In this holiday week we've combined last weekend's National and this week's London reviews.
The National Reviews:
“Proof – if proof were needed – that the capital is now attracting world-standard restaurateurs in the way damp dogs attract fat fleas.” This “smart, buzzy urban brasserie”, in Knightsbridge, offers “the kind of French food you would dream of getting in France, but rarely do”. The wine list is “confusing”, though, and comes at high prices, and the critic did not appreciate having a two-hour dining slot imposed.
John Walsh, The Independent (Rating: Food 4/5 stars, Service 2/5 stars, Ambience 4/5 stars)
And yet another rave for this Knightsbridge import from one of New York’s most prominent chefs. “M Boulud's establishment may be more 1970s provincial French bistro than 2010 London eaterie, but when the carping stops, you notice that his attention to the old-fashioned virtue of flavoursome cooking is faultless. He and his Bar are hugely welcome in the metropolis.” The setting, however, “isn’t immediately appealing”.
Roux at Parliament Square
Toby Young, The Independent (Rating: 17/20)
“Will Roux at Parliament Square overcome the various challenges ranged against it?”, wonders the critic. His conclusion is that “it will, thanks to the talent of [the chef] newcomer Daniel Cox. People will flock from miles around for food of this quality. He may not be a Roux, but he is a worthy standard-bearer of the family's illustrious flag.”
Zoe Williams, The Telegraph (Rating: 8.5/10)
“You can do many things to this food – appreciate it, experience it, surrender to it. You wouldn't just eat it and enjoy it while talking about something else. I'll leave you to decide whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.” The critic ducks a final judgement on Nuno Mendes’s Bethnal Green newcomer, but her rating suggests that she must have found the show pretty impressive.
Giles Coren, The Times (Rating: 9/10)
The critic visits ex-Roussillon chef Alexis Gauthier’s new townhouse restaurant, in Soho, where he finds “unarguably great cooking”.
Jasper Gerard, The Telegraph (Rating: 6/10)
The food, and particularly the tiny portions, on offer at the dining room at the top of Centre Point do not impress the critic. He concludes, however, that it’s “worth stomaching… to drink in the view”.
Roux at Parliament Square
Euan Ferguson, Time Out (Rating: 2/5 stars)
This “stiffly elegant” Westminster dining room, with its “overbearing” service, gets quite a drubbing. And, from a menu at £55, the food “should have been much more memorable” too.
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 4/5 stars)
“[F]or cooking par excellence, [ex-Roussillon chef Alexis] Gauthier has put Lindsay House [in Soho] back on the map”, says the critic. It’s “not for everyone”, though. Service was “wasn’t nearly as polished as the silver cloches transporting the hot dishes up from the basement”. “And the room was so quiet we couldn’t avoid eavesdropping the conversations on neighbouring tables.”
Brasserie Joël at the Park Plaza Hotel
David Sexton, Evening Standard (Rating: 3/5 stars)
A review of the dining foom of the dining room of “this vast spaceship that has crashed onto the roundabout just south of Westminster Bridge”, and finds a dining experience “a lot more rewarding and authentic than you would ever have predicted from the hotel’s exterior”, with chef Joel Antunes – who made a name in the ’90s at Les Saveurs in Mayfair – very much in attendance.
Marina O'Loughlin, Metro (Rating: 3/5 stars)
In Mayfair, the critic visits a gaming club dining room whose OTT style is “hilariously out-of-kilter” with the times. “The building is fabulous, one of those slabs of history rarely open to view [and the] staff are very much of the old-school, less waiters and more retainers, all brandishing an expression that says: ‘We’ve seen it all, we have.’” The request for the “20 quid set menu”, however, “throws the retainers into a lather”, but the food – very traditional in style – is “fine enough”.