M Smith's Qype reviews
33 Boswell Street, London WC1N 3BP
M Smith wrote on 24 January 2012 (updated on 19 April 2012)
Update: downgrading this review to 1 star, due to risible / fabricated response from restaurant owner. I have left the text of this review as it was before receiving comment from owner. #takenaback
I was looking for a bite around the Bloomsbury area last night and stumbled upon La Porchetta, which I would describe as a homely but reasonably stylish pizzeria with great service and a lovely feel about it.
In fact every aspect of the restaurant, from the classy tiling in the main dining section and toilets to the little personal touches (a couple of men on the table opposite asked for the bill but instead received a little limoncello and a small cake) – every aspect EXCEPT the food itself, would score around FOUR stars on most people’s scales. That is to say, hardly fine dining, but overall a pretty lovely place to come regularly, or to stumble upon and make you remember why you love discovering new places in London.
Unfortunately for the diner, however, the food is not four star by any means. Nor is the value for money good.
I was tempted by a lovely description of the specials that evening, however when the meatfest of a pizza arrived it looked and tasted greasy.
In fact: a greasy pizza served on a slightly undercooked base, with dull, low quality ingredients.
None of the crisp wood-fired oven edges you might hope from a traditional pizzeria, nor the fresh tastes that burst in your mouth. The tomato base was watery, and the cheese was heavy and utterly undelightful.
If this pizza had cost £6.50, I might have put it down to experience and moved on.
But the homogeneous taste of grease, oil, and crap meat described as the “chef’s special” cost me £11.95!
If this is on the specials menu, would I be right in assuming that the other standard non-special items on the menu were even worse?
My pizza was washed down with a glass of red. This restaurant serves just two reds by the glass (more if you buy a bottle) – naturally I chose the more expensive of the two, purely as a disappointment avoidance strategy – especially as I was dining alone.
Although this, the most expensive wine served by the glass, was hardly that expensive for London standards (just over four quid if I recall), it really was rubbish indeed.
Being the Brit that I am, I didn’t express my dissatisfaction at the time, in case I was judging it overly harshly and/or I was disproportionately grumpy for some other reason – so I said “yes, lovely” when asked.
But on reflection, having spent the best part of twenty quid on dinner for one that consisted of nothing more than a rubbish pizza and a rubbish glass of wine (plus the ubiquitous ‘discretionary’ service charge), I must say that was not twenty pounds well spent.
All in all, lovely service, gorgeous little place, but the food itself is a huge, fat disappointment.
37 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 1BY
M Smith wrote on 23 January 2011 (updated on 8 March 2012)
In terms of the quality of food, YouMeSushi is positioned somewhere between Yo Sushi (cheerful chain with well-honed efficiency) and an independent high quality fresh sushi joint in London.
The emphasis is clearly value for money; they cost the same as a chain outlet but deliver far superior quality and fresher sushi.
I have ‘used’ YouMeSushi a number of times when passing by late at night, eat-in, take-out, and have found the quality of sushi and other dishes to be consistently good. I often look forward to stopping-by. Park anywhere near Marylebone Station if you are in the car.
When you call them, your account is automatically open on their screen so no need to repeat names, numbers, or delivery addresses over the phone. Smart, efficient. Like.
You can eat in, however be prepared for quite a bustling atmosphere, people leaning over your table to order, chaps with helmets taking their deliveries in and out.
-I no longer live in W12, I live in W4. Sadly they don’t deliver to either!