Marina O’Laughlin’s idea of hell is Victoria’s new Nova development, and although Stoke House may not be its most hellish corner you’d still need a pitchfork to the Guardian’s restaurant critic anywhere near it again… “The music is deafening, the place full to the rafters: my hell doesn’t seem to be other people’s. The menu […]

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It’s National Barbecue Week, so that means hunching over the rusty old Webber in your back garden with an umbrella – right? Not according to Giles Coren. He reviews Shoreditch’s Rök and Smokestak with such enthusiasm that he implores readers to visit one of these two smokehouses, rather than light the barbie in their own […]

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⦿ The Observer’s Jay Rayner finds a trip to Soho’s new Test Kitchen rather hard work, but thankfully is able to salvage his day through the restorative power of pastry at Maison Bertaux… “The strawberry tart at Maison Bertaux in London’s Soho should be available on prescription as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress. The sweet […]

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⦿ Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard reviewed Elystan Street 4/5, Phil Howard’s new restaurant in Chelsea, where she ate some “sublime” dishes but gasped at the prices and missed having a tablecloth. “Smoked mackerel velouté with Porthilly oysters — from the River Camel estuary — with leek hearts and eel toast is a secular […]

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The Observer’s critic-in-chief Jay Rayner asks himself the all-important question at Cliveden House’s new casual operation, The Astor Grill – would he return here and spend his own money? At £196 for two, the short answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’. “The wine list is short and more shameless than a 1960s pool […]

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The Sunday Times’s AA Gill revisits Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy in its new form as Pharmacy 2 in Vauxhall and finds things have changed considerably since the Notting Hill original launched in 1998, when the opening was ‘like a red-carpet premiere, a mob of paparazzi and rubberneckers, double-parked limos, teeth and tits’. “I was surprised at […]

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Five stars for food from AA Gill?! A rare occurrence indeed. The first British spin-off (in Covent Garden) of Les Halles restaurant Frenchie wows the Sunday Times critic…  “Frenchie is that thing I’d almost given up hoping I would see again: a really, really good modern French bistro. Not nostalgic or revisionist, but a sensible, […]

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AA Gill reviews Notting Hill’s new vegetarian restaurant Tiny Leaf in the Sunday Times but decides London still needs a decent veggie venue “It’s the good intentions that sink vegetative restaurants. They are selling the goodness of their intentions in the hope that you’re more interested in filling the karma bank than your stomach. The […]

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AA Gill is thoroughly unimpressed by Shaftesbury Avenue’s new Chinese hotpot restaurant Shuang Shuang – an “anxiety-inducing concept” where diners are asked to assemble their own soup from a conveyor belt of ingredients. It’s making The Sunday Times critic nostalgic for the days of turtle soup terrines, Michael Winner, and drinks trolleys… “This is by […]

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The Times’s Giles Coren is so annoyed by his fellow diners inability to set aside their phones and enjoy the experience of dining at Sartoria (not to mention Francesco Mazzei’s cuisine) that he can’t taste straight… “The lighting is low but the tables are well covered by spotlights for menu-reading, the acoustics are perfect, thanks […]

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