“The consistent excellence never ceases to amaze”, say fans of Bruce Poole’s Wandsworth Common-side legend – the Survey’s favourite for the 8th year; the cooking is executed “with skill and passion”, the wine’s “terrific”, and staff are “genuinely caring”; post-expansion, the interior is “better, and less crowded” too.
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For once, the critic devotes his review to a restaurant, and its area (Wandworth)! He finds the restaurant – most-nominated by Harden’s reporters as their Londonwide ‘favourite’ in recent years – to offer an “uninspiring” menu – “Frenchish and uses a lot of high-end, expensive ingredients… This is an old-fashioned kitchen… It’s all a bit too brown and overreduced. The flavours are tiredly overfamiliar and all too similar.” Service was “dreadfully slow and inattentive” too. “I got the impression this is probably a room where the wine is more important than the food.”
Zoe Williams (22nd December 2008)
Regular readers will know that this south London legend is perennially Londoners’ favourite restaurant, according to the Harden’s survey, so it’s pleasing to note that the critic does indeed find it “remarkable”. “It was a beacon back in the days when to be a decent restaurant, selling good food, was something quite exotic. It’s still a beacon now.”