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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.

Picture Marylebone

19 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 9TZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Lots of appreciative noise from our table!

by Toni V.   (1)

Feb 2017

The style is a little cold and stark when you first walk in. Very grey and black and the front seats felt a little "in the window". But don't let this fool you! The food was full of warmth and depth, and we all left with full tummies muttering about how much we enjoyed the evening. We ordered off the A La Carte menu with the recommendation that we should choose 3 items as the plates were on the smaller side. I think I possibly could have been happy with 2 and a dessert as left a little on the full side after ordering dessert on top of the three plates. Each plate was like a little picture. Beautifully balanced and unexpected surprises of taste, we all ummmed and ooohed through the meal, grabbing off one another's plates to make sure we didn't miss anything. We had a lovely bottle of Pino from Germany which against traditional expectations of one or two of our party was excellent. The menu was date stamped so I'm assuming it's seasonal or even daily but if you do go anytime soon and they have the Cod with hazelnuts it comes highly recommended. The staff were warm and friendly and knowledgeable about their menu and wine list. It's definitely on my personal recommendation list and I wouldn't turn down any opportunity to go back.

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Toni V.'s rating

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

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Cafe Murano Covent Garden

36 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Finely balanced ingredients, flavours and textures

by Iain O.   (1)

Feb 2017

Editor's pick This was our first visit to the restaurant, booked for 17.00 as we were going to an LSE talk at 18.30. There was enough of interest on the pre-theatre menu for us to choose that. We enjoyed all three courses and a good bottle of Sicilian white wine (Grillo Uriel). The dipping oil for the rosemary foccacia bread had an enjoyable peppery zing and depth of flavour, putting our taste buds on the alert. For the first course, the velvety bean soup was set off nicely by the crispness of the accompanying crostini. Contrasting textures were also seen in the sardine bruscetta with tiny sultanas red onion and a green leaf making for a novel and successful combination of flavours. One main course was my wife's hake on a bed of roast aubergine - again a combination that worked well for someone who likes her fish, as this was, tasty and moist. My chicken cacciatore had a rich sauce which the orzo pasta soaked up perfectly. We were both struck by how accurately the cavalla nero had been cooked, maximising the depth of flavour with no hint of the toughness it sometimes has when I cook it 'al dente'. Our waiter explained "semi freddo" in terms that appealed to us both but I decided for variety to have the cinnamon cake - delicate with a light texture. The restaurant had few others when we arrived, but by the time we left it was busy but not noisy. We exchanged comments with the table next to us. All of us hope to come back to explore the a la carte menu. A meal to match our mood on St Valentine's Day!

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Iain O.'s rating

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

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Hawksmoor Seven Dials

11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Wonderful afternoon - definitely recommend!

by Charlotte H.   (4)

Feb 2017

Editor's pick We had a lovely time at Hawksmoor on Sunday. the staff were very welcoming, polite and professional. Our waiter in particular was fantastic, he was very knowledgeable and approachable. We both had the Sunday Roast with beef. Absolutely delicious! The beef was amazing, the potatoes were perfectly fluffy but crisp. Great amount of veg and gravy and the Yorkshire was lovely and not at all dry (as most can be). We also had a pudding – the peanut butter shortbread, on our waiters recommendation (as we couldn’t pick between a few) and we loved it! Simple yet very effective a perfect end to the meal. Overall a great experience and good value for money, we will definitely be recommending the chain and will be returning.

