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Latest Squaremeal reviews - sorted by date review written or updated

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 Real Greek Marylebone

56 Paddington Street, London W1U 4HY

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Fantastic quality and value

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (74)

Mar 2017

Editor's pick Whilst on a walk across Regents Park we had a hankering for Greek food (actually we had a hankering to be in Greece, sitting on the beachfront eating and drinking in the sunshine, but this was the next best thing in London in February!), so we headed to the Real Greek off of Marylebone High Street. There was one table occupied by a family when we arrived and by the time we left it was half full. Whilst I am not a “calorie-counter”, I do like that the menu lists the calorific content of each dish, I think all restaurants should have to do this. Our waitress was very friendly and efficient, there was a slight language barrier, we were not entirely sure that we were going to get what we ordered as we asked for some ingredients to be taken off the dish, but it all came right in the end. I ordered the chick peas with herbs in olive oil and lemon and tzatziki with slow roast pork belly which was delicious and my husband ordered the lamb meatballs with tomato sauce and paprika with a side of potatoes. We drank a very nice bottle of their house white wine (Ellinas). When the bill came I was sure there must be some mistake as it only came to £45, it’s been a long time since we have eaten lunch in a restaurant in London for less than £50 and we will definitely make this a regular lunchtime destination.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Chop Shop

66 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RF

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Winner winner steak dinner!

by Nina K.   bronze reviewer (12)

Mar 2017

A fantastic meat restaurant conveniently located near Oxford Circus, Chop Shop offers everything from well priced steaks to burgers, ribs and chicken. We went in a group and found the service prompt, but not in your face and nice and friendly. The steaks were a great standard for the price and even the pescatarian in the group found delight in the onion mousse and potted trout. The black and blue burger is legendary, and for good reason, and our sweet tooth was sated by the decadent banoffee sundae. I would be hard pressed to find a steak restaurant as good as this in the same area.

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Nina K.'s rating

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

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Shake Shack

24 Market Building, The Piazza, London WC2E 8RD

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Shake Shack.Tried their Brand for the first time

by James C.   gold reviewer (39)

Feb 2017

After hearing about The Coventry Street branch on here I was passing the new Nova Mall in Victoria yesterday and spotted a brand new Shake Shack (same chain)there.That new one is not listed yet on Square Meal I don't think so this applies to the SS format in general based on The Victoria experience. OK so its very slick in a huge hi tech new building.All light & glass.You get a buzzer which flashes when your meal is ready to collect though they offer the option to serve too. Staff friendly and on the job. A tad overpriced for essentially a Wimpy Burger .(c£5) Fries £3.But was nice beef(Aberdeen Angus apparently) though a bit thin. Frozen choco ice cream a bit sickly.They call it custard for some reason but its more ice cream.Took a long time to eat and a bit of a chore. All in all nice place to sit. But left feeling a bit hungry. Quick service from the service team who represented an array of nationalities.

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James C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 5
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 4

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Shake Shack Victoria

Nova Victoria, 79 Buckingham Palace Road , London SW1W 0QU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Ate there yesterday."Emperors Clothes phenomonen"Yeppers.

by James C.   gold reviewer (39)

Feb 2017

The building this is situated in The new Nova Centre .Its so new the builders round about are still putting the finishing touches to many of the restaurants next door. A large glass hi tech artrium style with of light and a profusion of seating areas for 100s was pretty much empty on a wet afternoon.It will perhaps be discovered by commuters? The Service is done well with over eager hired staff frequently communicating & enquiring how things are goingTables are meticulosly kept clean & cleared. What youd expect from The States I guess. You get handed an electronic buzzer device which flashes when your burger order is ready 7 it was pretty quickly. You can choose collect from counter or have brought to your table. However the crux of all this slickness is a tad over hyped & somewhat thin. A rather small & thin albeit "quality"cheesburger gone in 1 minute & 3 bites. Maybe thats why its called fast food? Left feeling hungry,noticeably.And £5 down. The chocolate desert-(was repeatedly informed "weve only got chocolate"),is billed as some sort of frozen custard conncotion but I found it to be a rather frozen and sickly sticky little tub that took a long time to scoop and eat a mix of frozen chocolate yoghurt & ice cream.Rather underwhelming.Oh well another £5 gone.(I noticed Hagen Daz is only £2 a large tub on offer at our local Supermarket). That was it.I felt hungrier than when Id gone in.If Id spent 3 times as much (£30)maybe not. Couldnt help thinking if this is food in The States its dissapointing reenforced by eventually weary experiencesof a US bakery up the road A good attempt at an upscale Macdonalds but still wanting......

