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You’ve debated the merits of Balthazar, salivated over Brasserie Chavot and marvelled at Jason Atherton’s two new ventures – as well as giving us the low-down on hundreds of other restaurants in the capital and around the UK. Now it’s time for us to dish out some prizes.
Spring saw some hot-shot additions to the London restaurant scene – from Spanish spin-off Ametsa with Arzak Instruction in Belgravia to Shoreditch upstart The Clove Club, and 26-year-old Tom Sellers’ Restaurant Story in Bermondsey. You, our gastronomic troops, tested the ground at each and every destination, sending back in-depth field reports for the benefit of both the Square Meal team and other readers.
We’ve now chosen our top reader reviews for spring to summer, and have thrown in a few prizes from our free draw for good measure – see below for details of the winners.
Over the coming months, there are more chances to win unbelievable prizes – some reader comments will be picked at random for rewards such as a Diageo whisky gift pack, while reviewers whose feedback particularly stands out will receive prizes such as a Champagne afternoon tea for four at swanky restaurant Paramount (pictured, right), or bottles of Louis Roederer fizz. Meanwhile, the author of our favourite review will win a £250 meal at a restaurant of their choice – and, of course, a Nespresso U machine (pictured, left) courtesy of our competition sponsor.
Get scribbling and you could be next to see your name up in lights.
• A Champagne afternoon tea for four at sky-high West End restaurant Paramount (pictured, top right)
• 30 minutes’ use of the spa facilities at So-SPA in the Sofitel London St James hotel (pictured, right), including use of the steam room and jacuzzi. (Valid until 1 March 2014).
• A Diageo single-malt whisky gift pack, including bottles of The Singleton 12 Year Old, Talisker 10 Year Old and Cardhu 12 Year Old
• Bottles of Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Congratulations to Gourmand Gunno, Nespresso Square Meal Critic of the Quarter
Gourmand Gunno has written more than 40 reviews, which all demonstrate his knowledge of London restaurants. ‘This reviewer is confident when sharing his opinions and experiences for the benefit of other readers,’ said Square Meal’s editor Ben McCormack. ‘He packs a lot of information into only a few words.’
‘I eat out a lot for both business and pleasure – it’s my hobby,’ said Gourmand Gunno, who has won a coveted Nespresso U machine, plus a £250 meal for two at a restaurant of his choice. ‘It was my wife who suggested I start writing reviews.’ We hope he invites his wife to his dinner! Here is a shortened version of his winning review:
‘I like the current fad for ‘posh burgers’ – they’re the ultimate comfort food and appeal to almost everyone. Plus, any restaurant with a queue outside before noon must be onto something. Simplicity is the beauty of this place: a choice of just six burgers combined with brisk, efficient service makes it perfect for a quick lunchtime bite. Each burger is given a punning name, perhaps a bit contrived, but then the main event here is the food, not the nomenclature. I opted for the ‘Lambshank Redemption’; it was moist with interesting toppings, and the brioche bun really boosted the ‘mmm’ factor.’
‘Would the same target market spend £80 on caviar, then £19 on beef stew and mash?’
Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill
‘Full marks: amazingly fresh ingredients, beautiful presentation, and knowledgeable staff.’
‘It’s half serious restaurant with uber-trendy staff, half cheesy tourist experience.’
• Congratulations to Mitzie8cake, whose prolific reviews earned
her a Signature Spa Treatment for two at The Dorchester (pictured, left), plus its famous ‘Spatisserie’ afternoon tea.
• Full marks to Ben H, whose comments on The Clove Club earned him a £120 meal for two at City destination Cinnamon Kitchen.
• Well done to Foodess, who saw a bottle of Hine Antique XO sent her way.
• Continental Diner (our Critic of the Quarter for summer 2012) passed the 100-review mark in May and was rewarded with a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier. Cheers!
This feature was published in the summer 2013 issue of Square Meal Lifestyle.