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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.

Angler

3 South Place, London EC2M 2AF

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Flawless

by Kaana George   bronze reviewer (9)

Jul 2015

What an amazing evening we had here - the service is excellent, the food blows your taste buds away - the atmosphere is wonderful, the wine list is so reasonable considering the class of restaurant. Really good value considering the quality - cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Kaana George's rating

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

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Hutong at The Shard

Level 33,The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Good food but very touristy

by Joanna G.   bronze reviewer (14)

Jul 2015

I was taken here for a birthday lunch last Saturday. I know that my sister had rung in advance and told them of this fact and that a friend of mine who knows the manager also told the restaurant in advance. We arrived about 15 early for our reservation and were told that if we were happy to go straight to a table that we could have a window table, but if we went to the bar first they couldn't guarantee it would still be available, so we went straight to the table. Unfortunately for us the view was straight down onto London Bridge station, which, whilst impressive, is not the most attractive view! Our waiter was very friendly and said "you are here for a celebration aren't you, what is your name", I told him and he called me by my name throughout and we had a few chats and laughs throughout the lunch, he was great. Not being particularly large eaters we opted for half a crispy duck (served in the traditional way, in 2 servings), the lamb and fennel dumplings and asparagus in white sesame. The duck was brought to the table by a chef, who carved it beautifully, perfect crispy skin, delicious, moist and tasty duck, and served with hoi sin, pancakes, cucumber and spring onion - we would happily have eaten the rest of the duck this way, but the remainder was taken back to the kitchen and then re-appeared in the style of a stir fry with peppers and onions, and lettuce leaves to make a "wrap" which completely dried the duck out and was pretty tasteless. The dumplings were full of flavour, although not sure it was a particularly "Chinese" dish and the asparagus was blanched, fresh and crunchy and a cut through the fatty food well. We had a bottle of Verdejo which was also very nice. I am not really a dessert person, so we opted for the ginger and honey ice cream to share - which came with a piece of chocolate with "Happy Birthday" written on it. I eat out a lot and most restaurants if you tell them that its a special occasion make a little more effort than they do at the Shard, but hey, I'm a big girl and don't need candles - the waiter even said that he was embarrassed at how little effort the management put into these things. The bar area was heaving with tourists, suitcases and people not adhering to the dress code of no sports shoes. All in all, it was a nice lunch, with great views, excellent service and mostly good food, but I wouldn't rush back, this has been on my "list" to visit for some time, but there are many other restaurants that I would go back to before coming back here.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Cafe Murano Covent Garden

34-36 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Just as good as it's sister!

by Joanna G.   bronze reviewer (14)

Jul 2015

My husband and I ate here for lunch on Sunday, we arrived at around 12.30 and were the only people, but by the time we left at around 2.30, the restaurant was half full. As it has only been open for a few weeks, I would assume that it will get just as popular as it's sister in St James's. We started with their "house" negroni cocktail and their gorgeous focaccia and olive oil, followed by the charcuterie selection (all wonderful) and the mozzarella and lentil salad (delicious). As it was a rainy Sunday we both opted for a comforting bowl of pasta - one traditional tagliatelli bolognaise and the other Spaghetti, caper leaves & bottarga, both were perfectly cooked and just the right size portion for us (we had the "smaller bowls"). We also drank a bottle of the house white (Trebbiano), which was exceptional value and dangerously quaffable at £19.50. Service was superb, very friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff and plenty of time between courses to enjoy the meal and surroundings. At £77 inc. service, you really can't go wrong. Well done Ms Hartnett - you deliver great food, at very reasonable prices - we will be back again and again.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Iberica Marylebone

195 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Something has changed....

by Joanna G.   bronze reviewer (14)

