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

Madame D review – Gunpowder spin-off tries to scale new heights in Spitalfields
★★★☆☆ / Tibetan/Nepalese

Madame D review – Gunpowder spin-off tries to scale new heights in Spitalfields

But doesn’t quite reach the summit. It’s odd watching the city of your youth gradually change and morph, almost imperceptibly, over the years. Commercial Street is a thoroughfare that links Hoxton and Shoreditch in the north with Whitechapel to the south, running right through Spitalfields and parallel to the City as it does so. It was until recently, and still … 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

Sparrow review – eating out takes flight in Lewisham
★★★★☆ / Eclectic

Sparrow review – eating out takes flight in Lewisham

A southeast London restaurant worth getting excited about The idea that southeast London is a gastronomic desert bereft of anywhere good to eat out is a long-held canard. Although somewhat overstated, especially in boroughs with relative wealth and proximity to Zone 1, there is an element of truth to it. With the locals spending the … Continue reading

Holborn Dining Room review – the Instagram pie phenomenon
★★★★☆ / British

Holborn Dining Room review – the Instagram pie phenomenon

Aye for pie with an eye for pie One should never, ever underestimate the importance of how food looks. Attractive-looking food not only influences how we perceive its taste, but can get otherwise disinterested punters in through the door in the first place. This placebo-like effect can be seen in the social media hubbub surrounding Holborn Dining Room. This previously … Continue reading

Jugemu review – Soho izakaya flies solo
★★★★☆ / Japanese / Japanese Noodles / Sushi/Sashimi

Jugemu review – Soho izakaya flies solo

Uniquely Japanese in more ways than one Eccentric cultural institutions usually lose something in translation when they’re transplanted outside of their home country. Monster truck rallies, Eccles cakes and Viz magazine are prime examples. The izakaya is another. A Japanese staple, these bar-cum-restaurants are often translated as pubs or gastropubs, but none of those names really quite fit as izakayas are subtly different … Continue reading