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
Bar and Block
Big Tongue Café, Newbury
Bolan Thai
Briciole, Marylebone
Cattle Grid, Windsor
Cattle Market Café (no website)
The Crown On The Bridge
The Dolphin, Newbury
Fuego, Bracknell
Gurkha Home (opened 18/10)
Hart Street Tavern, Henley
Heist Bank, Paddington
Henry & Joe’s, Newbury
The Heron, Paddington
Istanbul Mangal
Ketty’s Taste Of Cyprus – N.B. Currently has a hygiene rating of 1.
King’s Kitchen (no website, opened October)
Lebanese Village (opened 7/11) – Currently has a hygiene rating of 1.
Market House
Moonlight – Currently has a hygiene rating of 1.
Namaste Lounge
Orwells, Shiplake
Osaka (opened 13/1)
Palmyra (opened 21/2)
The Reading Room (opening TBC)
The Town Hall Courtyard, Wokingham
Tsiakkos & Charcoal, Maida Vale
Warisan Café, Paddington
Weir Grove, Wargrave
Wok To Walk
Workhouse Coffee

225 thoughts on “Where next?

  1. Tasting House comes off the list – reviewed this week.

    I’m also removing the Queen’s Head because it is practically identical to the Moderation, which I have already reviewed.

  2. Anna N

    Is it too early to try Cozze in Woodley? I haven’t been yet, but it looks nice and the reviews on Trip Advisor are very positive.

  3. The Catherine Wheel has come off the list, reviewed on Friday.

    Anna – I’m not sure. I have a lot of Italian restaurants on the list already – Quattro, Casa Roma, I’ve had Chronicles suggested too…

  4. Tim

    Faith Kitchen on 288-290 Oxford Road. It just opened and they are fairly active on Twitter it seems.

    Seems they only specialise in African food. I’ve not eaten African food before so dare you try before we do?

    1. Quinno

      Was just about to suggest that one myself! Walked past last night and it looked very quiet. I think it’s situated where that dodgy St Vincents bar was?

  5. JJD

    Been there last week and really enjoyed the food…. We tried the lamb ribs and half peri chicken…ribs had a bit too fat on them but the sauce was excellent…. Give it a go… You never know till you try… And the burgers are amazing….

  6. Tim

    When it came to Reading in 2010 it wasn’t a chain…. OK it is now…. Yeah I think so, it offers something different in a nice environment, not something you usually find in Reading! Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. If it wasn’t a chain it was a chain in the making – Reading was the first outside Brighton but a large number were hot on its heels. I’ll add it to the list, though, it’s worth checking out for the blog. Thanks!

  7. Arepas Caffe has come off the list, reviewed this week. I’ve also taken off some of the many Berkshire and Oxfordshire pubs on the list – just too many of them just didn’t stand out based on the menus and/or locations.

    1. Well I will at some point, it’s just a matter of time 🙂

      One of the reasons I’m less likely to go to O Beirao is that they’re a way out of town and their opening hours are as clear as mud on their website, but I’ll get there eventually.

      Are you a fan?

  8. unileeds

    I sent a suggestion long back and am resending it now… Have you looked at Monroes Rib house.. try it on a weekend… I’d love to know what you think of it.. It is an independent and doubles as a bar and a club (club after 11pm).. something unique of all the places you would have reviewed so far..

  9. Shu

    I agree with Happy Diner in Caversham. However, please make sure you order from the Chinese menu, as in dishes that are only written in Chinese. The English menu is full of the usual, inauthentic stuff. Last time I was there, the menu is in Chinese and English, but it is not actually the same food written in different languages. Assuming you cannot read Chinese, insist with the staff that you want the ‘real deal’. Better still, ask to speak to the chef and go off-piste.

  10. Allotment Lady

    How about the Elephant in Pangbourne? Good bar menu & the spicy chicken wings are fab. Also the venison sausages & beer batter fish. Worth a look!

  11. I’ve reviewed the Baskerville so it goes on the list. I’ve had The Reformation recommended, so I’ve added that. I’m also taking Zest off the list – the opening hours make it very hard to visit, for me or for anyone else…

  12. BB

    I was just looking at the menu for the Red Lion in Mortimer West End, it looks quite interesting (the vegetarian risotto with onion marmalade and orange butter is intriguing) – strange opening hours for a place also advertising itself as a pub though.

  13. LJ

    May I recommend that Nino’s Trattoria goes on your to-do list? I’ve only just learnt that Nino Bartolomei didn’t stay retired for long after closing his Market Place restaurant, but transferred to what used to be The Duck’s Ditty in Pangbourne. I’m going to pay a visit when I can, for sure.

      1. Les Pullen

        Thanks for adding it. I think it’s appropriate that it’s on the list.
        It’s interesting, isn’t it, how much one can emotionally invest in a restaurant. The wife and I did our courting there, back in the ’90s, and got to know Toni, the manager or chief waiter at the time (Nino was hardly there at that point). We spent many a Saturday lunchtime there before a little light shopping, and I almost always had the Prosciutto pizza – the leanest ham combined with basil leaves and the rich tomato sauce on an excellent base. I’m still on the hunt for a pizza as divine to my taste buds as that one was.
        Toni moved on and Nino spent more time there, and his grumpy, disinterested presence led to us going elsewhere. So, yeah, I’ll pop into Pangbourne and try out his Trattoria, but I’m under no illusion that it can capture my heart like Market Place did.
        Thanks for a great blog.

  14. That’s a lovely story, LJ, and I agree. There are some magical periods when a restaurant and your life just come together perfectly. I do think with some restaurants it does become like a friendship – you have history, you care, you are prepared to overlook bad days. Might be worth you checking out Papa Gee (this week’s review) to see if their pizza makes you miss Nino’s just a little less.

    1. LJ

      Ah, well, now Papa Gee! You know the Taste Card, right? The diners’ club discount card thing? Well, I was scanning its participants list for somewhere different and noticed Papa Gee and thought ‘might give that a go sometime’. Then, blowed it you don’t go and give it the thumbs up? Nice coincidence, so, I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  15. I’ve been here a few times in the past but with mixed reviews on trip advisor I wasn’t all that sure but I’m glad I gave it another chance, it seems they have a new team in the kitchen because the food is a lot better than it used to be, I had the pulled pork burger and my friend had the beef burger both were very very good I will be back and hope next time I go it’s a bit busier. I will gladly recommended this place and hope you can put up a review.

      1. luke

        So sorry it’s the Derby Inn in North Warnborough near Hook, I know it’s not in reading but it’s not that far to go especially as I live in Henley and I’ve been there 5 times now

  16. Luke, the link in your profile when you left the comment makes it look like you work at the Derby Inn. Is that right? I don’t mind people suggesting I review their restaurants, but best to be up front about it if you are.

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