1251 review – this Islington restaurant is trying to make a name for itself…
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Modern European / Modernist

1251 review – this Islington restaurant is trying to make a name for itself…

… but is coming up short. Names can be many things. A descriptive label, a pigeonhole, a statement of intent. It’s therefore striking that Islington restaurant 1251 has such an easily forgotten, easily misremembered name. It may have some significance to someone behind the scenes, especially in light of the fact that chef James Cochran … Continue reading

St Leonards review – meat and fish thrills on the backstreets of Shoreditch
★★★★☆ / Eclectic / Seafood

St Leonards review – meat and fish thrills on the backstreets of Shoreditch

This restaurant is my new Vice It takes balls to open a restaurant like St Leonards. Fulsome, dangly ones that sway and jiggle with every sigh and cough. It’s either that or the proprietors’ first choice property was out of reach for whatever reason. Few other reasons can seemingly explain St Leonards, a restaurant located … Continue reading

Yen review – the soba ‘specialists’ that also serve sushi, sashimi and donburi
★★★☆☆ / Japanese / Japanese Noodles

Yen review – the soba ‘specialists’ that also serve sushi, sashimi and donburi

A head-scratching double take on The Strand Bringing an under-appreciated cuisine or dish to foreign shores is an effort fraught with all sorts of logistical, culinary and financial difficulties. Reviewing such an effort isn’t as arduous, but still has pitfalls of its own. Yen, a new restaurant on The Strand, is a purported specialist in … Continue reading

Coal Rooms Peckham review – a train station restaurant that isn’t a dreary chain
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Steak/chophouse

Coal Rooms Peckham review – a train station restaurant that isn’t a dreary chain

Plus a beast of a bacon sandwich Salvaging, reusing and repurposing old fittings and furnishings to adorn new restaurants is nothing new; it’s been an ongoing trend in the English-speaking world for at least a decade, if not more. Renovating old buildings, while judiciously paying homage to their original purpose, has received less attention but … Continue reading

Magpie review – Modernist food served ‘Dim Sum’-style in Mayfair
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Modern European / Modernist

Magpie review – Modernist food served ‘Dim Sum’-style in Mayfair

The Pidgin sequel takes flight but doesn’t quite soar I once wrote that it’s rare for a restaurant to relocate inwards from the suburbs to the centre of town, rather than other way around. Recent events are proving me wrong, showing that such a move (or sprouting a second branch closer to the centre of … Continue reading

Core by Clare Smyth review – fine dining where meat isn’t the main course
★★★☆☆ / Modern European / Modernist

Core by Clare Smyth review – fine dining where meat isn’t the main course

Not nearly as cliched as you might think at first glance Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A fine dining restaurant with a much-vaunted chef at the helm has opened in leafy, wealthy zone 1 West London and serves dishes based on seasonal British produce. If that sentence of postmodern London restaurant cliches … Continue reading

Xu review – Bao spin-off brings new twists to Taiwanese food
★★★★★ / Chinese / Taiwanese

Xu review – Bao spin-off brings new twists to Taiwanese food

New-wave Taiwanese food in old school surroundings Update 28/3/2018 – updated opening hours Update 14/8/2017 – new details added, including the desserts Eagle-eyed Londoners will have noticed that an increasingly large number of new restaurants in London are branches, spin-offs and extensions of existing restaurants. That is no accident – experienced operators and proven ‘concepts’ … Continue reading