Bonnie Gull

Bonnie Gull

Fitzrovia

June 29, 2019

Looe Haddock

On a day that most of the UK were out basking in the 39 degrees of sunshine, I decided to venture to a part of London I had never previously visited, for a rare treat of a three-course lunch at Bonnie Gull. Part of a duo of ‘Seafood Shacks’, the Fitzrovia restaurant, can accommodate possibly 25 covers, and with large windows, and white and blue interiors, it felt much like a deck on a boat on the Mediterranean, which I am sure intentionally set the scene for the white table clothed seafood filled menu with different species sourced from throughout the UK.
Upon entering the restaurant, the cosiness and simple interiors made me feel at ease, and that feeling was unfortunately quickly disrupted when approached by a waitress, who did not seem to know how to crack a smile, and with an expressionless face asked “Can I help you?”, making us feel like unwanted guests who had accidentally wondered off the street and into her home. I also add there were a total of two tables already occupied, w informed her of our booking time, and were soon after seated. I watched her interaction with a French family who entered the restaurant soon after, and they were met with the same glare. I am not sure if it was a relief or not that the absence of a smile was not personal.
It is unfortunate that the waitress set such an negative first impression, because what followed thereafter was three courses of awesomeness. We got talking to the French family on the next table, who were locals and strongly recommend that we try a Pre-Starter, the Avocado mousse, white crab and almonds (£7), and so we took their lead and it turned out to be an excellent start to our meal.

Avocado mousse, white crab, almonds

£7

To start we ordered the Soy marinated Scottish mackerel, with pine cuts and glazed shiitake (£11), and the Scottish sea trout with squid ink aioli & puffed wild rice (£10). The mackerel gently cooked, the skin lightly crisped, and the flesh literally melted in my mouth. The usual fishiness of mackerel subsided by the tang of the soy, and the nuttiness of the pine nuts. The sea trout in contrast not only was presented like art, the flavours meshed harmoniously too. The cousin of salmon, sea trout is one of my favourites because it is mild and versatile allowing it to work particularly well with the aioli. Both dishes were absolutely delicious, and really had me anticipating the main event.

  • Soy marinated Scottish mackerel

    £11

  • Scottish sea trout

    £10

For the mains I opted for the Looe hake, heritage tomato and lobster risotto (£31), and the Schiehallion battered north sea haddock with beef dripping chips and mushy peas(£18).
All courses so far were absolutely delicious, but this was by far favourite course of all. I am admittedly a sucker for aesthetics, and often buy food with my eyes. As far as I am concerned, the best of food looks good, and that follows through on a equal footing with flavour and taste. Both dishes did, and was a perfect end to an amazing lunch.

  • Looe Hake, heritage tomatoes, lobster risotto

    £31

  • Schiehallion battered haddock, chips, mushy peas

    £18

One of the great things about seafood is that it is so light, that you can consume a lot of it and not feel quite as uncomfortable, as you would consuming meat. That said, I had to admit defeat after my three-course lunch, plus bread, and though I would have loved too, could not fit in a dessert, to my disappointment.
Bonnie Gull also allow corkage, at a cost of £15, and so we brought along a delightful wine from Bordeaux to accompany our meal.
It felt quite bitter sweet at the end of our meal because as someone who loves restaurants, and eating out, when such a talented chef and wonderful concept is let down, but the front of house team, it is a real shame, as it can really make or break your experience when paying a fairly considerable amount for lunch. As well as the glum waitress, I also noticed a waiter pop out for a cigarette, and returned to serve food without washing his hands.
I removed the service charge, and probably would not return to this particular branch of Bonnie Gull again, even though the food was amazing.
If you like seafood, I would definitely recommend you check out this concept, but perhaps try the branch in Soho?

  • Food

    9/10

  • Vibes

    6/10

  • Service

    5/10

  • Price

    8/10

  • Overall

    7/10


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Dirty Bones, Soho

Dirty Bones

SOHO

Feb 19, 2019

Dirty Bones, Soho is one of five within the restaurant group, that originally entered the UK market in 2015, and is a self described New York eatery. There are framed pictures of nineties hip hop artists on the wall, and a illuminated Notorious Big rap quote, prime and centre at the back of the restaurant. Hip hop music also playing as a backdrop, I can only assume that the “New York” influence was both musical and the casual vibe. As a hip hop fan, I am always happy to see some of my favourites in framed pictures such as Busta Rhymes, OutKast and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and this instantly brought a smile to my face, and put me in a place of optimism and openness of the food to follow.

