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Member since 31 Mar 2008
Belgo Centraal
London | Belgian Restaurants
The Mussels From Brussels?
Belgium has a certain reputation in the UK for being boring - this is not the case, especially when it comes to food and drink. Okay, it may be limited to Mussels, Chips, Beer and Chocolate, but in my world these are pretty high up on the list anyway! Belgo Central does the first three of these very well.

Upon arrival, it looks tiny from the outside. You on a walkway over the kitchen and it is VERY hot! This immediately put me off. After a short wait for a table (we had not booked and they were very busy), we were ushered downstairs to a gloriously air-conditioned dining area. First impressions were that it was busy, noisy and looking a little tired on the decor front, but with some novel design ideas. Seating is communal benches in the main, and the waiting staff wear a type of Trapist monks robes - with the vaulted ceilings it was like a monastry, only without the silence.

The menu does consist mainly of mussels and chips, there is however a variety of other dishes for anyone not quite as enamoured with the shellfish as I am.

I had Thai Style Mussels to start. These were very good though perhaps a little to mild for my liking, lacking any real chilli kick. Neither of us has Mussels as a main course on this occasion, opting instead for Haddock in a Hoegarden Beer Batter and in my case a 16oz Ribeye. Both were very good!

The group next to us all had the Surf'n'Turf (steak and lobster) which looked very good too - I'll be trying that soon!

For dessert I had the Waffle with chocolate sauce and hazlenut ice cream and my partner had the White Chocolate Mousse. The mousse was jus divine. The waffles, were real, freshly made in a waffle press. I was however disappointed with the chocolate sauce - it seemed a little weak to me.

There is a somewhat limited but perfect adequate wine list. You don't come here for the wine though. Browse the beer menu and be amazed at the variety of Belgian beers. There are some well known brands such as Hoegarden (my personal summer favourite), a large number of specialist but delicious Trappist and Artisan beers and the famed Belgian fruit beers. My partner tried the Coconut beer, which was very good but too sweet for my taste (as is often the case with the fruit beers).You can also buy a "rod" of Schnapps. A wooden tray which holds between 4 and 32 different schnapps shots.

Overall a very enjoyable evening and meal. it represents good value at any time and they have great lunch and early evening deals as well. We paid £65 for 1 starter, 2 mains, 2 desserts, water, beers and coffees.

Suitable for a lively night out rather than a romantic meal for two, this restaurant comes highly recommended by us!
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Rainforest Cafe
London | American Restaurants
Rain Stops Play?
I've been to this restaurant twice (and the one in Euro Disney once) and I shall not bother again. Three visits are more than enough chances to give any restaurant!

The venue itself is amazing. To say it is themed is an understatement! It is every kids idea of a tropical forest - lots of greenery, thunderstorms, monkeys, an elephant and parrots galore! All animatronic and like a Disney theme ride. The kids of course will love it, and no I am not missing the point; it is firmly aimed at them.

It is very busy, every time I have been it has been packed. It is obvoiusly popular, unfortunately that doesn't mean it is any good.

Service can be very slow - it's one of those places where they try to take your order within 5 minutes of you being seated and then take 20 minutes to bring a drink.

The food is mainly burgers and fries. The food was average at best, downright unpleasant at worst.

Avoid unless you have a gaggle of kids in tow and you want to keep them entertained for 90 minutes or so. Watch out for the expensive merchandise on your way out!
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Unknown | Unknown
Choose Your Company Well!
This place left me in a muddle. I left unsure what I felt about it. Don't get me wrong, I left full, happy and stunned at the decor, but something just wasn't quite right.

Reading the other reviews, I feel distinctly in the middle of the two camps.

The setting and decor is different - there is no doubt about that. A thai styled, slightly more up market version of the Rainforest Cafe perhaps? I'm being cruel - the setting is stunning, and I can imagine that if you had a quite little table tucked away in a corner then it could be very romantic.

We had no real issues with the service when we went - they were polite, prompt and attentive. If anything they were perhaps a little over attentive. Sometimes you just want to be left to enjoy the meal, and the designated driver doen't really want the waiter to come and refill his wine glass every 5 minutes.

The food was also ok. By no means the best Thai food in London, but I have also had a lot worse. While I am familiar(ish) with a Thai menu, the rest of the party were not, so we played 'safe' and went for a set menu. I suspect that this was a mistake. I don't think much of it was prepared fresh to order and the portions were very small. My advice, steer clear of the set menu.

Prices? Very expensive for what you get. I guess the upkeep on the Koi Carp, streams and waterfalls must be very expensive.

All in all, it was actually quite average.

We still had a fantastic night though. Makes you realise doesn't it - choose who you go with carefully as the company can make all the difference!
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Unknown | Unknown
A Wicked Night Out!
The Apollo Victoria Theatre is the current home of the London production of Wicked.

We went with friends last night - it was fantastic!

The theatre itself is a beautiful example of the art deco style. Inside they are in the slow process of refurbishing and retuurning it to it's former glory. For some reason in the past everything was covers in brown paint but they have already uncovered some beautiful features.

