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Square Meal Review of Spice Market ?

Leicester Square ain’t the Meatpacking District, which perhaps explains why Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market outpost has never had the impact of the New York original. The dramatic first-floor restaurant and matching ground-floor bar with their black lacquer, brass ‘wok’ lights and filigree screens may evoke Sex and the City – though the less said about the staff’s ‘jailhouse orange’ uniforms the better. The sweeping pan-Asian menu travels from India to Japan and the sharing concept generally works, even if some dishes fall flat: our lobster summer rolls were drowned out by sriracha emulsion and the mango salad was overloaded with iceberg lettuce, although a spicy Thai short-rib burger and fried soft-shell crab with crispy steamed buns were both excellent. Big ticks also awarded for the considerate service, lush cocktails, bargain bento boxes and the new sushi bar.

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  1. I’ve walked past Spice Market in Leicester Square on a daily basis for about four months and until very recently assumed it was an Indian restaurant — the décor looks that way and the name is very similar to an amazing Indian takeaway near my parents house. Turns out, it’s a South East Asian place, so think less dahl and turmeric, and more lemongrass, soy and ginger. It’s located in the bottom of the W hotel, so though technically a ‘hotel restaurant’ it doesn’t feel that way at all. It’s intimate and moody inside with dim brass lanterns, low tables, slick black surfaces and gold mesh screens. On the ceiling 600...
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  1. 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...
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Essential Details for Spice Market

  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian
  • Area: Soho
  • Price: £60.00
  • Wine: £28.00
  • Champagne: £72.00
  • Lunch: ££16/18 (2/3 courses)
  • Dinner: ££18/20 (2/3 courses)

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