Marina O'Loughlin, Metro (Rating: 3/5 stars)
“Boulud, a superstar chef in New York, is charming and immensely talented and I truly love everything I taste from his funky, Manhattan-meets-Lyon menu.” High praise for the Knightsbridge newcomer - special mention is reserved for “awesome” burgers and the charcuterie boards “groaning with fine examples of Parisian master charcutier Gilles Vérot’s art.” All in all, “[i]t’s a slick, delicious operation from a man at the top of his game” - it's a shame, then, that the dining room is “as joyless and functional as anywhere recently vacated by Alan Partridge.”
Richard Vines, Bloomberg (Rating: 4/4 stars)
“French charcuterie and seasonal bistro-style cooking with a reasonably priced wine list, friendly service and a Manhattan buzz...It’s the point where fine dining meets fun dining.” Burgers and charcuterie attract particular praise, and while the restaurant “isn’t perfect”, the critic advises to “order a fine Bloody Mary and a burger...and you may feel that this imperfect eatery is close to perfection at its price level.”
Roux at Parliament Square
Fay Maschler, Evening Standard (Rating: 3/5 stars)
A mixed review of the latest Roux establishment, “where the hushed atmosphere does nothing to suggest that anyone other than suits involved in advantageous property dealings will be found in any of the rooms.” While the critic enjoys “lovely” salmon and roast lamb, she finds wild sea trout to be “woefully overcooked”, desserts are disappointing, and an unannounced canapé is “the sort of thing you bite into and, were you not in a Grade II-listed building with an expensive carpet, would convey from mouth to hand to napkin pretty swiftly.” “His cooking is slightly doggedly imaginative and for the most part correct but it would be hard for anyone to shine in such listless, prudent surroundings.”
Look Mum No Hands!
Guy Dimond, Time Out (Rating: 3/5 stars)
A review of a “cycle-friendly café-bar” in Clerkenwell, run by cycle enthusiasts and designed to appeal “directly to other cycle fetishists.” Food is “simple”, with “several decent wines” available. “As a cool, cycle-friendly venue, Look Mum! gets top marks. As a café, it's pretty good, though perhaps not such a destination.”
David Sexton, Evening Standard (Rating: 3/5 stars)
A good example of why traditional rating systems are so unhelpful. Mr Sexton’s review of this Soho snackery is an unmitigated ‘rave’, so why not 5*? Presumably, as a matter of editorial policy, because it’s too cheap. That’s a problem? Isn’t it bizarre the way such systems punish people for offering value?