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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.

Market Bistro

11 Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

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Inadequate

by Zelik M.   (1)

Nov 2017

Untrained chef? It shows. Portion size woefully small. Front of house is awful. To say the choice is limited is an understatement. Recommend you read the Daily Telegraph's review, sums it all up!

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Zelik M.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 3
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 1
  • Value: 1

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Outlaw s at The Capital

The Capital Hotel, 22-24 Basil Street, London SW3 1AT

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Not really up to one-star standard

by Paul A.   platinum reviewer (98)

Nov 2017

Our introduction to this restaurant was in the form of a rather perfunctory welcome, and unfortunately this presaged the situation for the rest of the evening, for, with the notable exception of Alessandro, the excellent sommelier, the staff were rather below the level expected of a one-star restaurant, and inevitably we had to draw an unfavourable comparison with the Port Isaac team. Once we had been seated there was something of a hiatus before we were able to give our order, which was rather a contrast with the swift service of the dishes on the tasting menu, a feature perhaps of this being a hotel restaurant. Luckily there were some nice rosemary bread rolls to supplement the one canapé, smoked cod’s roe on a seeded cracker, but we were soon tucking into the starter, cured fish in the Outlaw tradition. This one was whisky-cured salmon, the whisky to the fore, the saffron kohlrabi accompaniment very good with the salmon and not at all overpowering and the horseradish yoghurt was a nice touch. Although octopus used to be a turn-off for a lot of people we’ve always been keen on it and after ten seconds in the deep-fat frier this version was not bad, along with some cold slices, a useful bread sauce, almonds and a tarragon sauce which came through very well. We are always pleased to have brill which is one of our three top favourites, and here the fresh, tasty fish was boosted by a super deep-fried (again) oyster, a parsley, rocket and mint hollandaise and well cooked kale. Being familiar with the wonderful Porthilly sauce in the Cornwall restaurant our curiosity was raised by the appearance of Port Isaac sauce with the bass dish. The difference between them, this version being darker and with a different taste and consistency, was explained to us as being down to which locality the shellfish were obtained from. The bass was good with a nice crispy skin and was an interesting match with the sauce. We passed on the cheese and the desserts were soon on the table, my wife having a very light custard tart with a lovely gingerbread ice cream and quince, the other being an attractive mix of stout cake, plain chocolate mousse, ice cream and kumquats. Overall we felt that the food was not bad, but the experience was not up to the standard we would expect from such a highly-rated venue.

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Paul A.'s rating

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

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Le Gavroche

43 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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Old school classic

by Paul A.   platinum reviewer (98)

Nov 2017

Our welcome was simply exemplary, the discreet lighting at the perfect level, tables properly dressed and spaced, and staff always immediately there when required. The menu exceptionnel is a firm favourite, and the wine flight, although on the face of it rather expensive, provides very suitable choices to match the particular characteristics of each dish; an example of this was an English Chardonnay which, although not easily identifiable as being that cepage, perfectly matched the stone bass on the plate. The amuse-bouches of pumpkin arancini and salad tartlets topped with bacon were nicely paired with a glass of sweetish Albert Roux champagne and set us up for the signature starter of delightfully soft and creamy soufflé suissesse, which was quickly followed by a carpaccio of Galloway beef marinated overnight in spices and accompanied by a tongue-tickling salt beef sandwich, perfect horseradish sauce and pickled beetroot that was just out of this world! We are always happy to have scallops, but, although the Noilly Prat velouté worked very well and the leeks were perfectly charred, the roast scallops left something to be desired in their softness. Salted and seared stone bass with a sensational hazelnut condiment followed and the dish was raised to another level by the well-judged addition of chicory, balsamic flakes and some surprising orange. The two meat dishes were both superb: poached and glazed pork cheek, tender as you like and complimented beautifully by a pumpkin and mustard purée and a really tasty rosemary jus, and then a supreme roast Lake District loin of venison backed up with venison stuffed red cabbage and a lovely juniper sauce. The cheese selection included so many French and English variations that it was difficult to limit oneself, but we did manage and we sampled and enjoyed a Spenwood from Berkshire for the first time. The Calvados Baba was matched with a Canadian ice cider, which made the whole dish perhaps just a touch too appley for our palates. Discussing the meal afterwards we agreed that even though the food was really good and, despite it feeling slightly rushed between courses, the service absolutely top-class, in the end the wow factor had been missing. Usually we have been inspired by the whole experience at Le Gavroche, but on this occasion we felt on something of a plateau. We concluded that perhaps the reason was that, bizarrely, with the first and the final dishes matching each other in uniform lightness and softness, and those in between covering a rather dark-coloured palette, the visual aspect of the food on the table lacked variety and from that aspect classicism had suffered in the face of modernism. Nonetheless, this was a very enjoyable evening in an atmosphere that is streets ahead of most of this venue’s competitors.

