Masgouf
75 Knightsbridge
Westminster SW1X 7RB
31/08/2013
And off we go, clueless and without booking, to Prince Gardens Iraqi Restaurant on Knightsbridge only to find out that Prince Gardens doesn’t exist anymore! But the website does, with complete menu and opening hours etc. Luckily Masgouf Restaurant, our option B, was around the corner. Yes, WAS since this one has closed too. After 10 minutes of walking around the block we spot Masgouf House right opposite the ruins of Prince Gardens, so we head there. Not only the place is fully booked, but people are queuing outside. Defeated and prepared to pick up a Pret on the way home, the very kind waiter blurts out: “There’s a place called Knightsbridge Café around the corner. It’s ours and we share the kitchen. You can eat there if you like, just tell them I sent you and you want to order from the main restaurant menu”. Brilliant! OK, the ambience is nicer in Masgouf and alfresco tables are all fully booked, but the staff is so accommodating you would hardly believe it.
Edo orders a selection of hot mezze, all deep fried and a little greasy, followed by lamb. Gigantic portion of lamb with rice. I opt for grilled sea bass with steamed rice. Simple, nice, properly grilled. Clean. The food comes from the restaurant in the form of a human being carrying our plates to our table! Talking about customer satisfaction! And that’s not it… Since food is from the restaurant and not the café we can only pay cash and of course we never carry cash. The waiter, quick and smart as ever, suggests we pay by card the beverages from the café and walk to the restaurant (60 seconds walk!) to settle the difference by card. In fact, he doesn’t only suggest that he walks us there!!!!!!!!!! Never seen before. Especially, not for a £20 meal.
While waiting to pay I notice the kitchen behind the counter and the lovely bread and inviting dishes floating around the restaurant. You don’t get to see and smell that from the café which is a shame. Part of the fun during the mission for me is looking at what other people order and be inspired by that. Oh, never mind. I certainly walked away happy.

  • Food: 2.5
  • Ambience: 2
  • Service: 5
  • Value: 2.5
  • Overall: 3
Monica
Which restaurant did we go to again? Not sure what I should write about here. Monica had a prioritised list of places, which happened to be within yards of one another. The first one was closed. We wondered round for a couple of minutes then found the backup, Masgouf, which looked quite nice. Sadly (for us), it was packed. The waiter, very apologetically, told us if we didn’t want to wait an hour we should sit in the cafe round the corner, which they also own, and order from Masgouf’s kitchen. That’s what we did. So: I saw the restaurant I am writing about, I ate its food, I went there to pay, but I didn’t actually consume my dinner there.

The fact they went through the effort of bringing our food from around the corner just so we were not disappointed deserves a mega gold star for service.

Food itself was alright, in hindsight probably less good than it tasted on the night (I was very hungry). I had assorted starters, which were of assorted quality - generally too many fried items, and not very well fired (too oily). The lamb shank main was quite good, but I am a sucker for lamb shank.

We spent close to nothing, which all things considered was good value.

  • Food: 2
  • Ambience: 3
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3
  • Overall: 3
Edo
IRAQ