Saturday, 1 October 2011

Nice To Eat You

Worcester Park is fortunate to have many great cafes and restaurants. And KFC. Below are my thoughts on our various eateries. Add yours via the comments form below!

Avventura (Italian): First class, authentic Italian food cooked by chefs with  Michelin-starred restaurant backgrounds. Top quality ingredients, great flavours and superb service. Full review here. CLOSED AUGUST 2011

Zarahs (Bangladeshi Indian): Great takeaway food in Windsor Road. Fantastic flavours - definitely not just your bog standard tikka massala here! Great value meal deal offers always available.

The Chef (Chinese): Decent and reliable, but not spectacularly tasty. £16 per head order as much as you like is great, but we never make it past the starters!

Caffe Piccolo (Italian): Part of a small chain of local restaurants. Nothing fantastic, but I enjoyed my recent visit there - accessible food, popular with families. CLOSED NOVEMBER 2009

La Mama (Italian): Looks wonderfully inviting - passing it almost daily for two years I vowed I'd go there and try it one day. Two years' anticipation turned into the disappointment of a lasagne that tasted of canned tomato soup. Now renovated and looking very modern. Not had a meal there recently but was made a very nice cappuccino...

Bombay Masala (Indian) formerly Le Kitchen: Once this was my favourite but several management changes on it's very hit and miss. My last order consisted of four different dishes which remarkably managed to taste the same. Won't be ordering from them again, I'm afraid.

De Niro's (Fast Food): CLOSED APRIL 2009

Chubby's (Burgers, Kebabs, Pizza): Have only tried it once. OK, but not a match for the supremely brilliant Surry Nefis

Pizza Express (erm...): Well, it's a Pizza Express.

Meghna (Indian): Decent Indian food. £9.99 Mon-Thurs deal (£10.95 on Fridays) is definitely worth trying and great value for money. Superbly friendly staff compete the experience.

Shalimar (Indian): Well, it's opposite The Plough, so technically Old Malden. But what the heck - decent Indian food, Raja & Sara make excellent hosts but the slow service is a let down.

Surrey Nefis (Fast Food): Chicken kebab, pitta bread, small chips - salad, no cabbage. Extra chilli sauce. Thanks.

Kingfish (Fish & Chips): Modestly decent fish and chips. Does well, but could do batter. Mwahahaha.

Ryan Gate (kebabs, shawarma, miscallenous Lebanese delights): Fantastic shawarma, samosas and lebanses pies. Pizza is actually very good, when they are serving it, that is..

Silks (Italian, Thai, Chinese - Fusion food): Silks closed on January 1st 2009 (Full review here)

Chinese Canteen: Decent takeaway Chinese food, cooked to order in the open kitchen while you wait. Consistent and reliable - my Chinese of choice!

Classic Wok (Chinese): Good food, good value for money. But my loyalty is still with Chinese Canteen!

The Munal (Nepalese): Subtly different to Indian cuisine - more flavoursome and aromatic. Can highly recommend the £9.95 Mon-Thurs set meal. Well worth a visit.

Berties (was 'Cafe Experience'): Closed June 2009

Cuppaholic (cafe): You might have missed this one - it's in the small parade of shops, just by the station. Full marks to the hard working staff here, but the food barely hits the 'average' mark. Closed 2010.

Ginger & Garlic (Sri Lankan / Asian takeaway): CLOSED DOWN. Full review here.

Papa Johns: Cheap, stodgy and nasty when I tried it, but always seems busy. If only they were as good as making pizza as they are at parking illegally on pavements.

KFC: I went there once because everything else was shut. I was so ashamed that I scrubbed myself with carbolic soap for a month afterwards.

Midas Touch: Trendy bar feel to this place. The Midas Touch Burger is a consistent winner, though. A popular choice with families at weekends. Now called The Brook.

The Brook: The Midas Touch with greater emphasis on food and classic retro d├ęcor. Sizeable portions of very agreeable food. Excellent value for money with your KT4 discount card.

Checkers Sandwich Bar: Can't fault Joe for his cheerfulness, but the food was bland. The floor could do with a deep clean and the waitress dashing outside for a cigarette in between serving didn't create the best impression.

Sheesh Mangal: A very pleasant lunch was had here quite a while ago. Been meaning to go back...

Bronco's: The play area at the back makes this a hit with families with young children no matter what the quality of the rest of the experience. Service professionalism is variable but friendly - seems to be improving. Food quality is generally very good. Not cheap but hey you get to have a nice meal while the kids keep themselves entertained...

Still to be explored:
Ocean Fish Bar, Royal India, Bellini.

Your comments welcomed - especially on the ones I've missed!

Given the recent hoo-har (that's a technical term) about the quality of the restaurants in Worcester Park, especially regarding the star hygiene ratings, I am including this link to the Food Standards Agency page which lists the ratings for all food serving premises in KT4 (you need to scroll down a bit to see them). (Thanks blog reader Adrian for the idea). I hope as well as giving people more information to help them decide where to eat, it will give a direct incentive to local restaurants to improve their star ratings, leading to better quality restaurants in Worcester Park, better eating for Worcester Parkers and eventually, when things have turned around, an enviable reputation for Worcester Park as being one of the best places around to eat! Go to it...