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Latest Square Meal reviews - sorted by date review written or updated

Find out what Square Meal readers thought of their latest restaurant experience. Sort the reviews bellow by a variety of criteria to find inspiration for your next meal or get the lowdown on the latest launches.

Ryder Grill at The Belfry

The Belfry, Lichfield Road, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield B76 9PR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Below par.......

by Luncheon Vulture   gold reviewer (37)

Jun 2015

I'll admit to having a sense of foreboding when I realised that the Ryder Grill was the same venue where we had had breakfast earlier in the day. The Belfry's website really makes the Grill out to look something special, and perhaps late at night with the lights dimmed, that may well be the case but at 6:30 on a bright summer's evening (we had ankle biters in our party) it did not feel that special at all. The Grill offers two menus; an a la carte which offers a fairly standard array of starters and grill staples (although oddly, no chicken) and a 3-course buffet menu. The vast majority of our party went for the a la carte, but the two who went for the buffet, generally found the food to be varied and tasty, although both came back with what looked like Sunday lunch. Overall the a la carte offerings were plentiful and tasty, but nothing to really excite and given that the prices are comparable to those in top notch steak restaurants in Central London, our expectations were heightened but not met. Service was ok to indifferent, but to be honest, that was the standard throughout all bars and restaurants within the Belfry. Noise levels rose dramatically as the restaurant filled, but as the hotel tends to cater for large parties (golfers not to mention stags and hens) that was not particularly surprising, but again, added to the overall indifference to the restaurant. Can't say I'd rush back......

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Luncheon Vulture's rating

star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 4

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Drapers Arms

44 Barnsbury Street, London N1 1ER

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Brilliant Taste of London discovery

by Amy M.   silver reviewer (15)

Jun 2015

A gastropub is somewhere I would never go for a client lunch as a rule of thumb. But I went to Taste of London festival and loved the food we tried, so much in fact, my dad and I went back twice! So it was to my dismay that they are based round the back of Angel, an area I never get to, but providence intervened and put a client right there! As they have a lovely garden out the back, completely walled in from traffic and a wonderful sun trap, it was too good an opportunity not to go. I can happily say that they lived up to the Taste of London showing. The food is not overly complicated but the execution is lovely and packs a flavourful punch. My fried quail wasn't oily or overcooked, my client's sprats were juicy and fresh and my colleagues cow's curd & strawberry salad was summer on a plate. The main courses didn't disappoint and with unusual choices available - calves' liver, oxtail - provided a treat. We sat for 5 hours slowly eating and drinking our way through the afternoon, with lovely unobstrusive but not elusive service. Thoroughly recommend it.

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Amy M.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 9

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Madhus Heathrow

Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow, Bath Road, London UB3 5BP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Food decent; unconvinced by value

by David H.   platinum reviewer (53)

Jun 2015

It seems that we've been constrained to restaurants not far from home quite a bit recently, and today my wife, knowing that I enjoy Indian food, suggested we try a fairly new branch of the well-known Southall eatery. next to Heathrow. Its in the Sheraton Skyline hotel and the evening didn't start well when despite a huge car park, it was difficult to find a space at 6.30pm We did eventually get parked though it has to be said that at 8 when we emerged it would have been even more difficult. Also note that you have to pay for parking, in advance, at £4 for up to two hours. The restaurant itself is very large, with well spaced tables and a striking décor that I have to admit has rather too much bling for my taste. Its also noisy- this exacerbated by kids from the semi-private rooms round the edge running round the place. If you want a quiet dinner in a sophisticated environment , I'm afraid this isn't it. Turning to the food. The showpiece of the restaurant is a Robata grill , and the products of this take pride of place on the menu and our waiter pushed it rather hard. What isn't clear from the website, nor the menu you get on site, is that the portions indicated are small plates suitable for sharing, and what they'd really like apparently is for customers to buy a number of sharing plates from here and ignore the traditional items . The selection of traditional Indian food ( which is I guess what we expected to eat) is much smaller than you'll find in most Indian restaurants. They really are staking a lot on this grill! Personally I prefer the menu at their Southall restaurant, or at the Mehfil, on the same street. The food in fact wasn't bad at all, though my wife would say that her chicken (described by the waiter as the mildest available ) was a little spicy . We shared a portion of salmon-from the grill- and a Papri chaat which we usually enjoy. The salmon was tender , though I can't work out why they wrap food in a banana leaf so you get no hint of charcoal at all. Our main course chicken , lamb on the bone, rice, raita and Dal Makhani were exactly as you'd expect. The bill for two of us with one large beer, service but no coffee or dessert, came to £73. Now there's a lot of Indian restaurants round Heathrow and that's expensive in the competitive sense. Its a lot more than you'd pay at the other Madhu's branch for similar food, or at any of the thirty-odd local Indian restaurants I've used in the last few years. Its the cost of the airport hotel premises I'd guess, and of course that grill! I don't mind paying more for more, but more for the same is an issue for more than just me I'd imagine. Leaving the restaurant we were asked for our car details so we wouldn't have to pay for parking. Weird, the parking is visibly pay & display so we'd paid, and no offer of reimbursement was made. What's the point- are they trying to get notional credit for providing free parking without actually doing so? Or are they just disorganised? Odd.

