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28-50 Wine Workshop

Evening Standard, David Sexton (2/5 Stars)

The Texture team’s new City-fringe venture, says the critic, has an atmosphere that’s “a bit underground car park”, and with suitably “unflattering” lighting too. The “shortish” brasserie menu is “fairly priced”, but he finds fault with almost every dish served, and concludes the food is “unexciting”.

Wine is a supposed highlight, but even that doesn’t really hit the spot – he is particularly surprised to find every variety served in the same style of glass.

Time Out, Guy Diamond (4/5 Stars)

This is a Time Out review, so naturally it begins with a dig at people who wear suits and work with numbers. (I mean: who would?). The magazine’s head man discerns that this new City-fringe wine bar is a “furrowed-brow version of Terroirs, the hit Covent Garden wine bar [but a] darker, more concentrated basement where you go for serious contemplation of wine and food matching”.

He turns his own furrowed brow to the measures in which wine is sold, and concludes that they are illegal. (He may be right, but he’s wrong to say that “[l]egal sales of wine measures have been standardised since Magna Carta in 1215, to prevent customers being overcharged”: control of wine measures – unlike beer – is a pheonomenon of recent decades.)

Anyway, he finds the food ‘[d]elightful”, and the food “just an enthusiastically prepared”, if “served at City prices in portion sizes which are not especially generous”.

Roux at Parliament Square

Metro, Marina O'Loughlin (3/5 Stars)

Passing briefly through the “personality-free” bar, the critic visits this new Roux outpost, where the dining room is “a sea of cream and beige with all the edge, brio and atmosphere of a Vauxhall showroom”. The food is “pretty good, if a bit on the excitable, over-faffed side”, but she predicts the place “will happily settle into a role as Westminster’s new power-lunching hot spot”.

Lumen Café

Time Out, Charmaine Mok (4/5 Stars)

A review of an East End outfit with a commendable emphasis on sustainability. The critic concludes that “[t]here's no faddishness or hypocrisy to be found here; only good food in good surroundings served by people who believe in good restaurant practices.”

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