Where next?

Edible Reading has always been based on feedback from readers, and the vast majority of places I review are requested or recommended by people who read and follow the blog. If you want to get involved you can email me, comment on this blog post or give me your suggestions on Twitter.

I’m happy to consider going anywhere on duty provided it’s in Reading, or close enough that it’s easily accessible by public transport. In the past I’ve headed as far afield as Bracknell, Wokingham, Newbury and Windsor, although London is too far and Oxford probably is too. I tend to review independent restaurants and cafes; I’ve got nothing against chains, but unless they’re a small or interesting or unusual chain I’m not sure a review from me generally adds much. Most of us know what it’s like to eat in a Pizza Express.

I also like to give new places at least a month to find their feet before I go and review them. It’s very tempting to be hot off the press with the first review of Pho, or Comptoir Libanais, or Thames Lido, but it’s all about trying to get an idea of what a representative meal at a restaurant might be like and the first month, when restaurants are finding their feet and the staff are all jelling, is unlikely to show you that.

I never tell restaurants in advance that I’m visiting, and I never announce the subject of any review ahead of time.

The list below is my current to do list – I update it regularly as new places open or as I get round to reviewing any given restaurant. Let me know what you think is missing!

Afghan (opened 1/3)
The Biscuit Tin
Bolan Thai
Brewdog (opened 16/3)
The Bottle & Glass Inn
Cattle Market Café
Comptoir Libanais
The Crown On The Bridge
The Fox And Hounds
Henry & Joe
Jamaica Blue
The Miller Of Mansfield
Mio Fiore
Nomad Bakery
The Real Greek
Revolucion de Cuba
Sen Sushi (opened 19/2)
Thames Lido
Wrap It Up

213 thoughts on “Where next?”

  1. Hi, how about The Letherene Bottle which had just reopened? Never been but the setting sounds lovely. Also The Swan in Pangbourne, I’ve found it to be very up and down over the years, but another nice riverside setting. Is Hotel Du Vin in Henley eligible as a chain? Also in Henley, I’ve enjoyed some pretty cheap and decent Thai food at lunchtimes at The Giggling Squid (think it’s a smallish chain).

    • I’m loath to add the Leatherne Bottel in Goring as I have a few pubs doing Italian food already on the list (maybe this is a new food trend I don’t know about). I’ll add the Swan, HDV and the Giggling Squid – I think the latter is a fast-expanding chain so maybe it has some capital behind it.

  2. Tom Bastin said:

    One I’ve always wondered about is The Kitchen, at Reading College on Kings Road – I understand its run by staff and catering students at the college and opens for lunch and a couple of evenings a week. Always used to be impressed bya similar operation attached to Westminster HE college, wonder if our local college is as good ? Something a bit different anyway.


    • I’ve always wondered about it too but, like Reading’s supper clubs, I don’t think it would be right to review it. What you eat on the day is too variable and it somehow wouldn’t feel right applying the same standards to them as you would to a professional kitchen in the hospitality business. Does that make sense?

  3. L’Ortolan comes off the list!

  4. Siblings Home comes off the list…

  5. Great to see the site and reviews going strong and the good feedback you get.
    Do you look at the reviewed list and think, I really want to eat there again and give a better review? or somewhere you feel deserves another chance. Apologies if you have done so already!

    • Tim, that’s a really good question and one I’ve struggled with a lot. I’ve revisited many places since an initial review – sometimes it’s much (or even) better, sometimes it’s a bit disappointing. Because my reviews are a snapshot in time I would be unlikely to re-review unless e.g. the restaurant was under new ownership or had a new chef. But I know that’s tricky. So I still haven’t worked out what to do about that, all suggestions appreciated!

  6. Thanks for your reply. Sometimes we have a bad meal or bad service but we go back, unless it’s really bad! But this is different for you, As you suggest, if a restaurant was under new ownership or had a new chef that at least that gives you a valid and justifiable reason to go back (if you wanted to!). I suppose once EVERYWHERE has been reviewed then time to start again. Ha!

