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Find out what Square Meal readers thought of their latest restaurant experience. Sort the reviews bellow by a variety of criteria to find inspiration for your next meal or get the lowdown on the latest launches.

Bistro Vadouvan

30 Brewhouse Lane, London SW15 2JX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Please Support this Hidden Gem

by Tom G.   (1)

Oct 2017

I very rarely write reviews, despite having dined at pretty much every top restaurant in London, as my general opinion is that there's no point re-iterating what everyone else has already said. In this case, however, I feel I must make an exception. My wife and I went here when our plans got cancelled last minute, as it's just down the road and amazingly, I thought at the time, they had a table for 2 at 8pm on a Saturday. Everything about the place was brilliant; delicious food (the steak tartare with smoked aubergine is one of the best starters I've had this year), great wine, friendly and attentive service and amazing value for money. The only thing we didn't like was how empty it was. Despite it being Saturday night, the place was less than 25% full. I understand that the location is not the best, at the bottom of an ugly, modern block of flats, sandwiched between a ghastly Wetherspoons and a Carluccio's, but with high street rents being so high these days, this is, unfortunately, what small, independent restaurants have to do and, once inside, you really don't notice. Also, there is absolutely no competition nearby. Putney is a restaurant desert, with nothing else decent for miles around. The nearest cooking of this quality is in Fulham, at either the Harwood Arms or River Cafe and both of those are about twice the price. Whilst I love the idea that I can get a last minute table at a great local restaurant, I fear that if more people don't discover this hidden gem, it won't be around for long. So, people of South-West London, I implore you to visit Vadouvan and rejoice in the fact that finally Putney has somewhere worth dining.

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Tom G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 10

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Jesmond Dene House

Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 2EY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

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Good food, inadequate service

by Jane C.   (1)

Oct 2017

My title says it all: the food was good, though not amazing, but the service was off-hand in the extreme. Staff behaved as though we (and the tables around us, we weren't singled out) were an inconvenience. It took several attempts to get a drinks menu, and then several more attempts to get a drink. Very poor for £238 for two courses for four people. We've been there a few times but won't now go back.

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Jane C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 3

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Silk Grain

33 Cornhill, London EC3V 3ND

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Silky and Grainy

by Lorna W.   (3)

Oct 2017

We were met by a very attentive waiter who never left us waiting he took our order as soon as we were ready, brought our drinks and each of our three courses all arrived just at the right time. The drinks were great my guest rated his Bloody Mary and although I didn't order a steak my two guests did and they looked delicious and were cooked as requested. Don't you hate it when you ask for a medium rare steak and it is anything but? Nice range of options on the menu and the White Chocolate Parfait desert was delicious as was the potato gnocchi starter (I didn't have a main but they served my starter with the carnivores while they devoured their steaks which was great) Highly recommended for somewhere different for a business lunch and the Cosmopolitan Cocktail is one of the best I've tasted.

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Lorna W.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 6

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Isabel

26 Albemarle Street , London W1S 4HY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Good but so over priced

by Alex S.   bronze reviewer (9)

Oct 2017

No denying the beauty of this place which has been done up to a very high standard. That is the best part. The food, while very good in part is vastly over priced as is the wine list.This is a place to be seen and while the concept of sharing plates may be all the rage, it offers no value for money. Hard to recommend.

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Alex S.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 3

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Iberica Victoria

5-6 Zig Zag Building, 68 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6SQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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If you go with low expectations, you won't be disappointed.

by Amy M.   platinum reviewer (53)

