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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.

Ostuni Highgate

1 Hampstead Lane, London N6 4RS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Friendly Italian restaurant

by Lynn W.   platinum reviewer (68)

Jul 2016

The food is rustic and seems authentic. We started with a bowl of different breads - all of them good - and a plate of salami and cured capocollo. Then we had a dish of roasted meats to share, including bombette, chunks of lamb and a tiny bit of chicken along with some fennel and radish salad, and a sort of sweet chilli tomato sauce for dipping. Add some ultra-thin and crispy courgette fries and this was filling and plenty for two. With a bottle of Puglian red we felt very relaxed and almost on holiday, made even more so by bumping into some friends we hadn't seen for ages. This feels like a good community place, and good news for Highgate.

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Lynn W.'s rating

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

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Darbaar

1 Snowden Street, London EC2A 2DQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Shhh! Hidden gem!

by TomTom   gold reviewer (32)

Jul 2016

This supremely comfortable and slickly designed Snowden Street restaurant has so much on offer and its boutiquish polish suggests the operators have been honing their craft for years. In fact Abdul Yasseen and his wife are cutting their teeth on their first restaurant here and once foodies wake up to what’s on offer here, they’ll surely be visiting from far and wide. A great bar and a couple of equally impressive private rooms, not to mention a very grown-up reception area (a rare thing in the world of restaurants) all set the tone for an establishment in no way overawed by exalted neighbours L’Anima and Galvin La Chapelle. The cooking by a chef with an infallable palate is technically consummate and deliciously flavoured. We tried the baked rabbit with corn-kernel sauce which was soft, tender and warmly spiced, while the assorted grills and kebabs (salmon, chicken and lamb and paneer) was a masterpiece of multilayered flavour. Worth trying, too, is a rich dhal boasting a formidable intensity. While the wine is not cheap the food prices are far from expensive and the whole experience was a real treat.

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TomTom's rating

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

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Flat Three

120-122 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Cool overindulgence of senses

by Henna K.   (1)

Jul 2016

Last night was my second time within just over a week that I ventured through the understated entrance next to my hairdressers and downstairs to the coolest space in the neighbourhood. Being nearly a Scandi but most definitively from the Nordic region, my immediate reaction was that it felt like being back home: minimalistic design, earthy colours, wood and soft light. Having changed the venue of my birthday dinner with dear friends at the last minute a week ago as another neighbourhood new-comer, with a lot more publicity, having had Beckhams and other locals with a keen follow-on visit, could not accommodate a larger than planned group, I was very intrigued to sit at the Chef's table and study the what at first sight appeared a seemingly sparse menu. Needn't worry: the Chef's 7 that comes both in meat and vegetarian variety was all I could have ever hoped for with a variety of fish (delicious smoked salmon with a lardo coat, melt-in-mouth poached seabass in a delicate broth that took my breath away), seafood (mouthwatering perfectly cooked scallops) and meat (amazing saltiness of a rib-eye and the most tender waguy sirloin) each touching every single sense in the most amazing way. I am not a big fan of desserts but the palate-cleansing tofu sorbet followed by a delicious oven-fresh cake named after the epic poet of my home country, my birthday missed nothing. So I took my Oz partner back this weekend and he was in heaven too, not least because of the refreshing tayberry (a cross between raspberry and blackberry, I learned) rum aperitif, brewed for 3months before making it into the cool minimalist glassware and clenching the thirst on a hot summer's night (alongside the free water that kept coming at frequent speed throughout the night): a big fan of Japan and Japanese food, and perhaps a little bit of Finns' too, the Oz man now plans to use this venue for business dinners and friendly get-togethers alike. I would just hope that Posh and Becks and friends would wander over as it would be a real shame if this place did not get the crowds and the PR it deserves. Cool overindulgence of senses. We will be back.