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Paul A.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 8

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Parabola

Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8 6NQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Why bother

by Matt R.   (3)

Nov 2017

You would think that Rowley Leigh could turn out a surprising, high quality execution of dishes on his simple, seasonal menu. Instead, the food is under-seasoned (lack of personality), served room temperature on warm plates. Pricing is aimed at a prix fixe four course selection, but you're dramatically penalised for just choosing two. As if the emphasis is on a 'complete' tasting menu, rather than a lighter fare option. An odd, very limited selection of wines by the glass, at 125 ml, versus carafes, which seems designed to step up to a bottle. Again, strange pricing structure. Why bother being just one of a handful of diners at the top of the Design Museum if you're underwhelmed?

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Matt R.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 3

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Rudies

50 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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A Jamaican Sunday roast

by Tonique C.   bronze reviewer (6)

Nov 2017

A few weeks back I was invited to Rudie’s to try out their new Sunday roast menu and boy was I in for a treat! Just the décor alone will make you feel as if you have been transported to Jamaica. With posters of official street parties, carnivals and upcoming events in Jamaica placed on the walls and a selection of the finest Jamaican rums at the bar. Although I was there to try out their Sunday roast, Rudie’s have a huge selection of choice on their menu. From small plates to plantain bowls jerk chicken, seafood, and yard classics. For starters, I ordered the crispy calamari, which is deep fried in seasoned polenta. I was expecting the calamari to have a hint of spice to it, as I was in a Jamaican restaurant, but it was neutral. TIP: Squeezing the lemon all over the Calamari brings out the flavour. I wanted to try out some of the smaller plates as starters, to taste what else Rudie’s serve beside their Sunday roast. I also choose the pulled pork balls, which are spicy deep fried jerk pork balls, served with a spicy mayo. Now, this had spice! The pulled pork is shredded inside and is full of smoked jerk flavour. The spicy mayo adds as a great accompaniment and found myself smothering the balls with this sauce. Sunday roast The Sunday roast is served with whole chicken crispy roast yams, squash, sweet corns, bakes and rum gravy, which is a traditional Jamaican style roast. Rudie’s roast is perfect for sharing between two people. The chicken is marinated in authentic Jerk rub, where the chef places the herbs underneath the skin to boost the flavour. TIP: I loved drenching my chicken roast in the rum gravy for extra flavour. For me, the bakes were my favourite and tasted better when they were soaked in the gravy. The roast left me very fulfilled and satisfied as it was undoubtedly filling. I would suggest sharing between two to three people, as the portions are large, and add rice and peas to the roast, as it is an accompaniment. I was a little disappointed that the roast was not jerked but upon speaking to the chef Vernon Samuels. He explained that Rudie’s serve many Jerk style dishes and they wanted to offer a plain roast with a hint of Jamaican influence. Samuel’s gave me a tour of Rudie’s authentic drums where they make the Jerk chicken and explained how Rudie’s smoke their Jerk dishes, giving their poultry a genuine jerk taste. I was able to sample some of their Jamaican jerk chicken, which is cooked to perfection and is a reminder of authentic Jamaican cuisine. Now, what is a Jamaican restaurant if rum is not involved? Be prepared as Rudie’s have a fine selection of Rum and Rum cocktails. My cocktail of choice was Jamaica Nice, which is a fruity boozy smoothie, which consists of Almond syrup, lime, nectarine, pineapple, Appleton rum and coconut rum. Sitting at the window, with the sun shining on my eyes, and beating down on my skin, I was imagining that I had been swept away to the Jamaica for that moment, as the cocktail taste like your on holiday in the islands. This cocktail is sweet!

