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Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Why it doesn't have at least one Michelin star is beyond me! My wife and I agree that it was the best meal we have had in 15 years - and that was in Winteringham Fields in its 3-star hey-day."
"French bistro style. Consistently excellent value for simple but consistently enjoyable food. This reminds me of Cafe Rouge or Cote when they very first started"
"What a gem. Lovely food, sensible and very good wine list, delightful service. Well worth the detour"
"Solid cooking with meat the king as the restaurant is part of the adjacent family butchers."
"I haven't been to the Waterside for several years and recently went there with six members of my family who all have very different tastes to my wife and I. Everyone without exception thought the food and the service were superb but what impressed us most was how they have been able to still produce such superb traditional style dishes full of flavour and complexity without succumbing to the trend that at times puts presentation beyond taste. Still a stunning restaurant in a stunning location."
"Very charming but extremely inefficient coupled with a lot of noise (loud music plus a full restaurant) ended up having more of an impact than the extremely good food. An incredible menu but service was bordering on the non-existent. (A portion of prawn crackers to have with drinks came halfway through the meal - albeit with an apology and offer to remove them from our bill.) The Asian fusion food was wonderful: great flavours enhanced rather than overpowered by chili. However, not sure the food is so good that I'd go again."
"Stunning! The staff make the meal into an occasion - they really CAN make you feel very special, in a personal way - and the food's damned good too."
"It is a mystery, if not a surprise, why Casamia has not been promoted from having just a single Michelin star, which means it remains on the same level as inferior pubs that we have eaten in, restaurants where the star has been inherited at least three times over by the sous chef and offshoots opened by â€œnamesâ€ with no real reason for existing apart from easy money for the owner. Perhaps it is because Peter Sanchez is something of a pioneer, dreaming up dishes with unusual combinations of ingredients, designing dish-specific crockery, and melding techniques to formulate an advanced approach that could be seen as a step too far for a chef who should be still finding his feet, and is perhaps not always fully understood by judgemental inspectors with a strict agenda to adhere to. We are struck by the friendly nature of Casamia, where every diner is regarded almost as a member of the extended family, as shown by the willingness of the staff, both kitchen, with the chefs bringing up the various dishes, and front of house, to listen to and discuss things with the punters. Once again stunning dish followed stunning dish, right from the snacks, 3-year aged Parmesan mousse in a light bric tartlet with cheese sprinkles, deep-sea carabineros prawns on a seaweed meringue which gave up a sweet seafood aftertaste, and a smoking sandwich of venison tartare with cavolo nero and horseradish cream, to the petits fours, a superlight and delicious mix of damson and bay leaf Turkish delight, and a clever porcini mushroom fudge, which could almost double as a canapÃ©. Interposed between these delights was a succession of delicately complex taste, texture and visual wonders, some merely brilliant and others simply world-class. The combination of yoghurt sorbet, pickled fennel, sweet beetroot risotto with soft and firm rice and pistachio for extra texture was superb. The duo of brown trout, loin Japanese style with coal dust, wonderful skin crisps, shiitake and a ginger dashi perfectly balanced with the fish, and roast belly in a smoked mousse with trout roe and, this time, kombu dashi, was a winner. I tend to avoid vegetarian dishes where possible, and when faced with something named autumnal salad, my defences are activated; but the scorched radicchio leaf, the concentrated taste of sweet carrot, the goatâ€™s curd and yoghurt, the celeriac jam, the parsley dressing and the swede all made for an outstanding, complex and wonderfully satisfying dish which completely belied its simple appellation and I was fully won over. The Casamia version of sole VÃ©ronique relies, quite rightly, on the best fish with an egg emulsion sabayon, perfect grapes, amazing leeks and a roe powder condiment to produce a truly top-class dish. Itâ€™s game bird season, so a duo of grouse seemed just the thing, and the confit leg with pasta was quite astounding and beautifully supported by quailâ€™s egg yolk on potato purÃ©e and the lovely herby touch of oregano; not to be outdone, the melt-in-the-mouth breast with a grouse jus worked really well with cold rose petal variations and an intense hit of ras el hanout on the crisp skin. Dehydrated butternut squash matched with natural caramel, from which a pleasant clove aroma emanated, and brown butter formed an historic pairing with the â€œorangeâ€ RulÃ¤nder (aka Pinot Gris) from Austria, just one of a series of well-considered bottles in the wine flight, and this set the scene for an intense passion fruit mousse with light tarragon meringue, and the final dish â€œCollection of applesâ€ comprising multiple elements of different types of apple with varying but never clashing levels of acidity and sweetness washed down with a complement of Herefordshire apple liqueur. For us this one of the best meals of the year and, with regard to where Casamia should figure in relation to its peers, we think that The Sunday Times Top 100 list, which represents the view of the food-loving general public instead of the usual anonymous inspectors in guides such as Michelin or AA, is where one should look."
Harden's review of the reviews
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 â€“ 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: â€œ...fiddly, neurotic preparation with pale, polite taste and silly, parsimonious sharing plates that arenâ€™t bounteous or fun and are more like eating the catering pitch for a drug cartelâ€™s wedding.â€
Over at The Times, Giles Coren gives his opinion on Russian-imported pizza chain Bocconcino
â€œBocconcino isnâ€™t a bad restaurant. It just isnâ€™t a necessary restaurant.â€ At Â£202 for pizza and pasta it's not hard to see why Mr Coren might feel that way â€“ mind you, a Â£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 â€“ from the 'delectable' milk-fed lamb to theÂ Secreto Iberico.