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“Sadly, it's gone from good to poor.”
Review of Garden Cafe

Garden Cafe
Ranked #7,591 of 22,827 Restaurants in London
Price range: US$0 - US$59
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Regent's Park / Kings Cross
London
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Sadly, it's gone from good to poor.”
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Having eaten here many times in the past, most recently in August 13 (when we had a great meal sat outside, which I suppose is its main selling point), we returned today & were hugely disappointed. At very best, the staff were disinterested. Worth noting that they've now changed to a 'go & order at the desk' set-up, including, annoyingly, anything you might want after your initial order eg cutlery, desserts, coffee, meaning queuing up again. We weren't expecting enormous platefuls, but what we got was laughable. A £3 side order of mash was fashionably almond-shaped but no longer than 8cm, cold, lumpy and completely tasteless. Kids meals of cod goujons & fries comprised of 2 minuscule goujons & 14 McD-style fries (my 4 year old counted them, not me!) all placed on top of a dollop of tartare sauce (whether they wanted tartare on it all or not). A falafel wrap seemed to have a falafel (singular) inside and little else. The plates all (a total of 5, shouldnt have been too tricky to coordinate) came out at different times so some had virtually finished by the time the last was served. We ended up going back in the queue to buy extra portions of side-orders to stop ourselves remaining hungry, it was extremely expensive for both the quality and quantity provided overall. Such a shame, this place used to be really nice.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dooty45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
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    26
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    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Glenbrook, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great Menu”
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Service no so great but has a great menu and also does breakfast. Coffee terrible but have come to expect that where ever I go in England.
Well worth the visit especially if you walking around the park or just want some time out and peace.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pavonine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Truly top quality food”
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Wow I am so surprised to read of other reviewers' comments; I expected everyone must love this place. Admittedly the service staff is less than professional, unlike the quality of the food which was top nosh, but this is a café in a park.

I had the lunch special of a white bean and vegetable soup served with a wedge of crusty bread followed by a mountain of Scottish mussels. The soup was richly flavoured and tasty; the grating of cheese on top added to its appeal. Unfortunately I gobbled down most of it before remembering to take a photo.

I'm from Sydney Australia and I'm used to top quality seafood. The mussels in a sauce of saffron, tomatoes and capers were excellent. The serving was generous and I ate every last bit of it so sadly had to cancel dessert. The meal including a London Pride lager and a small tip came to 20 pounds. It was good value.

I encountered none of the troubles other reviews complained about–perhaps they have fixed those problems. I do not like rude service staff or an unclean premises; I found neither here.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank OutOfSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ringwood, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Good pre-theatre option”
Reviewed 8 September 2013

This is after all a cafe in a park so don't expect haute cuisine. We visit every year before the theatre and never have a bad meal. Usually very efficient service and tasty food with good seasonal ingedients, reasonably priced. Ask for a table outside if the weather is nice.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AliTrev2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Service with a snarl”
Reviewed 30 August 2013

This is a self-service cafe AND a restaurant where if you inadvertently take a seat outside in the restaurant section when you want only a snack, you are brusquely asked to leave that section and sit elsewhere, even when there are many empty tables in the restaurant section and none in the self-service cafe section. There are no signs indicating this distinction. Yesterday a friend and I sat and watched about thirty potential paying customers turned away from the outside seating over a couole of hours because they wanted a snack, not a meal. The seats in the snack section were either full or covered in dirty plates, food, and foraging pigeons. Nowhere is there a sign telling potential paying customers about the outside seating distinctions. This is left to grumpy waiting staff. I hate to think what this attitude does for our reputation abroad, in such a beautiful English setting. Why not do the decent thing and make the seating distinctions clear? Many foreign tourists were disgusted. Food in the restaurant was ok but ruined by the antagonistic attitude to other misled and contemptuously-treated would-be customers. Toilets were dirty with no paper or soap at three in the afternoon. This is a restaurant where the customer is in the wrong. Shame.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank myrtle1London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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