Prior to entering the restaurant, I did have the slight reservation, I wondered is there any where else that American barbeque and comfort food can be taken that the Big Easy, Blues Kitchen or Bodean’s has not yet been?

I ordered the Beef Short Rib (priced at £18), and a side dish of Mac ‘n’ Cheese (£6.50). The Beef Rib was tender, which was as expected having been slow cooked for 12 hours, and it literally sat on top of the bone, as though the bone was there purely for decorative purposes. The usual smoky and sweet barbeque sauce flavour seemed to have been completely lost in the cook process, which left a bland beef rib.

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese was edible, but lacked seasoning and the usual punch of a cheese flavour, that you would usually get from this dish . It tasted more like a really creamy, seasoned pasta than a traditional American Mac’n’ Cheese.

For dessert I ordered the Stickiest Toffee Pudding (priced at £6), this was served accompanied with a cup of butter rum sauce, and crème fraiche. I dislike crème fraiche and so asked the waitress if I could replace it with ice cream. She was very insistent that it could not be switched out, and if it was, I would need to pay additional for the ice cream, and so I asked that she consult her superior to confirm this was definitely the case. The waitress then returned to my table, and did not confirm the outcome of the conversation with superior, and instead asked “what flavour of ice cream would you like?” with a blank expression. I questioned until she confirmed that there would be no additional charge, but the absence of basic courtesy in communication was disappointing. The dessert was actually very nice, and the savour of my experience, and unfortunately the only thing that I enjoyed, albeit painful to actually get what I asked for.

  • Beef Short Rib & Mac n Cheese

    £18.00

  • Stickiest Toffee Pudding

    £6.00

I appreciate that everyone gets a stab at the pie, when it comes to the many different types of cuisines that exist, I just personally believe that there are several other brands that are offering better value for money, service and more flavoursome food in a more comfortable environment.

This was a NO for me, and this was one of the few times that I have resented handing over my card to pay for food….

  • Food

    4/10
  • Vibes

    4/10
  • Service

    5/10
  • Price

    4/10
  • Overall

    4.5/10

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Coya, Angel Court

Coya

ANGEL COURT

Jan 26, 2019

Coya, Angel Court is located a stones throw away from Bank tube station, and is the second Coya to open in London in 2017. This suave, polished yet casual Peruvian restaurant mirrors the Mayfair sister restaurant in feel, but very much has its own quirks including a glass frontage.

Upon entering the restaurant, not only did the pops of colour strike me, but also the hospitality of the team from receptionist, maître d’ to the waiter, all were sincerely warm and welcoming.

We were prompted to order the signature smashed avocado, as we browsed the menu, which we obliged. I simply needed something to curb the hunger pains, but to my surprise we were presented with theatre of the seasoned avocado with onion and tomato being smashed at the table. Interesting idea, but I would have preferred them to smash the avocado in the kitchen, instead of listening to the clanging of the clay pot at my table.

Interesting idea, but I would have preferred them to smash the avocado in the kitchen, instead of listening to the clanging of the clay pot at my table. All was forgiven when I tasted the avocado, it was delicious, and in that moment, I realised that the clanging must have involved some technique and perhaps, I should have paid more attention, so that I could replicate this at home. The smashed avocado was served with corn and shrimp crackers (priced at £8)

For starters we ordered the Soft shell crab, yuzu, aioli taco (priced at £12), and Kale, candied walnuts, goji, manchego and dried cranberry salad (priced at £9). The Tacos, were crunchy, slightly sweet and the sauce creamy. The salad…well lets face it salad’s definitely have a ceiling and this was a tasty salad if ever there was one, and was simply the perfect light starter for my meaty “greens free” main.

  • Smashed avocado

    £8.00

  • Soft shell crab, yuzu, aioli taco

    £12.00

For main I ordered the Costillas de Cerdo, which is Pork back ribs, tamarind glaze, and cashew nuts (£19). The ribs were sticky, sweet, slightly tart and wonderfully nutty. The portion size was plenty, and whilst I gave it a good go, I left a third of the dish behind.

To accompany my ribs, I ordered the Patatas Bravas a la Peruana, crispy potatoes, spicy tomato huancaina sauce (priced £6). The menu description served this dish perfectly, they were indeed crispy potatoes drizzled with both tomato and creamy sauces.

