Review of the reviews: Where the critics ate this week

AA Gill reviews Notting Hill’s new vegetarian restaurant Tiny Leaf in the Sunday Times but decides London still needs a decent veggie venue

“It’s the good intentions that sink vegetative restaurants. They are selling the goodness of their intentions in the hope that you’re more interested in filling the karma bank than your stomach. The explanations of the ingredients are always longer than the recipes. Vegetarian places are to restaurants what the Big Issue is to journalism.”

The Times’s Giles Coren heads out of London for a change and stops by Damson in Manchester. Unfortunately it wasn’t worth the trip…

“I’d seen a sample menu and pictures of some of the dishes online and knew already that Damson conformed cheerfully to the “One year back in time for every ten miles out of London” rule. So it was “Welcome back to 1995” and a delightful selection of veloutés, plated scallop arrangements, fillets of beef and everything double-spooned into quenelles.”

Jay Rayner reviews the Sethi Siblings’ latest offering, a new Sri Lankan street food-inspired, no bookings spot in Soho called Hoppers…

“I don’t like queuing. I don’t like queuing behind members of my own family to use the bathroom in my own house, let alone behind 14 sweet-natured, patient young people who don’t think standing in line for 45 minutes to eat dinner is bizarre. I am not sweet-natured. I am definitely not patient. Hence I have found the rise of non-reservation restaurants extremely tiresome. Time is precious. I’m getting old. I might be dead soon. I want to know where I’m going to be and when.”

Meanwhile The Guardian’s Marina O’Laughlin isn’t won over by the latest outpost of the Rick Stein empire, on Britain’s most affluent spit of land – Sandbanks, Dorset

“Despite some excellent dishes and the cheery professionalism of the staff, I’m not buying it. We’re flanked by helmet-headed dames ordering grilled salmon (“No miso, please!”) and the only young people appear to be on a grandparents’ treat. It’s all too corporate and slick, overproduced and soulless, safe and anodyne: an M&S cashmere of a restaurant. It is, of course, wildly busy: people pile in even at the most off-peak times. (“Is it because it’s payday?” I idiotically ask a staff member who laughs: “This lot got paid years ago.”)”

And Grace Dent revisits Mayfair’s über-glam celeb-magnet Scott’s and finds it hasn’t lost its touch… 

In this life, you’re either someone who wears sample-size, or you’re someone who knows the joy of pommes aligot washed down with Picpoul de Pinet. I am rarely begged to ‘Frow’ — chiefly as my left butt cheek is the entire circumference of one Victoria’s Secret Angel. In fashion circles, I am little more than a fire hazard.

Share this article: