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

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 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’ are easier to stomach for commercial landlords, investors, venture capitalists and other risk-averse commercial partners. … 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

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

Little Smoke review – Moorgate Smokehouse spin-off doesn’t have the chops
★★☆☆☆ / Steak/chophouse

Little Smoke review – Moorgate Smokehouse spin-off doesn’t have the chops

‘Little’ is the operative word and not in a good way I’ve been reviewing restaurants for long enough now to see multiple restaurants rise and fall, often at the same address. The small space at the edge of City Point near Moorgate is a case in point. Six years ago it was a forgettable and now … Continue reading

Duck Duck Goose review – Brixton Cantonese roasts just in time for Chinese New Year
★★★☆☆ / Chinese

Duck Duck Goose review – Brixton Cantonese roasts just in time for Chinese New Year

Quack, quack, honk If there’s one thing that London isn’t short of, it’s Cantonese restaurants. For years it was the only kind of Chinese food widely available in the capital, with other cuisines from the continent-sized country only becoming prevalent in the past decade or so. This increased regional representation makes Duck Duck Goose even more … Continue reading