I had a really enjoyable Friday evening at Coya, Angel Court. The team were great, the food delicious, and the cocktails were also very good. Being a busy Friday night, it is understandable, but the only issue I encountered was a long wait to get the sommeliers attention to order some wine. Once he did tend to our table, he was helpful and knowledgeable. Despite this little blip, I would definitely return. I left this restaurant very happy, and very full.

  • Pork back ribs, tamarind glaze, and cashew nuts

    £19.00

  • Patatas Bravas a la Peruana

    £6.00

I had a really enjoyable Friday evening at Coya, Angel Court. The team were great, the food delicious, and the cocktails were also very good. Being a busy Friday night, it is understandable, but the only issue I encountered was a long wait to get the sommeliers attention to order some wine. Once he did tend to our table, he was helpful and knowledgeable. Despite this little blip, I would definitely return. I left this restaurant very happy, and very full.

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    8/10
  • Service

    9/10
  • Price

    9/10
  • Overall

    9/10

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The Meet, Clapham

The Meet

CLAPHAM

Jan 17, 2019

Once upon a time, I would have questioned whether it possible to enjoy a filling and satisfying meal, that was meat free. Today during a time when veganism is the fastest growing movement and diet choice, and with growth comes more diversity for what is still very niche within the eating out market. Veganuary options seem to have replaced dry January and clean eating dishes, across a lot of the casual dining restaurants. In doing so it almost suggests that Vegan food is healthy, when in fact a large portion of chips is vegan! Though I guess removal of meat/fish from your diet is sold as the biggest benefit. I personally do not follow fad diets (anymore), or remove anything from my diet that I enjoy on a short or long term basis, I decided to dip my top into veganuary waters for dinner.

The Meet, is a vegan pop up within the Fu Man Chu bar, under the railway bridge near Clapham North station, and the menu appealed to me for a few reasons.

The first was because The Meet is self described as offering vegan comfort food, secondly the menu descriptions were quite playful , starting with the name of the pop up being ‘ The Meet’, to menu item descriptions, ‘My Daaling’, ‘Pappardelle Don’t Preach’, and ‘Aint it cold out’, but lastly some of the ingredients used felt safe and familiar, due to my Caribbean reared palate. The menu includes use of Plantain , Jamaican style coconut curry, Roti, Jackfruit, and Scotch Bonet. That said it is by no means a Caribbean menu, it draws influence from all over the world, from Italian Pappardelle, Japanese Soba Noodles to Middle Eastern flavours.

The Exec chef is Dominic Taylor, who is the is formerly of the Jam Tree, Clapham, and I have always enjoyed their menu spread for the very same reasons, a nice eclectic mix of different types of cuisines, within a super causal setting.

The menu layout does not have actual starters, they have a small plates section, which you could treat as a starter, but felt more like accompaniments than dishes in their own right, and so I decided to go straight in for the main, and have an accompanying small plate, and a side.

I ordered ‘Aint It Cold Out’, (Priced at £12.50), which was roast yams, red pepper, spinach & chickpea Jamaican style coconut curry , served with Roti. The curry was spicy, sweet, and creamy, and with multiple layers of texture created from the peppers, chickpeas and yam. This dish was flavour filled and the portion size very generous.

The Roti, which accompanied the curry ,was slightly over fried, and so snapped instead of tore, but due to the generous curry portion, I was not overly concerned about it, though I did make the waiter aware, of which he apologised, and discounted the dish.

  • Aint it Cold Out

    £12.50

  • Roti

I hesitantly ordered the side of Plantain (Priced at £4.50) as I knew it was not really necessary, but my heart overruled my head ,and I ordered it anyway. I wish I had listened to my head, as though Plantain can be served in many ways acceptably, this plantain was not as ripe or as sweet as I would have liked.

As an additional side I ordered the ‘Mac Daddy O’, Mac and Cheese (Priced at £5.50), purely out of curiosity, as I am a huge macaroni cheese fan, and wanted to see how it would compare. It was rich, creamy, and topped with avocado, and chilli’s for a nice kick. Impressive for a non dairy cheese, and non egg based pasta.

  • Plantain

    £4.50

  • Ain’t It Cold Out and various sides

The curiosity continued into the dessert menu and I ordered the ‘Topsy Turvey’, which was a Pineapple and almond upside-down cake an coconut ice cream (Priced at £6.50). Sweet, and slightly tart, the coconut ice cream balanced this dessert out beautifully.