Jul 2015

We have eaten here many times over the past few years and always had an enjoyable experience. However, recently I arranged a dinner for 10 people on a Tuesday night (well in advance, inc, pre-ordering and paying for most of the food) for my nieces graduation celebration dinner. I was unable to give an exact time of arrival as graduation ceremonies go on for a number of hours, but said that we would most likely be arriving at around 7pm, as it was half of us arrived at 6.15pm, and I asked if the table was free, could we sit there and have a drink whilst waiting for the rest of our group. I was told that the table was free but as we had arrived early, they would want the table back at 8.15pm, I laughed, thinking they were joking and said that for a table of 10, most restaurants would not put a 2 hour "window" on the meal and also, the rest of the group would not be arriving for another hour or so. The lady I spoke to did not really comment, so I waited for around 30 minutes and then spoke to a gentleman who said he was the manager - he went off to talk to someone and then came back and said he had "managed to arrange for us to have the table as long as we needed it". The one lady who served us the majority of the time, was very busy, but efficient and friendly, but the lady on the front desk who I originally spoke to continually walked to the back of the restaurant and stared at our table as if trying to get us to leave. The restaurant was very busy (it usually is), but they have lost us as regular customers, which is a shame as we have always enjoyed it here. When it came time to pay for the alcohol and extra food that we ordered (£300+) I handed over a £100 square meal voucher), which they looked at with complete disgust (I had mentioned in advance that I would be using it as part payment), not sure what that was about either but they appear not to be on the square meal points list any more). Rarely have I felt so unwelcome in a restaurant - maybe something is going on with the management, I have no idea, maybe they are too popular for their own good, maybe I shall take my hard earned money elsewhere in future.

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Joanna G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 8

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The Ivy Chelsea Garden

197 King's Road, London SW3 5ED

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Summer in the city

by Monikasays   gold reviewer (47)

Jul 2015

The Ivy has long been on my list of places to go, but the formula 1 pace of new exciting restaurants in London have thwarted me. The Ivy has had a glamorous make over and opened 2 new branches, one in well-heeled Chelsea and another in Covent Garden. I happened to be having a day in the sales at Harvey Nics and booked The Ivy Chelsea Garden, for a rather convenient indulgent lunch with the girls in London's heatwave. The draw here is the Orangery , which is a mix of English country garden/ Miami hotel and the Chelsea Flower Show. The inside is very smart as well with brass and posh fittings, but for me sitting outside in London, with a glass of Rose and nice bit of fish is hard to beat. As expected from the Ivy the food delivers at a high standard and but rather surprisingly economical as well if you go for the set lunch. A bargain at £16.50 for 2 courses including a perfectly cooked white fish and a choccie nutty heavenly dessert, result, next stop harvey nics to spend my savings! The a la carte menu is one to cherish and take to bed.... it has all your cosy but sophisticated classics... crispy duck salad, eggs benedict, shepherds pie, dark treacle tart and the list goes on. Service was a little slow but otherwise polite. Go catch the rest of London's summer sun and bagsy a classy table at the Ivy Chelsea Garden.

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Monikasays's rating

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

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Lobos Meat and Tapas Bar

14 Borough High Street, London SE1 1LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Everything is small.....except the price!

by Luncheon Vulture   gold reviewer (43)

Jul 2015

Not being a Spanish-speaker, I initially thought that "Lobos" may have meant "small" such is the size of this place. Somehow we managed not to overlook its entrance, being somewhat inconspicuously located underneath the railway arch on London Bridge, and fell into a very dimly lit narrow interior. We were whisked upstairs where our pre-booked table of four had been cobbled together by placing a fold up table and two rickety chairs alongside one of the booths for two (for two small people I hasten to add!) There really was not enough room to swing the proverbial moggy, let alone the vast collection of glasses, bottles, plates not to mention food that we then dealt with over the next 90 minutes or so. I fully expect tapas to be informal and relaxed, but we spent most of the time in a constant state of discomfort, juggling all the items on the table and avoiding passing staff waiting on the tables behind us. The menu is as stated, "meat and tapas" but it is worth either swatting up on the menu before going or take some form of portable lighting, as it is nigh on impossible to read in the dimness! Stand outs for us were the croquetas, the seafood dish and the chuleton but everything else was just ok and did not live up to the promise and prices charged. Given that you order tapas to share, we thought £4 for around 6 martini olives and £2.50 for 6 small slices of bread was a bit steep, even for Central London. Based on recent experiences, I'm beginning to think that tapas may be a dish best served in Espana.....

