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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.

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 (60)

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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Miz en Bouche

316 St John Street, London EC1V 4NT

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Wonderful place to spend a time before Sadler's wellls performances

by Nina J.   (1)

Aug 2016

First time visiting the Bistro with two friends. I booked the table the night before - for free. It was a delighteful experience.We were very happy Food,drinks,services - all nice , fresh and quick organised , real pleasure! Sure will use the Bistro everytime we go to Sadler's Wells or if we come around because we don't live in the area. Will be recomended to our friends. Well done!

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Nina J.'s rating

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

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The Old Mill London Road Berkhamstead

London Road, Berkhamstead, Berkhamsted HP4 2NB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Pub lunch

by Lynn W.   platinum reviewer (71)

Aug 2016

A family lunch out in Berkhamsted, plenty of choice on the menu, and the opportunity to sit outside. Food was enjoyable, respectable gastro-pub dishes of sea bass, seared salmon and halloumi super-salad with lots of vegetables which suits us. Service is friendly and welcoming but decidedly scatty, with long waits for requested items to appear. Not a problem if you've got lots to chat about and there's no need to rush.

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Lynn W.'s rating

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

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Merchants Tavern

36 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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A great venue with wonderful food

by Hugo G.   silver reviewer (25)

Aug 2016

A Tuesday lunchtime feast which was quiet - 20% of tables filled. Hard to understand as the service from greeting to bill paying was attentive, professional and knowledgeable and the entire experience thoroughly enjoyable. Cock/Mocktails to start were superb - a Berry Sour with Gin was just tart enough and the fresh Lemonade the best I've had (choice of still or fizzy). We kicked off with deep fried oysters (tempura), sea-trout tartare and fresh squid with berlotti beans and Nduja. I travel far for fried oysters and was extremely happy with the result. My friend loved the tatare and we both agreed that with the additional Nduja given us, the squid dish was lifted dramatically - and this is where the place differentiates itself from others. We were asked how we liked the dishes and I merely commented that a little more Nduja in the squid would have been great. no sooner said than the chef himself arrived with a small pot to add to our own. We followed with a pork schnitzel, belly pork bites with Kohlrabi (my favourite of all our dishes) and leeks with egg. A solid combo of delicious flavours and textures. We wrapped up by sharing a single portion of Dolcelatte which was strong and cream. all was washed down with two 500cl carafes - one of white Rioja and the other of the red kind. All in at GBP150.00 you cannot fault the value. Will happily return anytime, these guys are are good!

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Hugo G.'s rating

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

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Albion Clerkenwell

Unit 1, The Turnmill, 63 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5NP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Its ok

by the stranger   silver reviewer (19)

Aug 2016

I can only really vouch for the atmosphere and service as I only had an omelette and a couple of spoons of desert. the omelette and icecream were delicious but hardly challenging (my choices so admittedly not their fault!). The services was friendly and attentive without being overly so, the restaurant itself is bright and airy with (in my opinion) a New York feel to it.

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the stranger's rating

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

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Piccolino Exchange Square

11 Exchange Square, Broadgate, London EC2A 2BR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great Food & Great Service

by Nikki A.   (1)

Aug 2016

I took a colleague for a birthday lunch. Even thought I had not stated in the booking it was a Birthday meal, I mentioned it once we got there to the reception lady. They made my colleague feel so special and provided us with free desert (even though we were so full to eat anymore) Staff were very friendly and welcoming, what I also noticed was that the managers were also getting involved in serving lunch and making sure their customers were enjoying their meals. It was so lovely to see this team working together. Plus I found the food provided in this Piccolino's was so much better than one in Virginia Waters. I would definitely be coming back here and will for sure be making a booking in October for my MD and his Exec team to have dinner there. I fell in love with the service and food!! A very happy customer!!

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Nikki A.'s rating

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

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