Harden’s review of the reviews

⦿ Jay Rayner of The Observer reviewed Jaya in Llandudno, where he found “cracking Punjabi food by way of East Africa”.

“From the specials there are lamb chops, marinated in their own lime pickle, which is all fire and acidity. The heat of the oven has mellowed the punch a little but turned it into something deeper and more savoury.

“The chops are pink at the middle, the fat crisp and running. I make a note to start marinating all my meat in lime pickle.”

⦿ In the Guardian, Marina O’Loughlin reviewed Refuge by Volta 7/10, which has transformed Manchester’s Victorian Gothic Palace Hotel building into “a jaw-dropping, dazzling tour de force”.

“The Volta duo have tamed this monster of a place, this beast, and turned it into an absolute beauty.”

“They talk the local produce talk, but fling it about with the louchest abandon: South American ceviches, Middle Eastern mutabal, pak choi, chimichurri, preserved lemon – the whole polyglot shebang.”  

⦿ Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard reviewed Honey & Smoke 4/5 in Fitzrovia, which she found  “reminiscent of the flavours of grill houses in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Acre and Istanbul”. 

“A skewer with grilled black Turkish Bursa figs interspersed with Greek manouri cheese marinated with fig leaves dressed with plenty of mint, chilli and pomegranate seeds could settle all political differences between those two countries.”

⦿ ES magazine’s Grace Dent, visited Kiln 4/5 in Soho, the “rural Thai and borderlands barbecue experience” that is, she said, “100 per cent 2016 London.

“But is Kiln any good, you ask? Yes… Skewers of heavily fattened spiced hogget are almost grotesquely delicious.”

⦿ Keith Miller of the Telegraph reviewed The Shore 4/5 in Penzance, a fish and seafood specialist which chef-proprietor Bruce Rennie is operates as “a one-man band”

“Monkfish with dashi (Japanese-style bonito broth), kale, daikon radish and slender shimeji mushrooms was succulent and savoury, the metallic taste of the kale cutting through the fish and marrying nicely with the smoky broth; the fungi popped pleasingly in the mouth. ”

⦿ His Telegraph colleague Michael Deacon reviewed Jikoni  3/5 in Marylebone, where he found  “flavours flung together in unusual ways… good when it worked, weird when it didn’t”.

“Puddings were just straight-up, no-messing gorgeousness”.

⦿ Giles Coren of The Times also reviewed Jikoni 7/10, finding it a “beautiful, expensive little tuck shop with an exciting menu, brilliant cocktails, top-drawer cooking and charming staff”. 

“This was some of the most delicate, beautiful and delicious Indian food I have eaten in years”.

⦿ The Sunday Times’s AA Gill reviewed the Dominic Ansel Bakery 2/5 in Victoria, from the New York inventor of the Cronut.

A cross between a doughnut and a croissant, “this mule cake is too sweet, too greasy”.

The bakery hands out madeleines to people queuing for a table. “They are far and away the best thing Ansel’s kitchen makes – and they’re giving them away for nothing.”

⦿ In the Mail on Sunday, Tom Parker Bowles reviewed The Greyhound, Antony Worrall Thompson’s gastropub at Rotherfield Peppard, near Henley.

“The food is, on the whole, exactly what you’d expect from a local pub run by a famous telly chef.” 

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