Feargus O’Sullivan, The London Paper (Rating:3/5 )
Jamie Oliver’s latest opening, “perched handsomely above the dockside” in Canary Wharf, fails to “set the pulse racing”. The menu is an “adaptable beast”, but the “cheeky-chappy tone” causes “buttock-clenching irritation”. It offers some food that’s “not bad at all” but “not quite [...] perfect”. The critic considers it “[w]ay better than Zizzi, less boring than Carluccio’s”, but it “doesn’t bear comparison with some of the best independents”.
Gallery Mess, Saatchi Gallery
Marina O'Loughlin, Metro (Rating: 3/5 stars)
Saddened by how Chelsea has “steadily become more and more homogenised”, the critic is pleasantly surprised to find “a genuinely interesting looking space” in this new restaurant attached to the Saatchi Gallery. The “deliberately simple” food, by contract caterers Rhubarb, “arrives promptly and raises few complaints”. This may be “damning with faint praise” but being afforded 6 and a half hours to witness “the most glorious procession of old-school Chelsea types” is her “definition of a good lunch.”
Fay Maschler, Evening Standard (Rating: 3/5 stars)
“The scent of meat sizzling over charcoal” draws Ms Maschler to this Argentinean steak house in Bermondsey. The steak she samples is “fresh-tasting” and “tender”, but is so much “the point of this place” that other dishes and accompaniments “shrug their shoulders and tail off”. She does find, however, a good-value wine list, “delicious” ice cream, and that the place “capture[s] the spirit of the pampas”.
Chris Moss, Time Out (Rating: 4/5 stars)
The critic enjoys the “warm welcome” and the “classic” menu at the new Bermondsey steak house. “Argentinian cuisine is all about simplicity, good produce and careful cooking”, he opines, and this venture “seems to have nailed it.”
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 4/5 stars)
The critic discovers an Islington gastropub that has “gone back to its roots”; it is “above all a pub first, that also does good food.” And to great success too – he finds “a lot of passion and creativity”, staff that are “all smiles, and “feelgood” charm.
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 5/5 stars)
The Martin brothers have opened “[y]et another smooth, good-looking, Hugh Grant of a gastropub with great food and a proper beer list” – on the Kings Road. This “beautifully decorated” and “spacious boozer” follows the pattern of “[s]eamless cooking, great attention to detail, exquisite presentation”, with “charming” staff... “[i]f only all neighbourhood gastropubs were this good.”
Rowan Moore, Evening Standard (Rating: 2/5 stars)
The critic admires the “defiant decadence” of Napket’s new flagship branch on Piccadilly, but the “snob food” served reveals “a lack of soul”. The staff are “perfectly nice and efficient” but, though this branch is open for dinner, no alcohol is yet available, and, ultimately, the “limited range” of food is “unexciting”.