Sadly, events have got in the way of me getting out and reviewing this week, but it seems like a good opportunity to do another round-up of what you might have missed on the blog – along with all the local restaurant news I’ve managed to glean from wandering round town (and my network of informants on Twitter – thank you, all of you!)
Here’s where Edible Reading has reviewed in the last month…
The Warwick, 7.2 – Erratic service, warm white wine and mismatched, uncomfortable furniture: so why did I rate the Warwick so highly? Read the review here and find out.
Perry’s, 6.7 – I’ve always shied away from going into Reading’s only town centre Caribbean restaurant, mainly because I’m too chicken. Go here to find out what I’ve been missing all these years.
Kyklos, 6.3 – Is it possible to have a bad meal in a good restaurant? I’m still not sure, but Kyklos is the place that made me think about it an awful lot. The review (which contains almost no garlic whatsoever) is here.
It’s also been a busy month in terms of restaurant news. Signs have gone up on the ground floor of Kings Walk heralding the imminent (or possibly eventual) arrival of La Courbe, which is going to be a combination of a Lebanese restaurant and a wine bar. From the looks of it, and it’s hard to make out much behind the hoarding, the wine bar might be bigger than the restaurant. This could be good news – Reading only has one Lebanese restaurant, Al Tarboush, which isn’t exactly in the centre of town.
The wine bar is also promising, as anybody who’s enjoyed a Lebanese red probably already knows (Chateau Musar, anyone?) However, it looks like a big site and the ground floor of Kings Walk has had a steady churn of businesses over the years that have failed to make a go of that spot. Let’s see if Le Courbe (which I think translates as “the curve” – I’m sure they have their reasons) does any better.
Also near that end of town, Bhel Puri House has opened in Yield Hall Lane, the alleyway down the side of the Oracle, off Gun Street, and seems to have taken space which used to belong to the ill-fated Dickens Brasserie (although there’s still a menu for Dickens Brasserie out on the street, so goodness only knows what’s going on there). It promises vegetarian Indian street food and is open until 8pm. It seems to be aiming at the lunchtime market – which can only be a good thing, because at lunchtime Reading can sometimes feel like a straight-out fight between Picnic and Shed on one hand and the chains on the other. I’ll go and check it out when it’s settled in, and report back.
Speaking of Shed, they kicked off a new venture last night. Deutsch Dogs will apparently offer “Authentic German sausages imported from award-winning specialist butchers”, and means Shed will stay open until 9pm. Customers will have the option of taking their sausages away, so to speak, or eating them in Milk, the cocktail bar and rum evangelist upstairs. It’s an interesting move, and it’s definitely a gap in the market, so might be worth checking out. No website, but they have a Twitter feed here and a Facebook page here. Oh, and I’ll tell you this for nothing: writing this paragraph without doing any puns based around the word “wurst” may be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
The other end of Broad Street is also getting a new restaurant. Original Buffalo Grill‘s website suggests that it will offer some take on the dirty American food which has so transfixed London for the last couple of years – chicken, ribs, burgers etc. From the look of it, it will have some seating, though it’s not clear quite how much or whether most of the trade will be takeaway. The surroundings, two doors down from China Palace, aren’t the most inspiring but let’s see what it’s like when it opens (if it opens – it doesn’t look like a hive of activity there, not at the moment anyway). I have to say, though, that I don’t think it is the original Buffalo Grill. I did a quick search on Google and found loads of places called Buffalo Grill, all of which are already trading; I reckon they’re fibbing.
In other news, it’s good to see that Edible Reading is continuing to inspire the Reading Post to up its game and write mildly critical restaurant reviews. They went to Five Guys (a few weeks after I did) and were not one hundred per cent impressed – you can read the review here. It’s not all bad news for Five Guys though, because our local MP Rob Wilson is apparently a fan. You can read glowing coverage of his visit – also in the Reading Post as it happens – here.
Last of all, thanks to everyone who keeps suggesting places for me to review; all three of the reviews above were requested by readers of the blog. The list keeps getting longer, and recent requests include Furama, Piwnica Pub, The Spice Oven and Pau Brasil. If there’s somewhere you love that you want other people to enjoy, or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but aren’t sure about, drop me a line, leave a comment or let me know on Twitter. I won’t charge you a penny if it turns out to be crap. Promise.