The show was OMG amazing. I was a little dubious beforehand (we were bought the tickets) however I definately left covered in more than a little Oz Dust!

I won't go into too much detail as I would hate to ruin the surprises, but is is essentially the story of the good witch Glinda and the Wicked Witch from the original Wizard Of Oz - where they were from and why one is good and the other Wicked!

The set, lighting and production values are all very good indeed. The performers very talented, and the show very entertaining. This show will run and run - last night, a normal Thursday and they still get a standing ovation!

Thoroughly recommended!
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Chiquito Restaurant & Bar
London | Mexican Restaurants
Tex Mex Touristico
It's a massive bar and restaurant right on Leicester Square.

It serves what passes as Tex Mex in the UK.

It's everything you should expect it to be!

Chiquito serves fairly standard tex mex food - pretty much all frozen prepackaged fare. Nothing wrong with that of course, but don't kid yourself that there is anything authentic about this experience. The food was hot, tasty and well presented. Service was a little slow (though they were very busy when we went) but polite and friendly.

The best things about this restaurant are location, atmosphere (a great party place I suspect)and the drinks list! The price was reasonable given that it is a tourist trap right on Leicster Square.

To bad we ate too much to save room to try the deep fried ice cream dessert!

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The Living Room W1
London | European Restaurants
Lively, Fun and Good Value
I took my Dad and Step Mother out last night, and this was my restaurant of choice based on the menu, reviews and location.

This restaurant is tucked away on Heddon Street in the heart of the west end. The street has an almost magical atmosphere with several restaurants and bars with tables out on the street and a canopy of fairy lights running the length of the street.

The restaurant itself is modern and trendy. The design suggests immediately that this is a rather smart place but without being overly formal or pretencious. We sat downstairs (by choice as we were offered the quieter upstairs area or a downstairs table) because they had live music - a modern take on the piano bar. We were celebrating a birthday so wanted to stay in the livelier area!

The menu was not exaustive, but certainly had enough tasty sounding dishes to make ordering difficult! We had a vaierty of starters; Spicy Crab Cakes, Salmon Grandlavax, Brushetta, Hummous, Rabbit Parcels and Potato Wedges. All of which were very good, obviously freshly made and priced between £3.50 and £6.60. The main courses we had were Slow Roast Pork, Duck Confit and Shepheards Pie - main courses here were priced between £10 and £20. Finally dessert! Chocolate Brownie, Treacle Tart and a White Chocolate and Honeycomb Parfait (all around £5ish). The food was all fantastic - served fresh, hot, on time and well presented.

We had one bottle of the house red and white wines to drink (but were also tempted by an extensive cocktail list).

Overall a fantastic meal, in lovely modern surroundings with great service and at great value. Not cheap eats by any means, but great value for the quality and service we received.

My only gripe was that the coffee wasn't very good. We had a mix of espresso and americano coffees, but they just weren't nice.

Highly recommended - just go somewhere else for the coffee afterwards perhaps!

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Cutty Sark Tavern
London | Pubs
A Hidden Pub With Great Views
I have been going to this pub for years, and I still return several times a year. Especially in the summer, when you have been at work all day, there really is nothing like meeting freinds here, sitting on the wall outside, looking across the Thames, enjoying a cold Gin & Tonic, or a delicious real ale.

The drinks are reasonably priced, and they have a great range of real ales, including some often hard to find in London. The food offering is pretty standard pub fare but is of good quality (their club sandwich is pretty darn tasty).

This isn't a pretensious riverside pub, it has a great mix of locals and tourists that make for an almost unique atmosphere. The view of the Thames is stunning, looking across to Canary Wharf and The O2 (the venue previously known as the Millenium Dome)and is an especially good place to watch the sun go down.

In the winter, sit in front of the fire or upstairs in the big bay window and watch he grey skys across the river.

It is a little out of the way, but a leisurely stroll along the river from Greenwich will bring you here in about 15 minutes.

My only gripe is that if you sit outside you are given plastic glasses - but I suspect this is a dictat from the local authority.
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Unknown | Unknown
Hidden Gem In Catford!
This restaurant from the outside looks.... well shabby I guess. Not the greatest location by any means (and I speak as a Catford resident). Step inside however and you will be amazed.

As soon as you walk in the door, you are assured of a warm welcome by the owner. This is a simple looking restaurant dominated by the open cooking area. The menu features a great selection of Sushi, Sashimi (that's the raw fish) as well as a range of Japanese starters, noodles and Teryaki style dishes and even Bento boxes. If you know your way round a Japanese menu, dive straight into the a la carte menu. Otherwise try one of the set meals. The staff are knowledgable and helpful if you need advice or information.

The sushi and sashimi are or particular note. The fish is always beautifully fresh, and all the sushi and sashimi is prepared to order by their resident sushi chefs at the open counter. I have been here several times and have never been disappointed.

For drinks, stick to the traditional green tea or saki, or try a "Bubble Tea" - a drink pretty much unlike anything you will have had before!

Highly recommended, certainly for anyone locally, and worth travelling to if you are a little bit further away.
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