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James C.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 4

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64 Degrees

53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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A very pleasant dinner

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (74)

Feb 2017

This tiny restaurant in the Lanes of Brighton has been on my list to visit having watched Michael Bremner on GBM. The restaurant is tiny with one table that seats 6, one that seats 4 and one that seats 2 and the rest are stools around the pass. We arrived at the time of our booking to be told that the people in front of us were finishing up and settling the bill, so we waited 10 minutes or so. Once seated, one of us had a silent pool gin and elderflower cocktail and the other two a glass of champagne each. There were 16 dishes on the menu (comprising fish, meat, vegetables and dessert) and they recommended 7-9 dishes for three of us to share. We were served an amuse-bouche of salt cod brandade with toasted rye bread which was very tasty and would have been perfect to accompany our pre-dinner drinks but for some reason it arrived after the first 2 of our courses. We ordered seabass ceviche, butternut squash with goats cheese, tagliatelle with yolk and truffle, gurnard and mussels with red pepper reduction, beef rib and carrots, and lamb. We were given another amuse-bouche of cucumber and lime sorbet and we finished up sharing a delightful chocolate and coffee mousse and rhubarb and custard with shortbread, all washed down with a bottle of Riesling. It was a very pleasant meal, the food was flavoursome and well-presented with some interesting twists. It’s a long way from London for an evening meal so I would only return if I happened to be in the area. The only negative was the rather rude waiter, who came over to our table while we were eating dessert to say that we had to finish quickly as the next diners had arrived (no one had ever told me that it was a 2 hour booking). I pointed to that we had to wait 10+ minutes for the table before us to vacate, so we were delayed sitting and his answer was “that’s hardly the point is it?”.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Lansdowne

90 Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 8HX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Decent Gastropub – good pizzas

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (74)

Feb 2017

This gastropub has been one of our “locals” for over 20 years, and we have gone through periods where we have eaten here regularly and then not for a year or so due to ever changing chef and kitchen staff (I have no idea whether ownership has changed over this time). We decided to pop in a few weekends ago as I fancied a pizza and knew that they had an oven there and have been back again since. The pizzas are pretty decent, and the rest of the food coming out of the kitchen looks good too. If the wait for tables is any indication, it certainly seems to be thriving on weekend lunchtimes full of groups of friends, families, “Sunday football dads and their kids”. It’s back on our weekend lunch list for now.

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Aviary at Royal London House Hotel

22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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What a disappointment

by Joanna S.   (1)

Feb 2017

Ordered the cheese burger, worst I have had in a long time, including any at a fast food outlet. Consisted of two frozen patties, overcooked, with a slice of processed cheese in between. No tomato, no lettuce, no sauce. The chips were also frozen thin cut fries. Could've gone to McDonald's and had infinitely better for much less. When mentioned to the waitress that it was overcooked and tasted burnt, I was told it was cooked on a chargrill which gave a specific flavour. She really wasn't interested.

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Joanna S.'s rating

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

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Temper

23 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0QA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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A Carnivore’s delight

by Joanna G.   platinum reviewer (74)

Feb 2017

Editor's pick Temper was recommended to us by a number of people who all said that A) finding the door is a challenge – it is, and B) not to sit at the uncomfortable stools at the bar – so we didn’t. We ordered the Aged cheeseburger (very tasty), smacked cucumber (which was described by the waitress as “cucumber just squashed/mashed”, but there was certainly more to it than that, beef fat potatoes with ogleshield – good, but could have done with some seasoning. You can then order a selection of grilled meats by the 100g, and we had the goat – delicious and the lamb (my favourite) and green sauce on the side. All in all a very enjoyable meal. Service was slick and our Portuguese waiter was keen to tell us all about the produce and assist with wine selection. Top tip – when they offer to take your coat to the cloakroom, let them, otherwise it will smell like “Guy Fawkes” on 5th November!

