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Latest Squaremeal 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.

Kaspar s Seafood Bar and Grill

The Savoy, The Strand, London WC2R 0EU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Good Pre Theatre Dinner

by Dawn G.   bronze reviewer (11)

Aug 2016

We went to celebrate my birthday before going to a show. Food is of a good standard and reasonable price,but mains come without anything, so price racks up when you add vegetables. Staff excellent, & thgey overheard my friends toasting me for my birthday, so my dessert plate was decorated with Happy Birthday written in chocolate - very nice touch

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Dawn G.'s rating

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

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Brasserie Max at the Covent Garden Hotel

Covent Garden Hotel, 10 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9HB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Late lunch

by Chris H.   bronze reviewer (12)

Aug 2016

I visited here to use vouchers I had received as a birthday present. All I can say is wow. The surroundings, food and service fantastic. I had the lobster and prawn cocktail and my companion had the five spice seared tuna shashimi to start. For mains we had Herb crusted rack of lamb with grilled baby artichokes and spiced tomato salsa and pork schnitzel. The tomato salsa was deliciously sweet. The pork schnitzel was extremely large and unfortunately my companion had to leave some. Highly recommended and I will return.

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Chris H.'s rating

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

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Brigade

The Fire Station, 139 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ

Overall rating: star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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Absolutely Dreadful

by Julia B.   (4)

Aug 2016

I organise a monthly ladies lunch and this month we picked the Brigade. I booked a table for 8 of us well in advance but upon arrival we were shown through an almost empty restaurant to a side room. Great if you are conducting a business meeting but severely lacking in atmosphere for a group of ladies wanting to make the most of escaping from the office for an hour. Our order was taken but 45 minutes passed and still no food had been delivered to the lonely side room where we had been seated. I entered the main restaurant to investigate only to see that a number of the table that were empty upon our arrival were now occupied and had been served their meals. I enquired as to how long our food would be and was told 5 minutes. 10 minutes passed and still no food so as our lunch hour had now expired we were forced to leave the restaurant hungry and extremely disappointed. For the prices they charge we expected a much higher level of service and so definitely will not be returning in a hurry.

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Julia B.'s rating

star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 1
  • Value: 1

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Iberica Farringdon

89 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5QU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

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Disappointing

by Charlotte H.   (2)

Aug 2016

Unfortunately I was really disappointed with my dinner at Iberica Farringdon when I went with two friends for a celebratory meal. The menu didn't describe the dishes well at all; the portion sizes were minuscule and not justified by the quality of the food and in parts were extortionately priced. Some options just sounded bizarre, and it was tricky to avoid excessive mayonnaise / unnecessary potatoes at times - perhaps in an effort to pad out the dishes. The service was great though, and the surroundings were lovely, perhaps a place for drinks and nibbles, rather than dinner.

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Charlotte H.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 4
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 2

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Cafe Rouge Victoria

Victoria Place Shopping Centre Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Shame they cannot get organised

by Dawn G.   bronze reviewer (11)

Aug 2016

Went for a belated birthday celebration, as they sent me a voucher for a bottle of wine. As usual throughout the chain, the food is good. I had Bouillabaisse -very good flavours & the broth very nice. My friend had Confit de Canard - Daupinoise potatoes a bit too garlicky, Duck very nice & the cherry sauce very good. I think they have refurbished since the last time I was there, as it is brighter, but does not really have any atmosphere. The wait staff were very pleasant & polite, but just not enough of them, so it took almost 1 hour to get one course. My biggest concern though, is that they must seat around 60 covers, & there is only one toilet for everyone to share. Gents, ladies, disabled & baby changing all in one!!!!! That lets them down considerably in my book

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Dawn G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 7

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Samarkand

33 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Samarkand brings Uzbek food to London

by Vi V.   gold reviewer (33)

Aug 2016

Samarkand, Fitzrovia – NEW means so much with Samarkand. It a new restaurant, a new cuisine to London and to myself. I always love looking out for new flavours, so when Samarkand came to London a few foodie friends and I put a date in our diaries for this exciting night. Samarkand serves Uzbekistan food and all I knew about the cuisine was getting the right spelling on paper. The colours of Samarkand, blue and gold (a combination I adore), suggest a lot of class. And the place looks dashing. I would love to dress up when I go out to such a restaurant, but at the same time you can be as casual as you like. I went in my normal attire of shirt and jeans. Decorative lights, cushioned chairs, spacious tables, brass wash basin and hand towels are the little things that seemed fuddy-duddy, but come together collectively and ooze elegance. It is expensive and the price is reflected in the menu. The menu is not your usual starters, mains and desserts. It portrays itself more like a tasting menu of different small plates. The predominant meats are beef and lamb. Except for their national dish, plov, there is a vegetarian option to the different categories. I would say that if you are a big fan of vodka, then you would be spoilt for choices here. It is not just the different brands but the different vegetables and grains listed were quite impressive. It did not take long to decide what to order because we wanted to taste everything so we did nearly order the whole menu. Food was generally good but nothing great. Portions were minute. The Samarkand's slogan of “gastronomy of silk road” sounds more interesting than the flavours that was served. It did not ruffle much feathers. A slight let down but perhaps I went in with a higher expectation? I am not sure if I entirely like the food. With my background, I felt like this was similar to the Northern Chinese cuisine. It was certainly a high end pricing but the presentation of dishes did not reflect. Most of the cost would gone to the uniforms for the waitress or that constantly gleaming brass basin in the toilet. I love dining in style but I almost felt like a dupe when the sashlik was served. Service was charming. I would think that Samarkand would be much better off with a tasting menu and they can also go premium with a wine pairing, or with that impressive vodka menu.

