Le Dame de Pic, Four Seasons London review – Tower Hill hotel French needs better execution
★★★☆☆ / Modern European / Modernist

Le Dame de Pic, Four Seasons London review – Tower Hill hotel French needs better execution

In defence of the tasting menu. But not necessarily *this* tasting menu. There’s an unspoken rule that reviewers shouldn’t openly criticise each other’s work. This isn’t a conspiracy – we’re too competitive and too inept for such a concerted undertaking – but an acknowledgement that half-arsed writing and lapses in judgement can affect us all. … 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

Berber and Q Shawarma Bar review – Exmouth Market gets sit-down kebabs
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Lebanese/Jordanian/Levantine

Berber and Q Shawarma Bar review – Exmouth Market gets sit-down kebabs

Middle Eastern BBQ sequel goes back to basics When most restaurants decide to expand by opening new branches, they usually sprout carbon copy clones of the original, try to make each new location different from all the others or try to strike some of middle-ground balance. Berber and Q, the flawed yet generally still superb Middle … Continue reading

Bukowski Grill Soho review – bandwagon burgers and barbecue
★★☆☆☆ / Barbecue/BBQ / Burgers

Bukowski Grill Soho review – bandwagon burgers and barbecue

A waste of Soho real estate Update 19/06/2020 – this restaurant has now closed I haven’t heard the name Bukowski Grill in years – not since my round up of London’s best non-chain burgers. The Shoreditch branch of Bukowski fared poorly in those burger stakes, so it was no surprise when superior burger purveyors expanded far more rapidly … Continue reading

Yumi Izayaka review – small Japanese bar with big flavours
★★★★☆ / Japanese / Japanese Noodles

Yumi Izayaka review – small Japanese bar with big flavours

Shaftesbury Avenue yakitori that deserves your support Update 14/2/17 – this restaurant has now closed Location, location and location. It’s supposed to be one of the keys to a successful London restaurant, but a spot on the West End’s bustling Shaftesbury Avenue hasn’t helped Yumi Izakaya. Nestled in between the entrance to the Piccadilly West … Continue reading

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 Update 19/7/21 – this restaurant has now closed 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 … Continue reading

Rök review – Scandinavian smoked meats in Shoreditch
★★★☆☆ / Steak/chophouse

Rök review – Scandinavian smoked meats in Shoreditch

Smoke and fire that didn’t really rock my world Thanks to the recent and growing popularity of American barbecue in London, restaurants serving other cuisines have jumped onto the barbecue and smoking branded bandwagon. It wouldn’t be completely fair to ascribe such cynical opportunism to the people behind Rök, as they do serve dishes inspired by the … Continue reading

Bo Drake review – the Soho Asian barbecue where there’s smoke but no fire
★★★☆☆ / Barbecue/BBQ / Eclectic / Korean

Bo Drake review – the Soho Asian barbecue where there’s smoke but no fire

It’s Korean-ish BBQ with a dash of Mexican. Sort of. Around Christmas/New Years time I usually got a small shovel-load of emails asking me to predict what the restaurant trends for the coming year will be. Putting aside my view that being so beholden to the trends of the day is a sign of a weak mind … 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