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Tonique C.'s rating

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

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Megans Parsons Green

Unit B, 57-69 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4JA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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The prettiest restaurant!

by Lisa F.   (1)

Nov 2017

Had a great time at Meghan's. The restaurant is really pretty with lots of fairy lights on the ceiling and the atmosphere is cosy and friendly. We loved the mediterranean and antipasti sharing boards - the olive tapenade was particularly good, along with lots of delicious garlic flatbread. Would highly recommend this place!

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Lisa F.'s rating

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

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Mere

74 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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A top experience

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (225)

Nov 2017

A recent trip to Mere impressed highly. The three members of our party, who dined there midweek, are all sceptics by nature and try as we did to identify shortcomings, we struggled. From beginning to end, the experience is about understated excellence with high attention to detail. Diners enter a relatively discrete building at the northern end of Charlotte Street, away from much of the hustle and bustle of the area. The restaurant proper (tables and waiters) is nowhere in sight. This is a very clever touch: one can relax in the bar – which works as a standalone destination – and then descend at one’s leisure to the dining area in the basement. Both rooms were decorated intelligently with clear thought given to how to light the basement, to make it intimate rather than dreary. Our food orders were taken upstairs in the bar, meaning that the only focus downstairs was on the food – another clever idea, which minimises disruption and avoids unnecessary long waits. We opted for a la carte, although a tasting menu is also available. Diners choose from around half a dozen starters and mains, with a strong emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Monica, the head chef, takes her influences not just from classic French cooking, but also the South Pacific. All three of us were delighted with our choices, both in terms of presentation and taste. My octopus starter, which was served with fennel and a caper condiment, was delicious, with the flavours marrying harmoniously together. Meanwhile, my venison main was cooked to perfection – medium-rare – and paired beautifully with red cabbage, celeriac and juniper. The wine list was a joy to choose from: a white Burgundy with the starter and a New Zealand Pinot Noir with the main, both available in carafe format. Overall, this is a place about which its owners and staff seem to feel passionate. Monica did the rounds of the table, engaging with all the guests – something which is a rare as it is welcome. The only caveat – the experience does not come cheap: starters average £15 and mains £30. Add in a drink before dinner, wine, coffee and service, and one is lucky to get away with less than £100/head. But it is worth it!

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

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

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Ikoyi

St James’s Market, London SW1Y 4AH

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Jollof cuisine – not the next big thing

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (225)

Nov 2017

Part of the beauty of the London dining scene is that there is a plethora of choice. Like the citizens of this city, there is huge diversity. However, the darker side of the city’s culinary dynamism is that it is relentlessly Darwinian: if you don’t get it right, you will fail. The statistics bear this out: some 50% of central London restaurants shut within a year of opening. I fear Ikoyi may be one of them. Our cheery server informed us that the place is ‘packed’ in the evening, but any restaurant that only manages four covers (us and one other table) at a mid-week lunchtime, must surely begin to question its raison d’etre. The concept behind Ikoyi is an interesting one, namely ‘high-end West African’ dining. I couldn’t help but noticing several ironies: the restaurant looked and felt distinctly international rather than explicitly African, while the menu included caviar (from North Devon) and wagyu beef – natural staples, of course, for the average Nigerian. The food we consumed was well-intentioned, but even for someone who likes spice in one’s dishes, the emphasis on ‘heat’ seemed to crowd everything else out. A cow foot, dark beer and panja pepper snack was, I sense, more about ‘shock value’ than anything else: who has ever tried cow’s foot? Frankly, the croquette in which said foot was served could have contained any meat. The wagyu was highly impressive at least, and the meat undoubtedly enhanced by the nut and spice powder into which one could dip the meat. The chefs (who, incidentally, all appeared to be European) clearly seemed to know what they are doing with this dish, even if this could not be said about all of the ones we sampled (the plantain was instantly forgettable). If you’re curious, best go soon to check Ikoyi out; it may not be around for too long.

