Review of the reviews

Our weekly summary of what the national and local restaurant critics were writing about in the week ending 6 November 2022.


The Guardian

“A very decent, experimental Japanese with a side of jazz.”

Grace Dent was in Dalston, at mu, a live music venue where “the food is taken seriously” – to a surprising extent; Grace has “frequented many, many music venues over the decades, and not once have I woken up the next day extolling the postmodern playfulness of the chef’s vision”.

“The food at this charming, bold, cool, music venue, which is really trying to give young talent and well-loved but niche artists a platform, is far grander and ornately executed than it needs to be.”


The Evening Standard

Jimi Famurewa headed out west to Kuro Eatery, a “new, dining-focused spin-off of Notting Hill’s minimalist Kuro Coffee” – a bold opening in these difficult times for the industry – and was “steadily ambushed by wave after wave of unexpected brilliance”.

It’s a “serene little room of blonde wood, puttering background jazz, and mercurial, Italo-Japanese cuisine” where ex-Cornerstone head chef Andrianos Poulis makes “personality and life positively brim from the food”.

“Rather than ill-timed overreach, Kuro’s ambition is the mark of a kitchen and business confident enough to know it is on to something special.” (****)


Also in The Standard, a selection of places for Thanksgiving dinner “from the traditional to the contemporary, fine-dining to family-friendly”, and a sneak peek at the Mayfair “outpost of Boston cult restaurant” Saltie Girl.


The Observer

“An elbows-on-the-table sort of place, where you could hunker down by yourself over a bowl of something steaming and delicious that makes the world better, and all at an extremely good price. “

Jay Rayner‘s dentist reads his reviews, always watching out for crown-threatening dishes, so he was extra careful at Roasta Preston, a “cheerful Cantonese diner” in Preston when devouring a platter of duck parts, a “bunting-strewn festival of hands-on nibblage and tooth tugging, of crisped skin and meat dragged in ribbons from the bone, interspersed with the occasional dense nugget of bronzed gizzard”.

Jay found Roasta in a Google search when he had a Tuesday lunchtime to fill in the city; it’s “outside the city centre on the corner of a residential shopping parade, just past the Central Lancashire University campus, which doubtless provides much of its custom” and the online reviews had “a warm unanimity”.

“The menu deserves to be fully explored. It takes you far beyond comfort food and into a whole bunch of the Cantonese tradition’s intriguing ginnels” courtesy of the Hong Kong natives Fai Tsang and her husband, Wai.


The Times

“Scrooge… the cold-hearted landlord of dismal legend, is very much alive and well. And operating, nowadays, out of Bermuda.”

Giles Coren reported on the foreclosure of city veteran Simpson’s, whose investora are demanding the immediate payback of lockdown rent arrears to the tune of £385,000; “265 years of history destroyed at a stroke from a sunbed 700 miles north of the Bahamas”.

[The crowdfunding page stands just shy of £70,000 at the time of writing.]


The Telegraph

“I’d take my favourite aunt.”

William Sitwell ventured to Clerkenwell and the “pale flamingo-pink walls” and “polite quietness” of Compton, on the site previously occupied by Anna Hansen’s influential The Modern Pantry. He’d recommend the cauliflower croquettes almost as much as the waiter did. (****)


The Independent

“A luxurious escape from reality.”

Kate Ng reviewed the “classic-meets-contemporary” restaurant at The Twenty Two hotel in Mayfair, “a stone’s throw away from the awful, heaving throngs of Oxford Street”. She wasn’t expecting to find the “escapism” she was after, but the “restaurant’s grandness; all baby blue walls and mustard-coloured velvet chairs, soft lighting and plush floors” did the job.

The menu is “peppered with classic French cookery”, there’s “truly fantastic cocktails” and “the staff are particularly wonderful… attentive and friendly”.

“The vibes are immaculate.”


The Scotsman

Rosalind Erskine reviewed 111 by Modou, the Glasgow restaurant famously given over to Senegal-born Modou Diagne by Nico Simeone, who ran his first restaurant on this site.

“Having had past lives of an Italian and a chippy, 111 is now a stylish, upmarket restaurant” where ” Modou is now running a monthly guest chef series” of themed dinners; last month it was game, cooked with Nico himself.”Modou and Nico used their skill to really let the seasonal flavours of these autumnal meats and veggies shine.”

“The restaurant is a bit away from the hustle of Finnieston… but with such creativity and care that’s put into the menus, it’s well worth the trip.”


And also…  

“To be, or not to be, a gastropub? Tim Hayward for FT Magazine reports that The Baring in Islington “somehow does both, deliciously” – “it feels like a polished restaurant, but at times you feel the bones of the pub all round you and it’s discombobulating”.

Also in The FT Globetrotter, “an Indian restaurant crawl along London’s Elizabeth Line”.


Share this article: