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Restaurant Reviews
Reviews of Restaurant in , by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of restaurant.
John R
Excellent innovative "British " patas at lu...
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed Today

"Excellent innovative "British " patas at lunch. "

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Daniel M
Lovely selection of tapas of all sorts, tha...
Overall Value
4
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed Today

"Lovely selection of tapas of all sorts, that arrive in a sensible order at an unhurried pace. What made our visit was the excellent wine suggestions from the waiter, with samples to try before ordering."

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Emma B
Still a gem in Cirencester but slightly los...
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 2 days ago

"Still a gem in Cirencester but slightly lost its sparkle and not up to the standard it once was."

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Michael A
Breakfast good, Lunch Average, Dinner poor....
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 2 days ago

"Breakfast good, Lunch Average, Dinner poor. Service friendly but erratic and often unprofessional"

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Paul C
We went for part of my wife's 60th birthday...
Overall Value
4.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"We went for part of my wife's 60th birthday and it was a fabulous experience worth every penny. A completely different approach to 'a curry' but a very special approach the food was fantastic. The service even included a 'signed' menu to take away. One slight problem it was noisy."

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Martin S
Brilliant and innovative sushi prepared by ...
Overall Value
3.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"Brilliant and innovative sushi prepared by a master chef. Sashimi, particularly the o toro tuna is excellent. Easily a match for Zuma in respect of the quality its sushi and sashimi and better in terms of creativity. Pleasant comfortable but unspectacular ambience with competent service. Prices are reasonable for the quality of the food."

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Paul A
This was without any doubt the dining highl...
Overall Value
3.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"This was without any doubt the dining highlight of the West Cornwall end of our trip. A window table with a beautiful view of St Michael’s Mount as the sun went down and the top-class, imaginative cooking made for a wonderful evening. The service was not terribly skilled, but it did not detract from the experience as a whole, the menu had a wide range of possibilities, and for each dish there was a good and remarkably well-priced wine recommendation. A glass of Taittinger while we discussed what to have seemed to lead us both to the same choices, which, curiously, were the dishes incurring a small supplement. As we reckoned we hadn’t satiated our appetites for lobster and crab, the ravioli-style pansotti with these two as the main ingredients was obligatory, and it proved to be an excellent choice, the combination of the two crustaceans working perfectly and the delicious tomato salsa adding a welcome element of tartness together with broad beans, capers and shallots offering an intelligent mix of flavours. The elevated level of skill and invention continued with truly brilliant roast squab which boasted a wealth of tenderness and flavour which was contributed to by the sweetness of the roasted fig and a super back-up of couscous, harissa hummus and a spicy yet almost gamey jus; all the ingredients seemed to meld together and at the same time bounce off each other to provide a wonderful taste experience. There was no tasting menu, but not to be outdone we asked for the cheeseboard (another supplement) before we dived into the desserts, and the excellent comté, local goat’s and blue cheeses were served with oatcakes and very good parmesan biscuits and a perfect quince jelly. And so on to a full house of the same dishes for both of us, this time a clever deconstructed vanilla cheesecake fruitily accompanied by plump poached peaches and flavoursome blueberries. We could hardly believe the bill, which was half of what we would have paid for a dinner of the same high quality in London, and we voted this meal one of the most enjoyable of the year."

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Paul A
The reputation of the Gurnard’s Head seem...
Overall Value
2
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"The reputation of the Gurnard’s Head seems to have spread far and wide judging from the number of foreign number plates, especially German, in the car park, but when we left the restaurant, disappointed, we had to wonder why. Although we had booked well in advance we were not offered a table in the dining room, the existence of which only became clear to us later when people drifted in on the off chance and were seated there, although it was doubtful whether we would have escaped the pub-level muzak anywhere. The service varied from the cheerful to the sullen, the main example of the latter being when we pointed out that we had been undercharged and we got the impression that we were thereby making more work for the poor soul behind the bar. The wine list contained some interesting bottles and a low mark-up and plenty of helpful explanations from the restaurant’s consultant on why all the wines were really good. My wife started with dunkable monkfish “scampi” which allowed her to make full use of the soda bread we were served, seemingly in lieu of any canapés, and came with good kohlrabi slaw, tartar sauce and some fennel cress, and I indulged my crustacean habit with some decent crab decorated with red basil leaf, pasta and basil gratin. We both chose the red gurnard in honour of the restaurant’s name and the fish was light and well-seasoned and bathing in a fairly tasteless squid ink sauce, accompanied by orange which failed to have any input, an intrusive anise gel, and roasted broccoli. The dessert choice was easily sorted; my wife indulged herself with chocolate pavé, coffee macaron and melted caramel, while I went for what turned out to be a deconstructed Eton Mess with sweet Cornish rhubarb, toasted almonds, lemon balm and chunks of meringue. Our assessment would be that this was no more than run-of-the mill even for Cornwall’s wild west, and if we pass this way again we have better dining destinations to return to."

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Paul A
As we were rather early for booking in to o...
Overall Value
3
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"As we were rather early for booking in to our St Ives holiday accommodation, we stopped off in Truro to have a look round and also to see if it was possible to have some lunch. Unfortunately the restaurant with the best reputation was not open, lunchtime on a Saturday?, but the extremely helpful tourist office lady directed us to Mannings, a hotel with a restaurant mentioned in Michelin. In for a penny, we decided to try it, and although we were slightly surprised by the canteen-style look of the place, a quick perusal of the menu showed some promise, with quirky fruit-driven “cocktails” and what we think of as obligatory in Cornwall, a lobster special at a very reasonable price. When our plates arrived, a commotion broke out on the surrounding tables because of the size of half lobster, the very generous and well-assorted salad and the more than copious dish of good fries which would have sufficed for four people let alone two. All the accoutrements necessary for the claw and tail had been provided, so we happily went on the attack. It has to be said that the size of the crustacean probably indicated that it either wasn’t local or it was but had been held in the deep-freeze since April. Even so, it was very tasty and cooked to just right level tenderness, and the whole dish very satisfying. A very welcome recommendation."