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Joanna G.'s rating

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

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Hereford Road

3 Hereford Road, London W2 4AB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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Uninspiring

by Gourmand Gunno   platinum reviewer (194)

Feb 2017

I had had high hopes visiting Hereford Road, but found them mostly disappointed. Located on the site of a former butcher’s and with offal as its USP, I have been led to believe that Hereford Road might have the potential to be as west London equivalent of the ever-popular St. John. At 7pm on a recent Thursday evening, I certainly didn’t expect to be the first customer in the restaurant and as I sat down to survey my surroundings, I considered that whatever the place may have in its favour in terms of food, it would have to compensate amply for the palpable lack of atmosphere. Even if this initial assessment may appear too harsh, neither the overall feel of the place nor the food ever got going. At its peak that evening, the restaurant was barely half full and any voice much above normal volume registered abruptly. The tables are well-spaced and the light-well a nice touch, but probably to see Hereford Road at its best, you need a summer’s day with a few more customers present. Despite the fact that the staff were hardly rushed off their feet, all of those with whom we interacted seemed really to struggle in summoning enthusiasm for the job they were doing. When my dining comrade asked our server which of two mains she would recommend, her answer was hedged, evasive and half-hearted. I also overheard another server highlighting specials of the day to a nearby table, yet bafflingly, these were not offered to us. Had they been, I doubt whether my appraisal of the culinary output would have been any more effusive. The dishes we had were essentially unmemorable. My game paté starter was tasteless and lacking moisture. It could have comprised game or gammon and I might not have been any wiser. My onglet main became a chore to eat; the meat chewy and unrelenting. My comrade enjoyed the aesthetic presentation of his dishes but certainly did not lavish any notable praise on their taste. At ~£60/head (wine and service included), I was left distinctly feeling that my money could have been much better spent elsewhere.

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Gourmand Gunno's rating

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

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The Holy Birds

94 Middlesex Street, London E1 7DA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great place to catch up with friends

by Sarah R.   silver reviewer (24)

Feb 2017

I had a fun night out with my friends at Holy Birds. Great cocktails, delicious food and friendly service. My only complaint was it was a little bit lacking in atmosphere as the city seemed to be quiet on a Saturday night in February but I'm sure if we went during the week the place would be buzzy and busy.

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Sarah R.'s rating

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

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Brasserie Max at the Covent Garden Hotel

Covent Garden Hotel, 10 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9HB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Relaxed pre-theatre dinner

by Sarah R.   silver reviewer (24)

Feb 2017

I was very excited to be going to the Harry Potter Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and wanted to mark the special occasion with a suitable venue for an early dinner. Covent Garden hotel is a short walk away from the Palace theatre where the play is being staged. We were given a comfortable table in the corner, the restaurant was busy as most people were finishing their afternoon tea or enjoying after work cocktails. The afternoon tea looked delicious and is reasonably priced but we decided to have dinner. I enjoyed the fish and chips, delicious on the skin chips the right portion so I wasn't too full. My fellow diners enjoyed the venison with artichoke puree, broccoli and fat cut chips to the side. They said it was perfectly cooked and tasted delicious. I ordered a glass of Chablis and the waitress informed me that they had given me the more expensive bottle that you couldn't usually open by the glass for the same price as they had a bottle open. I savoured every minute as it was devine! The service is friendly and fantastic. my only complaint was the dessert. I am an ice cream connoisseur, it was presented beautifully but was over frozen so I couldn't taste the flavours, only the ice. My friend had the ginger creme brulee which she said was delicious. If you want to see the Harry Potter play, head over to my blog page for tips on how to get them threeshotsahead.co.uk

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Sarah R.'s rating

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

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Balans Cafe

34 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TS

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Fantastic Service and a fun place to catch up with friends.

by Sarah R.   silver reviewer (24)

Feb 2017

I love it at Ballans. Whenever I come here we always get such friendly and efficient service, it is a pleasure to dine there. I booked a pre-theatre dinner as we were off to the Harry Potter Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Part One) and it is close to the Palace theatre. The restaurant has been redecorated since I last dined there and I liked the relaxed feel of the place. We had a booth which gave us plenty of room for our coats, there were three of us dining. We enjoyed a glass of Prosecco whilst we waited for our friend to arrive. I enjoyed a delicious tuna steak along with a salad and skinny fries. The tuna was fresh and cooked perfectly medium rare. One of my friends had the duck served with a rhubarb sauce, which she really enjoyed. The other ordered Lamb rump steak which was also cooked just how he liked. I had ice cream for dessert and it was creamy and full of flavour plus well presented. We didn't order any cocktails but could see them being made and they looked delicious. Ballans is the perfect place to catch up with your friends which ever time of day you dine.

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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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