Bababoom vs Maison Bab review – new wave kebabs head-to-head
★★★★☆ / ★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Turkish Kebabs

Bababoom vs Maison Bab review – new wave kebabs head-to-head

Islington brisket vs Covent Garden celeriac Traditional Turkish kebabs are nigh-on perfect. Whether you prefer shish, kofte, doner, iskender or beyti, the smoke and sizzle of a charcoal mangal is hard to beat. The wisest restauranteurs know better than to attempt ‘elevating’ or ‘refining’ these timeless classics, but instead attempt to put their own personal … Continue reading

Lina Stores review – Soho Italian deli spawns its own dedicated pasta restaurant
★★★★☆ / Italian

Lina Stores review – Soho Italian deli spawns its own dedicated pasta restaurant

The West End’s other Italian restaurants should be pistachio green with envy. You’d be forgiven for thinking that London’s recent spate of pasta-only Italian restaurants materalised out of thin air, but it’s actually just another chapter in the long history of Italian hospitality and catering in the capital. Soho in particular, as well the areas … Continue reading

Hide review – the Dabbous sequel that could only have been born in Mayfair
★★★★★ / ★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Modern European / Modernist

Hide review – the Dabbous sequel that could only have been born in Mayfair

Upstairs, Downstairs and where the two meet There are restaurants where it’s clear that compromises have been made. Whether due to money, time or stress, or some unfortunate combination of all three, a restaurant’s premises, location or menu sometimes aren’t quite what its proprietor and chef would have liked them to be. I’d be very … Continue reading

Lahpet review – Burmese food in Shoreditch
★★★★☆ / Burmese

Lahpet review – Burmese food in Shoreditch

Street food residency settles down around the corner from Smokestak There’s a well-worn, well-thumbed playbook to opening a restaurant in London serving a previously unknown, or at least little known, cuisine. Choose a name that sounds suitably ‘exotic’, yet isn’t too hard to spell and is preferably based on one of your chosen cuisine’s landmark … Continue reading

Sorella review – pivoting from one cuisine to another in hard times
★★★★☆ / Italian

Sorella review – pivoting from one cuisine to another in hard times

The Manor transforms into an Italian It’s tough times for restaurants with household names and independents alike having to close up shop all across the country. Skyrocketing business rates, a continuing staffing shortage, rising wages, intense competition (especially in London) and, in some cases, overaggressive expansion and impatient investors are all playing their part in … Continue reading

Plaquemine Lock review – Creole and Cajun pub food on the Regent’s Canal
American / ★★★☆☆ / Gastropub

Plaquemine Lock review – Creole and Cajun pub food on the Regent’s Canal

The gastropub cousin to Bocca di Lupo Most new restaurants launch in a blaze of publicity glory with press releases spamming inboxes, repetitively woolly social media chatter, oversubscribed launch parties, a Ryanair-style rush for reservations and fawning coverage from all the usual suspects. Plaquemine Lock, the new gastropub from one of the bods behind Soho’s … Continue reading

Red Rooster at The Curtain review – the botched Shoreditch soul food transplant
American / ★★☆☆☆ / Eclectic

Red Rooster at The Curtain review – the botched Shoreditch soul food transplant

Live music and a celebrity chef amount to a hill of beans I try to avoid mentioning celebrity chefs when writing about their restaurants. Apart from trying to avoid the cult of personality that most newspapers trip over themselves to indulge in, I just don’t think it matters to the experience for the diner at … Continue reading

Machi-ya review – Kanada-ya spin-off does Japanese comfort food
★★★☆☆ / Japanese / Japanese Noodles

Machi-ya review – Kanada-ya spin-off does Japanese comfort food

A review from someone who can tell the difference between chicken and pork tonkatsu Machi-ya is an odd name for a Japanese restaurant. A machiya is a traditional Japanese house that can be very atmospheric and are thus increasingly popular with tourists visiting Japan. Indeed, I briefly considered staying in one during my trip to Kyoto … Continue reading

Café Monico review – vaguely French brasserie is less grand and more grandiosely shallow
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / French

Café Monico review – vaguely French brasserie is less grand and more grandiosely shallow

Corbin and King have nothing to worry about What’s old is new again. This phrase comes to mind when witnessing the resurgence in appreciation of the grand French/continental-style brasseries that now crop up occasionally in London’s wealthier neighbourhoods. Once seen as fusty, the best of these brasseries offer the soothing interiors, slick service and hearty, … Continue reading

Foley’s review – a weird but not necessarily wonderful Fitzrovia restaurant
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic

Foley’s review – a weird but not necessarily wonderful Fitzrovia restaurant

Globe-trotting ex-Palomar chef needs to settle down Fusion food is one of those misguided and blingtastically tacky relics of the 1980s that should’ve died long ago along with shoulder pads, the New Romantics and Thatcherism. Foley’s doesn’t serve fusion food, strictly speaking, but its menu does swagger across the globe pulling in ingredients and techniques from … Continue reading