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Paul A
As we were treating the family, we were num...
Overall Value
5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 4 days ago

"As we were treating the family, we were numerous enough to be able to book the chef’s table and benefited from being right opposite the kitchen with a perfect view of all the amazingly relaxed activity behind the scenes. We had personal front-of-house service from Emma who was assigned to us for the evening and demonstrated a great deal of interest in and knowledge of both the food and the wine and definitely succeeded in helping to make the experience very rewarding, especially when Nathan Outlaw and Chris Simpson were on hand to add to the friendly atmosphere by exchanging a few words with us. It goes without saying that the meal was absolutely top class, and once again it proved to be a masterclass in how to conjure up a whole tasting menu based on subtle nuances of taste, texture and visual and flavour combinations of fish and matching ingredients, with the bonus of an immaculate selection of wines to complete each dish. When it comes to curing fish, whether it be as delicate as brill or as meaty as monkfish, Nathan Outlaw is a past master, and he proved it once more, the former with radish slices, gentle cucumber and a perfect touch of chilli, and the latter with a ginger vinaigrette, plain yoghurt and fennel. Putting pickled onion with crab sounds like a recipe for disaster, but, guess what?, it worked. The lovely local crab easily held its own against the roasted pickled onion because the allium had an unusual degree of sweetness and so did not dominate the crustacean as might have been the case in less skilled hands and this was enhanced by a basil sauce and judicious strips of courgette. A really surprising dish. One item we can never get enough of here is the signature Porthilly sauce. Just the aroma sends us into raptures, and, paired this time with perfect gurnard, we lingered over the dish, luxuriating in the sheer pleasure of this unparalleled gastronomic wonder. For us turbot is the king of fish and here it is always guaranteed to be granted the culinary honour it deserves, this time accompanied by the freshest St Enedoc asparagus, a super smoked mushroom purée, bacon crumbs sprinkled on the fish, and discs of kohlrabi somehow echoing the purity of the fish. The exemplary cheese course comprised Cornish Jack, a local product not unlike Emmenthaler, with excellent sourdough crackers, caramelised walnuts and pickled celery, and this was followed by a lovely pre-dessert of sweet, tasty local strawberries, shortbread to balance the rhubarb granita and an elderflower element with its cheeky grapey finish. The finale of yummy coconut cream tart with raspberries piled on top and a white chocolate and passion fruit “fried egg” just showed the amazing level the pastry chef reaches. Yet again a tour de force from all concerned."

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The Editors Review
hawksmoor manchesterJay Rayner weighs in on the north/south restaurant divide question

The Observer's critic-in-chief heads to Manchester to try out the new Hawksmoor and stumbles across a veggie dining room, 1847, serving great food – well, apart from the desserts. Read our roundup of restaurant news in Manchester and enter our Hawksmoor Manchester competition.

 

 

Meanwhile the Guardian's Marina O'Laughlin pays a visit to the much gushed about Kitty Fisher's

Everyone else love, love, loves it but Marina can't help but feel she's ended up at a house party she wasn't quite invited to, particularly as the restaurant staff seem allergic to answering the phone. We can attest to that having called them on at least 10 occasions without success.

 

The award for most ferocious review this week has to go to The Sunday Times's A A Gill

The critic has a thing or two to say about Mayfair's 'ridiculously overpriced' Mexican, Peyote, including: “...fiddly, neurotic preparation with pale, polite taste and silly, parsimonious sharing plates that aren’t bounteous or fun and are more like eating the catering pitch for a drug cartel’s wedding.”

 

Over at The Times, Giles Coren gives his opinion on Russian-imported pizza chain Bocconcino

“Bocconcino isn’t a bad restaurant. It just isn’t a necessary restaurant.” At £202 for pizza and pasta it's not hard to see why Mr Coren might feel that way – mind you, a £46 bottle of wine probably helped nudge the bill up.

 

And last but not least, Ms Maschler reviews Brindisa's new Morada Asador

The Standard's long-standing critic heads to the latest outpost of this tapas chain (in Soho) and finds the meats are the reason to flock here – from the 'delectable' milk-fed lamb to the Secreto Iberico.
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News
S+W018Set against a masculine backdrop of dark mahogany woods, buttery green leathers and vibrant pops of red, Smith & Wollensky is famous for its perfectly-cooked USDA Prime dry-aged steaks alongside British and Irish cuts and premium seafood.

Sitting alongside are 40 classic cocktails with a twist and a 500-strong bin list of award-winning wines, 40 of which are available by the glass, with the restaurant open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and big, beautiful rib of beef roasts on Sunday.

Luckily for Harden's readers, we've teamed up with Smith & Wollensky to offer you the chance to win a sumptuous 3-course dinner or lunch, paired with fine wines, up to a value of £400 for four people.

To enter the competition please answer the following question: What food is Smith & Wollensky famous for?

[contact-form-7 id="12467" title="Smith & Wollensky comp"]

 

Terms & Conditions

By entering this competition you agree to opt-in to Smith & Wollensky's mailing list; restrictions on prize applies - including certain steaks/wines, subject to availability & booking essential.

A winner will be chosen at random on 15 July 2016.

Prize must be claimed by 31 October 2016.
See the article
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