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Luncheon Vulture's rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 4

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Rivington Grill 28 30 Rivington Street

28-30 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Great Food on the Edge of the City!

by Christina W.   (2)

Jul 2015

I picked this restaurant for the annual get together lunch with some very dear friends that my husband and I met on holiday a few years ago. The menu offered a good selection of meat, fish and vegetarian options, which appealed to us all. We ate our way through scallops (perfectly cooked), Dover Sole, Sea Bass, Lamb Cutlets and Pork Tenderloin and enjoyed every mouthful. The desserts were equally delicious, with a nice mixture of the traditional (Gooseberry Crumble) and more decadent (luxurious ice creams). The Wine List was also quite comprehensive. The service was very good and everyone was welcoming and friendly. We would definitely recommend the restaurant and would return again for a future reunion.

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Christina W.'s rating

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

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Otto s Restaurant

182 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8EW

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Couldn't be more French if you stuck a beret on it, gave it a triclour to wave and got it to spit on Chris Froome

by Richard E.   platinum reviewer (139)

Jul 2015

Pootling down the Gray's Inn Road a few weeks back, I noticed a commotion outside a dry cleaners. On closer inspection, it turned out that what appeared to be a bullhorn wielding goose was actually directing its ire at Otto's, a discretely fronted restaurant of French origin. I found out later that this "peaceful" protest was because Otto's has the affront to serve foie gras. Duck foie gras, but foie gras nonetheless. I had to try it. On closer digging, it seems that whilst some people may not like how ducks are treated to create one of the dishes, Otto's is most famous for how its ducks appear in another dish: Canard de Rouen à la Presse. Given that this was a client dinner, and you have to order the duck well in advance, I cannot tell you how this tastes, but the two lads at the next door table who ordered it seemed to enjoy it, and it is nothing if not a piece of theatre to see it prepared. The duck is first presented to the table in its raw form. It is brought back in two courses: first the breast is sliced thinly and then the legs, deboned and grilled. But it is the making of the sauce for the breast that is the theatre: the carcass of the bird is crushed in the ornate silver press, and the juices that have been squeezed out heated at the tableside with the duck's roasted livers, some Cognac, Madeira and stock to form a rich gravy. It looks great, and at Otto's they'll allow the diner to give the press a good turn but, having had this dish in France, I confess it is not really to my taste (and at a-hundred-and-forty of your finest English pound notes, is as rich as the sauce). For those who haven't had the foresight to pre-order, there is plenty to choose from. Scottish smoked salmon is sliced at the table from a whole side; snails are smothered in butter and, judging by the smell wafting over as the dish was presented to one of my companions, no little amount of garlic; the three cheese soufflé light and cheesy; and the foie gras was rich, came with buttery brioche and was perfectly accompanied by a glass of Montbazillac. Mains too were excellent: steaks cooked as ordered, the rabbit neatly trussed and the lamb declared perfect. We hadn't really left enough room for desert, but that didn't stop one of our number ordering the crème brûlée and six spoons, and it was as fine an example as I have tasted. Interestingly for a restaurant where the mains sit nicely in the high 20's price bracket, the wine list presents good value for money: there are plenty of wines by the glass, a very good selection by the half bottle, and the bottles themselves start at less than many of the mains, although of course there are the odd trophy wines at the upper end too. Even these, however, are at a price that says: "come on, you know you want to", and I am sure that many do. On a Monday night in late July, you wouldn't expect a restaurant to be full, but there was but a single table empty. Even so full, service is discrete and professional, but on hand when needed, overseen by the unflappable Otto himself. I would wholeheartedly recommend Otto's; it is a love letter to French cooking of a bygone era, and absolutely none the worse for it.

