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

Casa Mortia review – Brixton Village Mexican needs a rethink
★★★☆☆ / Mexican

Casa Mortia review – Brixton Village Mexican needs a rethink

Simple doesn’t automatically mean good Visiting other countries and trying out cuisines in their place of origin is great, but it also presents a problem. It makes you realise just how badly many cuisines are represented here in the UK. Mexican food is one of the most badly affected victims, with Tex-Mex giving the entire … Continue reading