Harden’s regular round-up of the restaurant critics’ musings, from the week ending 21 April 2019. Happy Easter! Xier, London W1 Grace Dent for The Guardian is always “questioning the entire point of modern haute cuisine” – especially lengthy tasting menus “often done badly: too pompous, too many petals, too few carbs, not a lot of […]

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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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Peg, London E9 Jimi Famuwera from The Evening Standard is the latest critic to pay a visit to Peg; it reminded him of LA restaurants he’d visited (mostly because of the feeling of “smugness and nagging inadequacy” it engendered), but he soon admitted that his first impressions were quite wrong. The “no-reservations arrowhead of a […]

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EartH Kitchen, London N16 Jay Rayner leaped straight in to describing the food when reviewing EartH (not a typo) Kitchen for The Observer; stopping just long enough to explain that it’s “the restaurant of a major new arts venue in London’s Hackney”. Crispy pig’s cheek salad was “an adult bowl of food designed to make […]

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Angelina, London E8 Jay Rayner for The Observer visited Angelina despite the “acute flashbacks” he suffered when told it was a fusion of Italian and Japanese food; it took him right back to the “unmitigated disaster” that was Shumi in 2003. Luckily for him, and us, Angelina avoids any such disaster: it “feels like a […]

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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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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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