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Vi V.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 5

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Eneko at One Aldwych

One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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So good, I’ve been there twice (in a week)!

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (61)

Aug 2016

Both meals I have had here were outstanding. To start with they bring out home-made butter with a basil reduction and sea salt which is divine and a good bread selection. I’ve eaten the Txerri Boda Pork Festival (every porky morsel was divine), Beetroot Tartare (light and fresh), Crispy corn talo with heritage tomatoes and fresh herbs (again, perfect summer starter), Hake tempura with confit vegetables and red pepper reduction (a stunning, rich velvety sauce, I’m told this takes 2 days to make), Patatas in green sauce (I can’t work out how they do this deep fried egg yolk that just explodes when you bite in to it, amazing!) and the Oxtail. On both occasions I drank the Txakolina wine (a family connection there I think), which was the perfect accompaniment. I didn’t have dessert, but they look very good. The restaurant has a great round table under a skylight, with lots of red leather booths around the sides and you are not sitting on top of the next table, it feels bright and spacious. As it is the soft launch month, the staff are finding their feet and learning the menu, but can’t fault any of the service we received. It’s hard to make a hotel restaurant really successful, but I hope that they do really well, the restaurant was only around 50% full when I was there, but, I am certainly telling people to visit! I haven’t had Basque regional food before, and this is something new and different in London, so go and try for yourselves.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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El Vino

47 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1BJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Remaining a favourite

by Constance V.   (3)

Aug 2016

Remaining a favourite for a lunchtime - always arrive early (12:30-ish) as it is busy when you leave an hour or so later. Obviously I'm not the only one liking it here, so reserving a table is a good idea. The Tapas at 5 choices from a large selection, priced at £20.00 for 2 people is a gem of a choice. The staff remain friendly - and that is so often more important than the menu selection, and of course the wines are also what it is also all about. Great all around - looking forward to the next visit.

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Constance V.'s rating

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

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The Ivy

1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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An old time favourite.

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (61)

Aug 2016

I have been a fan of the Ivy for many years but hadn’t visited since it’s refurb last year, the Ivy Café in Marylebone is usually more convenient and serves similar fayre and I’m not that interested in celeb spotting. I was surprised we could get a table for Sunday lunch, booked a couple of hours before arrival, it used to be rammed at this time, but perhaps it is because it’s August and their usual clientele are sunning themselves in the South of France?? What a difference the central bar makes, it really opens up the restaurant and provides a welcome pit-stop for a pre-lunch drink. It felt much brighter and airier than before, it’s a shame that it was only one third full. The staff, as always were charming and efficient. I opted for the thai chicken curry with pumpkin and husband had the shepherds’ pie (he is a creature of habit and I can’t tempt him away) and we shared a delicious yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado to start. I chose a bottle of Txakoli di Guetaria, Ameztoi, which was fresh, light and spritzy and went perfectly with the sashimi and the curry (perhaps not the shepherds’ pie but I didn’t hear any complaints). The Ivy will always have a place in my heart, it has one of those menus that caters for most food cravings and executes it very well.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Augustus

3 The Courtyard St James, Taunton, Taunton TA1 1JR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Excellent food and wine knowledge and understanding

by Sam W.   (1)

Aug 2016

Excellent alternatives offered for both vegetarians and lactose intolerance without making an issue of either. Wine suggestions offered for suitability for both food matching and personal tastes which were excellent selections for all present. Front of house is welcoming without being overbearing or pushy.

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Sam W.'s rating

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

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Frenchie

16 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8QH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Superlative service and high quality cooking? Bien sûr!

by Benjamin B.   (1)