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Henna K.'s rating

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

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Hix

66-70 Brewer Street, London W1F 9UP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Sorry- can't muster much enthusiasm

by David H.   platinum reviewer (73)

Jul 2016

First visit today at lunch and plainly restaurants which cater primarily for young people don't really warm up till well after we left at 2. I didn't find much to wax lyrical about to be honest. The premises aren't terribly exciting, the service is decent .We both chose from the a la carte menu I found my shellfish soup a little odd- the soup and the pieces of shellfish in it seemed to have been cooked separately- the pieces of fish were tasty enough but the soup itself was over-thickened and not quite warm enough. My Hangar steak was neither tender nor particularly tasty and a lot of people I know would have sent it back. It wasn't awful- just not as pleasant as it could have been. Decent fries ( a side) and tasty peas and broad beans ( another side) though sadly no-one had bothered to skin the latter. To be fair, my wife enjoyed her broad bean puree and breaded Schnitzel rather more than I enjoyed my food. I found the wine list poor value. We had a carafe of the lowest priced white on the list- a Chilean Sauvignon- which for a bottle was priced a little below £30. It was palatable though in the sense of a supermarket wine at maybe £6/£7 a bottle. Altogether our bill with one dessert and one coffee totted up to £96. The question I asked myself while paying and still in my mind now is whether I should be paying that sort of money for middling food. It seems to me that its getting hard to get good quality or good value in the very heart of the west end now with a few exceptions such as Pollen Street Social.. Set lunch menus are getting tediously uninteresting. Nevertheless albeit that I'm stopping well short of an outright recommendation for Hix, I do believe the food I ate today was a little better that the food we ate at Treadwells a few months back and Café Monico more recently.

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David H.'s rating

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

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Restaurant Ours

264 Brompton Road, London SW3 2AS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great food, drinks and service! New hidden place in London!!!

by Kayo C.   (1)

Jul 2016

I went there with my friends on Thursday night. We have tried caviar with avocado, steak tartar, raw tuna and their signature dish tomato salad as starter. We also tried John dory, veal, lamb, seabass,.... and some side dishes. They are all full of flavoured and tasty. Especially, I loved John dory and roasted cauliflower!!! The restaurant is sharing concept which is very familiar to family style, I love it!! We have shared all dishes as well as desserts!! We loved plum tart!!!!! They also have good selection of cocktails!!! Staff were very helpful and have good knowledge. We really enjoyed all about Ours restaurant!!!!! We definitely want to come back to try new experience again!!!!

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Kayo C.'s rating

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

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Black Roe Poke Bar and Grill

4 Mill Street, London W1S 2AX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Fresh, flavoursome, fish and more!

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (57)

Jul 2016

Just had lunch here with a colleague and we were both very impressed with the food. We shared the beef tataki on sesame rice, with a good kick of chilli and spring onions, prawn tempura (which were HUGE), and whole, so the actual edible bit was somewhat smaller, Cajan style blackened seabass, monkfish and tiger prawns in a citrus salsa, garlic butter fries with yuzu mayo dip, fresh donuts with lemon dip and a chocolate melting cake with ice cream. We seriously considered asking for the menu and trying more, but decided that was enough gluttony for one day and that we really should get back to work. I really liked the style and layout of the restaurant, mostly booth style seats that look out on the restaurant and they have a couple of larger tables for 6-8 guests – we have already decided to host a corporate dinner here and I am about to make another booking for next week (sadly not for me). The staff are great, not particularly chatty, but slick and professional. There was a mix of corporate lunches, couples, and a few families with young children, so a nice vibe. Now for the only negative - the “problem” for me is its’ location, on one of the dingier streets in Mayfair, with 2 not particularly nice pubs, either side and a nightclub opposite. I walk through here numerous times every day and step over rubbish bags, cigarette butts, spilt drinks, broken glass and worse, which is why I hadn’t a) ventured in before and b) had not ear-marked it as somewhere to recommend to colleagues to try (I arrange a lot of corporate lunches and am always on the look-out for good local restaurants). However, you have won me over and I am now a fan and will sing your praises to anyone who will listen.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Barrica

62 Goodge Street, London W1T 4NE

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Tapas in Town

by Lorna W.   (1)

Jul 2016

The Tapas choices available and wine selection on offer is sufficient and what you would expect from a Tapas restaurant. All the meat dishes we chose were cooked to perfection, most notably the melt in the mouth steak slices and a wonderfully moist and tasty chicken, lemon and garlic dish. We also had an interesting chickpea and manchego cheese dish which turned up a rich beetroot red colour stained which made the chickpeas look a lot more palatable than their natural colour! We had a very relaxed lunch, catching up and doing a bit of business. So relaxed in fact that we were shocked when we looked at the time and discovered it was past 3.30! The service was nice and leisurely not intrusive, the air conditioning worked a treat which was fab in the mini three days of tropical Summer temperatures we experienced this week. So, if you like Tapas and enjoy trying new places give this a go. There is scaffolding outside so don't walk past it at first like we did.

