For the critic this “modern, white utilitarian canteen” on the South Bank, which tries to be “all things to all people all of the time”, could be “much more than it is right now”. His meal is littered with “disappointments” and he considers the evening meal £90 price tag “over the odds”. However, if they “solve the eminently solvable food problems” and “shave the prices... “this really would be a brilliant, modern neighbourhood bistro.” That having been said, as it is co-owned by Theodore Kyriakou – responsible for opening the promising Livebait and Real Greek, and selling them off to become “dodgy, dreary identikit corporate blahness” – the critic fears this venture will suffer the same fate. “[T]his is probably as good as More is ever going to get”.
Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
Jasper Gerard, The Telegraph (Rating: 4/5)
This “converted croft” on the Isle of Sky has already won praise for its commitment to local and organic food and “its refreshing simplicity”, we are told. The critic finds it a “lovely place” with its “low beams and stone walls”, and is “wowed by the incredible freshness” of the seafood.
The critic does not begin his meal in the best of moods: he is in Birmingham, in a “cavernous” restaurant that has a “sterile” atmosphere and a “vista of the ring road”. However, the “outstanding cooking” soon has him “beaming” and he praises the “unshowy” style and “commitment to first-rate ingredients [which] is matched with real lightness of touch.”
Cucina at Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh
AA Gill, The Sunday Times (Rating: 2/5 stars)
The restaurant at this bijou Edinburgh hotel seems “fashionable place for the nouveau riche, nouveau suave and nouveau single who want to push lunch around a plate”, says Gill. He cannot really complain about the food; the kitchen – “overseen by Giorgio Locatelli” – produces “an undemanding collation of Italian-style favourites”, but he finds the décor even more offensive than the “trollopy” clientele; inspired by the hotel’s namesake, the dining room is “[a]n eye-jarring, migraine-inducing swatch of jazzy pattern.”
Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes
Toby Young, The Independent on Sunday (Rating: 18/20)
Cornwall’s “first upmarket boutique hotel [...] owes much of its success to the restaurant”, opines the critic. On the basis of his visit, the winning formula appears to be the “straightforward cooking”, child-friendly attitude, and “attention to detail [...] from the white linen tablecloths to the sun-bleached wooden chairs.”
Metfield Café, Snape Maltings
Tracey MacLeod, The Independent (Rating: Food 3/5, Service 4/5, Ambience 2/5)
This new café in the Maltings is “a great place to sample the best Suffolk produce”, but not, as the critic discovers, a great place to eat in the evening. It is “[p]erched on a mezzanine gallery above a posh housewares shop”, and she notes that “a hushed and darkened expanse of sofas isn't really ever going to substitute for the buzz of a busy restaurant”. Service is “sweet” and the dish she tries is “decent”, though pricing is “cheeky”.