Topsy Turvy

£6.50

I really enjoyed my experience at The Meet, the service style is casual, the waiter helpful, with strong menu knowledge, the food for the most part was really enjoyable, filling and delectable. The Meet operates within a very different space, versus the other vegan/vegetarian restaurants, that I have visited in the past such as Tibits and The Gate, which I loved. I would definitely return to The Meet, for another Meat free treat.

  • Food

    8/10
  • Vibes

    7/10
  • Service

    7/10
  • Price

    9/10
  • Overall

    7/10

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Wingstop, Leicester Square

Wingstop

LEICESTER SQUARE

Dec 20, 2018

I had heard about Wing Stop long before it opened on Shaftsbury Avenue in October, Rick Ross (the rapper) has long talked and sung about the “lemon pepper chicken wings”, as he also owns Wing Stop franchises in the USA.

Friday lunch time, was super busy, with mostly men ages ranging from 20-50, most of which seemed to be taking part in a wing eating competition, as I hilariously saw dozens of stacks of bones on each table.

Wing Stop simply does what it says on the tin, a fried chicken concept with chicken wings, boneless wings and chicken tenders, tossed in 1 of 10 sauce flavours, along with an accompanying dip. The sauce flavours vary from the sweet and tangy, hickory smoked bbq, spicy korean, and at the top of the heat tree is atomic, which is the hottest sauce on this list (which I ordered obviously). The dips include ranch, blue cheese and honey mustard. Apart from chicken, the menu options are limited to, fries, slaw, and drinks.

Wings are served in varied portion sizes, and were far more filling than they looked. We ordered the lemon pepper boneless chicken wings (10 piece), parmesan chicken wings (10 piece), atomic chicken wings (10 piece), 1x large cheese fries, 1x small fries, and 1x sweet potato fries, this was far too much food for three people, and we ended up taking a doggy bag with us. Total meal (priced at £46.70), also included 3 freestyle drinks.

Lemon Pepper Boneless Wings, Parmesan and Atomic Wings with Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Cheese Sauce

The service mechanic works very much like Shack Shack, you order and pay at the counter, and you are given a buzzer which vibrates when your meal is ready. The transaction itself was pleasant enough, but even with an efficient service style, two out of three portions of wings were lukewarm, and the fries were not particularly hot either.

Boneless Wings, various flavours

Even though the food was not served as hot as I would have liked, the chicken was still enjoyable, partly due to the delicious sauces. The boneless wings were really succulent, and coated in a nice crispy coating. A nice addition to the London fast casual scene, I would say. What I know for sure, is that my brothers will love this!

  • Food

    7/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    6/10
  • Price

    7/10
  • Overall

    6/10

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Bob Bob Ricard, Soho

Bob Bob Ricard

SOHO

Nov 26, 2018

I was invited to Bob Bob Ricard for lunch by a colleague, and went along with slight apprehension, as the last time I visited I was not impressed . This time around, a complete u-turn and I am understanding enough to know that we can all have an off day.

What I noticed the first time around, and was more apparent on this visit was the attention to detail, everything in sight was well considered and bespoke. From the plate ware , uniforms, napkins, and flooring, everything is specially designed and made for this restaurant, complimenting a blue vintage blue leather upholstery, and the many private booths, giving the feeling of seclusion within a open plan restaurant.

A very beautiful interior will always result in high expectations for food and quality, because surely someone would not go to such effort to create such beauty, without serving great food within it right?

This was the type of lunch, where I was not able to eat again until late the following day, we ordered more than necessary in what ended up being a four course lunch, for absolutely no reason at all but greed on the day.

We started with the White Sturgeon Caviar, which is served as 20g portion (Priced at £28).

As a starter, I had what ended up being my second favourite part of lunch (after dessert), which was the Egg St. Petersburg, which was a beautiful and delicious soft boiled hens egg, scotched in mushroom duxelles, served with pickled forest mushrooms and mixed leaves (Priced at £8.50).

  • White Sturgeon Caviar

    £28.00

  • Egg St. Petersburg

    £8.50

By this time, I was starting to feel a little full, and so opted for some fish as a main, and ordered the Sole with Lobster and Champagne Veloute, the sole was lightly steamed, and served on a bed of spinach (Priced at £26.50).