Aug 2016

Frenchie had been on the hit list for my wife and I since its recent opening. I booked it to celebrate a special occasion and briefed the restaurant accordingly when re-confirming our Thursday 2000 table (they kindly offered to put a candle in my wife's dessert and say a couple of words - that will do nicely I thought!). First impressions were good, with a warm welcome from front of house. Our table wasn't ready so we were invited to the bar area. Dave, the Maitre d' noticed my wife was pregnant (not the reason for celebration though!) and promptly offered to make her a mocktail of her choice or that of the house. A nice touch. Shortly afterwards we were shown to a table in the middle of the ground floor, across from the bar (there is some seating downstairs too, by the open kitchen - better for groups than quiet dates I would say). The table was right next to a waiter's terminal and serving table - the position would not be to everyone's taste, but it didn't bother us on this occasion. Incidentally, a couple of the tables at the very front of the restaurant are arguably quite exposed and can be afflicted by 'traffic', with diners milling around by the tables pre/post dinner. Anyway, on to the food - it was generally excellent. The bacon scones and egg mimosa were strong appetisers. For the starters, we had the impressive squid ink tortellini and the superb lamb ragu pappardelle. For mains, we ordered the monk fish and pork - these dishes were reasonably good thanks to the accompaniments, but the fish was a bit rubbery (assume overcooked) and the pork cut was unfortunately largely fat. Happily, the desserts were suitably well executed and enjoyable (we opted for the candled-cheesecake and the banoffee. Yum). I chose wine by the glass and thought the list was OK - unremarkable, whilst also being a touch toppy too. With my wife necessarily on the waters throughout dinner, Dave brought me a cocktail on the house given we were celebrating - most unexpected and a very cool gesture I thought! We rounded off with teas and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 4.5 stars, chiefly on account of the superlative service - it wouldn't surprise me if the food was faultless upon returning.

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Benjamin B.'s rating

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

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Fenchurch Seafood Bar Grill at Sky Garden

Level 37, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3BY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Full of flavour

by Lynn W.   platinum reviewer (71)

Aug 2016

Our entrance was speedy, straight past the queues of sightseers, up the lift, and out into a loud and lively sky garden floor, complete with Friday night parties and live band. Up two more flights of stairs for drinks on the high level terrace, with time to absorb the swimming-pool style acoustics echoing off the glass roof and walls. Into the restaurant for dinner, and suddenly all was relaxed and calm. A choice of good breads and butter started us off, then the chilled heritage tomato salad with warm peaches was a hit, and my sea trout with chargrilled broccoli was light but packed great flavours. We both had succulent roast cod with creamy seafood risotto topped with crunchy puffed wild rice, a great dish. An interesting wine list that was hard to choose from, we went for a bottle of Rupert & Rothschild Nadine Chardonnay which was so full of flavour. Romantic views through the tree ferns as the sun went down over the river, delicious food, friendly relaxed service and great wine list, makes us feel lucky to live in London.

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Lynn W.'s rating

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

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Bangalore Express 1 Corbet Court Gracechurch Street

1 Corbet Court, Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0AT

Overall rating: star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty

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under cooked chicked

by Helen K.   (1)

Aug 2016

two of my party of 5 meals were under cooked the check was rubbery and bright pink. when we asked the waiter over to complain and get them changed we was greeted with a rude and unprofessional matter. told that must have been the only one then stirring the food. once explained no matter what part of the chicken it is, it shouldn't be bright red. we were then offered not to day service charge. o say this was an awful experience is an understatement.

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Helen K.'s rating

star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 1
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 1

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Casita Andina

31 Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7LP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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My kind of house

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (180)

Aug 2016

I first visited Peru 16 years’ ago and fell in love with the country, the culture, the food and the people then. Back in London everything seemed so grey in contrast to the visual hues of the Andes. Even the now-shut Fina Estampa on Tooley Street was scant compensation for the culinary delights that Peru had to offer. Since then, both Peru and the London dining scene have both moved on quite a bit. Latin American food in general has become notably trendier with the likes of Coya and Ceviche gaining much praise. However, Casita (‘small house’) Andina is a wonderful complement to this movement and, in many ways, provides a better sense than its bigger and probably trendier peers of what the Peruvian dining experience is all about. On entering this small building in Soho (which is almost opposite the also excellent Blacklock), one is assailed almost immediately by colour and sound before being able even to contemplate food and drink. This is how it should be. The place feels bright, warm and welcoming, not dissimilar to the experiences I recall from Peru. My comrade and I chose to be seated downstairs in the more informal bar area, but diners can also select an upstairs room with more emphasis on formality. On offer at lunch is a simple but successful formula: for the amazingly good value price of £10 for 2 main dishes, diners can select from around half a dozen cold items and a similar number of warm options. These are complemented on the menu by nibbles and desserts. We kicked off with some croquetas, which undoubtedly hit the spot. Round-shaped, the meat (pork and liver) was rich and the accompanying chilli jam packed a punch. Moving onto the other dishes, and I was delighted to see many old favourites that might appear as staples in any Andean restaurant: think, succulent ceviche (raw sea bass) blended expertly with sweet potato, a beautifully presented tamal (pork in a corn dumpling) and a well-executed aji de gallina (chicken with eggs, olives and chilli). We concluded with a strawberry and avocado pot, a wonderfully inventive idea, even if it scored more in terms of appearance than taste. Service was, however, something of a let-down; not enough to prevent me from coming back, but still a clear area for improvement. Our server initially forgot our drinks order and seemed generally very confused about which dishes we had ordered and when to bring them. Nonetheless, at around £30/head, drinks, coffee and service included, it is hard to complain. Anyone seeking a small slice of Peru is recommended to visit.

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 9

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