Lavazza Squaremeal partner Italian coffeeOur readers are always the first through the door to give their opinions on London’s expansive restaurant scene. This is our chance to highlight the latest reviews submitted to us over the past month, as well as tempt more of you to get involved. We’ve got some great prizes to reward you with, including coffee machines from our sponsor Lavazza and complimentary dinners in the best London restaurants. Find out how you could be our next big winner here.

Words: Eamonn Crowe

Gymkhana Feb 2016 12

While cult restaurants might sometimes fall victim to over-hyping, this lot continue to wow diners. Paul P was thrilled by popular Indian Gymkhana (above), saying that the great food puts it in a “league of its own”. Meanwhile, Joanna G couldn’t get enough of Neil Rankin’s Soho site Temper, a “carnivore’s delight” with particularly “delicious” lamb tacos. Over in Hackney, Mike S was attracted to Pidgin’s ever-changing menu, enjoying “fantastic food” and a “relaxed, vibey atmosphere”. We love the concept at Pidgin, and it’s pretty impressive that they’re yet to repeat a dish on the menu since opening in 2015.

L Anima December 2015 6

In the City, Tammy K enjoyed a trip to classic Italian L’Anima (above), where she was impressed by “attentive and informative staff” and a “lovely ambience”. In Earl’s Court, Amelia C was enticed by Theo’s Simple Italian, fawning over the “romantic” atmosphere and largely “ locally sourced and homemade” menu, including some excellent pastas. Over in Clerkenwell, David H tested out newbie Palatino, where he gave “lots of points” to the fried sage and stracciatella toast, as well as the gnocchi. However, he was less impressed by the mains. We felt the same on our visit and definitely recommend sticking to the delicious antipasti and pasta. 


With Frenchie just being named our Restaurant of the Year, it’s clear that Covent Garden’s restaurant scene is worth talking about. Iain O visited Café Murano (above) where he was impressed by a “velvety bean soup” and the sardine bruschetta with sultanas and red onion: “a novel and successful combination of flavours”. Charlotte H popped in to neighbouring Hawksmoor Seven Dials, making the most of its “delicious” Sunday lunch offering, all overseen by “polite and professional” staff. For more WC2-centric inspiration, check out our food-focussed guide to Covent Garden.

Lavazza Squaremeal partner Italian coffee

Feeling left out? 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: you could win a Lavazza coffee machine such as the Èspria Plus (below) and a £250 meal in a restaurant of your choice, which is exactly what Amy M, our critic of the year 2016, has been treated to (that’s Amy above). 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. 

Espria plus Lavazza be the critic prize coffee

This article was published 22 March 2017