Review of the reviews: A vegan restaurant that can’t dress spinach? Grace Dent is not amused

Jay Rayner in The Observer finds Thai food without British beards and man buns at The Greyhound Cafe in Fitzrovia…

… on a hard-edged corner site north of London’s Oxford Street…the first British outpost of a well-known Bangkok group.

I like this place: I like the buzz. I like the food, very much…lots of people will hate this place on principle, because they think it will make them sound worldly and clever.

Thai food in London has… been taken over by a bunch of British-born cooks, many with beards.The Greyhound Café suggests Thai food is fine.Satay of rib-eye is a generous portion of extremely tender beef … smoky and seared in all the right places…Bangkok Bruschetta is a load of pork larb on toast, not an invitation to fume at the inauthentic.

I am left thinking there are things here I want to come back for, like the Happy Toast… topped with, among other things, salted caramel sauce and condensed milk…reads like filthy late night drunk food…deserves our deep respect.

Grace Dent in The Guardian delivers a dismal 4/30 for Chelsea newcomer Wulf & Lamb. A vegan restaurant that can’t dress spinach? Oh dear…

…a posh vegan cafe-restaurant in the heart of zillion-pound real-estate Chelsea…creaming money off diners hand over fist…the likes of Wulf & Lamb, with their fiercely kind food and just veg with edge mission statements, will thrive even when they’re not terribly good.

…untroubled by basic hospitality…a bowl of emerald green, Thai-influenced sauce appears with a splodge of mashed sweet potato floating in it, like Necker Island. This is the curry.”

This is a vegan restaurant that cant dress spinach…dry, reheated, unseasoned potato wedges could have been served with less care only if they’d …. pelted me with them.

… [on a] “a second visit… I had a delicious teff-seed chocolate bundt cake and an americano for £9, and left… sharpish.

Ailis Brennan in The Evening Standard gives 4 stars to Carnaby’s new crab specialist Claw…

First…a Hackney pub residency, a takeaway site in Liverpool Street; now … a fully-fledged restaurant on Carnaby Street.

Crab still takes the star turn here…Crab beignets are a treat…a cohesive sense of restaurant identity is overlooked in favour of championing the talents of individual ingredients…celeriac three ways was a fairly unnecessary addition

… scuttling from side-to-side in terms of culinary direction…pescatarian paradise…big flavours and seafood-stuffed comfort food.

David Sexton, also writing in The Evening Standard, reviews The Garden Cafe, which serves food befitting its home at the Garden Museum in Lambeth and recently introduced an evening service…

Last summer the [Garden] museum re-opened after an extensive makeover…a glass-walled wedge-shaped space, its polished concrete floor … inset with tombstones from the graveyard.

…the food they serve is right for the place.Most dishes have only three main components…listed… in that curtly informative manner pioneered at St John.

They do not put salt and pepper on the tables here, confidently…lamb leg, purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy was… straightforwardly delivered … good in its understatement.

…a brilliant solution to the vexed question of how to create a place attached to a museum, embodying its values but reaching beyond it.

Micheal Deacon in The Telegraph laments ‘a Russian roulette of a menu’ as he pays a visit to the recently refurbished and relaunched Kettners Townhouse in Soho and awards just 2/5 stars.

Tom Parker Bowles in The Daily Mail heads to Brighton where he finds ‘another cracking restaurant’ in the form of Pascere, which opened in the Lanes last year courtesy of food and drink editor of Platinum Business magazine, Amanda Menahem…

Brighton, once a byword for a bit of boarding-house hows-your-father, is now a fine place to eat.

Pascere, with its copper-topped tables and discreetly green walls, and the sort of front of house that are born, rather than made, is new Brighton to its core.

… there’s a confidence to this kitchen, a place where technical ability meets pure culinary common sense…tiny crab tarts; a rich, wobbling, quietly bosky shellfish custard, enveloping crab as fresh as sea breeze…clever, intricate stuff, but fussiness never usurps flavour.

… the bar has been set so damned high that merely good feels a touch deflating.Another cracking restaurant. When it comes to eating, Brighton rocks.

Nick Lander in The Financial Times reviewed the Galvin Bros’ Essex gastropub Galvin Green Man, which evokes a corner of France while the glass-fronted restaurant looks down to the river over a scene that is pure Constable…

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