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W Hotel, 10 Wardour Street
Leicester Square ain’t the Meatpacking District, which perhaps explains why Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market outpost has never had the impact of the New York original. The dramatic first-floor restaurant and matching ground-floor bar with their black lacquer, brass ‘wok’ lights and filigree screens may evoke
Sex and the City – though the less said about
the staff’s ‘jailhouse orange’ uniforms the better. The sweeping pan-Asian menu travels from India to Japan and the sharing concept generally works, even if some dishes fall flat: our lobster summer rolls were drowned out by sriracha emulsion and the mango salad was overloaded with iceberg lettuce, although a spicy Thai short-rib burger and fried soft-shell crab with crispy steamed buns were both excellent.
Big ticks also awarded for the considerate service, lush cocktails, bargain bento boxes
and the new sushi bar.
W Hotel, 10 Wardour Street
Leicester Square Tube Station 146m
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 186m
Odeon Wardour 5m
U.C.I. Empire Leicester Square Cinema 61m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 1
Health warning for readers at the beginning of this review: this is going to be opinionated. Three of us recently breakfasted at Spice Market and it has to rate as one of the most disappointing and unprofessional culinary experiences in which I have recently partaken in London. What Spice Market may gain from being in the ostensibly ‘cool’ W Hotel (itself nestled in an incongruous location between the tourist trap of Leicester Square and the seedier end of Soho), it palpably lost in terms of food and service. Admittedly breakfast may not show a place at its best or allow the chefs to demonstrate the full palate of their experience, but surely the principles of how to run an establishment serving food ought to be adhered to at all times of the day? When we arrived for breakfast, the place was half-empty and the staff, correspondingly, seemed half-asleep. Despite such a palpable absence of life, our three – very uncontroversial – breakfast requests took an inordinately long time to arrive and were wrong across the board. One of my dining comrades had selected the poached eggs, but for whatever reason the chef had had mistaken the instruction and hard-boiled them within an inch of their poor lives. Such was the output (if it deserves such a word) that my comrade refused to it. Even our server was forced to agree that she would not eat it… The other failings were not quite so egregious, but notable nonetheless. Another member of our party did not get his requested maple syrup at the same time as his pancakes while my smoked salmon and scrambled egg were quite distinctly separate rather than being mixed together as requested. So, zero out of three. We got a half-murmured, semi-contrite apology and some vouchers for drinks at the bar. Despite such an offer, I certainly have no intention of returning.
Food + drink: 2
Having been to the Spice Market in NYC, this was a real disappointment. For a semi busy Wednesday night, the service was quite frankly terrible. The waitress did not know the menu as well as one would expect at the restuarant of this calibre. The starters arrived efficiently and were reasonably ok, the crab dumplings and the black pepper prawns were probably the tastiest, although not inventive or memorable. That's when it fell apart; they brought out our two bowls of fried rice along with a couple of dishes that were then whisked off our table because they were meant for someone else. We were then left with two bowls of fried rice, which in the ensuing 45 minute wait for our main courses, we ate! On complaining, our waiter informed us that the system was that food came as it was prepared, a sorry excuse. The one redeeming factor was that the manager apologised profusely and only charged us for our drinks, which was the appropriate response, given that we had eaten less than half our meal. Sadly, we won't be returning anytime soon.
The food here is BLAND and UNDERWHELMING!! Macdonalds offer better value for money. I CANNOT understand what all the fuss is about
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