The winter cold hasn’t stopped SquareMeal readers braving the elements and making their way to the capital’s restaurants to relay their honest, insightful opinions. Diner reviews, which can be left on our site by anyone, secure 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 collate and compare the experiences of other diners.
The last few years have seen a whole host of street food vendors settle in to permanent premises, and Londoners love it. Jenna L checked out Soho newbie (and former pop up) Ugly Dumpling (top) and was impressed by the “to die for” sides, including miso courgette and aubergine tempura. Over in Shoreditch, Emma O got all hot and bothered over former Hakwer House resident Smokestak, where the menu is full of “melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness”. We couldn’t agree more, awarding Smokestak two SquareMeal stars on our visit.
Not every restaurant fared so well this month, with some diners finding fault with their dinners. In Notting Hill, Gourmand Gunno was ultimately unimpressed by Southam Street, where he found the restaurant to be a case of “style over substance”, with the food not measuring up to the glitzy interiors. Shantelle S ventured to Mayfair for a birthday dinner at Momo, but was left disappointed by “highly expensive” food and “tiny portions”. Meanwhile, Sara D faced poor customer service at Oblix at The Shard (above), where she felt her meal was rushed and that diners are “just on a conveyor belt to get them in and out as quickly as possible to generate the most revenue.” Londoners are an shrewd group when it comes to eating out, and nobody likes to feel like their customer experience is less of a priority than turning tables.
Although hungry Londoners love new openings, the capital’s long-standing restaurants are showing no signs of waning in popularity. Emma R booked a private dining room at Mayfair’s Scott’s (above). She loved the food, but was particularly struck by the level of service, which she noted was both “friendly and unobtrusive, everything just done effortlessly.” Also in Mayfair, Lloyd S was blown away by The Ritz Restaurant, where his favourite dish was the “outstanding beef Wellington, which was matched with a superb Barbera D'Alba red wine”. Finally, David P paid a visit to legendary Covent Garden site Joe Allen, following its recent move down the street. Although David was concerned that service charge doesn’t appear to go directly to waiters, he was “really impressed to see the atmosphere is just as good as it always was”, despite the new location. We’re fans of Joe Allen too, especially when we spot our favourite theatre star tucking into one of the signature burgers.
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 £200 meal in a select range of top London restaurants.