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 6

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Hartnett Holder and Co

Lime Wood Hotel, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst SO43 7FZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Least impressive of the meals I've eaten here.

by David H.   platinum reviewer (102)

Nov 2017

We've eaten here a good handful of times , noting that Ms. Hartnett's involvement seemed to bring about a marked improvement and the last few meals here have been very good, and eating here something to look forward to.. First thing to note is that this restaurant, like quite a lot of others doesn't update its online menus very often. So when we arrived the menus we were given seemed to bear little relation to what we'd seen online. Now not only was it different, it was much less attractive, especially the set lunch. Frankly it was hard work to choose, and from a situation where all 4 of us were expecting to order three courses, two opted out of dessert, one opted out of starter, and I got to three courses by the expedient of ordering an a la carte starter and paying a £10 supplement for cheese rather than pudding. The dessert selection in particular was unattractive on both menus. and almost uniformly stodgy. It takes a couple of minutes to get a typed menu onto a properly designed website- so I'm betting that failure to do that might well mean reluctance rather than forgetfulness- but customers need information to make a fair choice. And it's fair to say that had we seen the menus we were shown before we got there, they'd have had a cancellation and we'd have been off to the Jetty, or the Pig, or the Mirabelle , or any one of the half dozen or so restaurants in the area that serve a more interesting choice and frankly better food than we ate today. Having pushed our friends to make this one Lime Wood, I frankly felt embarrassed. Three of us chose a pork rib-eye on a mixed base of tomatoes and peppers for a main. The meat was totally overpowered by its sharp accompaniment and was a long way from melt in the mouth. My risotto with red mullet had the same problem- a strongly flavoured risotto rendering the small piece of mullet pretty much tasteless. These dishes had no balance. Service was good, wine was decent, menu and food quality wasn't up to par. I think Ms Hartnett should reassure herself that she's happy with what's going out under her name, and if they aren't able to put out quality food at the prices they're currently charging, then for heavens sake put the prices up rather than serve an uninteresting choice and mediocre food. As intimated there's enough decent food available in and around the New Forest to keep us occupied on our 4-6 visits a year, with or without Lime Wood. Its a nice place, the service is good, but the food (Menu and cooking) really does need to recover its standard. Go back? Well if I do it'll be because of meals we've had in the past , not this one. I'll keep an eye on what others say, but right now Lime Wood has lost its place on our notional list of "must go back and before too long"

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David H.'s rating

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

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The Delaunay

55 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Don’t skip the dessert!

by Sarah R.   gold reviewer (30)

Nov 2017

When a dessert is served to the table by a woman in a white coat, it is clear a restaurant takes their craft seriously and it is wise not to skip this course. This was certainly true at The Delaunay where the Austrian influenced desserts taste as delightful as they look. A Black Forest gateaux filled with luxuriously rich chocolate mouse and a light sponge soaked in just the right amount of kirsch. I could go on but I’m not Paul Hollywood. The staff at The Delaunay match the wow factor of the desserts. My husband considered the dish of the day but didn’t like the sides and the waiter instinctively knew what he would prefer, Friendly, fun and considerate, nothing was too much trouble. We were celebrating a mile stone anniversary and The Delaunay was the perfect setting; dark wood panelled walls reminiscent of our honeymoon on the Orient Express, crisp white linen tablecloths, champagne glasses straight from the set of the Great Gatsby. The food is the impeccable quality expected from Corbin & King restaurants, simple, elegant and packed with flavour. Chicken Kiev bursting with garlic butter, plump mackerel fillets contrast with a citric salad. Thank you to The Delaunay for a memorable celebration.

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Sarah R.'s rating

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

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Hai Cenato

2 Sir Simon Milton Square, London SW1E 5DJ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Excellent Japanese food with all the touches of an Atherton establishment

by Rebecca L.   gold reviewer (49)

Nov 2017

Don’t get me wrong – the food here is fabulous. Authentic but innovative, tasty and pretty as a picture. Plus the service is what you’d expect from a Jason Atherton restaurant. But the real highlight is the stunning décor and surroundings of the main restaurant and the intimate and fun bar downstairs. It’s worth going for the bar alone! My dining companion has visited Japan and said she felt like she was back there. A real treat.

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Rebecca L.'s rating

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

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Nanban Brixton

426 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LF

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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The best Japanese food in London

by Rebecca L.   gold reviewer (49)

Nov 2017

Brixton isn’t short of excellent eateries but Nanban has to be a highlight. Their ramen is fantastic and a fried chicken starter the ultimate comfort food. The inside isn’t much to write home about. It’s a bit cramped. I’ve not always had the best service here either. One male waiter was very rude when we questioned the service charge (it was incorrect…) but don’t let that put you off. The food is moreish, delicious and according to my friend who’s visited Japan, the most authentic Japanese food in London.

