Review of the reviews

Jimi Famurewa in ES investigated the “impressively long culinary shadow” of Rita’s at their new home in Bethnal Green’s Redchurch Brewery – the original Rita’s “refined deep-cuts from American diner menus” and “a ‘why not?’ embrace of knuckleduster Asian flavours” are now “part of the general lexicon of eating out in London”.

The new incarnation, in a Bethnal Green brewery, is “a fun, Bao-style affair”. Adjectives abound in Jimi’s review, from raptures over “a teetering plate of Wotsit-orange” everything cheese puff, which were “mind-blowingly cheesy”, to “hypnotically creamy” devilled eggs and “fantastic” green mac ‘n’ cheese.

He issues a warning, though – “with so much bold, tongue-zapping flavour you need to pick an assured path through the list”. And some advice: “save room for the ever-changing ‘all the way sundae’” and “above all, just go”. (7/10)

Tom Parker Bowles in The Daily Mail has finally made his way out of London and the Home Counties, and found unexpected joy in Gateshead’s Träkol, part of a foodie shopping container community beneath the Tyne Bridge.

The menu “skips merrily across the globe” with flavours that are “big and bold, but never brash, the spicing robust but expertly controlled”.

Octopus ceviche was “a riot of texture and flavour, crunch, punch and munch” and slow-cooked pork jowl was so good “you just can’t stop stuffing it into your gob” – even after a full day of reviewing other restaurants in the area, he looked on enviously as a half pig’s head was delivered to another table. “The generosity – of flavours and portion size – is immense.”

“The service is as lovely as the view over the Tyne, the atmosphere seasoned with succour and good cheer” – “pure Geordie gold”. (****)

Grace Dent in The Guardian reviewed Soane’s Kitchen at Pitzhanger Manor, “an elegant, bright, airy, beautifully situated space” serving “seasonally sensitive and ethically sourced” food.

Sadly, the rest of experience reminded her of a Victoria Wood sketch that nailed “just how non-inclusive these supposedly all-inclusive spaces actually are for the old, the uncool and the moderately waged”.

Chaotic service and menu confusion abounded. The full English breakfast, while “beautifully sourced”, was “a drab, sterile affair”. But she’ll go back, once the teething problems are sorted. (13/30)

in The Telegraph also visited Soane’s Kitchen, and likewise found a “very pretty ” but “very pleased-with-itself” place with slow service and a menu peppered with “various wangings-on about Understanding, Enjoyment, Fairness, Sustainability and Creativity – though not so much about Food”.

“If you bypass the food – expensive for a café – Soane’s is a great destination.” (**)

Giles Coren for Saturday’s Times magazine rattled through his word count with a spiel on the latest London openings, none of which he’d heard of, before being recommended Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at The Corinthia hotel. He declared “this place is boss” based on the clubby decor, with massive wooden doors, and the manly food.

Following a “magnificent” truffled baked egg, he are “great, great lamb” from the rotisserie, “richly seasoned, thick with flavour… the finish was pure Savoy Grill (in the old days)”. he also ordered fish and chips ‘for the table’ – the brill was “aromatic and sexy and the batter wonderfully delicate”.

Service “was the best of the solicitous old school with just a hint of Leonard Rossiter”. Top Tip – the set lunch, at around a third of the cost of dinner (before wine). (23/30)

In The Evening Standard, Fay Maschler visits Charlotte Street, and “Greek-Cypriot Ousia, a redrawing of what was the long-serving Andreas under the same ownership”. The starter dips turn out to be the “highlight of both the meals” she has there, along with an organic retsina that has “the scent of wind through the pines”. (***)

In The Guardian, Jay Rayner enjoyed a “delightful park cafe” in Deptford as a way of ending a three-month devotion to London’s restaurants. Festa sul Prato is “whitewashed and airy inside”, belying its origins as a toilet block: turning it into a cafe is “the kind of use for abandoned buildings that any community should want”.

It’s “cheery and fun and good-hearted” – that exemplary thing we all crave: the good, the solid and reliable, at a fair price.

Micheal Deacon in The Telegraph was confused and delighted by Tast Cuina Catalana: he couldn’t pronounce anything, but it tasted great just the same.

The famous duck liver, chocolate and raspberry doughnut “sounded revolting, but somehow… was terrific.” Coca bread was “spectacular” and the arròs de bosc tray of rice with beef was “tremendous”. Even the bao (“which isn’t remotely Catalan”) were good.

There was “xuixo de crema i xocolata” custardy doughnuts for dessert.  Next time, he’ll brush up on his pronunciation first. (****)

Marina O’Loughlin’s Sunday Times review of Akira, the “starkly serene newcomer ” at Japan House in Kensington.

Beautiful food – the bento box filled with tiny ceramic dishes made her “gasp with delight”, not so much lunch “as an artwork, an event”. But “the staff need a sharp toe to the jacksie” (or to at least know what they are serving), and the wagyu beef, while excellent, comes at “stratospheric cost”.

And also…

Nicholas Lander in The FT visited Kin + Deum in London Bridge: “The Massaman chicken curry had lots of colour, lots of chicken and a sauce flowing with coconut milk, red chillies and cashew nuts.”

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