Jay Rayner in The Observer forgets culinary purity at Gaijin Sushi Birmingham where a Polish chefs cooks solid Japanese food…
“Depending on who is using the word, Gaijin is either an aggressively offensive word for non-Japanese people, or a self-mocking term used by non-Japanese people to signify their otherness.
“… this is a sushi joint run by a tall Polish chap…Gaijin Sushi is an utter delight.
“… it’s very solid and does its thing with grace, humour and enthusiasm… a tiny space, on a slightly brutal shopping parade… spicy tuna rolls, with a proper late-blooming kick of heat.
“Crab rolls come topped with bright orange beads of tobiko, the roe of the flying fish, like a comedy nod to Donald Trump’s combover. At Gaijin you can feed yourself properly for £30 a head… it’s their place and they can run it how the hell they like.”
Grace Dent in The Guardian heads to a vegan pub in Hackney, however The Spread Eagle isn’t what she expected…
“The term “vegan pub”… is instinctively a funny one… mental images of wan-faced fun-phobes sipping half-pints of unfiltered oatmeal stout in a room ripe with high-fibre flatulence.
“…the Spread Eagle is… in fact, a cheerful, gregarious boozer … it serves up plentiful, Mexican-influenced food… this is just a normal gastropub experience and not a two-hour, chia seed-filled, all-sensory drubbing on the woes of rennet, collagen and cochineal.
“…a new genre of vegan hospitality that uses Jedi mind-trickery to appease friends and family of vegans with assertive shock normality. I love the mental gymnastics of modern vegan food”
“At a time when pubs are in turmoil, here is one gastropub concept that is bringing home the bacon. There isn’t any meat, and getting a booking is murder.”
Kate Spicer in The Evening Standard takes a seat at Evelyn’s Table at the Blue Posts (the latest venture from the duo behind The Palomar)…
“You enter through a secret downstairs door marked private with a peephole… The room is not much bigger than a bus. Just 11 seats along a marble counter lit by brass lamps.
“Savoury courses come under five headings: snacks, raw and cured, pasta, secondi and day boat fish.
“The food was split between good and the last three dishes we ate, which moved into a different realm of awesome. The big story here is the fish that comes in daily from Looe in Cornwall.
“… fish soup, an epic broth of roasted fishbone stock and loads of booze… tarte Tatin, achingly perfect and sticky to its soul… siblings, Zoë and Layo Paskin… are pure class.”
Ben Norum in The Evening Standard delivers a four star review for Vivek Singh’s third Cinnamon Kitchen spin-off in Battersea
“… far more industrial and edgy than the others… the street food inspired dishes… really stand out.
“… once Battersea riverside comes to life in the summer the outside terrace could become a… hotspot in its own right.
“Mr Singh has another success on his hands.”
Frankie McCoy in The Evening Standard awards five stars to Ollie Dabbous’s Hide, which achieves ‘polished perfection’…
“…the biggest new opening of 2018, thanks to its star chef … and big backer… surely the most expensive… more than £20 million, rumour has it”it’s a fabulous, barnstorming success.
“A peaceful, cellar-cool refuge from sticky Piccadilly… the food is so bloody good. At Hide every dish is a lesson in balance, richness tempered with flower-powered acidity.
“…anti-dude food. The tempo of food starts gently. Who puts goose on a menu? Dabbous does, and stupendously so. It’s a brilliant dish. Desserts are pastel perfect.
“Hide is like a handsome friend who has inherited impossible wealth and lives a charmed life, but who is so completely lovely that you cannot resent him.
“If you have all the money in the world, of course you can buy the best people, the best ingredients, the best building. Dabbous is knocking out his most fabulous five-star food yet. Go before that waiting list grows.”
Michael Deacon in The Telegraph reviewed The Hundred of Ashendon…
“It prides itself on its peaceful atmosphere. So God bless the iPad.
“Go to any restaurant on a Saturday or Sunday lunchtime, and you’ll see tables of adults chatting and drinking merrily away – while their children sit glued to their iPads. Everyone is happy.
“My feather blade was meltingly soft, falling apart at the merest glance of my fork. Lemon Posset… pure swirling dreaminess, as clean and bright as spring air.”
Tom Parker Bowles in The Daily Mail pays a visit to Berkshire’s French Horn (and 1987)…
“…a restaurant where it is forever 1987… plush, well-upholstered oasis of old-school charm. Our fellow guests all wear blazers or smart frocks, and chatter merrily with the lovely staff.
“…what a menu this is. Preserved, like The French Horn, in tomato aspic… my spit roast duck is, to quote Michael Winner, who was a big fan of The Horn, ‘historic’.
“Prices are Berkshire-posh-hotel high… there’s a three-course set menu for £33, which offers astounding value.
“For pudding, crêpes suzette, flambéed at the table. Obviously. Coffee comes with pretty petits fours. Of course it does.”
Tim Hayward in The Financial Times heads to tiny (15-seater) newcomer Titu in Mayfair’s quaint Shepherd Market…
“Its talented chef seems to want to create unique food that makes people happy.”