Latest Restaurant Reviews

Editor's Picks

Feb 2016

These reviews have been selected by SquareMeal.co.uk's editor for being particularly helpful or entertaining. Scroll through to find inspiration for your next meal or get the lowdown on the latest launches.

Vivat Bacchus 47 Farringdon Street

47 Farringdon Street, London EC4A 4LL

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

avatar

Catch-up after work

by Eola B.   (2)

Feb 2016

Editor's pick Just popped in for a drink, the venue was very busy, though probably to do with it was the last Friday of January. We just had a few drinks and the pitta and hummus is the best - would recommend whilst having a drink or two. Also they do very good cheeseboards - a little pricey though, but you get to have a sneak in the cheese room before choosing. Good selection of South African wines. they do have music in the evenings. Else overall good and a good place to go for a drink and catch-up in the city.

...

See more

Eola B.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Sartoria

20 Savile Row, London W1S 3PR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

avatar

Post make-over

by Lynn W.   platinum reviewer (51)

Feb 2016

Editor's pick We arrived for dinner and had drinks in the bar first - a glossy space, welcoming and a good spot for a catch up. Moving into the dining room, we all liked the wing back chairs and comfortable environment, and settled in for a good dinner with lovely copper pots of breads and fab olive oil. Actually, it was a bit patchy. The winter salad with crunchy raw veg, soft puree of pulses and quails egg was enjoyable, the tortellini with Marsala broth was said to be very good, and the seafood with Sardinian fregola was apparently epic! Wish I'd had that ... For main course a friend and I shared the salt baked sea bass, this was good fish, delivered whole to the table but spoiled a little by rather unskilled service, it ended up as a bit of a heap on the plate. The lamb looked very good, but was apparently not a good piece and was too fatty and chewy, while the fritto misto was rapidly polished off. Sides of ultra-thin crispy fried zucchini and double baked potatoes with mozarella were delicious, but the spinach was more like tough chewy chard. For dessert 3 of us succumbed to the thought of chestnut and meringue montebianco, but none of us finished it - the meringue was nice and crisp but flat, the filling a bit claggy - overall just too sweet and stodgy and not the luscious rich but airy confection we were expecting. One person chose the roast pineapple and was very pleased with it. Service was very pleasant but there were long waits between courses. Overall we had a good evening, but given we have been to L'Anima several times for chef Franceso Mazzei's cooking we came away feeling that some dishes were very good but others were disappointing.

...

See more

Lynn W.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Wolfe s

30 Great Queen Street Covent Garden, London WC2B 5BB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

avatar

Great fixed price menu that didn't deliver on its promise!

by Malcolm R.   (1)

Feb 2016

Editor's pick The fixed price menu of £25.50 offering a wide range of starters and main courses with a glass of wine looked really interesting and promised a tasty dinner on a quiet Sunday evening following a visit to the British Museum. We were greeted warmly by a friendly waitress and shown to a table in the window. There were a few other diners present but the restaurant was relatively empty and service was very quick and efficient. A selection of bread rolls with butter were offered before we ordered, they were fairly fresh but would have been much tastier warm. My Provençal tart with Brie looked good and the filling was tasty but the pastry was soft and rubbery as a consequence, I think, of having been reheated in a microwave, which was a real shame. The salad garnish and sweet chilli dip were tasty. My wife's duck and champagne terrine with toasted brioche was meaty and tasty. My main of sea bass was a little over cooked and, sadly, the skin was not crisp, so I removed it. The sauce was flavoursome but a little thin. The prawns were juicy and well cooked as was the fennel and sauteed potatoes. My wife's vegetarian Wellington was crisp with a tasty filling. The accompanying vegetables of the day turned out to be a salad which we thought was a little strange with a hot pastry based protein in the winter. The included glass of wine was Chilean with a choice of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot Rose or Merlot. We had a glass each of the first two and they were as described in the menu, fruity with some acidity and made suitable accompaniments to the chosen menu. Overall, I was disappointed with the texture of my two courses though the taste was good. If chosen carefully from the range on offer, the menu promises to provide a tasty dinner, with a glass of wine at a reasonable price in pleasant surroundings with good service.

...

See more

Malcolm R.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Harpers

14 New London Street, London EC3R 7NA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Stunning Food!

by Emma E.   (1)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick I booked this restaurant for my colleague, who took a potential client to this restaurant today for a business lunch. She has come back into the office and cannot be happier with the lunch she received. She explained that the décor didn't match the food menu but the food she had was stunning. She had Scallops for start and Lamb Rack for main and both were cooked perfectly. We will definitely keep this at the top of our list for future client meetings.

