Hurrah, we can finally eat our dinner outside again (well, at least some of the time). SquareMeal readers are making the most of summer by exploring London’s restaurant scene, regularly rating and slating the capital’s hotspots. 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.
With new restaurants opening every day in the capital, it’s hard to cut through all the noise and find newbies that are worth talking about. However, you can always rely on SquareMeal readers to seek out the tastiest offerings. In Old Street, Gourmand Gunno stopped by Irish chef Niall Davidson’s restaurant and bar Nuala (top). Gunno was a fan of the slick service, despite a “packed” venue, and from the menu he enjoyed the likes of “beef tartare rendered beautiful by an orange-hued egg yolk, cheddar and chopped gherkin”. In fact, he had such a good time that he reckons “it’s hard to find complaints” – the luck of the Irish strikes again. Over In Mayfair, Ms Macaroon paid a visit to Titu (above), a gyoza specialist with just 15 seats. She was impressed by “addictive yuzu mayonnaise” and a “fabulous” soft-shell crab salad. We also loved this unassuming bolthole, awarding it two SquareMeal stars.
Not all diners were happy with their meals this month though, with some of their evenings ending in disappointment. In Mayfair, Patrick G was let down by Pollen Street Social (above), where he experienced “disappointing” starters and an hour-long wait for his main course. Patrick couldn’t find any redeeming features and has resolved “never to return”. Similarly, Paul A found that Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia didn’t live up to his expectations. Paul was happy with the “extremely professional” staff and “knowledgeable” sommelier, but found his main of venison to be “over spiced” and “on the chewy side”. Finally, Jill C returned to The White Swan in Chancery Lane’s legal land. Jill has visited happily several times, but on this occasion, her meal wasn’t up to scratch, especially her fish cakes, which prompted her to ask “Where was the fish in these potato cakes?” It just goes to show, restaurants can’t take regulars – or first-timers – for granted.
Some restaurants arrive in the capital amid a blaze of publicity, but others prefer to let their food do the talking. In Fitzrovia, David H tried out Noizé (above), (which opened with relatively little fanfare) and found that it was an “entirely different” experience to its previous incarnation as Dabbous. Nevertheless, David was thrilled with a run of dishes which were “properly made, tasty and served up looking nice”. He was “surprised” by the high bill (bolstered by wines), but enjoyed his visit overall, and plans to return. Over in Shepherd’s Bush, Samantha C enjoyed dinner at low-key bistro Wellbourne Brasserie, accompanying a friend for dinner who had been “raving about it”. Samantha was right to trust her friend’s judgement, and was chuffed to discover “knowledgeable” staff and a “reasonably priced” menu, including veal Holstein which “really packed a punch”. We also think Wellbourne Brasserie is a great addition to West London, awarding it two SquareMeal stars, meaning that is excellent for the area.
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.