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

Bombay Bustle review – the casual Jamavar spin-off stuck at the platform
★★★☆☆ / Indian/South Asian

Bombay Bustle review – the casual Jamavar spin-off stuck at the platform

In this case ‘casual’ means ‘cheaper’. Sort of. It’s always fascinating to see what happens when a lauded, Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant launches a ‘casual’ spin-off. When Dabbous attempted it, the result was the very different and somewhat odd Barnyard. Both of those restaurants have now closed and, in retrospect, Barnyard felt a somewhat patronising, phoned-in … Continue reading

Gul and Sepoy review – prince and pauper Indian dining in Spitalfields
★★★★☆ / Indian/South Asian

Gul and Sepoy review – prince and pauper Indian dining in Spitalfields

Look beyond the marketing spin at this Gunpowder threequel As the end of the year approaches, so does the anniversary of this website and so my feeble mind inevitably ponders all that it has accomplished. While I would like to think that I’ve helped at least a few Londoners (and visitors too) at making better … Continue reading

Breddos Tacos Soho review – brilliance served with a side of incompetence
★★★★☆ / Eclectic / Mexican

Breddos Tacos Soho review – brilliance served with a side of incompetence

Raffish Clerkenwell Mexican sprouts second branch in Soho Update: 8/02/2018 – added new opening hours A great many things flow through my mind when I’m being ignored at a restaurant, once I become bored with my phone. Will I starve to death in this place, with lunching desk jockeys and freelance debutantes stepping over my … Continue reading

Gilly’s Fry Bar review – the chippy that wants to be a tempura restaurant
★★☆☆☆ / British / Eclectic

Gilly’s Fry Bar review – the chippy that wants to be a tempura restaurant

Finsbury Park doesn’t need more battered fried food I have a confession to make. It’s a deeply unpopular, long-held opinion that will not endear me to many of you. It’ll be even more controversial than the time I disparaged chicken, dismissing it as a soulless meat fit only for children and invalids. I don’t like … Continue reading

Bad Sports review – tacos so good, it’s unsportsmanlike
★★★★☆ / Mexican

Bad Sports review – tacos so good, it’s unsportsmanlike

Hoxton tacos worth travelling across town for Update 27/1/2019 – this restaurant has now closed The phrase ‘Hoxton restaurant’ has become a joke to many. Whatever it may once have meant, prosaically or otherwise, it has now become a byword for shallow, self-indulgent and self-absorbed trend-chasing. Although there may be an element of truth in … Continue reading

Smokestak review – barbecue street food settles down in Shoreditch
★★★★☆ / Barbecue/BBQ

Smokestak review – barbecue street food settles down in Shoreditch

Smoke is the new black. It’s easy to rant and rail against hipsters and their rapidly gentrifying east London hub. For many, such as my dining companion Vicious Alabaster, they’re all little more than pompous, shallow, fad-chasing Macaroni twits. That may or may not be true, but I generally don’t care. From a utilitarian perspective, they … Continue reading

The Sichuan review – tongue tickling in Shoreditch and the City
★★★★☆ / Chinese / Sichuanese

The Sichuan review – tongue tickling in Shoreditch and the City

Fire and blood link Old Street and Liverpool Street London’s ‘ethnic’ restaurants tend to be clustered together in specific neighbourhoods due to quirks of history and rent. The Korean restaurants of New Malden, the Sri Lankan eateries of Tooting and the little Vietnam that is Kingsland Road are just a few examples. Cuisines that have … Continue reading

The Cornwall Project at The Newman Arms review – Orwell’s pub is worth watching
★★★★☆ / Gastropub

The Cornwall Project at The Newman Arms review – Orwell’s pub is worth watching

Not a Cornish pasty in sight A lot of gastropubs are restaurants in all but name, but The Newman Arms in Fitzrovia stands apart from that annoying trend. It’s actually a boozer with a tiny downstairs drinking den that gets so packed out (especially on Thursdays and Fridays), that the crowds spill out onto the street … Continue reading

Paradise Garage review – the best value tasting menu in London
★★★★☆ / British / Eclectic / Modern European / Modernist

Paradise Garage review – the best value tasting menu in London

This railway arch restaurant will set your heart racing Update 12/02/18 – this restaurant has now closed Unless you walk around London, it’s hard to appreciate just how close many of the city’s neighbourhoods are to each other. Bethnal Green has the City and Shoreditch directly on its western border, while Mile End and Stratford sit … Continue reading