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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.

The Rookery

69 Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 9DA

Overall rating: star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty

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Really disappointed - underprepared, patronising and rude staff…

by Phil H.   (1)

Oct 2017

I visited The Rookery this Sunday gone (22 Oct 2017) as during the winter months my fiancé and me go out for a roast as often as we can. This Sunday we invited some friends out with us to visit Clapham and based off a quick google search and the fact that we could get a table, we chose The Rookery. Our guests arrived first and 20 minutes early to be met by a less than welcoming member of staff who apparently couldnt quite get his head around the fact that they were early. When we joined all seemed to be going well, we ordered drinks and a selection of the tapas style starters from the decent menu. However when the starters arrived and we asked if it would be possible to have side plates, we were told by the same member of staff (mentioned earlier) that there weren’t any clean side plates and to make do before he scurried off. Realising this wasn’t right, I got up and had to ask another member of staff if we could have four side plates to which he agreed. When our roasts came they were off decent quality, the roast potatoes were particularly good but if i were nitpicking the portion side of the roast beef was very small. We ordered deserts, a third member of staff to wait our table took the order (not using a pen & paper) and surprise suprise got the order slightly wrong. One of our guest ordered the 'sticky toffee pudding with warm toffee sauce’ as described on the menu. When it arrived the pudding itself was cold and dry as if it had been sat out for some time, but far more frustrating was the sheer lack of 'warm toffee sauce', it was as if the chef had dipped a small paintbrush into the sauce and tried to cover as much surface area of the bowl (again cold). Upon asking if it would be possible to have a small jug of extra toffee sauce were informed that it had run out hence why my guest's pudding looked as if it had just fallen out of a Victorian orphanage. To top it all off, when we asked for spoons to eat our respective deserts, there weren’t enough clean spoons so I was provided with a large dirty soup spoon that looked as if it had just been dug up from the back garden. All the above was annoying but the roast had made up for the lack of service quality - where and why I now vow to never go back to The Rookery is because of the rude and patronising way in which we were treated when paying the bill (£180 for 4 people, so not the cheapest). When asked the question “was everything okay with your meal?”, I calmly explained that the food was good but it was sadly let down by the lack of plates and cutlery and that the toffee pudding was well below par. A young chap stepped in at this stage from behind the bar, we assumed the manager, who didn’t offer any form of apology but instead thought it best to suggest I was being precious for not being happy with having to use a soup spoon to eat my dessert. In addition he then put their failings on us by saying “You don’t appreciate that we are in the middle of a busy service” (the irony of him saying this as he tore off our receipt from the credit card machine). As we left we overheard two other tables raising complaints, I just hope they didn’t get spoken to the way we were. All in all we left angry, disappointed and insulted. Therefore for anyone who is looking for Sunday lunch options in the Clapham area I would happily suggest The Windmill (opposite the Rookery), The Abbeville (5 mins walk from the Rookery), The Bobbin (in Clapham Old Town), PowderKeg or The Roundhouse (St John’s Hill) and The Avalon (Clapham South) - as far better options; I have been to all of them recently and all have been significantly better experiences than I and my friends had at The Rookery - we don’t intend to go back, ever!

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Phil H.'s rating

star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 4

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Zafferano

15 Lowndes Street, London SW1X 9EY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great Italian restaurant!

by Cesare D.   (1)

Oct 2017

For my birthday I decided to celebrate at Zafferano, We were 20 people so I arranged a special menu. The manager was very professional and left nothing to chance. The party was a great success, the service was impeccable the food really delicious. Thank you zafferano for making my birthday a memorable day!

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Cesare D.'s rating

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

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London Cocktail Club Monument

2B Eastcheap, London EC3M 1AE

Overall rating: star fullstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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Abysmal

by Dave D.   (1)

Oct 2017

With all the charm and sophistication of a provincial Wetherspoons, and full of a clientele who believe that their data entry job qualifies them as "working in finance", this place is beyond grim. Add to this an over-bearded barman who seemed to think his "Shoreditch of 5 years ago" look gave him the right to be outright rude to his customers, and you get a feel for the LCC vibe. It was something about a VIP area apparently, a concept about as plausible as a VIP area in Nandos. This place's only redeeming feature was a clearly embarrassed and overworked waitress, doing her best to stem the rising chav-geddon. Classist? Possibly, but this place has none. Think Friday night in late 90s Slough.

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Dave D.'s rating

star fullstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 2
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 2

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Caravan City

Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great to see a place like this in the City

by Anthea R.   (1)

Oct 2017

a great move from the Caravan team and so good to see them on top form here. I can't think of a time of day that i'm not tempted by something on their menu. the seabass was the standout dish but loved the great selection of vegetarian dishes and the plates are generous. Staff are friendly, the chef's margarita is inspired and it's great to have a place for informal meetings, delicious lunches and fun nights in the City!

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Anthea R.'s rating

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

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Clarke s

122 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Delightful find

by Sarah G.   gold reviewer (42)

Oct 2017

Cannot believe this restaurant has been in existence for 33 years, and I have never been. What an absolute delight, everything is superb, from the welcome on arrival, the service and the exceptional food. It will not take me 33 years to return.