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Richard E.'s rating

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

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Barbecoa

20 New Change Passage, London EC4M 9AG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Good food but Expensive

by Rita G.   (3)

Jul 2015

Overall a lovely place to eat but expensive, £200 lunch for 2. Also we had need to amend the booking and when we called the resturant they didnt have a record of the booking. They managed to accomodate us and i raised the issue with Square meals who said its a known bug in the system which should be fixed shorlty. Therefore i suggest ytiu call teh resturant in advance to ensure they have your booking.

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Rita G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 5

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The Drift

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Good food, good atmoshphere and good staff

by Gina L.   (1)

Jul 2015

Decent spot for lunch. We all had the set menu and it was really nice. Cooked well and actually more than we could eat with the starter and main course. Cocktails were delicious and beautifully presented. Recommend it for a working lunch. Or just a good lunch.

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Gina L.'s rating

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

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Tentazioni

2 Mill Street, London SE1 2BD

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Great find in an expanding part of London's food scene

by Mike M.   (1)

Jul 2015

It's not often one thinks about Bermonsey when one is celebrating a family occasion but I was looking for somewhere different that would satisfy the carnivore requirements of my brother in law and enable my dear partner to enjoy good seafood without the overtones of far eastern cuisine. In these circumstances Italian food is a great compromise and I went to the Square Meal database to find somewhere different and interesting. So it was that we ended up in Tentazioni enjoying a delicious freshly cooked meal accompanied by great wine. The restaurant is hidden away in the back streets beyond Tower Bridge south of the river. Although we arrived at 6.30 pm on a Saturday we weren't the first to arrive and the restaurant soon filled up creating a buzzy but pleasant atmosphere enhanced by the modern bright decor. We received a warm welcome but regrettably the service somewhat deteriorated from then on. However, the food was delicious and our starters of King Scallops and Lobster Ravioli followed by three beautiful Dover Soles were really memorable and at £28, were great value for money. My brother in law had the pigeon which he pronounced to be nice and succulent and definitely not the Trafalgar Square variety. The wine was Yume Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and a really excellent example of this earthy and aromatic wine two bottles of which slipped down very nicely. It was not only Yume but 'Yummy' and well priced at £36. Only one of us had room for dessert which was Vanilla Parfait, a well constructed raspberry meringue dish which two of us managed to share. I heartily recommend Tentazioni for a special occasion I just wish that the service had been quicker and more attentive. There were only two staff on that evening who were doing their very best and it's possible they were caught out by sickness or holidays. Hopefully it wasn't a case of the owner trying to save on wages.

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Mike M.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 8

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The Greenhouse

27a Hay's Mews, London W1J 5NY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Up there with the best

by Paul A.   gold reviewer (40)

