Be The Critic: October 2017

Lavazza Squaremeal partner Italian coffeeAs we move towards winter, London’s restaurant scene shows no signs of slowing down. Naturally, our readers are clambering through the doors of the capital’s dining hotspots to give their honest and insightful opinions; diner reviews, which can be left on our site by anyone, play a large part in securing SquareMeal’s status as a one-stop shop for keen eaters. This is our chance to highlight your views, as well as a way for you to compare the experiences of other diners.

This month, we’ve got some great prizes to reward you with. We’ve teamed up with Lavazza to bring you the glorious gift of coffee, among various other treats. Find out how to get involved at the bottom and you could be our next big winner…

Words: Eamonn Crowe

Temper London Soho restaurant Neil Rankin tacos meat

Soho has always boasted a slew of good restaurants, but the last 12 months has seen several new big hitters open their doors. Jane P made her way to Neil Rankin’s 2016 opening Temper (above), where she enjoyed “sublime” cheeseburger tacos and an “astoundingly good” lamb masala curry. Meanwhile, Nina K headed to Pho & Bun to make the most of its simple (and simply delicious) “fluffy buns”. Also in Soho, Gourmand Gunno opted to try out high-end Taiwanese Xu for lunch, where he was impressed by a dish of “intensely flavoured” beef, served with tomato, smoked eel, sweetbreads and prawns. Although he wasn’t so keen on the “slightly sterile” atmosphere, Gourmand enjoyed his experience overall. We can’t help but agree, awarding Xu two SquareMeal stars on our recent visit.

Camino Mon 4

Not every restaurant fared so well this month though, with some of our readers finding fault with their dinners. Sue R enjoyed the food at Camino Monumento (above), but found that the restaurant was so noisy that it was “impossible” to chat to her friends without shouting at them. Over in Canary Wharf, Carly W was disappointed by the service at Hazev, due to a mix-up with orders which resulted in her being served 25 minutes after the rest of her party. Amy M faced bad service too, this time at Koba in Fitzrovia. She found that staff were “incredibly inattentive; verging on bloody elusive” and was not impressed with the management’s attempt at an apology with three “reasonably terrible, if heartfelt cocktails”.

Alyn Williams at The Westbury

Perhaps these unlucky diners would be better off sticking to the classics, which appear to be flourishing. Patricia R enjoyed her lunch at Alyn Williams at The Westbury, and made the bold statement that it was the best set lunch she’s ever had, with every course being “delicious”. Nearby, Jasmine H tried out Fera at Claridges, which she found to be “sophisticated” and a “great place for a celebration”.  Meanwhile, Sharon P enjoyed a similarly great dinner at 34. She was enamoured with the “slick” service and “succulent” steak. Sharon also appreciated that her party was allowed to linger post-meal – we couldn’t agree more, turning tables is one dining trend we’d like to see disappear.

Lavazza London coffee SquareMeal

Register with us here to join in, search for a restaurant and then leave your comments. We’re constantly rewarding our diner reviewers with prizes: next up, you could win a Lavazza coffee machine such as the Jolie (above), and a £200 meal in a restaurant of your choice. Every week, we also pick out the best comments submitted to the site and give away cookbooks, bottles of fizz and more. Check out #SMDinerReview on Twitter for the latest.

This article was published 11 October 2017

Be The Critic: October 2017
Temper London Soho restaurant Neil Rankin tacos meat

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