of things to like about Balans, one being the fact they’re open 24-7, another that the menu is full of decent homely comfort food with flourishes here and there to keep you interested. Wine list is nothing much to write home about or blog about for that matter, but they do have Picpoul De Pinet which I love...

  8. Published : Thursday, 18th October 2012

    La Porte des Indes | To favour curry

    So on matters Gallic and spice we arrive neatly at the kitschly splendid palace of La Porte des Indes, a restaurant of quite Titanic proportions in a tardis fashion, nestled in a Mayfair warren. Quite why I’d never heard of this sumptuous Southern Indian French Creole culinary Mecca (and, breathe) is a mystery, although from the outside you wouldn’t guess at what lies beyond the doors. It’s bold, overstated, colourful and tropical all at once; a sort of Keralan equivalent of a tiki bar if you like, although draws it’s influence from Pondicherry, a former French trading quarter. Think Quaglino’s meets Mahiki. I know, sounds wild and frankly it is...

  9. Published : Wednesday, 10th October 2012

    Wabi London | Coming soon Wabi London nom nom san

    Expect modern Japanese gastronomy fused with European influence, expect an open plan kitchen, expect flair, expect a sake sommelier, expect the unexpected, even better don’t expect anything at all, that way it will all be a surprise. So if you absolutely love surprises then maybe don’t read any further because I absolutely love writing about food and I’m going to tell you about a few of the treats on offer yesterday at Scott Hallsworth’s emporium of cool...