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Rebecca L.'s rating

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

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Crockers Folly

23–24 Aberdeen Place, London NW8 8JR

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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A taste of Lebanon

by Tonique C.   bronze reviewer (6)

Nov 2017

A few weeks back, I was invited to Crocker’s Folly to experience their traditional Lebanese style dining. Upon entering, I was amazed at the beautiful chandeliers, wooden paneling, and gold-coated interior; it was truly a beautiful sight. Opened in the mid-1890’s Frank Crocker originally decided to turn the building into a hotel. However, despite being a true entrepreneur, this venture did not come to be as fruitful as Crocker anticipated, which later lead to Crocker’s demise, hence the restaurant being called Crocker’s Folly. In 2004, the restaurant was acquired by the Maroush group and was reinvented as Crocker’s Folly, which they are sure Mr. Crocker would be proud! Traditional Maroush Hummus The menu had such variety that initially I was spoilt for choice, however, the headwaiter suggested a mixture of dishes to try. For starters, I opted for the traditional Maroush hummus. There was no way; I was about to enter a Lebanese restaurant without trying their traditional Hummus! Which is made of chickpea puree, sesame paste, and lemon juice, and is served with freshly baked warm pitta bread. King prawns Next to be served were the king prawns; pan king prawns topped with pine nuts and chilli. The prawns are thoroughly marinated and seasoned well, as the flavour can be tasted throughout the prawns. A great tip, I would suggest is squeezing the lemon all over the prawns for an added burst of flavour. Bastorma Carpaccio with rocket I am a huge fan of Carpaccio of any kind, therefore when the beef Carpaccio was presented I did feel like all my dreams had come true and were in heaven, especially as it so aesthetically pleasing. The Carpaccio is thinly sliced Bastorma smoked beef fillet, which is marinated with special spices and served with rocket and fresh olive oil. Once again, Folly did not disappoint with the flavour, this is every Carpaccio addict’s dream as the special spices liven the beef with flavour. The texture of the beef is chewy but soft, and despite being with a guest, and this dish is best shared, I decided to have the Carpaccio to myself. I would say it is a must try dish from the menu as it is quite filling and it was my favourite. Halloumi Meshwi Due to my allergies, I could not eat the grilled Halloumi cheese, however, my guest did try the Halloumi and said it was better than Nandos, and everyone loves Nandos Halloumi cheese. All jokes aside, she described the cheese as soft and dewy but with a rubber texture, well seasoned with a hint of spice. I was one of the best Halloumi cheeses that she has had. Jawaneh chicken wings One thing I, of course, can eat is chicken wings, so I was here for the Jawaneh, which are charcoal grilled marinated wings served with garlic sauce. As the wings are a bit on the spicy side, the garlic sauce is perfect, as it aids in giving the wings a more savoury/sour taste. However, I will add that the wings do not taste charcoal grilled and the portion is quite small, so it is better to get this dish for one rather than to share. As usual, I ended up being a greedy diner and eating the majority of the wings! Soujok As if there were not enough options already, Soujok was finally brought to the table, which are homemade Lebanese spicy sausages, sautéed in tomato sauce. Squeezing a lemon over the Soujok, allowing the lemon juice to drizzle over the sausages and entwine with the tomato sauce is my tip to you. The lemon juice aids in bringing out the flavours, as this dish is full of flavour. The sausages are a little harder than usual but overall this is a must-have dish! Fruit platter Finally, to clean my palette was a plate of fruit, serving all my favourites, Watermelon, Kiwi, Pineapple, Melon, and Strawberries. As a lot of spices and flavours were ingested the fruit aided in neutralising my stomach. Overall, the food was great and positively full of flavour. I loved that Folly’s serve traditional Lebanese food, as it is one of my favourite cuisines, alongside Nigerian and Japanese. The staffs are also Lebanese, which is appreciated, as the staff had vast knowledge of the culture and cuisine in depth, and were able to talk through the dishes. Price: £ What to wear: Casual (I wore a leather jacket and jeans) Ambience: Beautiful décor and knowledgeable staff

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Tonique C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 9

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