Whilst I admittedly was bursting at seams, I do not regret ordering what came next. There was theatre, being presented with a gold chocolate ball, which then melted when the chocolate sauce was poured over it. The BBR Signature Chocolate Glory, was made up of a chocolate jivara mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and passionfruit & orange jelly (Priced at £15.50). Definitely my favourite course for lunch, but then I do have a real sweet tooth.

  • Sole with Lobster & Champagne Veloute

    £26.50

  • BBR Signature Chocolate Glory

    £15.50

I really enjoyed my lunch at Bob Bob Ricard, and I am glad that I returned, as I now better understand the reviews I had read prior to my first visit. This restaurant reminded me of the power of setting an expectation, and providing that a restaurant follows through with great food and service to compliment the environment, it can make the meal all the sweeter.

  • Food

    7/10
  • Vibes

    8/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    8/10

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Street XO, Mayfair

Street XO

MAYFAIR

Nov 12, 2018

For a dining experience to tantalise all of my senses, to the extremes that Street XO was able to, is fairly unique, even here in the food metropolis that is London. In retrospect, I feel as though I sat permanently looking like the wide eyed emoji, as from entering the restaurant until leaving there was something that I either heard, saw, tasted, smelled or touched that provoked a response, all of which were positive.

The journey begun taking the stairs down to the dim lit basement restaurant, being met with neon signage, pops of colour, and a open planned kitchen, which produces the unique fusion of European, Asian and South American eye catching sharing dishes, along with big and bold bespoke cocktail vessels.

Whenever I have read rave reviews about a restaurant, I am keen to explore as much of the menu as a possible. This is not the type of restaurant that I would casually visit on a regular basis, and so my aim was to make this visit count, and cover off as much of the menu as possible, by selecting a tasting menu. Opting for the Degustation Menu (priced at £70 per person), which is eight courses, including all of the signature dishes and a dessert.

The Usuzukuri-Carpaccio of Hamachi “Fish and Chips”, with Aji Amarillo and Yuzu (4 each), I can only describe as Sushi (Hamachi is species of a Jack Fish) commonly used in Japanese cooking, puffed rice and a thin lightly fried potato in a rich yolk-like sauce.

The beautifully vibrant Irish Oysters on Holiday to Acapulco, which is Robata-chargrilled Oysters, Gazpacho of Jalapeno and Tomatillo Verde, chlorophyll olive choice (2 each). The Oysters tasted as punchy as they look, with a subtly spiced tomato sauce.

  • Usuzukuri-Carpaccio of Hamachi

  • Irish Oysters on Holiday to Acapulco

The Pekinese Dumplings, Crunchy Pigs Ear, Strawberry Hoisin, Alioli and Pickles, looked mostly like a work of art, and combined an array of textures and flavours that fused wonderfully.

Galician Octopus who spoke indian, roasted tomatoes butter masala and quid ink crackers.

  • Pekinese Dumplings, Crunchy Pigs Ear

  • Galician Octopus who spoke Indian

Spanish “Socarrat” Paella, with wok flamed langoustines and Japanese white sesame dressing (to share).

The Lamb who travelled, Paris-Lima-Canton, Slow Cooked Milk-Fed Baby Lamb Shank, Pomme Puree a la robuchon with aji Amarillo and Chinese smoked tea. The lamb was soft, succulent, and the mashed potato silky smooth.

  • Spanish “Socarrat” Paella

  • The Lamb who travelled

Dessert was a twist on a Eton Mess including a popcorn, and is listed on the menu as ‘Dessert of the Day’.

I generally do not review drinks, but I have to make an exception, as the cocktails here, were just so damn good looking and great tasting.

Pedroche’s Egg, Cahaca white chocolate, with yuzu and mango chutney (priced at £16). The egg is brought to the table, and then liquid nitrogen is poured over the egg to cause the smoky appearance. Really sweet, fruity cocktail, and more than enough to share.

XO Blood!!! Watermelon, bitter almonds, citrus and galangal (priced at £13), I actually found this vessel slightly disturbing, so much so, that it started to effect the taste of the cocktail. This cocktail was sweet and tart, but in my mind, I managed to conjure up the belief that I was drinking blood, and so quickly stopped. My mind clearly ran away with me…

  • Pedroche’s Egg

    £16.00

  • XO Blood!!!