    • I don’t think that will ever happen! Sometimes restaurants get iffy ratings but are still worth a revisit e.g. Sapana Home. I’d go back for their momo (and have) but I wouldn’t venture beyond that to the rest of the menu.

  7. O Beirão, reviewed on Friday, now comes off the list…

  8. Dave S. said:

    Ate last night at Orwell’s, incredible value and exceptional food for the price. £19.95 for 2 course dinner menu that was probably the nicest food I’ve had around the Reading area, beat L’Ortolan & French Horn hands down in an unpretentious surrounding. Would recommend you try it before prices increase !!!

    • It’s been on the list for a while, I must get round to going… Are they now offering their two course set dinner menu on Friday as well?

      • Dave S. said:

        Yes, although I’m not sure for how long. I booked it through Opentable and they had a separate Friday menu (you can see it on the site) – 2 courses £19.95, 3 course (recommended) but you also get a very nice amuse bouche & some very nice petit fours as well, so very good value. The menu also had a choice of fish/meat/veggie options for each course, which was great. I don’t think it was specific for Opentable though, it seems other guests also were offered the Friday menu.


      • Sarah Timmins DeGregory said:

        Went there on Wednesday. It was delicious; wonderful ingredients; unpretentiousness setting. Sadly, two course weekday dinner is £30 now. Still highly recommend: http://www.orwellsrestaurant.com/dinner-menu/

  9. Al Fassia in Windsor – a lovely place indeed – comes off the list.

  10. After much deliberation, I’m taking The French Horn off the list. I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on a meal unless it was truly awe-inspiring, and I’m struggling to imagine that it would be.

  11. I’m interested to see a review on Monroe’s Rib House. I’ve been there a few times in the last 12 months and sometimes it’s all good, other times it’s quite pedestrian with confused table service.

  12. Updated to include Bali Lounge (formerly The Warwick) and CAU.

  13. Mark Beaver said:

    I live in Theale am interested in you reviewing the curry house and chinese restuarants as it is 8 mins from Reading.

    Also a lack of Munchies Cafe in Reading I see!

  14. Have you tried The Horn? The burger menu is spot on!

  15. Helen Scott said:

    Finns fish and chips on Hatherley Road, if just to face your nemesis from cafe Yolk Jeff again (he’s the manager). Also the menu does look reasonably interesting and a cut above a standard chippy. Go on, you know you wanna 😉

  16. Suwanna Thai comes off, and the Fisherman’s Cottage goes on, along with Pachangas in Henley.

  17. Cozze in Woodley.

  18. Wolf!

  19. neil reeding said:

    Can I recommend the truly awful Sushi place ( try and get takeaway there and wait 4 hours for it to be delivered (next to Hexagon).

    • I’ve been there. I was fortunate to go there during the week when they could get the sushi to the table quickly. At weekends, it’s a very different story involving long, painful waits.

  20. You should definitely give the Iron Duke in Stratfield Saye a go, fantastic food, especially the Beef Wellington. Also add a trip out to the Woodspeen (the head chef used to run The Vinyard when it had a star, and I believe they have just been awarded one at the Woodspeen) and also the Pot Kiln for somewhere that specialises in game – all within 30 mins of Reading, and worth a trip out.

  21. Having had one of my worst meals at a Home Counties Pubs place (the Pack Horse), I’ll pass on the Leather Bottle. And I’m afraid the New Inn’s menu leaves me cold – all 23 main courses of it…

  22. Steve smith said:

    My view from where I’ve been on list
    Pot kiln. Excellent
    Bull arbor field. Standard pub grub but well done
    Iron duke. Nice but nothing inspiring
    Swan at pangbourne. Saw pouring bookers sauce into stokes bottles didn’t inspire confidence
    Cross keys pangbourne. Good but think changed owners since I went

    Am going to French horn next week hoping for something special.

