"In a three-star restaurant you would expect perfection in every respect, and this had been our experience on previous visits to The Waterside. Unfortunately this evening did not come up to our high expectations and we found ourselves questioning the various elements that contributed to this feeling of disappointment. Was it the fact that we were seated in the narrower part of the room just opposite the point of service where all the dishes were brought in from the kitchen and where we were aware of some of the numerous junior staff being too obviously instructed and corrected? Was it because some of the staff seemed less at ease and lacked any ability to communicate with the diners? Had the usually impeccable Diego failed to do his homework when he failed to acknowledge our return visit, something he did without fail before? Had we had occasion before to criticise any dish on the Menu Exceptionnel or wonder about the comparative quality of the wine flight which accompanied it? The meal started off well enough with lovely canapés, comprising caramelised pork belly pieces, a surprisingly successful match of salmon and beetroot in a smooth mousse, and whipped goat's cheese on beautifully light sablé. These were followed by what seemed to be almost a pre-entrée special with a very successful roquefort, artichoke, pear jelly and frisée combination. The first dish proper was a bit of a puzzle - ceviche of seabass and sliced octopus in a passion fruit jus, the latter far too strong for the fish but not the octopus, together with an ordinary green salad and some surprisingly large and crunchy grains of salt which also affected the overall taste. Definitely ho-hum. We were amused to find that we had enjoyed a very similar dish to the next course in a hotel in the Cotswolds just a few weeks before and we had to admit that this was even better - an epic warm escalope of foie gras with amazing gingerbread, quince compote and mulled wine sauce. Pike often gets bad reviews, but we have been in favour of it ever since we had it as the signature dish in a Paris restaurant, and this perfect soft and tasty quenelle was served with some brilliant langoustine tails which had us smiling with pleasure. There was a choice to be made for the main course and we opted for the "duo of seasonal game", basically a partridge breast rolled and wrapped in a thick coating of partridge mince along with soft and tasty venison, a mushtoom and spinach parcel, some hispi and a poivrade; however, the standout element of this dish was a superb pumpkin subric, which begged the question should the minor outshine the major? Our palates were then properly cleansed by a magic match of tequila and lime sorbet with raspberries, which set us up for first dessert of coconut meringue with pineapple and a pomegranate sorbet and mint leaf. For me the pineapple overpowered the coconut but the sorbet was good. We finished on a better note, though, the warm orange soufflé with firm strips of orange peel and properly slightly sharp lingonberries being a classic. While the balance of overall appreciation was then tilted back again towards good by the top-class petits fours, the number of question marks meant that we were less impressed than on previous occasions."
"I was entertained to read your review stating that this was a solo venture from Mark Sargeant. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a restaurant built by consultants (Sargeant being one of them), using foreign money. And don't expect to ever find find him in the kitchen. That aside - some of the food is outstanding. Particularly the small stuff downstairs. The crab sausage roll is really amazing, and the service is very slick and professional. Great to see a decent London pale ale on tap in this sort of establishment too. The odd location (I'd guess) means it's dead half the time and on a near recent visit, we just had to turn around and find somewhere else as we'd have been the only diners (Tuesday lunch)."
"Another excellent visit to the Sportsman. Outstanding food and service. Particularly enjoyed the scallop and retired diary cow was a new addition."
"One of the best meals I've had in a very long time. Every dish is absolutely bursting with flavour. The cooking is bold, and confident. From the glass of ceviche in it's marinade (tigers milk) that was spicy with raw onion, to the sweet brown crab churros - this kind of cooking takes cojones. It works incredibly well. It was also an impressive display of service with every staff member being actively engaged and very friendly. It lent a real sense of fun to the experience. Only one comment for improvement - the food is so intense and varied of flavour, that it would be very tough to choose an appropriate wine. They may want to think on that. No wine guidance was offered, but otherwise amazing."
"Food not cheap but excellent quality. Restaurant feels a bit like has been in a time warp from the 1980s. Can see why still has the reputation after all these years."
"Some of the best Tapas I've had in London. Sat at the bar and had the food cooked freshly in front of us. Entertaining toilets with piped 50's style infomercial on tasting wine."
"Fairly standard traditional Italian menu, but food was well prepared. Swordfish was excellent. Waiters friendly and jovial. Small place but got a buzz to it."
"We (party of five) had business lunch there. Firstly, it took 1h 15 min from placing the order for our main dishes to arrive. The waiter apologised at some point saying ‘your table is next’ which clearly was not the case. After complaining again we were told ‘No idea why this is taking so long. I have mentioned it to the manager too but he doesn't know either’, something I have never heard of in a restaurant of that price class. No compensation or complimentary snacks/drinks were offered. Eventually, our food arrived. I had ordered ‘Cornish Plaice’ and half way through the course realised that I was served three big junks of fish containing big bones. One of our clients said ‘Oh, I thought you ordered the hake because this clearly is not plaice’. I had to concur. When querying this with the waiter who in turn asked the head chef, I was told that this is a special type of Cornish Jumbo Plaice and therefore is junky. Now, I like fish and have had plaice many times before and never mind how big the fish was, plaice is a flat fish served as a fillet without bones. Unless I was served the tail bit, I was given the wrong type of fish. I finished the dish as it was delicious and frankly we didn't want to spend any more time in this establishment but it makes you wonder if the delay had anything to do with the fact that I was served the wrong fish. Why no one owned up to it I do not know. This is certainly a place I will not rush back to entertain clients."
"Brilliant food. The restaurant is just as good as before the revamp."
"The food is stunning - the atmosphere less so."
Like the original M in the City's Threadneedle Street, the site will include two restaurants – M Grill (specialising in steak) and M Raw (which serves tartares, sushi and sashimi).
It seems as though Belgravia will soon be rivalling the City when it comes to new restaurants. As well as the Zig Zag building development, Nova is also on its way which will garnish the restaurant wasteland around Victoria station with 18 dining spots in 2016. And we're not talking about any old chains either.
Among the distinguished residents of this new development are: Jason Atherton, Bone Daddies, Will Ricker and Village London. For his next trick Atherton will turn his hand to Italian cuisine with the restaurateur's Nova restaurant featuring a pasta room where diners can see the food being made.
Adam White, the man behind Village London (The Riding House Café, Village East and The Garrison), plans to open an all-day dining affair with 150 covers, outdoor terrace, upstairs bar and a private dining room.
Meanwhile Will Ricker (of Bodega Negra fame) will bring his American BBQ spot The Stoke House to Nova. He will also launch a second organic cold-press juice and food store, Juice Well.
Bringing some street cred to the whole operation is Ross Shonhan (the daddy of Bone Daddies). He plans to open a ramen bar at Nova serving noodles, filled buns and a take on Osaka-style Okonomiyaki. It sounds like it could be Shonhan's largest venue to date with two floors and outside space.
D&D London have also snapped up a space but are yet to announce the name, however we do know the new venue will feature two floors, café, bar, terrace and food store.
And Sourced Market, which opened the first produce market in St Pancras station in 2009, opens its third site at Nova in 2016, offering everything from artisan coffee to craft beer and charcuterie to croissants.
The purpose of Nova is to 'create a vibrant new link between Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace', which in turn leads onto the Royal Parks. At an enormous 897,000 sq ft the development will include office space and apartments.
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