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David H.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 5

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Nozomi

14-15 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 1NQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Simply the best!

by Tom S.   (1)

Jun 2015

My friends and I love it at Nozomi, the food is incredible and the music is the coolest in London, overall a unique offering - service was a bit slow, but we all enjoyed ourselves! Will be back soon

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Tom S.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 10

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POND

3 Gillett Street, London N16 8JH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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No Hulas in Sight

by yolanda c.   (2)

Jun 2015

I hate a theme just as much as I hate fancy dress so I was relieved to find Pond had designed their restaurant without the use of pineapples or Hawaiian skirts. This is Dalston, after all. Whilst the words cool and Hawaiian may not often be found together, they do now. We were quite content with the inventive cocktail list with twists on all the classics (think lots of pineapple, coconut and rum) and a menu filled with small and large plates which meant we simply had to order in bulk to sample as much as is humanly possible (quite a lot, as it turns out). We shared everything and that included Poke Pines which was akin to a tuna and salmon, Thai basil oil and coconut lime ceviche. Food arrives when it's ready so next up we had pork belly, fried sea bass and chargrilled chicken in a variety of sauces mainly involving chillies, lemongrass, kimchee and lime. I was then forced, yes, forced, to have steamed chocolate pudding with smoked vanilla ice-cream. Smoked ice-cream is a first for me and if you like trying usual combinations, then this is it. We shared another cocktail, to pair with our dessert, as one does, before we waddled out happily smelling like a smokehouse.

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yolanda c.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 7

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Smoking Goat

7 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Smokin'

by yolanda c.   (2)

Jun 2015

Started as we meant to go on with a gin, basil and champagne cocktail. We had all the starters. I mean, why wouldn't we? I'm not normally a fan of chicken wings, all fat, gristle and bone, but she wanted them so I thought great, all that aubergine ismineallmine. That didn't happen. These must have been some super-sized flying chickens as they had pumped up wings filled with juicy meat. I had one, she had two, which meant I gave her half the aubergine. 2 whole, skinless, roasted, smokey aubergines topped with a poached egg. Slippery, but try to imagine it in a good way, if that's possible. We loved the pomelo grapefruit THAT much that we ordered 2 (and I've recreated it again at home, check out my TheSpiralProject on Instagram for the recipe). Spicy and cool all at the same time. For more reviews see TheSpiralProject.com

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yolanda c.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 6

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Jinjuu

15 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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The tasting menu was a good deal!

by Cardy C.   bronze reviewer (5)

Jun 2015

You can find my detailed review (with pictures!) here - http://www.hkpiggyfoodjournal.com/#!Modern Korean lunch at Jinjuu/cmbz/558d7b000cf20d45521ed4d6

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Cardy C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 8

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Purslane 16 Rodney Road Cheltenham

16 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, Cheltenham GL50 1JJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Hidden gem

by Paul A.   gold reviewer (35)

