The critic confesses she finds St Jamie “irritating”, and arrives at his latest Canary Wharf venture “with fairly low expectations”. Things are not helped by the hour-long queue (no bookings) and she dislikes the “gimmickry” evident in the dishes and presentation. However, she concedes that the menu is “extraordinarily comprehensive”, the “bill is gentle” and the “quality is light years ahead of [other Italian chains]”. Furthermore, the “superchummy” staff are “well versed” and, all in all, “this is about as good as a midrange chain gets”.
Richard Vines, Bloomberg (Rating: 2/4 stars)
The new owners of the Piccadilly stalwart have introduced a “flamboyant” menu that the critic finds a confusing “culinary tour of the world.” It does however fit with the “over-the- top” room, and the chef is successful with the “bold combinations” in his dishes. Some dishes “lack finesse”, though, and the critic wonders if “the menu isn’t too broad for the kitchen”.
Apsleys, The Lanesborough
Feargus O’Sullivan, The London Paper (Rating: 3/5)
This restaurant at The Lanesborough – now taken over by star Rome-based chef Heinz Beck – remains an “uptight” place with “OTT decor” and “gauntlet of eager staff”, says the critic. However, Beck has introduced “an inventive, astronomically expensive menu of delicate but rich Italian haute cuisine”. Everything sampled is “gorgeous”, if not necessarily worth “150 smackers for two”.
David Sexton, Evening Standard (Rating: 2/5 stars)
This “fairly small and expensive restaurant” attached to an East End fish smokery has the advantage of overlooking the Olympic Stadium. The critic enjoys much of the food – including “delectable” fish from the factory – but results are up-and-down. Although he finds the room “appealing”, he warns “it might be quite noisy and too close for comfort when it’s busy.”
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 4/5 stars)
This new Shoreditch Mexican is a “good looking place” where the “quite sophisticated” cooking “recreates some regional specialities of Mexico in [...] tapas-sized portions”. The critic deems it “a slick, Mexican-run operation, with food that’s far superior to London’s Tex-Mex norm”.