"great pho, albeit a tad pricey, but made up for in the large portion of beef and noodles"
"One of many lovely gastropubs in this area. The pub is light and airy and old. The upstairs is nice and quiet if you want a more relaxed setting. The food was fantastic, try the scotch eggs and the swordfish which was cooked perfectly. Service was a little slow but the place was quite busy so it was understandable. I'd definitely recommend a visit."
"Great food and service...Simply lacks the the atmosphere of Sams"
"There are few prettier towns in the whole of Yorkshire than gorgeous old Beverley. And there are few more elegant buildings in Beverley than the splendid Georgian courthouse, described by that doyenne of writers on architecture, Nicolas Pevsner, as “most handsome”, with the scales of justice atop an imposing ionic portico. Nowadays the courthouse no longer dispenses justice, but no-one is complaining. For it houses the Westwood, the best restaurant in the Hull area by some distance, and arguably one of Yorkshire’s finest non-Michelin star establishments. The Westwood, which opened eight years ago, is run by the charismatic Barker twins, Matthew and Michele. Matthew is an exceptional chef, confident, eclectic and adventurous, while Michele is personable, attentive and very calm under pressure, of which there is a good deal every night. For the Westwood is very popular indeed. We ate there on a Thursday night in the spacious restaurant and there wasn’t a spare seat in the house. Matthew and Michele's career paths and individual journeys before opening the Westwood took them around the world, with influences from as far away as Sydney, London and New York, and with mentors such as Sir Richard Branson, Jean-George Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse to name, they were perfectly equipped to run a serious restaurant. The starters are a clear statement of intent, setting the highest of the standards from the outset. They included hand-dived Orkney curried king scallops, with a cauliflower puree and raisin vinaigrette (£10.95); Bridlington white crab with dill pickled cucumber, avocado, grapefruit, white radish and rye bread (£8.95); Aromatic crispy duck salad, pomegranate, cashews, coriander, white radish, chilli and sesame soy dressing (£8.50); and Cured ham, pork and pistachio terrine, house pickled vegetables, grain mustard & toasted sourdough (£7.50). Throw in a steak or tuna tartare and new season Wye valley asparagus and it was almost impossible to choose. My wife Claire and I, fortified by a large glass of house white and an agreeably spicy tomato juice, eventually selected the duck salad (Claire) and the scallops (me). The duck salad was a perfect blend of complementary flavours and textures, whilst my scallops were the essence of classic simplicity, beautifully fresh and tender and enhanced by the delicate curried sauce. Full marks to Matthew, who was leading his busy kitchen in majestic style. The main courses were equally impressive. Space prevents me from listing all the lovely dishes, but I must mention the pan-roasted chump of spring Yorkshire lamb, broad bean, pea and mint risotto, crumbled Yorkshire fettle and lamb jus (£21.95); pan-roasted Leven duck breast, cardamom honey and thyme poached Italian apricots, haricot beans, sautéed potatoes & thyme jus (£19.95); wild Skipsea sea bass cooked ‘a la plancha’, with sautéed potatoes, chicory, orange and radish salad and pomegranate molasses vinaigrette (£19.95); grilled Bridlington lobster, in wild garlic and hazelnut butter, with watercress and crinkle cut chips (£28.95); wild line caught halibut cooked ‘a la plancha’, with honey and port braised red cabbage and roasted hazelnut yoghurt dressing (£22.50); and line caught wild halibut, peanut crumb, sautéed bok choy & shitake mushrooms, caramel sauce, spring onion, chilli & coriander (£22.50). Claire’s lobster, bursting with flavour, was the finest she had ever tasted, while my superb halibut, new to the menu, showcased Matthew’s talent and his passion for Asian-influenced cuisine. The best, however, was saved until last. My hot marathon chocolate fondant, with peanut butter and honeycomb ice cream (£7.95), was dripping with naughtiness and conceived and executed in heaven. Claire’s double dark and milk chocolate tart, accompanied perfectly by coconut ice cream (£7.95), was equally stung – the perfect finale to a perfect meal. Beverley was recently named as the best place to live in the UK in an "Affordable Affluence" study by the Royal Bank of Scotland – and it has the restaurant to go with this accolade. The Westwood, named after those lush pastures on the western outskirts of this historic town, effortlessly combines quality and informality to create an unforgettable dining experience in an elegant setting. What more can anyone ask for?"
"too crowded with the tables too close together....spoilt the atmosphere"
"Take away classic brilliantly cooked. been many a time and thankfully always consistent."
"Great food. atmosphere a little quiet the evening we visited but staff were helpful and pleasant. Good champagne from the Camel vineyard to start. Superb piece of beef. My companions also liked the Brill and the lamb. At our request they served us a birthday cake which was not just your average sponge it was a lovely strawberry concoction. thank you."
"Extremely busy on a Saturday evening. Brilliant manager coordinating a packed house. The split langustines were perfect in garlic butter and oysters well prepared. Puddings, as often the case in seafood restaurants were the weak point. A reasonable sticky toffee pudding but on the modest sized side. All in all highly recommended."
"Good idea but execution is poor and often the food is uninspired."
"Surrounded by better options, this Japanese only really holds its own on price."
The Observer's critic-in-chief heads to Manchester to try out the new Hawksmoor and stumbles across a veggie dining room, 1847, serving great food – well, apart from the desserts. Read our roundup of restaurant news in Manchester and enter our Hawksmoor Manchester competition.
Meanwhile the Guardian's Marina O'Laughlin pays a visit to the much gushed about Kitty Fisher's
Everyone else love, love, loves it but Marina can't help but feel she's ended up at a house party she wasn't quite invited to, particularly as the restaurant staff seem allergic to answering the phone. We can attest to that having called them on at least 10 occasions without success.
