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Member since 15 Oct 2007
London | Italian Restaurants
Good italian food - ambience?
Recently came here on a top-table fixed price deal.
The restaurant looks very smart but is a little tucked away a bit off the bright lights of Regent Street.
The menu is excellent and the kitchen's execution is superb. In terms of value for money you couldn't be dissapointed.
However the restaurant was very quiet on the Saturday night we went and with the large open dining room the atmosphere was not as welcoming at is should have been.
The aircon was a bit OTT too - and when we highlighted it the staff didn't really seem to believe there was much they could do to ease the chill. Which didn't make much sense as it was snowing outside.
Great food, good value on fixed price menu but so many details to work on otherwise.
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Baltic Restaurant
London | European Restaurants
Better than Wodka or just funkier?
Went to Baltic for the second time yesterday. The first time had been a few years back and it had been a relatively boozey lunch. So I was delighted that the place was looking as modern as fresh as I remember.
As you come in there is a long thin bar area, nicely lit and with a sharp looking staff knocking out well executed cocktails. In fact my Mojito was the best I'd had since my stop at Maze last summer.
You in turn go through to the dining area which has a new york loft feel with the bare brick and exposed wooden beams.
As for the food the menu is certainly unusual with a series of eastern european inspired items that are a rarity on the london restaurant scene. My Siberian Pelmini were exceptional - perfect for a frosty night and my partners pierogi were also exceptional.
The mains were all good sold fare. I made an ethical choice and went with the Pollock. Not quite as good as I expected and it might have needed some stronger flavours with it to really make it work.
But overall this is a stunning place. Suitable for almost any occasion and the lively bar area is a huge plus and one that other restauranteurs would do well to emulate.
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Sam's Brasserie & Bar
London | European Restaurants
I had been here for drinks quite a few times and genuinely rated it as having the best atmosphere of any of the Chiswick High Road drinking joints.
Ate here with my partner last weekend for the first time and was hugely disapointed. To cut a long story short it was a tale of sloppy (and Lazy!) service, poorly presented squid, dreary risoto and a rather lame dessert that just succeded in being, well, dry.
These guys have a cracking wine list and the premises look lovely. So why is the food here such a huge disapointment?
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Maxim Chinese Restaurant
London | Chinese Restaurants
Observer rated top 5 chinese restaurant in the UK
I'm not one to buy the Observer. I mean really I wouldn't want to make the wrong impression now. But according to them Alan Yau (of Yautacha and Hakkasan fame) rates this one of the top 5 chinese in the country.
Now I used to walk past this place every day. Have dined here more often then I can remember and I must say Msr Yau isn't to far off the mark.
The ambience is pleasant enough, service abrupt but endearing in the way only chinese restaurants can be. The menu is littered with classics but I must say that the bang bang chicken and the prawn with ginger and springonion are both brilliantly executed. The menu gets far more exotic than this in fact ... but you don't need to venture to far into the selection to be very pleasantly surprised.
This really is a place for locals. In fact most people would drive straight by given the way it is hidden behind the discrete brick work.
But if you happen to be in W13 make sure you follow Mr Yau's advice.

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Hare & Tortoise Noodle Bar
London | Chinese Restaurants
best noodle bar in ealing (if not London)
Firstly I have to say I am a little bias - I've been coming here for more than 5 years. The staff always treat us fantastically - even when they are super busy, which they almost always are.
The food here is stunning favourites include spiced wingsticks, edamame and some of the most delicious gyoza you'll find this side of Harajuku. The portions are generous and atmosphere pleasantly buzzy. They offer a variety of Japanese beers (try the Kirin Ichiban) and the freshly made apple juice is a good call for the designated driver.
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