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Lorna W.'s rating

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

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The Miller of Mansfield

High Street, Goring-on-Thames, Wallingford RG8 9AW

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Most Exciting Chef in the West?

by Foodess   platinum reviewer (122)

Jul 2016

of Thames Valley that is. No longer will I be able to drive through Goring without thinking about my very first meal on the evening of 21st July 2016. If my food was indicative of the normal standard, then a detour is justified to sample the chef's capabilities. The décor is fresh though still a 'work in progress' in one or two little areas, but the dining area is modern, mostly light, encased in this old but picturesque brick cloak. M of M has accommodation and pleasant garden area. Having recently discovered the wonderful herb lovage used at Fera (and by me now that I grow it), I was soo pleased to see that it had a place on the menu with a guineafowl dish created by Nick, the chef, formerly of The Crown in Bray. Pretty Goring on Thames has been graced with the arrival of this experienced husband and wife team who at first glance have retained all their enthusiasm for their profession. A virtually faultless effort bore testament to these facts yesterday. What I ate could have been produced by any number of top Michelin starred chefs on 'a particularly good day'. The warm bread selection was excellent including onion bread cooked in beef dripping - normally I would shun that suety stuff, but with positive feedback coming from others around, I just had to try it. Surprisingly, I became an immediate convert. My crab cannelloni with grapefruit granita was superbly plated and executed with a taste to match. The green cannelloni was draped around brown crab meat with a surround of white meat dotted with the granita. Across the table, the duck terrine was apparently creating equal enjoyment and it looked as though it had been crafted to perfection for the sake of a posh cookbook. Trying to quell excitement, I waited for my guineafowl main which again was plated to a beautiful design and yet still the flavours matched the looks. Balanced with an excellent jus, lovage cream, crisp leaves of Roscoff onion and I think two discs of a light mousse of foie gras (if I am not mistaken), was undoubtedly the best guineafowl dish I have had anywhere - and I have sampled more than a few. Beef fillet was also good but served with an unusual accompaniment of spelt risotto which seemed to me and my other half an unlikely partner for beef which neither of us thought worked that well. Chips were as proper chips should be. Score could have been higher if the beef dish had a slightly improved coherence. Good wine added to a stunningly good experience for me that may just have shifted my favour. Next couple of visits should determine whether or not that proves to be the case.

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Foodess's rating

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

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Aladin Brick Lane

132 Brick Lane Aldgate East, London E1 6RU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Fantastic

by bastian z.   (1)

Jul 2016

Fantastic Restaurant! Had a great night last night with great vibe. Good that we booked in advance for a group of 30 people. The curry's and service were fantabulous! Will definitely return next month!

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bastian z.'s rating

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

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The Westwood Restaurant Beverley

New Walk, Beverley HU17 7AE

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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TALENTED TWINS HOLD COURT AT THE FABULOUS WESTWOOD IN BEVERLEY

by Robert B.   (1)

