Fishmarket, Edinburgh When in Edinburgh Jay Rayner for The Observer always heads to Ondine, and its “pitch-perfect seafood”; you can imagine how delighted he was to discover a sibling restaurant, “a collaboration between Ondine chef Roy Brett and his long-time suppliers Welch Fishmongers,” on the docks at Newhaven. At Fishmarket there’s a “classic metal takeaway counter” […]

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Jay Rayner Instead of a review this week, Jay looks back over his 20 years as The Observer’s restaurant critic in an article that ranges from 1999 (the year MPW retired, Jamie O debuted his Naked Chef show, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay hit its stride and The Fat Duck won its first Michelin star), through the […]

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The Crown, London W4 Jimi Fanuwera for The Evening Standard went out to west London to try out the latest of chef Henry Harris’s “expanding stable of amiable new-wave gastropubs” – The Crown in Chiswick. He was expecting “a sort of cosy, creaking coastal tavern that had been magically airlifted on to a corner in […]

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Yeni, London W1 Jimi Fanuwera for The Evening Standard has found his new happy place: after two hours at Yeni (” a new London sibling for one of Istanbul’s hottest restaurants”), all of his “contorting stresses and life worries had melted away”. He even compared the new Anatolian restaurant to a spa-break, “almost certainly the best place […]

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Bia Rebel, Belfast Jay Rayner  for The Observer was in Belfast, and visited the winner of the Best Cheap Eats category of last year’s Observer Food Monthly awards. “Happily, I can confirm our readers have impeccable taste.” Bia Rebel is run by chef Brian Donnelly (ex-Aubergine, Le Gavroche and Thornton’s) and his business partner Jenny […]

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Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge Jay Rayner  for The Observer starts his review by describing Tristan Welch’s Parker’s Tavern restaurant as “a dining room where the most fundamental of emotions are tended to”. You can just tell he loved every inch of it. The cooking was “a display of extremely assured, confident cooking designed purely to please […]

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Gilpin Spice, Windermere Jay Rayner for The Observer was in Windermere, visiting Gilpin Spice at Gilpin Lodge in the Lake District, described as “an act of bravery, fashioned from raw wood, vibrant dangling lampshades, tamarind, garlic, ginger, noodles and open guttering flames”. The food is best described as “Desi-Chinese food, a venerable amalgam of Chinese […]

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Monsieur Le Duck, London E1 Jay Rayner for The Observer visited the nostalgic new pop-up from City worker-turned-restaurateur Richard Humphreys, who dreamed of Gascony, with its restaurants serving duck confit and red wine, and decided to bring his dreams to Liverpool Street. The result is “delightful in a low-key, sweetly romantic way”; the “narrow frame […]

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The Telegraph’s new critic visits a vegan restaurant, Giles Coren finds two great new Oxford restaurants, and another critic jumps the queue at Din Tai Fung Gridiron, London SW1 Jay Rayner for The Observer found himself at the former The Met Bar location for his first review of 2019; it’s “has worked hard at the […]

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Lino, London EC1 Jay Rayner  for The Observer saved one of the best until last – for him, Lino turned out to be “among my top places of the year”. It’s “dancing on the knife edge of modernity”; “so much of what they do bellows 2018.” His review also rounds up the rest of his […]

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