Review of the reviews: Michael Deacon’s appraisal of Indian Accent labelled ‘shockingly stupid’

Jay Rayner in The Observer reviewed United Chip in Clerkenwell. But make sure you also check out his defence of restaurant pricing below…

“…the bravest restaurant opening in years.

“United Chip stands out for attending to practically every modern bell and whistle it can find, while still caring about the essentials.”

“…be in no doubt: this is a British chippy.

“…proper chips, fried to crisp in a manner that results in lots of golden, shattered bits at the bottom… spiced prawn burger with Bangkok mayo… a very good thing indeed.

“Making brilliant sauces for their rather good chips like this is frankly an outrageous innovation. [chip shop curry sauce and gravy are SUPPOSED to be awful]

“United Chip has to do a small bunch of very familiar things very well indeed… It could have been a disaster. Happily, it really isn’t.”

Also by Jay Rayner: If you want to eat out, you should fork out

We can point to various causes of the restaurant industry trauma: business-rate rises, Brexit-inspired workforce shortages, food-price inflation. But it comes down to this. Britain isn’t the great cosmopolitan nation it imagines itself to be. Not enough people are willing to pay for the good stuff. It’s a crying shame.


Grace Dent in The Guardian finds modern but faithful Punjabi-Bengali cooking at Romy Gill’s venture Romy’s Kitchen, Bristol…

“Gill is one of the few Indian female chef/proprietors in the UK.

“…much mooned-after samosa chaat. You may have seen this… on Instagram. Perhaps with the caption “Omnom get dis dindin in me face innit”.

“…recent London residency at Carousel in Marylebone

“…the best food comes in shades of beige (chow mein, parmo, scouse)… modern but faithful Punjabi-Bengali cooking… neither hip small plates served “as they’re ready”… neither is it oh-so-laboured fine dining.

“…lose all inhibitions and try the gosht aloo bakhara… this is, simply put, a large, welcoming neighbourhood stop-off with room to host family and friends.”


Ben Norum in The Evening Standard revels in proper South American cuisine at newcomer Paladar…

“… an odd location for an ambitious, slickly designed restaurant serving a pan-South American menu.

“Whatever your origin, it would be hard to be disappointed.

“Flavours and influences span the length of South America, and the wine list impressively matches.

“…successfully combines a slick setting and creative cooking with such a genuinely homely vibe… this is a slice of real South America, served up by those who know it best.”


Professor Green’s [yes, you read that right] quest for London’s best Sunday Roast leads him to Peckham Coal Rooms…

“…set in a building once used as the ticket office for Peckham Rye station… they serve classic modern British food and play great Eighties music.

“…roasts came with all the trimmings… most importantly, incredible spuds.

“In the search for London’s best roast, I think I’ve found the finest one in the south-east.”


Fay Maschler in The Evening Standard is impressed by her trip to West Hampstead’s new neighbourhood spot Ham, from ex-Ledbury chef Matt Osborne…

“…yet another neighbourhood restaurant in West Hampstead… but a noticeably loftier one… the pursuit of quality never lets up.”



Michael Deacon’s review of Indian Accent in the Telegraph this week was labelled ‘shockingly stupid’ by food writer Sejal Sukhadwala who was appalled by the critic’s lack of specialist knowledge and the implication that Indian chefs should stick to curry house fare…

“A naan – an absolutely tiny one, the size of a hamster’s Frisbee – filled with blue cheese. Now, you may be thinking, ‘A naan? Filled with blue cheese? That can’t possibly work.’ Well, believe it or not, you’d be absolutely right, because it was just weird. Like being confronted with a poppadom covered in trifle, or a chapatti stuffed with bees.”


Tom Parker Bowles in The Daily Mail tries Chinatown’s new build-it-yourself style hot pot restaurant Shu Xiangge and loves it…

“…a vast menu that is as much anatomical chart as it is à la carte. You tick the raw ingredients you desire, then choose your broth… a delectably Satanic brew.

“… close your eyes and you could be in Chengdu” [and of course he’s visited Sichuan and Chengdu – it’s not a proper TPB without some geographical name dropping].

“…there’s something utterly life-affirming about Sichuan hotpot. Hotpot heaven awaits.”

Tim Hayward in The Financial Times pays a visit to Mayfair’s newly opened Sabor, a Galician-inspired restaurant and asador from Nieves Barragán Mohacho (ex-Barrafina)…

“…like a warm evening in Bilbao.

“…from a star Spanish chef.

“… excellent tapas, sublime seafood and roast suckling pig.”

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