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Jan 16, 2008 10:35 AM

Gourmet Dining London: My Experience

Just returned from a week in London, where I ate at 6 high-end restaurants. I had two fabulous meals, one at Petrus and the other at Hibiscus. Petrus edged out Hibiscus for top place. Two meals were very good: at The Square and Pied a Terre. One meal—at Le Gavroche—was mediocre. However, it was better than the meal I had at Sketch, which was the worst food I have ever eaten at a highly rated gourmet restaurant.

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  1. Do tell more - particularly about Hibiscus. My table is booked for next week.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Hibiscus: We had the surprise tasting menu. The most outstanding items in it were the crab salad with toasted pine nuts & pear gelee, pork cooked two ways (superb), and cauliflower with coconut ice cream (I know it sounds weird, but it sure worked for me). I was not impressed with the foie gras, or the breem with gherkin sauce. The desert--mango ice with "fresh" mango would have been better left unserved. I really like the food there and would love to go back again.

      1. re: ponocat

        Thanks. Read the review on your website - good to see that their service and way with inventive food hasn't suffered since the move to London. Can't recall when I was last so excited about the prospect of dinner.


        1. re: Harters

          I look forward to reading about your dining experience. Hope its as good as mine was, or better.

          1. re: Harters

            I, too, will be anxious to read about your adventure in London. I'll have to choose a birthday dinner celebratory location before long. It's beginning to get tougher and tougher!!

            1. re: zuriga1

              Ah - but havn't you got Paris next month, June?


              1. re: Harters

                Yes - but just two days. It sounds odd, but I know more about Paris and the food there then I do about London. So many years now away from NYC... I feel like a newbie there, too. I think it's a good sign that the restaurant world is ever-changing.


              2. re: zuriga1

                ponocat & zuriga

                If you havnt already spotted it, my Hibiscus comments are in this post:


                Happy reading


        2. hello, am trying to plan our anniversary and was thinking either Petrus or Hibiscus. I know that Petrus will be more expensive but if its qualitatively better then I don't mind. Can you tell us what you ate at each place and a rough idea of the final bill? Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rekha

            I give a lot of details on my website, but to briefly address your question I think Petrus is better, not only in terms of the food, but also the ambiance and service. The complexity and innovation of the dishes I had cannot be beat. The salt marsh lamb was absolutely superb. My husband felt equally thrilled about his venison.

          2. Based on our experience at Sketch last summer I concur. I was so upset after the meal and bill for two of C$1200 I banged off a review on my tiny Vaio from the hotel room that night. Price was not the issue, quality of food and service were. Absolutely the worst dining experience within that price range we have ever had.

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodiesnorth

              Don`t mean to be rude but Sketch has got shocking food and way overpriced written all over it. Not sure where you got the rec from but I very much doubt that it was from this board.

              Caveat emptor.

              1. re: oonth

                We should have looked to this board before we ate, but we had no time at all. We had hoped to get into one of the Ramsey restaurants for which we had been placed on waiting lists months before. We arrived that day from France and were disappointed that we could not get into those establishments. We "chose" Sketch entirely on the strength of the recommendation of the concierge who really built the place up. What a mistake!

                1. re: foodiesnorth

                  I went to sketch once just after it had first opened and we blagged our way in as we didn't have a reservations. I ordered a scallop and asparagus starter which was priced at a mightly £18-£19 if I remember correctly. when it arrived it was ---wait for it---- ONE scallop and ONE asparagus spear. Albeit very nicely presented! We didn't get to the main course as we felt very conspiccious by the fact that we were the only people laughing and having a good time there....worth a trip to see the stunning interior though and spend about half and hour trying to work how to get in and out of the toilets

                  1. re: DietStartsTomorrow

                    Yes, quite the tour, but it serves merely to raise your hopes only to have them shattered with greater force! When we went there last summer, there was an attendent at the toilet pods who did everything for you except pee.