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Sarah G.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 7

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Lurra

9 Seymour Place, London W1H 5BA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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No stodgy croquetas in sight - basque grilled food done well

by Daniek J.   (1)

Oct 2017

With an open kitchen and a buzzing warmly-lit dining room, Lurra is a great alternative to London's Spanish restaurant scene which on the balance features tired tapas and overpriced wine lists. Slow cooked lamb shoulder, tender grilled octopus legs, Galician sirloin steak, turbot brought fresh to the table before being thrown on the grill are classics on the menu.

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Daniek J.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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Lobos Meat and Tapas Bar

14 Borough High Street, London SE1 9QG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Great tapas

by Kathy H.   (4)

Oct 2017

I met a friend here for lunch, the second time we have visited. Very friendly staff and we weren't at all rushed. We shared 5 tapas, and that was plenty as we were really full! Meatballs, patatas bravas, croquettas, manchego and quince, and rice with chorizo...all tasty, and the great thing was that the staff only brought one or two at a time, so the food didn't get cold. All very enjoyable.

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Kathy H.'s rating

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

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Pisqu

23 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1HZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

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Be prepared to wait

by Paul B.   (1)

Oct 2017

Nice enough room in a good location, but either hopelessly understaffed or just hopeless. One of the slowest lunches, and the food was frankly not really worth the wait.

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Paul B.'s rating

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

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Caravan City

Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Caravan City - Best Caravan yet

by Elizabeth w.   (1)

Oct 2017

At caravan city you can enjoy sociable dining with an emphasise on good-quality , wholesome food. Interesting combinations of ingredients mean that every dish stands out such as sliced pork with fresh crunchy apple; sea bass and prawn dumplings in seuchan oil plus melt in the mouth cheese croquettes. Don’t leave without trying the chefs margarita. In fact, if you’re anything like us, you won’t want to leave at all! Highly recommended

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Elizabeth w.'s rating

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

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Wringer and Mangle Spitalfields

94 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Try the 50 degree cooked Salmon

by Tonique C.   (3)

Oct 2017

Last month, I was lucky enough to head down to Wringer and Mangle Spitalfields and preview their new menu. Upon arrival, one of the waiters greeted me with an orange short welcome drink-‘Local’s only.’ This is Wringer and Mangle’s take on an Aperol Spritz; in this short glass Stoli Vodka, Aperol, Montenegro, Cinzano 1757 Sweet Vermouth, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva was used poured over some ice. The month of September was relatively still warm, so the Local’s only was a great cocktail to have in my hand. After the long day of work I had, I was definitely in need of something refreshing to sip on. So how is this different from an average Aperol Spritz? I would say that the Local’s only is sweeter and has more fizz than the average Aperol Spritz. I almost find Aperol spritz to normally be quite bitter but Wringer and Mangle have nailed this, although I was not expecting anything less from their award-winning mixologists. Our table was not quite ready yet, so I enjoyed my drink and mingled in conversation. The table was finally ready and all guests were seated, once seated I found in front of me a beautiful handwritten place card. This was a nice touch and I felt as if an old friend had invited me to dinner, this definitely gave a great first impression. Wringer and Mangle pride themselves of having a home-cooked style, which I can agree with, as freshly baked bread arrived in a Brown paper bag as a sharing starter. Tearing the paper bag I felt the warm residue of steam hit my hand whilst releasing the aroma of the sweet smelling bread. I have to say that this is probably one of the yummiest bread I have ever eaten. The top layer is crusty and hard on the outside with the centre being very dewy, soft and sweet. Mixed with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes this was the business. My main starter was the crispy pigs head croquette in tartar sauce with apples and radishes. I always love to try something different and pig’s head sounded like something I should choose, so why not. With a crispy surface, this once bitten into meets the shredded pig’s head centre, which was well seasoned and went down a treat, especially when smothered in the tartar sauce. I regrettably did not choose the 50-degree cooked salmon but was able to sneak a bite from my friend. Divine! Just divine, cooked at 50 degrees the salmon retains a dewy and moist texture and appearance but tastes like cooked salmon. This is a must try and is the highlight of the menu. For my main, I decided to take the Merlot braised beef cheeks with red cabbage and celeriac. The Merlot in the beef really aided in adding flavour and making the beef rich in taste. The beef was well cooked and effortlessly melted in my mouth, I just wish there was some mash or potatoes that would have accompanied the beef as it was not too filling. The main was paired with house red wine, but I am a white wine lover, so I opted for Pinot Grigio house white wine which was on the sweeter side but was paired well with the dinner options. For dessert, I chose the red and black fruits, elderflower curd, chia granola. To be honest, I am not really a dessert kind of girl, so I didn’t end up finishing the dessert but it was refreshing and had a sweet infused taste of fruit followed by a sour taste of the curd and crunchy texture of the granola. Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at Wringer and Mangle, they achieved the laid back and home-style cooking feel which they were trying to convey, and the food tasted very natural and not too saturated. Price: ££ What to wear: Casual (I just wore a jumper and jeans) Ambience: Home-style cooking with a laid-back style

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Tonique C.'s rating

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

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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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