...

See more

Emma E.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Zizzi One New Change

Unit SU46, One New Change, London EC4M 9AF

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

avatar

Girlie catch-up for a quick lunch

by Eola B.   (2)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick The venue was very accommodating, as friend had a stroller and required some extra space. Placed us in a nice quiet spot at the back. It was a busy lunch time, but service was maintained throughout. the Menu looks like it has had a revamp so there was lots of new things to choose from. We didn't stick around for desserts instead opted for a beverage and really liked the cute cup and saucer set (as it had a cute yellow bicycle on it). Was easy to book online, could actually hear yourself speak even though it was busy. Would go back as long as the service is maintained and even if it is busy they can ensure everyone is being served. Very good.

...

See more

Eola B.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Top-notch from beginning to end

by Paul A.   platinum reviewer (58)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick The Ledbury It is really reassuring to know that you can rely on some restaurants to deliver an inspiring dining experience, and The Ledbury, which has long been on our elite list, will continue to be so while it achieves such a high level of gourmet satisfaction, and manages to keep the damage to its customers’ bank balance to a level which is very reasonable by comparison with certain other two-star undertakings in London, something that was mirrored by the fact that it was full to overflowing and even turning tables, and this on a Wednesday evening in a dead month like January. The utterly charming welcome was a foretaste of the ultimate in relaxed professionalism typical of the front of house staff so ably directed by Darren and Sam and well backed up by Seamus, the knowledgeable new sommelier, and Martin, our waiter. The one problem with The Ledbury is trying to pick a favourite dish. Take the canapés, for example - the guinea fowl puffs with mint jelly and the smoked mussel crème with perfect crackers were both top-notch, but the muntjac dumplings were just hot venison heaven. Then the natural sweetness of clay-baked candy beetroot slices was modified by the amazing Exmoor caviar to become an ideal match for the smoked, dried eel. Our ravings about that dish were then cut short by stunning Chinese artichokes combining with ham and grated foie gras in a wonderful grape sauce. How could we choose between the two? No time to dwell on such things though because the next dish was Brett Graham’s take on ham and eggs, which was redolent of truffle as it came to the table and the super tasty bantam’s egg was transfigured in conjunction with its celeriac and truffle partners. Then, when we thought it couldn’t possibly get better, came another memorable winner - soft, flavoursome lobster tail wrapped in Shiitake with sea purslane and pine nuts bathing in a wonderful lobster and sherry vinegar sauce, simply delicious; the second helping of lobster was a really clever dish of pulled claw meat contrasted with roasted cauliflower and a light parmesan crisp which went perfectly with the lobster. Even the set-up for the main was a joy with mushroom shavings giving off a terrific nose and prunes with a lovely partridge and foie gras stuffing, and crunchy bacon providing a just level of texture. We were still mulling over what to choose as our favourite dish as the muntjac was put before us, a feast of perfectly pink venison, the two generous cylinders of meat prominent on the plate amid our preferred baby beetroot, unbelievably delicate smoked bone marrow, muntjac sausage, and red leaves completing an artist’s palette of a dish. And there was no let-up; where some restaurants can allow standards to drop a bit with the desserts, here the pre-dessert was a delight, a quenelle of basil ice cream and the lightest little bergamot doughnut in a palate-cleansing passion fruit sauce, and the honey and thyme buffalo milk ice cream with sherry sponge carried on the level of excellence, only to be outdone by the gorgeous malted banana in its warm chocolate tartlet - a real knockout to finish. The whole evening was a seamless sequence of pleasure, possibly the best we’ve had at The Ledbury, which continues to outshine most of the other two-star restaurants we’ve dined in over the last year.

...