The award for most ferocious review this week has to go to The Sunday Times's A A Gill
The critic has a thing or two to say about Mayfair's 'ridiculously overpriced' Mexican, Peyote, including: “...fiddly, neurotic preparation with pale, polite taste and silly, parsimonious sharing plates that aren’t bounteous or fun and are more like eating the catering pitch for a drug cartel’s wedding.”
Over at The Times, Giles Coren gives his opinion on Russian-imported pizza chain Bocconcino
“Bocconcino isn’t a bad restaurant. It just isn’t a necessary restaurant.” At £202 for pizza and pasta it's not hard to see why Mr Coren might feel that way – mind you, a £46 bottle of wine probably helped nudge the bill up.
And last but not least, Ms Maschler reviews Brindisa's new Morada Asador
The Standard's long-standing critic heads to the latest outpost of this tapas chain (in Soho) and finds the meats are the reason to flock here – from the 'delectable' milk-fed lamb to the Secreto Iberico.
5 summer terraces
Tip – Try to get there before the post-work crowd!
Just about everyone in London has supped a glass of vino at one time or another at this “one-of-a-kind” ancient wine bar, by Embankment tube; the food – cheese, cold cuts, hot dishes, salads – is “nothing special”, but the cave-like interior is “amazing”, and it has one of the West End’s nicest (and biggest) outdoor terraces.
Tip – Our survey feedback on this Marylebone hotel was less than flattering last year, but the terrace is delightful on a sunny day. Go for brunch/lunch outside where the no bookings policy means you might actually be able to get a table!
“Full of Z-listers, models and wannabe movers-and-shakers”, this achingly hip Marylebone yearling is “so overhyped” it’s hilarious. It’s undoubtedly a “gorgeous-looking” place and “fun” too (especially if you like people-watching), but you pay “silly money” for service that’s “confused” (going on “obnoxious”), and food for which “mediocre would be a flattering description”.
Tip – Go for one of their seasonal summer cocktails using Ognisko's own house-infused vodkas.
“The old-fashioned dining room is a delight”, at this émigrés club near the Science Museum, which also boasts “a wonderful rear terrace, on a garden square”; Jan Woroniecki’s year-old regime doesn’t please all its old regulars, but the “hearty” Polish fare and “exotic house cocktails” were well-rated this year.
Tip – The Waterside Garden is open until September and available for private events.
With its beautiful canal-side terrace, this “buzzy” arts centre brasserie is ideal in summer, especially on business; realisation of the dishes – meat in particular – can be “wonderful”, but can also be “way off-the-mark”.
Tip – Book for lunch or an early dinner if you want to bag a table. They say they accept walk-ins, but it's a rarity.
You need to be “Prince William or Lady Gaga to get a table before 2050”, at the Ivy’s new, all-day west London cousin (on the site that in the late ’80s was famous as Henry J Beans). “Like the original Ivy, the food’s not the point” – in fact, it’s really “dreary” here – “it’s the beautiful design and glorious, not-so-secret garden that make it a sublime addition to the King’s Road”.
5 tip top rooftops
“You can’t argue with the view from the 39th floor!”; this dazzling City eyrie combines “amazing vistas and outside spaces” with “heavenly” Japanese/South American fusion fare – “incredibly fresh, zingy flavours, blended with panache”. And yet… for some reporters “everything is slick, it looks brilliant, but it lacks heart and soul”, not helped by the merciless prices.
“A surprise find in the City, especially on top of a hotel” – the D&D London’s rooftop venture is a superb all-rounder, complete with “great views” and an outside terrace; the fish-heavy menu is “elegantly realised”, and the set-up is “super for business – calm, smart and efficient”.
Fans of this five-story old Georgian townhouse in Smithfield (with summer roof terrace) love its “classy, tranquil and smooth” style, and “funky” cooking; its ratings are dragged down though by refuseniks who say “it’s not as good as expected, and too expensive”
The “stunning rooftop terrace”, and “impressive basement dining room” both win praise for Sir Terence Conran’s “chilled” Shoreditch operation; its “professional” cuisine is well-rated too, although “tiny” portions are a bugbear.
With its “stunning rooftop garden”, this well-known D&D London venue is “perfect for business entertaining” and – especially in summer – something of “a City boy power-lunch extravaganza”; the food is “acceptable but dull” – “if they really sorted it out, it would be one of London’s top spots”.
5 beer gardens of note
The Gun E14
This “quaint riverside tavern has so much charm and history” – not to mention a big terrace, and fab river views over to the O2 – and makes “a refreshing escape from Canary Wharf” (a short walk away); “the food’s fancy for a pub, if not quite in the upper echelons for a gastropub”.
“It’s high time Strand-on-the-Green had a decent pub!” – this refurbished boozer enjoys “a great setting by the Thames” and cooking that’s “very promising”.
With its “fashionable looks”, “eclectic mix of seating” and “delightful garden”, this “friendly” large pub has brightened up the grungy environs of Hammersmith Town Hall; quibbles? – service is “charming but can be wayward”.
“A boon if you’ve got a young family, but adults are well-catered-for too!” – Paul Merrett’s “lovely”, large gastropub is “hidden away in residential Sheen, near Richmond Park”; “kids get to run around in the enclosed garden” (with playground), while others enjoy the “high quality” cooking.
“Strangely rustic in feel for somewhere in deepest Chiswick” – this tucked-away hostelry is “one of the best in West London”; the cooking is “surprisingly interesting and sophisticated”, the service is a veritable “charm offensive”, and the set-up works well both in winter (wood panels, fire, sofas) and summer (“luscious beer garden”).
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