Harden’s review of the reviews

⦿ Clipstone in Fitzrovia, which is still basking in AA Gill’s ecstatic review in the Sunday Times last week, attracted further praise this time around, the Observer’s Jay Rayner finding its food “delightful, with a few excursions into bliss and ah”.

“From the short list of cold cuts and crudos comes a plate of lardo, the cured back fat of the pig, served at room temperature so that all is softness and silk; it’s a trip to the lingerie department for the tongue.”

⦿ Kathryn Flett in the Telegraph concurred, saying Clipstone 4/5 bore “all the hallmarks of becoming a neighbourhood classic”.

“Rillettes of rabbit, pork and foie gras on grilled bread were – pow! – sweetmeatily unctuous in the best way; the two back-to-back delivering a high-protein double-punch.”

⦿ Her Telegraph colleague Michael Deacon reviewed Petit Pois in Hoxton Square 3/5, where he found helpings of the French disdain he so admires.

“My main was the duck confit, onion purée and gratin dauphinoise. The duck was great. So crisp, so elegant, so… superior. I could just imagine it, looking snootily down its beak at me. If it had still had one, anyway.”

⦿ The Times’s Giles Coren went off piste, as it were, with a long digression on Japanese loos before finding much to like about Jason Atherton’s Sosharu – not least “some of the best deep-fried chicken (karaage) you’ll ever eat”.

“A beautifully designed restaurant with fantastic food and the best bogs for 5,000 miles in any direction.”

⦿ In the Sunday Times, AA Gill found Sardine 4/5 uncomfortable and loud, although he put the complaint down to age. “The food was the thing, and was very good“.

In short, it was “a good kitchen that deserves a better restaurant.”

⦿ The Guardian’s Marina O’Laughlin disapproved heartily of Cha Chaan Teng in London’s Kingsway 4/10, a “bizarre homage” to classic Hong Kong Chinese-western tea cafes, where a dish of Sichuan smashed cucumber “makes me feel actual rage“.

“This is frankenfood, a grab-bag of social media-friendly trends shoe-horned into a concept.”

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