See more

Paul A.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Hibiscus

29 Maddox Street, London W1S 2PA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

avatar

Overrated and overpriced

by Paul A.   platinum reviewer (58)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick Hibiscus We found ourselves wondering why there had been a three-year gap since our last meal at Hibiscus, and we determined to make up for lost time. The welcome was standard professional, and as we settled down to peruse the menu we were surprised that, first of all, we were the first diners to arrive and our surprise grew as the evening progressed since at no time was there more than a handful of other people, with the inevitable effect on the ambience, secondly, that we were charged for still water served in refillable bottles, and thirdly, especially with a chef whose publicity indicates that he is an advocate of originality, that we felt we had come across certain aspects of the menu before, and not just the signature dish, of which more below. As we had decided not to indulge in the wine flight but limit our intake to a good half bottle of white and possibly one of red, it was another surprise to find that at Hibiscus you do not have this option. Nonetheless, we ordered the tasting menu and a glass of fizz to go with the canapés, which comprised the not unexpected gougères, although unusually the cheese was cheddar, and hot mascarpone and truffle steamed puffs. It is always difficult to know who starts these trends, it might well have been Claude Bosi in this case, but we felt that although the foie gras ice cream with mango jelly served up as a “cornetto” was interesting, it was a bit old hat. We were much happier with the clever mushroom duxelles and curry powder mix that followed. The dish of the evening was undoubtedly the Devonshire crab with a touch of smoked haddock, an apple crush and sea purslane, the white meat on top and the brown underneath, which provided a veritable concentrated crab taste-bomb. The famous signature dish, recently publicised on Saturday Morning Kitchen, featured a good-sized scallop still attached to the shell and beautifully brought to the point of cooking perfection without any trendy caramelisation and well balanced with some hazel nuts and oyster leaf. However, the much vaunted pork pie sauce was neutral and the grapefruit added nothing to the dish. Curiously, the best thing about the sea bass with beurre noisette was the accompanying caramelised crushed potato cooked to a crunch in butter. The sequence of dishes was not necessarily expected, but the decent portion of poached and seared foie gras scattered with liquorice powder and with a touch of pear and yuzu jelly was very much to our taste. The main was Scottish fallow deer, in itself quite tender and tasty but somehow unbalanced by the powerful madeira and chocolate sauce which also subdued the seed-covered pumpkin and the hollow pomme de terre soufflée crisp. Now we were into the dessert stage with a good pre-dessert of apple sorbet and cumin sugar crisp preparing the way for more apple but here with a certain amount of class - steamed Goldrush apple with a delicious and appropriate warm bergamot sauce and moreish marshmallow ice cream which would have been a suitable way to draw the meal to a close, but there was still something to come: more ice cream, an Indonesian basil version paired with a Peruvian chocolate ganache, just to upset the list of local ingredients, which was fine apart from, of all things, the naff popping candy served for the “explosive” effect. We didn’t like this transatlantic import even when it was popular all those years ago, and we were at a loss to see what it added to the dish. Even given the absence of Claude Bosi from the kitchen the final surprise of the evening was that the meal we had had in another two-star venue the night before had been 30% cheaper and 50% better. We were also unhappy with the 15% service charge - the quality of the service was high, but no better than in most other fine dining restaurants. The three-year gap was justified.

...

See more

Paul A.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 4

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Tredwells

4A Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9NY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

avatar

Disappointing

by David H.   platinum reviewer (68)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick Our first visit to a restaurant already busy by the time we showed up at 12.30 for lunch last Saturday. Its modern on the outside, made to look traditional on the inside, and from the way it looks could be anything from a branch of Cote to a mid-range restaurant. Not plush, not a place you'd expect to spend a long time in or visit for a special occasion. Service was timely, but getting the bill became an issue when our waiter just didn't respond to requests to bring it. The food was middling, and somewhat variable. My wife's pumpkin soup was tasteless but her chicken was better. Conversely my oxtail raviolo starter was tasty albeit that the accompanying baked potato mousse didn't really work for me. However my miso roast cod main course was not very good- flavourless, too many sesame seeds and probably a little overcooked. If you have any curiosity about how this sort of cod and cauliflower combination can work then can I suggest trying it at Jason Atherton's Little Social rather than here. The house wine , at £26 wasn't good either. All the way through the meal I kept wondering why someone like Marcus Wareing would want to open a restaurant like this. We've eaten at his flagship at the Berkeley quite a few times both in its "Petrus" and later incarnations and he's quite obviously one of the very best chefs in the UK. What satisfaction he gets out of churning out food like this is quite beyond me, and I don't think I'll be the only person to leave Tredwells thinking that not a single ounce of his magic has survived the trip from Knightsbridge to Leicester Square, and I can't think of any way on which this middle of the road establishment is benefitting from his involvement. Indeed I hope and believe that if any of the chefs he supervises on "Celebrity Masterchef" turned out dishes like this then it wouldn't be just the food that got a roasting. Of course he is by no means the only top chef to launch a second or more) restaurant offering simpler food to a different market. Our experience to date is that they are more likely to be disappointing than a revelation and indeed that the quality only rarely translates. Interestingly the best of these ( our opinion ) - the above mentioned Little Social- is yards away from the flagship, presumably gets the man popping in frequently, and has some food synergy with the flagship. A few streets away, The Social Eating House is not as good. In general it seems that the magic does not translate, and diners need to deal with these follow- on restaurants as entirely different enterprises rather than a "light" version of the class act. Can't see us going back to Tredwell's. The food's not great, and because of that and the mediocre house wine, the value is questionable.