Jun 2015

Something of a hidden gem - perhaps not that hidden, but certainly a gem adding a touch more sparkle to the Cheltenham fine dining scene. What gives Purslane an added attraction is its unpretentiousness, the quite plain room resembling a 70s coffee bar and the service being efficient and attentive without going over the top. We were on the way to doing a bit of shopping in Cheltenham, passed the restaurant and a little bell of recognition rang when saw the name. So what else could we do? We popped in for lunch. Every dish was visually stunning and tastefully contrived to make the best of the ingredients. The tender, authentic, hay-baked rabbit with its slightly crunchy topping was enhanced by a perfectly-judged light smokiness and backed up with fresh peas and decorated with pickled girolles and truffle and a sensational pea mousse. The other starter was just as impressive; generous white crab, courgettes grilled to a degree that conserved the delicate juiciness, elderflower mayo, sea aster decorations and to cap it all an amazing brown crab "bonbon" - the meat coated in a perfectly weighted crunchy breadcrumb mix. Then, two stonkingly good mains - a beautifully fresh piece of megrim on a moreish inventive wheatgerm risotto, artichokes, sea spinach to emphasise the taste of the sole and rounded off with oyster emulsion, and a properly treated wild sea trout fillet artfully contrasted with a horseradish velouté and accompanied by early summer veg, baby gem lettuce, broad beans, and a slightly disappointing pea soufflé. On the basis of our satisfaction with what we'd had, and the fact that I'm a sucker for cherries, we both decided on a dessert, and were rewarded with one of the most attractive puds we can remember - poached cherries, a goat's milk yoghurt mousse served in a tall glass, topped with chocolate sprinkle and with cherries and sorbet at the bottom, along with deep-tasting cherry sorbet and a cinnamon doughnut. Absolutely brilliant! Very good coffee finished off this top-class meal on another high note. Gareth Fulford is definitely (Michelin) star material.

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Paul A.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 10

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Champagne Charlies

17 The Arches, London WC2N 6NG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Very nice surprise

by Dawn G.   (1)

Jun 2015

Came across this restaurant by chance, when looking for a place to eat pre-theatre at Charing Cross Theatre. Great food - 2 courses 15.95 & they catered for my Celiac friend fantastically even though there was nothing on the menu to cover this. Will go there again in a heart beat

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Dawn G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 9

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5 North Street

5 North Street, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5LH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Cotswolds fine dining

by Paul A.   gold reviewer (35)

Jun 2015

Marcus Ashenford is featured as one of the alumni in the latest, celebratory, issue of the Waterside Inn magazine, so we knew we were on to a good thing here, and sure enough the dishes were beautifully presented and full of tasty surprises. Where this classy country cousin falls down by comparison with Bray, though, is in the pub-style matiness of the front of house set-up, although this had the benefit of interesting insights into the professionals' views on the merits of other restaurants. The 7-course menu is chef's selection of dishes from the three separate "evening dinner" menus on offer, and we were happy enough to go with his proposals. The wine list is limited but successfully makes a series of good matches for the dishes on the menu, and the mark-up is significantly lower than in London. The first starter was preceded by an interesting pairing of Welsh rarebit slices and rhubarb chutney, and then a rich and tasty mix of cauliflower, carraway seed and some lovely chive oil. We had expected our first starter to be other than roasted scallop accompanied by spinach, samphire, asparagus, terrific confit chicken wing and a marvellous potato and pancetta terrine, but the sequence had been announced to us in the wrong order. So, our pea and mint panna cotta, white crab quenelle on grain mustard mayo, cured salmon and citrus dressing, and a deft brown crab sandwich with nigella seed crisps instead of bread, actually followed as reference to the kitchenconfirmed it should. Interestingly, three questions we put about this dish also needed answers from the kitchen. Our mains comprised delectable turbot with fennel, clam and squid tortellini, broad beans, sweet grapes and an epic red pepper coulis, and choice local best end of lamb and classy confit shoulder, appealing sweetbreads, pomme purée, tomatoes which had clearly been slow-cooked and a very good lamb reduction. As there five of us we were treated to a sharing portion of the three desserts and the cheese selection, the latter made up of seven choices, and the former consisting of warm rice pudding with Satsuma parfait and lemon meringue, a mince pie style Banbury cake with a remarkable Roquefort ice cream and port syrup, and a "presentation of chocolate" with no less than five variations on the theme. Our appetites were then well and truly satisfied by the final flourish of petits fours and superb madeleines, and we came away from 5 North Street thoroughly happy.

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Paul A.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 8

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Zucca 184 Bermondsey Street

184 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Consistently excellent

by arlette l.   (1)

Jun 2015

Always have a fantastic meal when I go here. Interesting menu, love the bread to start, always have the Zucca Fritti and this time the Octopus starter which was fabulous. Fabulous wine, if only I knew the name. My friend had the Octopus for main, I had the roasted cod with tomato tapenade, delicious. I've been here a number of times since Zucca opened - always feel welcome, well looked after. Consistency at it's best. Authentic, quality Zucca style.

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arlette l.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 8

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