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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.

Cubana

48 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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cubana

by Natalia P.   gold reviewer (40)

Jun 2015

This is a good place for a quick drink or pre-theatre snack. We dined during a happy hour also managed to pack a few 2 for 1 cocktails. Atmosphere is pleasant and feels authentic. There is a bit of an echo when the ice is being crushed at the bar so it is quite hard to hear one's companion talking. Food was a bit inconsistent - chicken was good but my steak was very rubbery.

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Natalia P.'s rating

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

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Dock Kitchen

Portobello Dock, 342 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Cooking up a feast

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (141)

Jun 2015

Outdoor space and genuinely original culinary concepts that aren’t instant flops are a hard combination to find, even in London. Nonetheless, Dock Kitchen scores well on both counts, constituted a perfect place for a relaxed summer meal, and has the potential to be amazing, if only they upped their game in terms of service a bit. The attractions of the Grand Union canal running from west from Paddington to Ladbroke Grove and beyond has been known to locals for some time, but for those willing to venture somewhat beyond the central comfort zone, a trip is definitely merited. There is a generally relaxed vibe in the area, people passing time on barges, skating in a nearby park or just taking in the atmosphere. The Dock Kitchen fits in perfectly, located in a converted Victorian Wharf building that has become part of an urban regeneration project. Decked out in metal and glass, with local architects and artists providing the fixtures and fittings, the Kitchen feels like a cool, modern place. The outside dining area is extensive and affords a great opportunity both for people watching and to see the chefs in action. Even on a recent Monday night when my comrade and I visited, the place was close to being full, clearly a sign that they are doing something right. Established chef Stevie Parle (something of a local celebrity) has brought a highly innovative take to cooking, drawing influences from around the world. Diners get to choose either from a set menu which takes in one style of regional cooking and changes every three weeks or from a short but diverse a la carte offering. On this occasion, my comrade got to sample a selection of dishes from the Middle East, on offer in the set format, while I chose from the menu. Culinary options from almost all the continents were represented. My starter of squid on a bed of spinach leaves coated in a tahini dressing was executed flawlessly, reminiscent of food I had in eaten in Israel (or perhaps at the Palomar in London). My only complaint may have been the portion size, as I was definitely left wanting more. At least my appetite was set for the main, another superb concoction of pork, salsa verde and borlotti beans. My comrade also praised highly is mezze starter and grilled lamb main. We enjoyed this with a superb bottle of Pieropan white from the Soave region of Italy and the range of options across the list was also impressive. It was a pity, however, that we had to wait almost ten minutes after ordering the wine for it to arrive (at least the starters were cold and so were not in danger of suffering) only then to watch our server struggle ineptly to open the bottle. Surely a little more training might be in order? They also seemingly forgot my comrade’s dessert, for which we also had to endure a notable wait. In the grand scheme of the experience (and also noting that the set three-course menu is available for the amazingly competitive price of £24.50), these represent relatively minor quibbles, and there is every reason to go. You can’t reserve outside, so make sure you get there early!

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 7

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Goodman City

11 Old Jewry, London EC2R 8DU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Fantastic steak place

by Rebecca L.   silver reviewer (24)

Jun 2015

I was texting my boyfriend saying 'we have to go here' before I'd even finished my main, I loved it that much. Probably the best steak I've had in London! I had such a good evening out here. The choice of steaks is very extensive and my choice, the fillet, was fantastic, absolutely faultless. I recommend you get the lobster tails too. I sometimes find in steak places that offer lobster that it can be a little secondary to the steak but that wasn't the case here. The sides are divine too, I really recommend the mac and cheese. My dessert, a chocolate and banana mousse was good but nothing to shout about. Who cares? You're there for the meat. Service was friendly and very knowledgeable, our waiter made us feel very welcome and taken care of. Surroundings are very City old school - all intimate, dark and woody, I loved it. There are very few places I think 'I must come back here ASAP' but this is one of the them. Just go!

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Rebecca L.'s rating

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

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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

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  • 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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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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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

Editor's pick 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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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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