Welcome to Bon Vivant’s summary of the restaurant reviews from the weekend’s national newspapers. Enjoy!
Giles Coren, The Times
Giles visits Aqua Kyoto, a ‘bustling’ Japanese restaurant ‘high up in the roof’ ‘with stunning night views over Regent Street’ and ‘really terrific cocktails’ where the ‘food was pretty fantastic’.
The sushi was ‘first class’ and scallops were ‘polar fresh and buttery’. Spinach rolls were ‘really excellent’, deep-fried agedashi tofu was ‘a very decent substitute for the traditional chicken version’ and grilled eel teriyaki was ‘excellent’. 7 out of 10.
AA Gill, The Sunday Times
AA Gill visits a selection of restaurants in New York. Momofuku Milk Bar had a menu of ‘cakes and pies’ where pork buns were ‘by far and away the best thing, the reason for coming here’. DBGB, Daniel Boulud’s more casual restaurant with a ‘1980s Conran’ look had ‘deeply unpleasant black pudding’, a Vermont sausage with cheese ‘that was like eating an infected toe’ and ‘the best thing was the house hot dog’.
The Breslin, a ‘busy, dark dining room’ at the new Ace hotel, from the cook from the Spotted Pig ‘is one hell of a restaurant’. The full English breakfast was ‘well made’, the Caesar salad and steak and egg were ‘good’ and a grilled three-cheese and ham sandwich was ‘brilliant’.
Momofuku Milk Bar 4 stars out of 5; DBGB Kitchen and Bar 3 stars out of 5; The Breslin 4 stars out of 5.
Matthew Norman, The Guardian
Matthew visits the ‘ultra-voguish’ Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, which ‘is as close to flawless as seems decent’. The lighting and acoustics were ‘flawless’, the service ‘lavishly attentive without being oppressive’ and the food ‘exceedingly good’.
Twice-baked smoked haddock soufflé was ‘wonderful and savoury with a lovely, buttery sauce’, and onion tart with caramelised sweetbreads and grilled squid were both faultless.
The salt beef was ‘huge and the flavour authentic’, fish and chips was ‘excellent’, and ‘the ultra-faddish chicken and leek pie’ was ‘the pick of the bunch’. No rating given.
John Walsh, The Independent
John reviews Kitchen W8 in Kensington, where ‘the décor is rather stark’ and ‘the waiters’ know ‘their stuff’.
Chicken and mushroom ravioli was ‘light and utterly delicious’ and thinly sliced smoked eel with grilled mackerel was ‘as pretty as an English watercolour’. Pork cheeks with black pudding ‘were cooked to a densely flavoured succulence’ and the John Dory was ‘delicious, perfectly well cooked’ but ‘too sweet’. The puddings, including a rhubarb fool, ‘were wonderful’. 4 stars out of 5 for the food; 3 stars out of 5 for the ambience; 5 stars out of 5 for the service.
Toby Young, The Independent on Sunday
Toby visits Pearl Liang in the Paddington Basin, where the front-of-house manager is ‘a model of courtesy’ and the furniture is ‘reassuringly dysfunctional’.
The prawn dumplings were ‘nothing to write home about’, the pork bun, shu mai and glutinous rice were ‘all very tasty’ and the barbecued pork puffs were ‘sweet and rich’ and ‘best of all’. 14 out of 20.
Zoe Williams, The Telegraph
Zoe visits the ‘incredibly traditional’ Camellia in Horsham, West Sussex, where ‘the atmosphere is what the word ‘hush’ was invented for’, and the menu ‘as eternal as food itself’ with ‘some quirky touches’.
Scallops with crab ravioli and braised fennel had a ‘wonderful flavour’, the Cowfold quail ‘was absolutely terrific – tender, distinctive and subtly gamey’, slow-cooked Sussex fillet of beef ‘was very good’ and the seared sea bream with wild mushrooms ‘was very professional’. 7.5 out of 10.
Jasper Gerard, The Telegraph
Jasper visits Gilpin Lodge in Cumbria and loves the ‘friendly informality’ of the ‘jewel in the crowd’ of the Lake District.
A ballotine of organic salmon with caviar and ‘a dollop of crème fraîche’ was ‘simple’ and ‘delicious’, braised lamb was ‘everything I remembered’, twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé was ‘particularly picturesque’ and roasted breast of corn-fed Goosnargh duck was ‘very punchy, almost like venison, and waddles along delightfully with buttery celeriac and potato gratin’. Pistachio and olive oil cake was ‘winningly moist and crumbly’. 8 out of 10.
Chris Blackhurst, The Evening Standard
Chris visits Benares in Mayfair, which has a ‘buzziness and warmth about the atmosphere that some Mayfair establishments lack’, where ‘the decor has been lightened and the place feels less stuffy’ but ‘is far from cheap’
Tandoor-roasted rabbit in a spicy crust marinade was ‘jolly good’ and a tandoori rattan had ‘hot and juicy’ lamb, chicken that was ‘bursting with herbs’ and a ‘plump and sweet’ prawn.
Main of murg korma (tandoori chicken supreme with korma sauce and smoked courgette) and mongsho ghughni (roast Romney Marsh lamb rump on rosemary sweet potato and chickpeas) were both ‘delicious’. 4 stars out of 5.
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