With a seemingly never-ending heatwave gripping the nation, we’d recommend enjoying a meal out post tanning sesh. Our readers are always keen to have their say on London’s restaurant scene, regularly rating and slating the capital’s dining haunts. 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.
Restaurants continue to open in London at an alarming pace and SquareMeal readers are always among the first to give their verdict. In Hackney Wick, Lloyd S paid a visit to Tom Brown’s Cornerstone (above), where he was impressed by “friendly” staff , “fabulous” pickled oysters and an “amazing” piece of plaice served with lobster, paprika and courgette. We loved Cornerstone too, awarding it two SquareMeal stars on our visit. Although not new, Roux at the Landaux in Marylebone has been given a new lease of life thanks to a subtle refurbishment. Val M tried it out recently and was delighted to find a “superb” menu, particularly enjoying the “melt-in-the-mouth” lamb dish. Finally, in Fitzrovia Andreas M was impressed by Italian newcomer Ossobuco, crowning it the “best food in town”. Considering just how many restaurants there are in the area, that’s quite the compliment.
Although we’re all pretty proud to be English at the minute thanks to Gareth Southgate and his band of star footballers, when it comes to food we’re still happy to broaden our horizons with some international grub. In Shoreditch, Emma O took her boyfriend for a birthday dinner at US-style joint Red Rooster (above), and she thought the live band which plays while you dine was a “great addition”, while she also appreciated the staff’s effort to “make a fuss” of her boyfriend on his special day. Over in St James’s, Kechi A enjoyed a visit to West African restaurant Ikoyi, where he discovered an “excellent modern take on African food” and resolved to return for another visit. Finally, Thomas H popped into Ekte Nordic Kitchen at Bloomberg Arcade, after having fallen in love with Scandinavian cuisine following recent trips to the region. Tom tucked into an open-faced sandwich topped with “surprisingly subtle” curried herring, while also enjoying the kladdkaka for pudding, which is similar to a “sticky chocolate cake”. We enjoyed Ekte on our visit too, and if you commute through Bank, we’d recommend grabbing one of their freshly-baked pastries as a morning pick-me-up.
Although most people only get to enjoy London restaurants in the evening, there are some diners who are lucky enough to visit them for lunch. In the City, Boris went for a business lunch at Silk & Grain (above) and was impressed by the tomahawk steak, which was “absolutely amazing” and represented “great value for money”. In Victoria, David H took his wife for a Saturday lunch at Il Convivio, and was happy to report that service was “pleasant” and the food “decent”. Finally, Chris H treated a client to lunch at Lutyens Grill at The Ned, where he made the most of the good food, but did find that it was sometimes hard to attract a waitress’s attention. Although tasty food can persuade a diner to return, it’s good customer service which can really secure life-long custom.
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, search #SMDinerReview on Twitter to see how you can win cookbooks and bottles of Champagne. Regular reviews will also make you a contender for our Critic of the Quarter prize, where you could win a £200 meal in a select range of top London restaurants.