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Charlotte H.'s rating

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

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Aster

150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Aster* (asterisk for excellent)

by Johanna E.   (1)

Feb 2017

Aster* is welcomed addition to the London restaurant scene. Dishes cooked to perfection served by attentive staff in an elegant and vibrant setting. I enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Aster Cafe which started with inhaling their amazing bread, served warm. Next I choose a tasty kale and broccoli salad - although I was worried it might be too healthy (= boring), but it was both virtuous and delicious. I then enjoyed some excellent Skrei cod with brown shrimp - we are talking authentic Nordic ingredients right here in London. As we were four ladies we decided to share two desserts and made a great choice by taking the Runeberg cake and the Rhubard Clafoutis - I can't pronounce it, but I can certainly eat it. I am keen to try the Aster Restaurant and the Deli too. Many reasons to return. * = excellent

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Johanna E.'s rating

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

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Palatino

71 Central Street, London EC1V 8AB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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Some very good food, some indifferent

by David H.   platinum reviewer (89)

Feb 2017

It's always difficult to review a restaurant that displays inconsistency not just between visits, but between courses. After our appetisers ( Fried sage & Stracciatella toasts) and pastas (Gnocchi & Bombolotti) we were thinking that maybe here is the replacement for Zucca we've been searching out for over a year now. The sage and gnocchi in particular got lots of points. After the main courses the debate was whether we'd go back at all. In some ways its unsurprising, for a visit to the same stable's Craft restaurant near the O2 left us with pretty much the same reaction- some courses really good; some that just didn't work very well at all. Both in bland locations with little to offer apart from the restaurant itself, and both not having the ambiance or appearance of a gourmet restaurant. Neither are places that scream "special occasion" and indeed Palatino could just about pass for an "All Bar One " or similar. But their common ground isn't all bad, by any means. Both have a young, enthusiastic, helpful staff; and both are turning out food that is occasionally very good, and often pretty unusual. I don't always agree with Square Meal's reviews, but they've made a comment here that I'd strongly support. Enjoy the appetisers, pasta and wine, but ignore the short and frankly unprepossessing list of mains. My wife's saltimbocca started off as a not brilliant piece of veal, and wasn't cooked well. My onglet was neither tasty nor tender (Ok not the easiest cut to get right, but they chose to serve it, and Chez Gerard used to manage it just fine). The virtually dry red sauce with the onglet detracted from it. The sides of chard and polenta were dull. The espresso was far too acidic for my taste- but then in my view independent restaurants could do well to achieve the same coffee flavours as the big chains who depend entirely on it and can't afford to serve a blend that alienates some people. The restaurant had been open three weeks when we visited. Maybe it needs time to settle. But I think some thought needs to go into those main courses- what they are and how they're procured and cooked, if this is to be a restaurant of note. Our bill for appetiser, two courses each and half a litre of wine and coffees was £90, which we'd have been happier to pay had those mains (again) provided much satisfaction. I'll end on the location. It's not the easiest place to get to by tube , a bit easier by bus. Its not a pretty area and not the most interesting area for a post-prandial stroll. All this throws a lot of weight onto the food!

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David H.'s rating

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

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Spaghetti House Sicilian Avenue

20 Sicilian Avenue, London WC1A 2QD

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Reliably great

by Constance V.   bronze reviewer (6)

Feb 2017

The Spaghetti House never fails me. Each time I go I take somebody new with me and it remains an old and stable favourite of mine, particularly as it is one of those Italian restaurants where it does not have Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino on the menu but the chef is willing to prepare it for you - even though it is probably one of the cheapest past dishes! Looking forward already to my next visit - particularly when the weather is warmer, as Sicilian Avenue itself is like a small piece of Italy, and the pedestrianized area allows you to sit at outside tables. Go there and you won't be disappointed - get there too late and you may be if you have not booked in advance.

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Constance V.'s rating

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

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L Anima

1 Snowden Street, London EC2A 2DQ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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wonderful experience of fine Italian dining

by Tammy K.   bronze reviewer (14)

Feb 2017

went on a Saturday evening - beautifully decorated and lovely ambiance. Love the chairs! Staff attentive and informative throughout, couldn't do enough for us. Food out of this world! Can't fault our experience - thank you.

