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!

805 Restaurant
The Aila
Banarasi Kitchen at the Spread Eagle
Bar and Block
Bolan Thai
Cattle Grid, Windsor
Cattle Market Café (no website)
The Collective Caversham
The Corn Stores
The Crown On The Bridge
Dee Caf
The Fisherman’s Cottage
Gurkha Home (no website)
Istanbul Mangal
La’De Kitchen
Lebanese Village
Market House
MNKY Lounge
Monty’s Café
Namaste Lounge
O Portugues
Orwells, Shiplake
Persian Palace
The Reading Room
Tasty Greek Souvlaki
Workhouse Coffee

225 thoughts on “Where next?

  1. ds

    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).

    1. 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

    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.


    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. Dave S.

    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 !!!

      1. Dave S.

        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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

      1. Just thought you might want to add Monroe’s to your stable of reviewed eateries. Sure I’ve been there, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy reading your thoughts on the place.

  8. Mark Beaver

    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!

  9. Helen Scott

    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 😉

  10. neil reeding

    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).

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. They’re all good shouts – in the past I would have ruled them out as too far out of town, but I’ve widened my net recently so I should definitely consider them. Also, looking at the ER map places south and west of Reading have been a bit left out in the past…

  12. 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…

    1. Sue

      Had a Sunday roast at the Leather Bottle. Was a large group of us all served within a minute or so and lovely tasting fresh food.

  13. Steve smith

    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

  14. 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?

  15. Keith Wootten

    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.



  16. 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,

  17. Karen Stuart

    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

  18. dchiara

    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.

  19. Anna swann

    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.

  20. Anna Neffendorf

    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.

  21. Hazel

    I’m curious about the African restaurant in the row of shops that leads from Oxford Road down to Tesco. It looks quite smart, but always empty. I’m also interested to hear about the sushi place on Oxford Road (Taburu?). I’m not sure if they’re open or not.

  22. Maple

    Have you reviewed Tuscany Pizzeria on the Oxford Rd? Currently debating whether it’s worth a go, so would be great to read a review.

  23. Probably a little soon, given your no review in the first months policy, but I’ve just been with some friends to the Bird in Hand on the Peppard Road (B481) at the southern edge of Sonning Common. https://www.birdinhandsonningcommon.co.uk/

    From the menu, it seems to be aiming for good quality pub food, rather than the more gasto-pub fare I’m told its previous owners provided. It is a fairly small menu (always a good sign), and there is a good selection of local beers from Loddon and West Berks breweries.

    As it was a Sunday we chose the roasts (beef and chicken between us), which were fairly traditional but excellent quality. The owners and staff were welcoming and competent.

    One to keep an eye on, I think.

    1. From what you’ve said, I expect it’s a little too far out, a little too tricky to get to and a little too unspecial to merit a visit, but I’ll bear it in mind. Thanks for letting me know!

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