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Andy Campbell @ 23 Romilly Street

Tracey MacLeod, The Independent (Rating: Food 3/5 stars, Ambience 4/5 stars, Service 4/5 stars)

This “sultry little restaurant” above a private members’ club is, according to the critic, “the nearest thing you'll find in Soho to an underground dining club”. An “old-school” joint, it offers “decent food in a raffish, bohemian setting”, and has that increasingly rare and “nostalgic” quality: “personality”.


Matthew Norman, The Guardian

“Seldom will you be battered by such a perfect storm of cloyingly cutesy decor, astoundingly intrusive service, utterly abysmal food and extortionate pricing.” Let us simply say that the critic is not hugely impressed by this New York steakhouse, recently imported to Belgravia.


Jay Rayner, The Observer

The critic hopes to find a “Tayyabs hit without the hassle” at this new joint in Whitechapel, run by the ex-manager of the aforementioned mega-celebrated Pakistani-grills institution. What with the loud widescreen TV in the dining room and “some stale poppadoms”, first impressions are not good. But things improves with the arrival of the food proper; each of the “fresh and juicy” dishes are pleasingly “distinct and idiosyncratic”. The only disappointment with the cuisine is the lamb chops, which are something of a “cult” at Tayyabs, but “weren’t very good” here.

The Osterley Park Cafe

Toby Young, The Independent on Sunday (Rating: 15/20)

The critic is pleased to discover that the National Trust café in the grounds of this stately home in Hounslow is a cut above the norm for ‘family friendly’ destinations. It provides “hearty, inexpensive fare” and a “wealth of home-made produce” in a “quirky” Tudor stable block.

The Greenhouse

Giles Coren, The Times (Rating: 8.33/10)

This review is a self-confessed “sham”: the critic dines in the private dining room of this Mayfair restaurant, under his own name, and with three other critics. He is there as part of the judging panel for the London Restaurant Festival Awards, and whilst we learn more about his own lack of confidence as a critic, he gives a positive impression of this “perennial top-end favourite”. He finds it a “very elegant, unusually masculine” space, and is “charmed” by the “clever” cuisine of head chef Antonin Bonnet.

Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds

Jasper Gerard, The Sunday Telegraph (Rating: 3/5)

The critic finds “high-end cosmopolitan dining at low-end rural prices” at this seafood restaurant in a “scandalously beautiful Suffolk town”. It is, we are told, “revered locally” and he finds “much to admire”, but a not-very-sharp waitress and the lack of flavour of some dishes let the place down.

Cawdor Tavern, Inverness

AA Gill, The Sunday Times (Rating: 1/5 stars)

Shock horror! Major metropolitan critic visits touristy rural pub and finds it wanting! We’re never entirely sure what the point is of giving major national reviews to places most readers of the newspaper concerned will never have any desire or reason to visit anyway. This large pub at the foot of Cawdor Castle is decorated wth “a great Gaelic clash of competing nylon patterns”. Its service is “mostly absent”, and the food “tastes like it’s made for the lowest possible price.”

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