Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Restaurant

Maggie Jones’s
6 Old Court Place
Kensington Church Street
London
W8 4PL

Phone:- 0207 937 6462

Overview

It is a sad fact of life that some restaurants can be variable, offering a great time one evening and a disappointment another. I have been frequenting Maggie Jones’s for over ten years now, and can honestly say that I have never had a disappointing meal there.

Eva, I and Kajsa (Eva’s daughter) visited it last Sunday, and I am happy to report another enjoyable experience.

It comprises a rustic style English restaurant on three floors.

Ambience

The restaurant is decorated in a traditional English rustic style, furnished to evoke the atmosphere of a cosy farmhouse; with wooden tables, chairs, benches and intimate booths set against a backdrop of dried straw and grass sheaths, antique farm equipment and other “nic nacks” hanging from the ceiling and placed on shelves around the rooms. You can easily forget that you are in London.

The atmosphere suits all types of occasions from romantic dinners, business meals to larger gatherings. The restaurant is always busy and you should book; be warned that if you are late you may well loose your reservation. Should you wish to sit on a particular floor, or reserve a booth, then mention this when booking; the staff will try to accommodate you.

The tables are decorated with potted plants and candles in wine bottles. One nice touch is that the salt and pepper are in small bowls, enabling you to take a pinch and sprinkle it over your food.

When we arrived we were greeted in a professional and courteous manner by one of the many staff, and promptly shown to our table. The restaurant, as expected, was busy and it had been wise to make a reservation.

Menu

The restaurant offers an extensive selection of traditional English food including, but most certainly not limited to: quiche, home-made soup, stuffed roast chicken, roast pork, rabbit, venison, steak, steak pie, sausages, game, bread and butter pudding. Specials are shown on the blackboards dotted around the restaurant.

Service

The service is attentive, courteous and professional. On being seated we were promptly offered our menus, bread and a small dish of carrots and cucumber in a vinaigrette dressing.

Food

I started with salmon parcels stuffed with crab. This consisted of two good sized parcels of smoked salmon generously stuffed with fresh crab; very tasty and moist with a good texture. They were placed on a bed of rocket leaves, with a quarter of fresh lemon, and made an ideal starter.

I tried the saddle of lamb, from the “specials”, for my main course. I was offered a choice of garlic or rosemary (I chose both) as a flavour enhancer, and also asked how I would like it done, a good sign that it is freshly cooked; I chose medium. The lamb was a generous cut (taken at 90 degrees to the back bone) from the saddle and was cooked to my specification. The rosemary and garlic added flavour, but did not overpower it. The lamb was tender and succulent, a very good choice; I used my hands and teeth to take the final vestiges of meat from the back bone.

I rounded off the meal with a Remy Martin, no room for the dessert.

Eva started with potted shrimps, presented without the ramekin in which they were made, served with a very large portion of hot toast and butter. She was pleased with her choice. Her main course was a grilled salmon steak, very large, succulent and served with a side dish of hollandaise sauce. The latter was so good that she asked for second dish of sauce, no problem at all.

Eva had no room for a dessert either!

Kajsa decided to take it easy and not have starter. She chose the rack of lamb for a main course; again she was, quite correctly, asked how she wanted it cooked. The lamb was a good sized portion of four ribs cooked well done, as requested, yet succulent and tasty. It was evident that she enjoyed it as she employed her fingers towards the end; and picked the ribs up to clean the meat from them.

Kajsa had an apple crumble with custard for dessert; hot, sweet and sticky.

We shared a selection of vegetables which consisted of a large bowl of sauté potatoes (cut thin yet moist), boiled new potatoes in their skins firm but properly cooked (the best way to enjoy them) and cauliflower baked in a rich (but not overpowering) cheese sauce.

The overall meal, which included one bottle of Malbec and one bottle of Malvern water, came to £113 including the suggested 12.5% service charge (which I felt had been earned by the staff).

Overall Opinion

Definitely one of London’s better restaurants, one that I rely on to entertain friends and visitors alike.


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