Oct 2017

I have eaten at one or two other branches of Iberica, but admittedly not for a few years and had always enjoyed the meals. As Victoria is now such a hive of activity with new developments and restaurants correspondingly popping up, I was expecting a much better experience. On a Wednesday night there was steady trade, but certainly not a frenzy of diners that would “slam” the kitchen or the wait staff. As we were seated, I tried to ask a waiter for water, who was at the next table and he was completely oblivious. So much so that the table he had just served burst out laughing at my apparent invisibility. After much waving, I eventually managed to attract attention from another. My companion had popped to the loo and so for some reason, the waiter only poured one glass. And the farce started again to get a second glass when my friend returned. Suffice to say this continued throughout the meal. They have a veritable army of staff and there is no excuse for this lack of attention. The food itself is ok. We ordered garlic prawns with fideos which was a bit greasy and overdone on the chillies, as the prawns were completely overpowered and rendered flavourless in themselves. The “Half & Half” cheese and charcuterie board is incredibly underwhelming with several different types of salamis, indiscernible from one another, apart from the obligatory chorizo and 3 tiny slices of cheese. Considering that they have soft sheep cheese, a blue and several different hard cheeses to choose from I was uncomprehending as to why they gave us a very mean portion of almost identical choices. Finally, I don’t think that I am the only person to go to a tapas place and look forward to a tortilla. The staple of Spanish cooking. We ordered it. It didn’t arrive. I called my ethereal waiter to ask where it was as we had had all of our other dishes and he then promptly sent the manager over, who told me (at 2030 on a Wednesday) that they had run out of “the mix”. I looked at him quizzically and asked for clarification as I am reasonably certain that it is just fried, potatoes, onions and eggs. Yes, he agreed. There was no more mix. Now I know that I wasn’t in the ever exquisite Barrafina with their superlative, gooey and delicious tortilla, but I would expect a chef to be able to accomplish a simple version with fresh ingredients. When pressed, I asked the manager if it was powdered or frozen and he changed his mind and said that he had run out of eggs! Are you serious? He was very nice, offered us a free desert instead, but neither of us wanted one. But I definitely expected more than this. To top it all, once we asked for the bill, the waiter literally stood over us while we dug our wallets out. Considering he couldn’t have been less interested for the rest of the time, this just added insult to injury. My new office is near there. I won’t be returning.

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Amy M.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 7

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Iberica Victoria

5-6 Zig Zag Building, 68 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6SQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Go with low expectations so that you won't be disappointed

by Amy M.   platinum reviewer (53)

Oct 2017

I have eaten at one or two other branches of Iberica, but admittedly not for a few years and had always enjoyed the meals. As Victoria is now such a hive of activity with new developments and restaurants correspondingly popping up, I was expecting a much better experience. On a Wednesday night there was steady trade, but certainly not a frenzy of diners that would “slam” the kitchen or the wait staff. As we were seated, I tried to ask a waiter for water, who was at the next table and he was completely oblivious. So much so, that the table he had just served burst out laughing at my apparent invisibility. After much waving, I eventually managed to attract attention from another. My companion had popped to the loo and so for some reason, the waiter only poured one glass. And the farce started again to get a second glass when my friend returned. Suffice to say this continued throughout the meal. They have a veritable army of staff, which were not run off their feet and so there is no excuse for this lack of attention. The food itself is ok. We ordered garlic prawns with fideos which was a bit greasy and heavy handed on the chillies, as the prawns were completely overpowered and rendered flavourless in themselves. The “Half & Half” cheese and charcuterie board is incredibly underwhelming with several different types of salamis, indiscernible from one another, apart from the obligatory chorizo and 3 tiny slices of cheese. Considering that they have soft sheep cheese, a blue and several different hard cheeses to choose from why give us a very mean portion of almost identical choices? Coupled with a beetroot salad entirely devoid of any seasoning, everything was a bit under par. Finally, I don’t think that I am the only person to go to a tapas place and look forward to a tortilla. The staple of Spanish cooking. We ordered it. It didn’t arrive. I called my ethereal waiter to ask where it was as we had had all of our other dishes and he then promptly sent the manager over who told me (at 2030 on a Wednesday) that they had run out of “the mix”. I looked at him quizzically and asked for clarification, as I am reasonably certain that it is just fried potatoes, onions and eggs. Yes, he agreed. There was no more mix. Now I know that I wasn’t in the ever exquisite Barrafina with their superlative, gooey and delicious tortilla, but I would expect a chef to be able to accomplish a simple version. When pressed, I asked the manager if it was powdered or frozen and he changed his mind and said that he had run out of eggs! Are you serious? He was very nice, offered us a free desert instead, but neither of us wanted one. But I definitely expected more than this. To top it all, once we asked for the bill, the waiter literally stood over us while we dug our wallets out. Considering he couldn’t have been less interested for the rest of the time, this just added insult to injury. My new office is near there. I won’t be returning.

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Amy M.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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Bronte

Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5EJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Surprisingly good

by Jill C.   bronze reviewer (10)

Oct 2017

I was greeted at the door by an exceptionally friendly member of staff who showed me to the table in the restaurant at the back. The bar looked inviting, and if I hadn't been having a pre-theatre dinner, I would have loved to stayed for an aperitif or a post prandial drink. The wine list was short, and quite expensive, but the Spanish Rueda that I ordered was quite delicious. The menu was eclectic and inviting and we had a number of small dishes to share. The dim sum were particularly good. The service was friendly and unintrusive. All in all, a great place for dinner, just a drink, or a snack very near Charing Cross Station. Recommended.