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Tammy K.'s rating

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

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Chai Thali

Centro 3, 19 Mandela Street, London NW1 0DU

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Move over Dishoom Chai Thali is in town

by suzi f.   (1)

Feb 2017

Met some friends on Friday at Chai Thali Camden my friends work in the building above the restaurant and thought we would try it instead of going to Dishoom our usual haunt Good move on our part it was fantastic, Food was of the charts and the cocktails were very good service was friendly, efficient and attentive and the guy on reception was excellent he took the time to chat with us and explain the concept and even gave us a glass of prosecco each I would recommend the Black Daal and the on the bone lamb curry the prawns were very very good big juicy and flavoursome I'm going back with my boyfriend and would recommend this restaurant to my friends

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suzi f.'s rating

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

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Buenos Aires Reigate

2-4 London Road, Reigate RH2 9AN

Overall rating: star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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Oh No ! Our Valentine's meal was ruined by noisy drunk lads, the Manager appeared to be ok with this ?

by mike m.   (1)

Feb 2017

We love steak meals ! But not here sadly. On the positive my sirloin was cooked perfectly for me. The "fillet" was of dubious quality & I wonder if it really was fillet ? Im not sure but Ive not seen a fillet steak that is served having been sliced so thinly that it could have been tenderized anything ? Our main concern, and by appearances, that of other couples, was that there was a table of drunken lads shouting loudly nearby. The waitress was not interested & the Manager appeared to be ok with this ? Ive been to other restaurants in this chain and would be surprised if this was tolerated elsewhere. I wont be visiting any of these again, ever ! There are plenty of other choices & almost certainly all will have better quality steak.

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mike m.'s rating

star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 4
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 4

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Restaurant Michael Nadra Chiswick

6-8 Elliott Road, London W4 1PE

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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A wonderful dining experience

by Christina B.   (2)

Feb 2017

Editor's pick We dined at Michael Nadra's Chiswick restaurant for my husband's 50th birthday with his parents and our children. The front of house staff were friendly, attentive and gave a polished service which complimented the beautiful food we ate. The carpaccio of tuna with soft shell crab starter was light and delicate while the beef carpaccio with truffle oil had a more punchy flavour. The main courses were all cooked to perfection - the steamed sea bass was elegantly scented with asian spices and the Wagu beef was rich and unctuous. The rump of lamb with the merguez sausage was full of flavour. We rounded off the meal with the delightfully wicked chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice-cream and the treacle tart. The staff dressed my husband's pudding with a candle and the words Happy Birthday written in chocolate which was a thoughtful touch. We highly recommend this restaurant

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Christina B.'s rating

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

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Theos Simple Italian

Hotel Indigo London Kensington, 34–44 Barkston Gardens, London SW5 0EW

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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Great Find in Earls Court

by amelia c.   (3)

Feb 2017

Hi, John, its Amelia . What a great treat to buy me a drink. This is one of the few local casual dining restaurants with a good bar and wine list where the locals are treated like great neighbours. As a result, when I want to have dinner locally with friends, I think of you first. What is great about this place is : where do I start? The atmosphere is very relaxed but can be romantic, tinkling candles rustic surroundings, and convivial. Food is homemade by an Italian chef, who is happy to make something for you not on the menu. Everything I have eaten there( and must be about 8 times) is locally sourced and homemade, even the pasta. Recently I took an Italian Friend there for dinner, he is from Tuscany. The parpadelle was so fresh and homemade, we asked the chef to come and speak with us to tell him "complimentI". This is a real surprise for a hotel restaurant tucked away in Earls court, but not to be missed. See you soon. Good for couples family friends business and solo.

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amelia c.'s rating

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

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Jamies St Mary at Hill

2 St-Mary-at-Hill, London EC3R 8EE

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Okay

by Roger M.   (4)

Feb 2017

Two issues. Firstly, we both ordered steak, one rare and one medium rare. They delivered these to the wrong persons (rare got medium rare (in reality medium/well done) and my guest got the rare that I had ordered). Secondly, we ordered two portions of buttered spinach to go with the steak, however, these did not arrive until we had nearly finished (and the staff had been reminded several times through the meal!). Despite these hiccups, the service was friendly and food was of good quality. Also, the bill was reduced in compensation for the errors. We had the feeling that several members of staff hadn't been there very long.

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Roger M.'s rating

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

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