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Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides

The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories

10% Discount with Privilege Card from 11am to 7.30pm
10% Discount with Privilege Card from 11am to 7.30pm
50% off the food bill Monday through to Saturday

In an age when Italian-style fast food means having a quick plate of pizza or pasta, Vapiano takes things one step further and makes things fun and well, practically interactive....

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57 Haymarket London SW1 Tel: 020 7925 1234

Cost: about £12 – £25 per person

Not all parts of London’s West End are created equally. The Haymarket has theatres and cinemas but is a dining-out blackspot – venues serving food are really just a succession of laddish sports bars. So Quod is a much-welcomed addition. This is a large, open room with the acres of wallspace filled with the works of young artists, collected by owner Jeremy Mogford. A few pieces of art, well-chosen, can lift a restaurant. Here, art is almost used as wallpaper, but the idea of covering the walls of a brasserie with art could be seen as an homage to that progenitor of the grand café, La Coupole.

Here, though, the menu speaks with an Italian rather than a French accent. It should be said straight away that there are no hidden culinary delights on offer and some of the combinations (especially in desserts) are not good, but Quod does represent good value for money in a dreary area so long as you order sensibly, i.e. simply.

You should be fine with most of the starters – bruschetta, chargrilled veg, Caesar salad (not so sure about the crab salad) and even buffalo mozzarella or grilled Sardinian smoked ricotta (can any cheese be expected to withstand being both grilled and smoked?). Pastas can also be had as starters and these are mostly sound, if a bit uninspiring: gnocchi were reasonably well made and sauced with gorgonzola and spinach, fettuccine carbonara seemed okay as well. Pizzas seem sensible as well. As are main courses, provided you don’t expect too much. Chargrilled duck breast was a generous portion, simply grilled, but a bit of flavouring or marination would have lifted the dish up a notch and made it sit better (flavour-wise) on its bed of fagiolini beans. Also on offer are lamb shank, salmon, tuna, grilled chicken, a couple of main course salads and a burger. Desserts were a bit of a mish-mash on the plate with too many incongruous and/or gratuitous garnishes. The wine list is reasonably sound and sensibly priced. A useful stopping off point.