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Corrigan's

Giles Coren, The Times (Rating: 8/10)

As is obligatory with all reviews of Richard Corrigan’s new Mayfair restaurant, the critic begins by setting out, flatteringly, the cv which explains why Richard Corrigan is something of a darling of the circle who write about London restaurants for a living. The review, in keeping, is pretty much invariably upbeat: the fare may be “rugged-sounding”, but it has been “tamed [rather than] egregiously Park-Laned”.

AA Gill, The Sunday Times (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Nowadays, you’re “more likely to find your [‘name’] chef in the News of the World, or a supermarket ad, than a kitchen”, notes the critic, but “[t]he exception is Richard Corrigan”. (“He has consistently been one of my favourite cooks, ever since I first came across this garrulous, charming Irishman in Fulham Road.”) The menu is “indomitable”, and most of what if offers is “peerless”.

Trishna

Terry Durack, The Independent on Sunday (Rating: 14/20)

This is the first review, so far as we’re aware, not to focus on the high prices of this new Marylebone Indian. Here, the main theme is that the kitchen “has worked hard at refining the flavours” – “so hard, the result is like a too-smooth motorway without the bumps and potholes that keep you awake and alive. While the fish curry and exemplary rice show the good side of such a strategy, a succession of mild-mannered and unmemorable dishes is the flip side”.

Kettners

Matthew Norman, The Guardian (Rating: 0.5/10)

You don’t have to go too far before the critic tells us where he’s going with his review of this Soho old-timer, recently revived by Gondola Holding – “every aspect of lunch was a cataclysm”.

Hélène Darroze At The Connaught

Jay Rayner, The Observer

The Observer’s man, reviewing this Mayfair dining room some months after its opening, comes to the same very critical view our own review, rather closer to the opening date, did. He finds “[t]wo of the very worst dishes ever to be served to me at this level; food which creates a whole new category of awful, which encourages you to pick up one of those shiny silver forks and stab it into the hand of the nearest waiter”. Gosh, that bad.

It‘s a clear and well-written review that, in our view, would have been much better without its last paragraph. It is not funny to describe a wine list as “so excruciatingly priced a spot of waterboarding might seem preferable”. Torture is not funny, Jay, and we thought the bien-pensants at the Observer knew that. And what’s all this about “the nagging feeling that right now, right here, as banks collapse and jobs die, this sort of restaurant, serving ill-judged food, really doesn't make the slightest bit of sense”? Is he really suggesting that there’s a time when that sort of restaurant really does make sense?

Age & Sons, Charlotte Court, Ramsgate

Zoe Williams, The Telegraph (Rating: 8.5/10)

“In the back alleys of Ramsgate is an old wine warehouse that in east London would house 75 ad execs and a clan of rats, but here has been turned into a lovely, large, inviting establishment [which exudes] an overriding sense of hospitality”. In fact, the whole place, says the critic, is “brilliant”.

Gourmet Spot, The Avenue, Durham

Tracey MacLeod, The Independent (Rating: Food 2/5 stars, Ambience 1/5 stars, Service 2/5 stars)

The critic visits an example of “the kind of suburban Gothic hotel the Addams Family would stay in if they retrained as travelling salesmen”. The reason, it turns out, is that its pudding was voted best in Britain by Restaurant magazine.

But the prize-winning chef has moved on, and the menu offered “[j]ust three starters, three mains, described with all the panache of a student shopping list”. The 24-seat dining room, “lit by a giant chandelier, would have been the height of grooviness when I was at university”, and managed to give the impression of a “budget recreation of a Bond villain’s lair” – an appropriate setting for a meal that ended up largely “dispiriting”. The current chef is “probably… decent enough…, but saddled with the duty of creating something sensational, he is trying much too hard”.

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