...

See more

David H.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 5
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 5

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Fischer s

50 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5HN

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

avatar

Not as good as before

by Joanna G.   gold reviewer (34)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick We had brunch here yesterday (which I have always preferred to the lunch and evening menus), but something was different this time. I had my "usual" - crispy bacon and fried egg roll and my husband had the rosti, black pudding and poached egg (with a side of bacon). Now considering it very clearly states "crispy" bacon, you would expect that but for some reason half of the bacon in the roll was crispy and the rest was barely cooked, same for the side of bacon that my husband ordered. Also, the rosti was so overcooked it was just one large crisp which shattered into pieces upon impact with a fork. Disappointing as I have always loved their breakfasts. Also service was pretty slow and we had to ask 3 times for a jug of tap water, despite the restaurant being half empty. We walked away not convinced that we would return. I think the new Ivy restaurant at the end of the high street has stolen a few customers and for now, I can see why, they need to up their game.

...

See more

Joanna G.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

On The Bab Express

39 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2NP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

avatar

Good, quick cheap eats

by Joanna G.   gold reviewer (34)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick Korean style, fried, battered chicken pieces coated in a wonderfully sticky, sweet, chilli sauce with crushed peanuts on top and a side of slaw/salad was absolutely delightful, followed by Bulgogi beef buns, crammed full of delicious strips of marinated beef, slaw and more sauce, and a side of chicken dumplings with vinegary dipping sauce - this is not a restaurant for those who like to keep their hands (and chin) clean, a lot of tissues and hand wipes were used - at around £17 for two of us (non-licensed), this was a relatively cheap meal, and we will be back soon.

...

See more

Joanna G.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Inamo Covent Garden

11-14 Hanover Place, London WC2E 9JP

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Awesome futuristic restaurant!

by Emma P.   (1)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick I really loved the table based ordering system at the other inamo sites, but the new inamo in Covent Garden has taken it up a notch! You can now order through the tablets, and you get to see the entire food menu on one screen. It's much slicker than the tables and gives a good overview of everything ordered, plus it's easy to navigate through the other section of the menu. It's quite fun seeing what the other people on your table are live ordering too! The animations across the table are really great, although the little pointers are a bit odd, however the staff reassured us that it's a temporary measure while they work on bringing control of the tables to the tablet - soon you'll be able to control the lighting from the tablets! We played 3 player pong which was really good fun (once we had realised that you need to hold the pointers down across the bar to defend your goal). The food that was coming out of the kitchen last Thursday was exceptional - the sushi was fantastic, the duck with pancakes was fabulous and I particularly liked the wagyu sliders (although I thought the wasabi fries were a bit unusual & a little soft). I tried the kodama, which was a lovely fresh G&T cocktail and I also enjoyed the tropical storm, with pineapple & guava juice, passionfruit and rum. All in all, a really fun night and I highly recommend trying out the latest & greatest inamo!

...

See more

Emma P.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Chiswell Street Dining Rooms

56 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Great meal again

by Francesca G.   (3)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick We have tended to focus on Chiswell Street Dining Rooms when we go to the Barbican. I've been with several groups of friends and relatives and it's always been good. I didn't know quite how many were going to be able to come last night but the restaurant was able to deal with a possible - 2 and the eventual number + 1. Lovely meals, enjoyed by all, good reasonably priced wine, nice service and everything done and delivered and the bill paid well in time to get to our concert.

...

See more

Francesca G.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Smollensky s Canary Wharf

1 Reuters Plaza, London E14 5AJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

avatar

Work social

by Susan S.   (1)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick A group of friends dining after work. Big juicy burgers. The waiting staff attentive but not hovering over your shoulders every 5 minutes asking if you wanted anything else. Nice bottle of wine not too expensive but definitely worked out better value than buying by the glass. Will definitely come back.

...

See more

Susan S.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No

Riccardo s

126 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

“Great dinner with fun servers in a warm Tuscan atmosphere”

by Julian W.   (1)

Jan 2016

Editor's pick What a nice time at this place last night with a few of my friends. Had an amazing time at this place and for me it has become a landmark here in Chelsea after 20 years. The food is so Delicious and authentically cooked it's just like being in Italy. We loved the ravioli, the organic sausages and the sea bream was perfect. The wine list well stocked some great Italian wines. The staff always treat me like family ... I forgot to make a reservation and they went out of their way to accommodate me, even offering me a glass of wine on the house while I was waiting. Thank god they got me a table on the heated covered terrace before my guests arrived! The bill was honest. Compliments... Visited January 2016

...

See more

Julian W.'s rating

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

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes No