Hill and Szrok Pub review – Old Street meat pub is worth a butcher’s hook
★★★☆☆ / Gastropub / Steak/chophouse

Hill and Szrok Pub review – Old Street meat pub is worth a butcher’s hook

Steakhouse and pub all-in-one The original Hill and Szrok is a butchers in Broadway Market that branched out into catering. Re-purposing its central marble slab into a communal table, the butcher turned into a self-described ‘cookshop’ at night. ‘Cookshops’ are apparently the Regency-era precursors to restaurants in modern Britain and it’s hard to forget this … Continue reading

Vico review – Italian fast food that thinks it’s opera but is just out of tune
★★★☆☆ / Italian / Pizza

Vico review – Italian fast food that thinks it’s opera but is just out of tune

Cheap (ish) Cambridge Circus cuisine Marketing is a magical thing. It can transform the mundane into something much more wondrous and exotic. Vico, an Italian restaurant that has taken over what used to be the Pizza Hut on the corner of Cambridge Circus and Charing Cross Road, is basically a fast food joint. Or a canteen or cafeteria if … Continue reading

Morada Brindisa Asador review – charcoal-fired tapas comes to Piccadilly
★★★☆☆ / Spanish / Tapas

Morada Brindisa Asador review – charcoal-fired tapas comes to Piccadilly

Big and small plates of charcoal grilled and baked meat Brindisa is one of the older tapas mini-chains in London, having sprouted as an off-shoot of a Spanish goods import operation more than a decade ago. Perhaps because its existence is therefore taken for granted, it’s rarely spoken of in the same excitable or reverential tones … Continue reading

Blacklock review – £20 for a huge plate of chops in Soho
★★★★★ / Steak/chophouse

Blacklock review – £20 for a huge plate of chops in Soho

Bargain West End grilled meat The idea of a restaurant that serves just chops sounds startlingly modern, but it’s actually quite an old idea. London used to be covered in chophouses – restaurants that, from the late 17th century to the end of the 19th, catered exclusively to men and plied them with booze and cuts of meat. … Continue reading

Portland review – lamb tartare and pickled shiitake on Great Portland Street
★★★★☆ / Eclectic

Portland review – lamb tartare and pickled shiitake on Great Portland Street

Picture’s sleek new rival Coming up with restaurant names is not easy. With umpteeen restaurants opening a week in London, all the names that are both good and obvious have long been taken by now. But the guys behind Portland on Great Portland Street near the BBC’s Broadcasting House aren’t even trying. Given how its … Continue reading

Bilbao Berria review – Regent Street tapas that’s not quite good enough
★★★☆☆ / Spanish / Tapas

Bilbao Berria review – Regent Street tapas that’s not quite good enough

Masterchef? What’s that? I don’t envy any new tapas restaurant opening in London. Unless you’re as good as José or Ember Yard, or as cheap as Barrafina, then it’ll be a real struggle to stand out. Bilbao Berria tries to rely on three things to set itself apart – a menu with alleged Basque and Catalan … Continue reading

Rawduck Hackney review – fish for Sunday roast, raw duck, cold lamb and more
★★★★☆ / Eclectic

Rawduck Hackney review – fish for Sunday roast, raw duck, cold lamb and more

East End brunch and dinner I’m deeply sceptical about the entire idea of brunch. It’s the original naff restaurant marketing gimmick – add some muesli and eggs to get a whole new meal! Charge extra for some mediocre coffee! While Rawduck didn’t change my mind about this bastard relative of the elevenses, I’m still mightily impressed … Continue reading

8 Hoxton Square review – from Soho to Shoreditch but lost in translation
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic

8 Hoxton Square review – from Soho to Shoreditch but lost in translation

Soho’s 10 Greek Street comes to Shoreditch Update 11/01/18 – this restaurant has now closed. The originally-named 8 Hoxton Square is the sister restaurant of 10 Greek Street, one of my favourite restaurants of 2012. This was reason enough to get me very excited about eating there, so I dragged Templeton Peck, Vicious Alabaster, Socialist … Continue reading

The Clove Club review – superlative Shoreditch supper
★★★★★ / Modern European / Modernist

The Clove Club review – superlative Shoreditch supper

The best meal of the year and inexcusably overlooked by the Michelin Guide I encountered a fellow travelling Brit with some interesting views on food during my recent jaunt around Jordan. Although he had a broad palate, this didn’t extend to Modernist cuisine, especially multi-course tasting menus. ‘Artsy fartsy’ ‘nouvelle cuisine’ wasn’t ‘proper food’ he contended. Like … Continue reading