Jul 2016

There are few prettier towns in the whole of Yorkshire than gorgeous old Beverley. And there are few more elegant buildings in Beverley than the splendid Georgian courthouse, described by that doyenne of writers on architecture, Nicolas Pevsner, as “most handsome”, with the scales of justice atop an imposing ionic portico. Nowadays the courthouse no longer dispenses justice, but no-one is complaining. For it houses the Westwood, the best restaurant in the Hull area by some distance, and arguably one of Yorkshire’s finest non-Michelin star establishments. It's profile has grown substantially during the past 12 months and is currently short-listed for glory in the prestigious White Rose Awards, run by Welcome to Yorkshire, and is shortly to be featured in the Sunday Times. The Westwood, which opened nine years ago, is run by the charismatic Barker twins, Matthew and Michele. Matthew is an exceptional chef, confident, eclectic and adventurous, while Michele is personable, attentive and very calm under pressure, of which there is a good deal every night. For the Westwood is very popular indeed. We ate there on a Thursday night in the spacious restaurant and there wasn’t a spare seat in the house. Matthew and Michele's career paths and individual journeys before opening the Westwood took them around the world, with influences from as far away as Sydney, London and New York, and with mentors such as Sir Richard Branson, Jean-George Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse to name, they were perfectly equipped to run a serious restaurant. The starters are a clear statement of intent, setting the highest of the standards from the outset. They included hand-dived Orkney curried king scallops, with a cauliflower puree and raisin vinaigrette (£10.95); Bridlington white crab with dill pickled cucumber, avocado, grapefruit, white radish and rye bread (£8.95); Aromatic crispy duck salad, pomegranate, cashews, coriander, white radish, chilli and sesame soy dressing (£8.50); and Cured ham, pork and pistachio terrine, house pickled vegetables, grain mustard & toasted sourdough (£7.50). Throw in a steak or tuna tartare and new season Wye valley asparagus and it was almost impossible to choose. My wife Claire and I, fortified by a large glass of house white and an agreeably spicy tomato juice, eventually selected the duck salad (Claire) and the scallops (me). The duck salad was a perfect blend of complementary flavours and textures, whilst my scallops were the essence of classic simplicity, beautifully fresh and tender and enhanced by the delicate curried sauce. Full marks to Matthew, who was leading his busy kitchen in majestic style. The main courses were equally impressive. Space prevents me from listing all the lovely dishes, but I must mention the pan-roasted chump of spring Yorkshire lamb, broad bean, pea and mint risotto, crumbled Yorkshire fettle and lamb jus (£21.95); pan-roasted Leven duck breast, cardamom honey and thyme poached Italian apricots, haricot beans, sautéed potatoes & thyme jus (£19.95); wild Skipsea sea bass cooked ‘a la plancha’, with sautéed potatoes, chicory, orange and radish salad and pomegranate molasses vinaigrette (£19.95); grilled Bridlington lobster, in wild garlic and hazelnut butter, with watercress and crinkle cut chips (£28.95); wild line caught halibut cooked ‘a la plancha’, with honey and port braised red cabbage and roasted hazelnut yoghurt dressing (£22.50); and line caught wild halibut, peanut crumb, sautéed bok choy & shitake mushrooms, caramel sauce, spring onion, chilli & coriander (£22.50). Claire’s lobster, bursting with flavour, was the finest she had ever tasted, while my superb halibut, new to the menu, showcased Matthew’s talent and his passion for Asian-influenced cuisine. The best, however, was saved until last. My hot marathon chocolate fondant, with peanut butter and honeycomb ice cream (£7.95), was dripping with naughtiness and conceived and executed in heaven. Claire’s double dark and milk chocolate tart, accompanied perfectly by coconut ice cream (£7.95), was equally stung – the perfect finale to a perfect meal. Beverley was recently named as the best place to live in the UK in an "Affordable Affluence" study by the Royal Bank of Scotland – and it has the restaurant to go with this accolade. The Westwood, named after those lush pastures on the western outskirts of this historic town, effortlessly combines quality and informality to create an unforgettable dining experience in an elegant setting. What more can anyone ask for?

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Robert B.'s rating

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

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Sexy Fish

Berkeley Square House, London W1J 6BR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Fish, yes. Sexy, not especially.

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (177)