    Went to bbq place in high Wycombe soon to open in gun street. Was excellent for what it was

  23. I’d be grateful if you’d pop in to Buon Appetito in Bedford Road! I live in the same street and went – for the first time last week, with my son. Lovely decor, service and atmosphere. That time I had a pizza (everyone recommends them) and it was great. My son had salmon and enjoyed it. However, I popped in last night and had lasagne. Perhaps the chef was having an off-day but – well, it was just wierd. They offered to bring me something else but I wasn’t hungry by then! However …. a double JD for £5 meant that I spent the rest of the evening there….. 🙂 I will visit again but maybe stick to pizza?

  24. Orwells Shiplake..superb.

  25. The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row

  26. Keith Wootten said:

    I’ve had good food a few times at the Harrow in West Ilsley. It’s a bit far, but a great setting overlooking the cricket pitch and duckpond. You almost expect the Grundies to turn up.

    Their homemade stuff is particularly good, and you won’t go hungry.



  27. I really enjoy this blog. Here are a few ideas, hopefully a couple of them might prove to be worth a visit.
    In Reading:
    Seeing as the weather is nice at the moment, how about checking out some of the Ice Cream/Dessert/Patisserie places that have been opening up recently?:
    Creams Cafe: http://www.creamscafe.com/
    Fentons Ice Cream (Upstairs in The Oracle)
    Treatz (annoying use of ‘z’) http://treatz.co.uk/
    Tutti Fruitti (great coffee and sandwiches too).
    Patisserie Valerie

    Other places in town:
    Bhoj (In it’s new location)
    Whittington’s Tea Barge
    The Kooky Cafe
    Ed’s Easy Diner (prepare to be disappointed)
    Chennai Dosa (prepare to not get what your ordered)
    The Gorge (prepare to wonder why everyone says it does the best breakfast)

    Some out of town:
    The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row. http://www.thecrookedbillet.co.uk/
    The Black Boy, Shinfield. http://www.blackboyshinfield.co.uk/
    The Pot Kiln, Yattendon. http://www.potkiln.org/
    The Swan, Pangbourne. http://www.swanpangbourne.co.uk/
    Nino’s, Pangbourne. http://ninos-trattoria.co.uk/
    The Cross Keys, Pangbourne. http://www.thecrosskeyspangbourne.com/
    The Vineyard, Stockcross. http://www.the-vineyard.co.uk/
    The Hand and Flowers, Marlow. http://www.thehandandflowers.co.uk/
    The Woodspeen, Newbury.http://www.thewoodspeen.com/

    Keep up the good work,

  28. Karen Stuart said:

    Please review the Bottle and Glass, Binfield Heath when it’s ‘settled’. Also, the Crown at Burchetts Green if it’s not too far. Thanks

  29. Ali Choudhury said:

    The samosas, shami kebab and whatever else at Rizouq on 117 Wokingham Road.

  30. You should give Pau Brasil a go, the food is pretty authentic and people working there are very friendly

  31. dchiara said:

    Happy Pretzel on Market Place in Reading. They do a selection of Bagels/Pretzels/Pizza which are lovely, filling and affordable. They’ve been open only a month.

  32. What about the new Lebanese on the river side,cmpotoir??

  33. How about Richfeld Deli. Its more of a breakfast/ lunch/ tea place but the brunch menu is really nice

  34. Agree with the people suggesting Orwell’s – had some fabulous meals in past year.

  35. Anna swann said:

    How about Caversham Rose? We nip across there regularly now that its been upgraded. Staff are friendly, food is certainly much better than before and the interior is very cosy despite being so large.

  36. Weir Grove in Wargrave

  37. Anna Neffendorf said:

    This might seem like a weird suggestion, but how about trying the new Jamaica Blue cafe at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (by South block outpatients)
    Looking at their website it seems like a successful Australian chain, they have only four branches in the UK. I’ve popped in a couple of times after appointments and the coffee was great. I was very pleasantly surprised by the range, quality and freshness of their lunch options, really nice deep filled flans and unusual sandwich / ciabatta choices. So nice I’d even consider dropping in if was in the area and I didn’t have a appointment.

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