"Tasty food - duck confit was well cooked & very nicely presented and chocolate peanut butter torte was very well balanced & tasty. Service was trying hard but the waiters were a bit young & needed reminding of order requirements. Very welcoming & good value though - definitely worth taking a detour off the A30 for."
"After a recent makeover and refurb, an excellent gastropub has become even better, with completely new menu and kitchen, and btw some great new beers including 5 Points Pale Ale a local favourite. Imaginative small dishes at the bar, and proper sit-down three course meals, all well-sourced and seasonal. An old favourite is now a new favourite."
"What a beautiful room, and a grat place for breakfast and lunch."
"My only comment is that these days my appetite is not as great as it once was and most regrettably I was unable to eat the whole meal, which was delicious. Otherwise, brilliant."
"Good solid cooking with a British theme here, with nothing too avant garde. Popular with well-heeled West Londoners and discerning tourists."
"We are never disappointed by the freshly cooked fish and chips or by the friendly welcome. Lovely!"
"The cooking seems to have lost its pizazz. The setting has lost none of its wow factor, however."
"Confident, robust, mostly meaty cooking. Good puds and house wines. A good buzz. Does anyone else find it a tad expensive, though?"
"Resting on their laurels perhaps? Doesn't really meet the standard of London's best Turkish restaurants."
"Quality of barbequed meat is consistently high at this popular Green Lanes Turkish. Good value for money too but expect to queue."
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.
No longer will restaurant-goers have to guess whether money paid as tips will go into the restaurant's pocket instead of the staff's. The consultation (you can read it here) launched on May 2 has already established the objective that "all discretionary payments for service should be received, in full, by workers where appropriate". All credit to the Unite union for kicking off this whole debate and winning a major (and commonsense) clarification in their members' interests.
Sadly, the government missed the point...
Disappointingly, from the consultation document, it looks like the government is going to balls up the chance to clear up the whole dreaded business of "should I tip?".
The thrust of the consultation document still seems to be a mindset of how service charges are presented, rather than just setting out to ditch them all together. This suits large elements of the industry for whom it is too much of a mind wrench to give up deceptively lowering the apparent price of their product by relying on consumers' goodwill. But it ignores the fact that survey after survey shows that about 2/3 of the public don't like tipping.
The government seems to have missed the fact that the world has changed since tipping came into being. Dining out is a daily consumer happening. Of course I don't want an optional service charge added to my Pret sarnie, but you know actually I don't really want it added to my chain pizza either. Come to think of, nor to my really expensive meal where removing the "optional" 12.5% service charge would cause no end of delay and harrumphing from the maitre d'. Let's call a spade a spade and just price eating out like any other service.
As we said when this consultation started in our August article, it's high time to #DitchTheTip.
The option missing from the government consultation is a binding obligation on all restaurants to print on menus and bills "Prices include a charge for service".
Let's set the same standards for the trade as in Italy, France, Australia and Japan where the price of your meal is the price of your meal: end of.
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