    £13.00

My absolute favourite cocktail was the Liquid Madrizzzzzz Driver XO, Voilet shrub, lime, ginger and jasmine perfume (priced at £14). It was fragrant, peppery and spicy, I include a picture of myself holding the glass below, to give you an idea of scale of the glass, and yes it was HUGE.

Street XO was a roller coaster that I did not want to climb down from. The dishes were bursting with flavour, creativity and aesthetically pleasing. They have been able to carve out a very unique space within the London restaurant scene, with a restaurant and menu, which feels as though its bursting with energy, and all done so within what still felt like a fairly causal service style and environment.

The service was attentive, the staff were knowledgeable about the menu content, and I left with a smile on my face, my experience was flawless.

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    9/10
  • Service

    9/10
  • Price

    9/10
  • Overall

    9/10

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805 Restaurant, Peckham

805 Restaurant

PECKHAM

Oct 29, 2018

For the eight years I have lived in London, and I have been repeatedly recommended 805 Nigerian Restaurant as the best place to go to enjoy authentic Nigerian food. I personally have limited experience with Nigerian food, having eaten it only twice before, once at a wedding and the second at Ikoyi, which is Nigerian food with a European twist.  The food at 805 was delicious, and I only regret going for a quick lunch, and so will definitely return in the near future, to explore more of the menu.

I am a firm believer that food authenticity, is often reflected in the types of customers a restaurant attracts. The location Peckham, otherwise known as ‘Little Lagos’, and so the location being where there is a large Nigerian community, my guess is that this business could not have amassed the reputation it has, without doing something right on the door step of those who know, what ‘right’ looks and tastes like. Diners were mostly Nigerian varying from families, lone diners, couples and everything in between. The décor and purple lighting created an atmosphere of a family christening or celebration.

I went for a safe option and ordered for the Jollof Rice and the Chicken Stew (priced £13), this came accompanied with a side salad and some plantain. The chicken was slow cooked and tender, the tomato sauce seasoned and really flavoursome. The Jollof was and spicy, tomatoey and the tastiest Jollof that I have eaten.

  • Jollof Rice

    £13.00 (with chicken)

  • Chicken Stew

    £13.00 (with rice)

The waitress was friendly, and helpful, though the service was a little slow, and it took somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour to be served our meals. That said, the speed of service would not deter me from returning to 805 Restaurant, because all of the positives massively outweighed the one negative. Great food, I will definitely be back.

  • Food

    8/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    9/10
  • Overall

    7/10

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Park’s Edge, Herne Hill

Park’s Edge

HERNE HILL

Sep 24, 2018

I am always super excited to discover a new eatery local to where I live, because if great, its easy for me repeatedly return, with ease of getting home, avoiding trains, tubes and hoards of people.

Parks Edge Bar and Kitchen is located on the Norwood road opposite Brockwell Park, the restaurant is cosy enough to feel like a neighbourhood restaurant, but it looks more like a west end restaurant because of the carefully considered interior, including beautiful light fittings, blue upholstery and a vintage art work.

There is a clear Caribbean thread running throughout the bar and food menu. The bar menu, is appropriately named “Island Cocktails”, and heavily features different rums, sorrel and tropical fruit. The food menu has more of a sprinkle of Caribbean influence, with the use of jerk seasoning, plantain and rum cake.

The starter was an easy choice, and I ordered the Jerk Hummus, Pineapple, Yoghurt, Flatbread (priced at £7.50). The jerk added a warm kick to the hummus, which worked really well. In the middle of the hummus a pineapple chutney and yoghurt which balanced out the heat of the jerk.

For main, I ordered the Grilled Whole Mackerel, Black Cabbage, Shrimp, Lime, Ginger and Chicken Skin on Rice (priced at £16.50). The Mackerel was grilled to perfection, the skin crispy and the flesh almost melt in the mouth. The dish itself was cooked well, I just felt that there was too many things going on at once, both in my mouth and on the plate.

  • Jerk Hummus, Pineapple Chutney, Yoghurt and Flatbread

    £7.50

  • Grilled Whole Mackerel

    £16.50 (including rice)

The mackerel came accompanied with something referred to as ‘chicken skin on rice’, which actually tasted more like a cross between rice and peas and risotto. On its own very nice, but given that my main was already very busy, it added an unwanted further confusion to my taste buds.

I ordered the fried plantain with indo (priced at 3.95), which was not what I was expecting. Where plantain is usually served, fried, plump and sweet, this plantain was not particularly sweet and dried.