Jul 2015

Editor's pick There are restaurants where you pay the bill and weigh up whether it was value for money, and there are others where you leave with a contented smile on your face just congratulating yourself on having made such a good choice for a meal, and as we rushed through the deluge from the restaurant door to the taxi we were already agreeing that The Greenhouse is unquestionably one of the latter. An oasis of quiet in busy Mayfair, the dining room is clean-cut and decorated in an unfussy manner although with an eye to detail, such as the individual mini-sculptures on each table and the display of decanters, the smooth service is perfectly balanced between formal and relaxed, the excellent sommelier is full of nice touches and clearly not one of those who feels threatened by any customer with some knowledge of what he is drinking, and the staff in general demonstrated a surprising understanding of the English sense of humour. The impression is that this all stems from the chef, the talented Arnaud Bignon, whose classical yet innovative cooking completes the impressive experience. There was a choice of two tasting menus, and given that one of them listed three of our top favourites for the first three courses there was little argument about which to take. Interestingly, there was also a choice of wine pairings, a 'modern' with wines from a number of countries and a 'classic' with just French sources. My wife selected the modern as it was one glass lighter, and for me the classic announced itself as one of the best I've had anywhere, from Krug to Ch Rieussec via Fèvre Grand Cru Chablis, Zind Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Riesling, Liger-Belair Moulin-à-Vent and Domaine de Trévallon. Hors classe! Three types of home-made bread were served and the olive version was so good we talked about taking some home. Very good canapés followed, smoked beef tartare with anchovy, quinoa crisp and crème fraîche with a sprinkle of dill powder, and a carrot mousse-filled tartelette spiked with coriander. Just the job to set up the palate for the first course, we thought. But not so - another canapé arrived sporting apple foam with chunks of green apple, avocado, lemon grass and radish, which definitely stimulated our appetites and our anticipation of the dishes to come, and we still hadn't got to the amuse-bouche, which added a further favourite to the meal - chef's signature dish of lovely picked crab beneath cauliflower purée and mint jelly with a green apple espuma and spices which started quite neutrally but quickly all the tastes came together in one delicious whole and made a mind-blowing match with the Krug. On then to the first starter, a generous serving of top-class scallops enhanced by yuzu, verbena oil, samphire and green zebra tomato seeds. We never need any encouragement to dive into lobster, but sometimes an intelligent tweak to its natural attractiveness can make it quite heavenly, and chef had certainly done it with the unexpected addition of lime-marinated watermelon, a fantastic satay sauce and an imaginative peanut coating on some of the lobster. Winning dishes just kept on coming, the luscious poached wild turbot not only melting in the mouth but also releasing the proper freshness of taste sometimes missing in other eateries, and served with an amusing cauliflower purée looking like a half-moon crisp on the plate and matched with matcha tea powder, chives and a tricksy lemon hollandaise. Despite the claims made for English rose veal, a good number of the chefs that we've spoken to tend to source their veal from France, and so it was here. You can see why when you get such delicately flavoured, perfectly textured meat as we were treated to, with a background of tamarind and a pea purée and a decorative light pastry pyramid containing Provola cheese giving an extra dimension to the dish. A pre-dessert is always a good idea, and in many restaurants the peach sorbet with peach segments in a rose petal and pepper sauce would be counted as a full-on dessert in itself; here, though, it was merely a prelude to the suite of flavours delivered by a super matcha tea panna cotta on a white chocolate disc, little wild strawberries, a yuzu sauce and green-coloured chocolate sticklet ornamenting the rim of the dish. Sweet extras, including frozen mojito, strawberry choux pastries and sablé Breton followed and, with good coffee, were supplemented with salt caramel, hazelnut praline and very light pepper chocolates. A memorable experience that we will surely repeat in the not-too-distant future.

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Paul A.'s rating

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

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Ceena

13 St Bride Street, London EC4A 4AS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Korean BBQ

by Jay N.   (1)

Jul 2015

Visited Ceena in the past and have been enjoyable experience. A typical korean restaurant serving its famous korean bbq, grilled on your table. We ordered the set menu which was around £16 per person, and the starters were all excellent, accompanying sauces all complimented the foods well. We were indeed stuffed by the end of the meal, happy to have tried a range of tasty korean dishes. A must try for any foodies out there.

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Jay N.'s rating

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

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MOC Kitchen

10 The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Authentic street food in Charing Cross

by hannah h.   (1)

Jul 2015

Moc Kitchen reminded me of my travels in Vietnam where the street food was plentiful and deeply deeply delicious. Moc Kitchen have all the favourites like Pho and rolls but there are some other quite unusual dishes like the lemongrass beef rolled in wild betel leaves - juicy, tender and filling. The aubergine and tofu hotpot was rich and meaty even though there was no meat in it. All the dishes are full of Vietnemese herbs chosen for their health benefits and flavour by the owner - at least that's what she told me when I asked about the betel leaves. She was born in Hanoi and came to London just a couple of years ago to do what she knows best - create street food for Londoners. Make sure you finish with a Vietnamese coffee - not like any coffee Ive tried before full of rich spicy notes and the coffee sits on a layer of creamy condensed milk - sounds a bit weird but it is totally yummy. Prices are brilliant you easily get a two course meal for around £10. Loved it.

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hannah h.'s rating

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

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