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Jill C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 6

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Bar Salsa Temple

Temple Place, London WC2R 2PH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Fun place for an evening out with friends or colleagues

by Jill C.   bronze reviewer (10)

Oct 2017

I tried this on a Thursday evening as they have individual and group lessons available from Latin Krazy on Thursdays. Also happy hour from 5-8pm! We had drinks and food before the beginners' lesson began at 7.30pm, and the food was good, although it did take a long time to arrive. There is quite a selection of Mexican and Spanish food, tacos, nachos, tapas and even burgers! Something for everyone but the gourmet... A fun evening out in a great place.

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Jill C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 8

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Andre Garrett at Cliveden

Cliveden House, Taplow, Maidenhead, Maidenhead SL6 0JF

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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An experience rather than a meal.

by David H.   platinum reviewer (101)

Oct 2017

In my opinion if you're looking for the very best food, you may end up a bit disappointed here. If you want an experience that involves a tremendously opulent dining room ( I was going to say stylish, but its more true to say that its of a certain style), and the opportunity to have a wander round the outside of a quintessential British Stately home with attractive grounds then you might find the totality of the experience satisfying. Food-wise there's a lot of competition locally, with a growing number of 1/2/3 star alternatives within an easy drive. This wasn't ( as I found to my surprise before I went) a starred restaurant . It is a fine dining restaurant serving small portions of fairly classical cuisine which isn't going to surprise you. The food we ate goes with the dining room- classical rather than innovative, slipping down easily enough but stopping somewhat short of delight. The cooking was competent, the dishes a little short of the flavour intensity you'd hope for. You'd be forgiven for forming a view that this is a non-starred restaurant charging about the same as many in London with a star. We did both choose the set lunch, together with a pleasant bottle of Quincy. Given my marginally critical attitude to what we ate, I'm afraid I can't judge whether a la carte would have resulted in better dishes or somewhat larger portions (my wife's mackerel starter and my cod main were both extremely tiny). I really can't work out the mind-set of any restaurant that risks sending customers away hungry or feeling that their restaurant is being mean with them. The amount of money they'll save by being less than generous with relatively low cost ingredients is insignificant by comparison with the goodwill to be lost or gained. On the other hand I do understand that I'm not likely to find beef fillet or turbot on a menu that works out at £33 for 3 courses. I am though getting mightily bored with restaurants with a reputation for interesting food presenting me with a set lunch menu of chicken, guinea fowl, salmon, roast cod- I can get all of those at home, and even from a set lunch I'm hoping for a bit more excitement than that! Service was good in very much a "stately" manner. Overall we had a pleasant experience here, but rather too much of that was slanted towards the room and the half hour in the grounds afterwards. For food values alone, I can't see this getting another try soon, when the same drive time can get us to west London as well as a growing range of local competition. Finally, the restaurants website does indicate that diners will be charged £7 each in essence as an entry fee to these premises. We resent this and had determined to let them know what we thought, in the context that other restaurants don't charge additionally for their premises. However they didn't make that charge so the debate never happened. But be warned!

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David H.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 5

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Wagamama Hammersmith

The Old Fire Station, 244 Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith, London

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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To Waga or not to Waga

by Arjun S.   (1)

Oct 2017

Amazing!! .. had a family meal here a couple of days ago. The staff were delightful and the food delicious. The waitress took her time with us to explain what certain dishes were, she also gave me some spot on dish recommendations. Great place! Great food! Great service

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Arjun S.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 10

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The Lighterman

3 Granary Square, London N1C 4BH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Favourite spot in Kings Cross

by Nicole P.   bronze reviewer (6)

Oct 2017

The Lighterman is my go-to lunch spot in Kings Cross. I absolutely love it here; it is a fantastic location for a quick stroll along the canal from our offices and for any business meetings, it is only a stones throw from Kings Cross. Summertime here is wonderful as the L-shaped, upstairs terrace affords great views of the canal or the fountains in Granary Square and is able to accommodate shade-seekers or sun-worshipers alike. Downstairs, especially on a Friday night, is buzzing and when they finally opened up the lower canalside this year, it was the perfect spot for an after work drink with friends, colleagues or even on a date! The food here is really good too - they do change the menus seasonally however, they keep firm favourites there, such as crispy squid for starters and the amazing steaks! I have actually tried all the squid and all the steaks on offer in Kings Cross and The Lighterman is by far the best. I like to go here at least twice a week if I can - in fact, I'm there again tomorrow! If I were to have one minor issue, I think that the service could be more attentive. Lovely and polite waiters/waitresses however, I do often have to call them over rather than them noticing I need their attention. I work as an Executive Assistant and I have taken various EAs from other companies there for lunch and now they are using it too as a great venue and amazing location. I look forward to many more lunches and dinners here!

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Nicole P.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 9

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