  • Chicken skin on rice

  • Fried plantain with Indo

    £3.95

It was absolutely not necessary to order a dessert (is it ever?), but I did anyway. The Banana and Rum Cake, Pineapple, Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream (priced at £6.50).

The Banana and Rum cake was delicious, moist and delicate. The huge dollop of coconut foam that covered the ice cream, went on to over power everything else on the plate, to my disappointment.

Similar to the main, I just think that if they had stripped the dessert back, to simply the cake and the ice cream, it would have been divine.

The Banana and Rum Cake Pineapple, Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream

As someone who has eaten in restaurants extensively for the past 18 years, my key take away from eating at my favourite burger restaurant to my favourite Michelin star, is that they use the best quality ingredients, and keep it simple. Those that do not keep it simple, create art for the taste buds, carefully constructed dishes, with a perfect balance of all flavours on the canvas.

Park Grill ticks many boxes, on what a great restaurant is made up of, the environment is lovely, the staff and service friendly and attentive, the food quality was unquestionable, I simply believe that they have a very enthusiastic chef, who cooks very well, I just personally felt that the dishes were over-complicated and unbalanced.

  • Food

    6/10
  • Vibes

    8/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    7/10

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Gazelle, Mayfair

Gazelle

MAYFAIR

Sept 08, 2018

I had never really thought about the fact that ‘all that glitters is not gold’ can apply to eating out, until today. Located on Albemarle Street in Mayfair, the location, décor, presentation and the food at Gazelle would suggest gold, but my view is that it was definitely just glitter.

Modern European cuisine served on small plates, we took guidance from the waiter on the number of dishes to order between two. We ordered ten dishes plus bread, and I left the restaurant peckish and disappointed. So much so that I refused to order dessert, through fear of being further disappointed, leaving the restaurant with £70 less in my pocket than when I entered. Fortunately I bagged a 30% discount off the bill due to the Code App, which is an amazing app which offers restaurant discounts for those of us who work within the hospitality industry. On the topic of price, the price of food only ever becomes an issue, when the service, and quality (I include tastiness within this) fall short, as lets face in dining in Mayfair rarely comes at a small price. I ended up going to another restaurant for dessert and drinks, which fortunately turned my evening around.

The number of covers on the 1st floor, I estimate to be no more than 30-40, the restaurant was at 50% capacity on a Wednesday night. It is for this reason it was to my surprise that the service fell flat. Several waiters asking the same questions, within seconds of one another (offering water, readiness to order, am I ok), throughout the evening, contributed to what felt like being harassed whilst being starved.

We ordered Cucumber, Coconut and Oscietra Caviar (priced at £14), Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Berries and Long Pepper (priced at £9), Squid, Sandlewood Cured Jowl, Girolles (priced at £9), Leek Hearts, Chicken Vinaigrette (priced at £8.50), Turbot and Sea Herbs (priced at £15.50 ), Monkfish, Burnt Seed & Pistachio Sauce (priced at £15), Mushroom, Pine Nut, Wild Garlic (priced at £9.50), Crispy pigtails with Jerusalem artichoke (priced at £15), Presa, Salted Carrot Puree (priced at £16), and lastly the Beef Juniper, Salted Plum (priced at £19).

  • Cucumber coconut oscietra caviar

    £14.00

  • Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Berries, Long Pepper

    £9.00

  • Squid, Sandlewood Cured Jowl, Girolles

    £9.00

  • Leek Hearts, Chicken Vinaigrette

    £8.50

  • Turbot, Sea Herbs

    £15.50

  • Monkfish, Burnt Seed & Pistachio Sauce

    £15.00

  • Mushroom, Pine Nut, Wild Garlic

    £9.50

  • Crispy pigtails with Jerusalem artichoke

    £15.00

  • Presa, Salted Carrot Puree

    £16.00

  • Beef, Juniper, Salted Plum

    £19.00

To reiterate the restaurant interiors were beautiful, as was the food, but the only dish that stirred any strong emotion was the Beef, Juniper, Salted Plum, it was simple, and cooked to perfection. In summary the food at Gazelle was not bad, it just was not good, the quality of ingredients were top notch, though the dishes reminded me of what background music in a restaurant should be, and did not feel like the main event.

  • Food

    5/10
  • Vibes

    5/10
  • Service

    5/10
  • Price

    4/10
  • Overall

    5/10

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