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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.

Wright Brothers Soho Oyster House

13 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Enjoyable meal

by Joanna G.   silver reviewer (15)

Jul 2015

We ate here last night and shared beef tataki (melt in the mouth), Burrata and aubergine caviar (delicious) and Madagascan tiger prawns with salad and fries, washed down with a nice bottle of Picpoul, and a glass of port at the end of the meal. Service was attentive and efficient (although the table next to us complained a lot that they weren't being served, but I think that had more to do with him focusing more on the lady in front of him than trying to get the waiters attention, as the rest of us all seemed to have plenty to eat and drink!). I have had drinks in the downstairs bar before, but this is the first time I have eaten here. We will be back I'm sure as we both work nearby.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Bald Faced Stag

69 High Road, London N2 8AB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Forget the Eagle. The Stag has landed.

by Sue B.   (1)

Jul 2015

Following a refurbishment, the Bald Faced Stag took on new chef, Tom Stephens, six weeks ago and we were blown away by the food when we dropped in yesterday evening. Formerly of Pied a Terre, Tom is breathing new life into East Finchley in terms of quality cuisine. Superb ingredients and wonderfully interesting flavours don’t come better than this. Pea & mint hummus, Smoked mozzarella, peas, broad bean, lemon & basil dressing, Truffle custard, roasted cauliflower and mushroom crumble are three of just some of the fare on offer. Extraordinary and wonderful. This is a young man who needs to be kept a close eye on. The menu is very varied and does cater for all tastes so there is still the traditional fare on offer just don’t get us started on the Coconut parfait, whipped raspberry jelly, lime curd – ridiculously good! Come on everyone who lives in North London – get down there!!

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Sue B.'s rating

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

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Mad Hatter s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson

50 Berners Street, London W1T 3NG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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A very nice treat

by Tracey L.   (2)

Jul 2015

Booked as a family treat for a foodie friend visiting from Vancouver, Canada - 4 adults & 1 8yr old. Throughout our visit staff were courteous and attentive without being over-bearing, they offered for our son to share as the sandwiches and scones are unlimited which was a welcome offer as getting through an entire sitting would have been beyond him as he is (unusually) a child without a sweet tooth! The setting is nice, the courtyard is very pretty and tranquil despite the bustle of a busy cafe type atmosphere. The tea/drinks choices were plentiful and certainly enough choice for all. The food was lovely, petite sandwiches of four varieties, mini savoury tarts, savoury scones with herby butter (my favourite savoury) and sweet scones with jam and clotted cream and onto the dessert bites.... strawberry & cream toadstools, beautiful victoria sponges (my favourite sweet), carrot macaroons, white choc cheesecake, choc cups with green tea and a little surprise and of course the secrent 'drink me' potion the flavour of which I shall not divulge. Not forgetting the jelly trolley which, although we were all fftb, we all had to try!! Absolutely lovely, not a fault to be had, would definitely recommend. It's maybe not the mainstream, posh setting afternoon tea of some major hotels but certainly enjoyable in all ways. *fftb - full fit to burst

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Tracey L.'s rating

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

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Vinoteca King s Cross

1 Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Perfectly functional but basically forgettable - and overpriced

by Rosie T.   (3)

Jul 2015

Pretty wine bar with a great list and decent service. Let down by a very expensive by-the-glass list (go for a bottle from the full list, it's definitely worth it), plus my vegetarian courgette meal was delicious but very overpriced. Far prefer the offerings on Granary Square (Caravan, Grain Store, Dishoom).

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Rosie T.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 3

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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.   silver reviewer (15)

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.   silver reviewer (15)

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.   silver reviewer (15)

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

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  • 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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Kitchen W8

11-13 Abingdon Rd, London W8 6AH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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loved it!

by Linda S.   (1)

Jul 2015

Have now been to Kitchen W8 three times in two months, once for lunch and twice for dinner. The special set lunch menu is wonderful value, but not, I think, available for dinner. The food is absolutely delicious, beautifully cooked, presented and really fresh, seasonal and interesting. Wine/champagne can be bought by the glass, which is an added bonus as we did not want a whole bottle. Service is helpful and not intrusive, and the staff seem to enjoy being there. (The English is not always easy to understand, but they clearly enjoy informing guests what is on offer.) The location is a bit 'out of the way' and you have to know it is there to find it, but I really hope the local residents take it to their heart - it is a real jewel!

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Linda S.'s rating

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