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I would classify this as a lunch place, or perhaps a place to grab a quick bite before going to see a film.

The food is tasty and cooked freshly in an open plan kitchen. The menu is healthy and nutritious, the portions are generous, and the staff are cheerful.  A few years ago they had a white chocolate and sesame seed cheesecake, which I absolutely loved, but I'm not a fan of the white chocolate and ginger replacement. 

I'm not keen on sitting at canteen style tables with strangers.  The lighting is bright and precludes intimacy of any kind.  I don't like the ladle like spoons to eat your soup with, they may be traditionally Japanese, but they are a nightmare to use without spilling all down your front. 

I've personally never had a bad experience, but I know those that have been unwell afterward without being able to put it down to anything else. 

Overall, I would go back, but I'm not desperate to.  I like the "positive" concept and wagamama vision, perhaps more than the experience itself.  However, if the same food were served in a different setting I would be inclined to dine there on a much more regular basis.

Benicks @ The Chequers Inn, Woolmer Green

I've been here many times now, and every meal I've eaten here has been delicious. 

Alongside their A la carte and bar menus, The Chequers also has a pie night on Wednesdays where you can enjoy a large chunk of homemade pie, with a choice of potatoes and vegetables.  Pie filings vary each week and have included steak and ale, steak and stilton, chicken and leek, sausage and onion, steak and kidney, wild boar, goat curry, and red onion and mushroom.  The portions are plentiful, and for only £5 per head (for pie), I think you will find yourself satisfied.

There are always tempting puddings available on the board if you fancy something sweet, but I've never managed to find room for pie and pudding.  However, if the honeycombe cheese cake is on the board, there is no way you can resist.

Make sure you book in advance, The Chequers is always popular.

Chinaeast, Hatfield

Probably the best buffet restaurant I have ever been to.  The food was fresh, regularly topped up, and there was a multitude of choice.

I usually find that chicken in chinese food is slightly bouncy when you bite into it but this was not the case at Chinaeast.  My favourite chicken dish was the chicken satay.

There were so many starter options that I decided to try a little bit of everything.  Some of the best were, the crispy duck and pancakes, the vegetable dumplings, and the vegetable spring rolls.

I made the mistake of having a plateful of chow mein noodles, which, while being delicious, were not as amazing as the spicy rice noodles.  Sadly I only saw these on my last lap and I could only manage a few mouthfuls.

The negatives:

Sushi - Crab stick and cucumber sushi doesn't really count as far as I am concerned.  The restaurant already has a large choice and I think it would be better off without something which doesn't match up to the standard of the rest of the food.

Crab Claws - These were more like crab sticks, in bread crumbs, with a claw sticking out.  The texture was all wrong.

For £13 a head, I feel I definitely got value for money with my 7 plates of food.

Freddie's - St. Albans

From the cosy and intimate atmosphere even at full capacity, and considerate service, to the faultless food, Freddie's should not be missed.

Just a few steps from the centre of town, Freddie's hosts all the elements of a delightful dinner aux deux. Perhaps better suited to a romantic meal than friendly or business meals but only because it would be a shame to waste Freddie's on someone you are not trying to impress.

We ordered:

Barbary smoked Duck breast salad with marinated Orange & Grand Marnier jus - smokey and refreshing at the same time.

Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki - fine textured and flavoursome, converted even a non lamb fan.

Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass with Chablis Cream Sauce, Red peppers, Sauté Potatoes & Vegetables - perfectly light and naturally delicious.

Dover Sole in a creamy Chive and Garlic Sauce (special) - rich without being too heavy.

Chocolate Fudge Cake (special) - sinful but not sickly.

Pinot Griggio delle Venezie IGT - doesn't have the harsh edge of many roses when parred with food. Stayed smooth and enjoyable even when it started to warm up.

One of the few places I would continually go back to. There are enough items on the menu, that I haven't yet tried, to keep me wanting more.