Jul 2016

Six months on from opening and some – but not all – of the hype about Sexy Fish has died down. We all know now about the £15m allegedly spent on furnishing the place and almost everybody who wants to be somebody has probably been and tweeted about the experience already. More than anything else, I had been put off by the absurdity of the name – since when were fish specifically sexy? Surely food is for kitchens and restaurants while sex is for bedrooms? Indeed, when I dine out, the adjective I generally seek to apply to my meal would not be sexy, perhaps tasty instead. The two are not the same, and when you add in hype and pretentious people, the end-product is generally rather unsexy. Against my better judgement, however, I undertook a recent visit to Sexy Fish. It left me feeling not only broadly indifferent, but also very glad that someone else had paid. The tone was probably set at the door; greeted by an affected young man dressed in what I presume was a very trendy outfit. No less than three women in tight dresses then welcomed me at the reception desk before one escorted me to my table. Arriving before my guest, I was able to take in the scene. It’s certainly impressive what money can buy and it is hard to conceive that this building formerly housed a branch of the Natwest. Despite the lavishness and the expense, the ceiling did feel remarkably low, therefore creating a slight sense of claustrophobia. Other reviewers have previously noted light levels (not enough) and music volume (too much), both points on which I would concur. The food set-up here is almost yawningly predictable – take Zuma and Roka and add in maybe a couple of twists and there you pretty much have it. Pricing is also similar, although a fillet of prime beef could set you back £85 at Sexy Fish, while 50g of caviar would burn an even bigger hole in your pocket. More mundane offerings such as ‘house salad’ also bordered on the outrageous in terms of pricing; surely £9.50 for said item is a little steep? That said, we couldn’t fault our dishes, even if our well-meaning waiter with poor English language skills omitted one item from our order. The tuna tartare was melt-in-the-mouth tender and accompanying lotus chips a well-matched revelation. Similarly, the miso-glazed Chilean sea bass was executed skilfully and paired well with artichoke. We couldn’t help wondering though whether more effort had been put into the presentation perhaps at the expense of potentially even better preparation. For many dining here (and indeed the two Russian girls at the next table), getting a good picture on Instagram seems to matter more than actually eating the dish, especially if you have a waif-like figure to preserve. In terms of the drinks, Sexy Fish does have one of the better wine lists I have seen recently, with a range of both brands and boutiques, pitched across a wide price spectrum. We thoroughly enjoyed our Grosset Polish Hill Riesling from Australia. I did not see the bill, but based on my comrade’s selection, the costs must have racked up. For this amount of money, I would rather have dined at nearby C-London or Petite Maison or maybe even Roka at a push. You can find an in-crowd here and a not dissimilarly priced bill. If I had not gone to Sexy Fish, my life would not be markedly different.

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 3

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J Sheekey

28-34 St Martin's Court, London WC2N 4AL

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Tandoori Prawns is a must!

by Ella C.   (3)

Jul 2016

I recently had a business lunch here and I was pleasantly surprised. The food and most importantly the dessert was amazing. Far too often restaurants are more interested in making the most unusual dishes and over complicating things, but everything here was spot on. Make sure you try the pistachio parfait. I will definitely dine again for both business and pleasure.

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Ella C.'s rating

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

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Paternoster Chop House

Unit 1, Warwick Court, London EC4M 7DX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Lovely food, great service, not the coldest beer though

by Matthew C.   (1)

Jul 2016

Everything is lovely about this place but it's the service that stands out. Really top notch and they know how to make you feel special even if you're just ordering off the set menu. My only gripe, and it wasn't a massive gripe, was that the pint of beer I got wasn't too cold, and it was a hot day where ice cold was needed! Any other day and it would have been five out of five for everything.

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Matthew C.'s rating

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

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Taberna Etrusca

9-11 Bow Churchyard, London EC4M 9DQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Perfect for lunch

by Jade P.   (2)

Jul 2016

We made a reservation outside however by lunch time it was slightly chilly, they kindly allowed us to switch tables to move inside. The Paccheri con Gamberi was very tasty with large prawns. Great portions. I have visited this venue many times, the food is excellent and staff are very accommodating.

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Jade P.'s rating

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

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Hix

66-70 Brewer Street, London W1F 9UP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Hix Soho........

by Zara B.   (2)

Jul 2016

Hix Soho is buzzing with a mix of modern types and those with a penchant for the fish/seafood that Hix is renowned for. Mark's bar downstairs is cool, dark and fabulous for pre-dinner or just for cocktails at the bar( for drinks only, you get hit with a £2 per head licensing charge ! never seen that before!). The monkfish curry was amazing, but i had the posh fishfingers.....but seriously, they need to sort out their chips.....pale, unremarkable and generally forgettable. I left half of them. They need to be either crisp French fries or triple-cooked, not the school dinner chips I received...(twice, as the first lot weren't hot). Fabulous place though...would go again. thanks!

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Zara B.'s rating

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

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