Even if it looks ordinary -- like “every other made-over Victorian pub” -- this Georgian restaurant is “a welcome addition to the city’s Babel stew”. From its “indecipherable” menu results are “variable”, but “things that are good are really quite good”.
Lisa Markwell, The Independent on Sunday (Rating: 7.5/10)
“Sensational Italian newcomer” where money is “exceptionally well spent”. It’s “refreshing to find a simple, confident menu of a single cuisine”, in “a low-ceilinged” venue, “with rather attractive mismatched [furniture]” (but “ghastly” art).
“A special new low” for London in the Italian section of this Russian-owned Mayfair newcomer (reminiscent of “mega restaurants of Las Vegas”). His meal is “generally very, very bad” with “prices that knock the wind out of you and moments of cooking so cack-handed, so foul, so astoundingly grim you want to congratulate the kitchen on its incompetence”. So he liked it a lot then! But “the most depressing thing?” - as for John Lanchester the fact that it’s “full; packed to the fake ironwork with the hooting and the depilated, the bronzed and Botoxed”.
The “beyond ugly” Brum location doesn’t help this venue “which would look nice and swish next to, say, the sea” but “here looks like an airport lounge” and one that feels “expensive, but not classy”. From a menu that is “classic Michelin-bait” it’s all pretty good and at times “alarmingly moreish”. The verdict: “very careful cooking, but not prissy”.
Not just “a dog’s dinner”, but “a howling dog” of a restaurant. In the Asian section of the venture, John Lanchester encounters “ordinary food which he acknowledges might have been “bad luck”, but he had “lots of it”. The main issue: “you can get most of what’s on the menu better and cheaper elsewhere”. He concedes there are some signs of “real professionalism at work: the room is understatedly dark and soothing; the waiters are amiable and efficient”. And the place is full. “In Mayfair today, this is how they roll.”
John Walsh, The Independent (Rating: food 4/5, ambience 1/5, service 4/5)
“One of the great disappointments of my reviewing career”. Rather than reviewing Camelia -- the hotel’s adjoining “cosy” restaurant -- John Walsh visits this “dismally misconceived”, “brightly-lit, green-glowing place” whose colour-scheme “puts you in mind of ice and phlegm”. And though the idea is “an extension of a chef’s table” for all the drama here you could be “watching five Department of the Environment inspectors testing for damp rot”, even despite the upbeat efforts of a “bouncy, hyperactive waitress”. A shame as “chef, Matt Gillan, is to be congratulated” for food that’s “ambitious, sophisticated, original” if “sometimes teetering on the precious”.
“A modern, Wagamama-ish canteen”, where “everything (food and decor equally) is light… golden and done with restraint”, serving “some of the best Indian food I have had, on the street or off it”.
“Far from the dingy, timorous mood-abattoir” that Giles would have expected of a Michelin two star, Giles enjoys “a very good dinner”. Next to so many “staggeringly inventive” London restaurants, however, he fears that Michelin’s grade and our own estimation in The Food List of this as the UK’s 7th-best restaurant “might be stretching it”.