Marina O'Loughlin, Metro (Rating: 1/5 stars)
“[S]ome of ...the nastiest stuff I've encountered in recent years” (special mention to “smoked eel with the texture of biltong and the fragrance of fish Whiskas”) revolts the critic at this Notting Hill Gate Sichuan newbie, where even the more pleasant dishes are “remarkable for their lack of ballsiness”. To add insult to injury “there’s a separate, quite comprehensive Sichuan menu available...Do we get offered it? Not a chance.” With its “crepuscular dimness” and “sub-nightclub design” the “only way you could be properly impressed with this soulless, inept place is if you were actually 17, loaded with loot and not too bothered about food”.
Bistrot Bruno Loubet
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 5/5 stars)
“Thoughtfully constructed” cuisine “to satisfy novelty seekers”, but that “won't scare off the conservative palate” wins yet more praise for Bruno Loubet’s Clerkenwell bistro, where he “[embraces] North African and Asian flavours” but remains “grounded” by “his interest in French cuisine de terroir”. Top marks for service too for the staff – “charming, all smiles, very efficient” and an overall operation “working calmly and smoothly despite an almost full house”.
The Canton Arms
Fay Maschler, Evening Standard (Rating: 4/5 stars)
Menus are “short and to the point about seasonality and vibrancy” at this “big, fairly ramshackle” Stockwell gastro pub and served by “amiable” staff at “extraordinarily reasonable prices”. Bar snacks - the foie gras toastie hailed “the bar snack of the year (my award)” - prove particularly noteworthy. “It is a punt well worth taking even if Stockwell isn’t your manor”.