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

Claude Bosi at Bibendum review – a classic building, a vaunted chef and the new Hibiscus
★★★★☆ / French / Modern European / Modernist

Claude Bosi at Bibendum review – a classic building, a vaunted chef and the new Hibiscus

Like a regenerated Doctor Who, what’s old is new again. I tend to review new restaurants and Claude Bosi at Bibendum does technically count as a new restaurant, having only just opened at the beginning of April this year. Except, in some ways, it is more of an amalgam of restaurants that have gone before it. Most … 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

Luca review – the Clove Club’s Italian spin-off is odd but lovely
★★★★☆ / Italian

Luca review – the Clove Club’s Italian spin-off is odd but lovely

Farringdon Britalian is a mash-up in more ways than one Although there are Italian restaurants of every shape and variety in London for all budgets, it’s the expensive ones that I’ve always found most amusing. Along with French and Japanese, Italian restaurants can easily get away with charging high prices that would be harder for … Continue reading

Café Monico review – vaguely French brasserie is less grand and more grandiosely shallow
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / French

Café Monico review – vaguely French brasserie is less grand and more grandiosely shallow

Corbin and King have nothing to worry about What’s old is new again. This phrase comes to mind when witnessing the resurgence in appreciation of the grand French/continental-style brasseries that now crop up occasionally in London’s wealthier neighbourhoods. Once seen as fusty, the best of these brasseries offer the soothing interiors, slick service and hearty, … Continue reading

Dickie Fitz review – light and airy Australian almost ruins an entire suckling pig
★★★☆☆ / Eclectic

Dickie Fitz review – light and airy Australian almost ruins an entire suckling pig

The successor to Newman Street Tavern I rarely get upset when a restaurant closes, no matter how good it was. At the risk of sounding trite, nothing in this life lasts forever. Even so, I was mortified to hear that Newman Street Tavern, an elegant restaurant serving reliably well-crafted French-ish dishes, was closing to be replaced by a … Continue reading

Homeslice Fitzrovia review – cheap and huge Tottenham Court Road pizzas
★★★☆☆ / Italian / Pizza

Homeslice Fitzrovia review – cheap and huge Tottenham Court Road pizzas

Year round group dining that doesn’t cost the earth Organising a meal for a group of people can be a huge logistical pain. Finding somewhere large enough, takes bookings, is affordable, caters for vegetarians and has a kitchen that can actually cook is an epic undertaking not to be taken on lightly. Ironically, one of the … Continue reading

Blacklock review – £20 for a huge plate of chops in Soho
★★★★★ / Steak/chophouse

Blacklock review – £20 for a huge plate of chops in Soho

Bargain West End grilled meat The idea of a restaurant that serves just chops sounds startlingly modern, but it’s actually quite an old idea. London used to be covered in chophouses – restaurants that, from the late 17th century to the end of the 19th, catered exclusively to men and plied them with booze and cuts of meat. … Continue reading

Rawduck Hackney review – fish for Sunday roast, raw duck, cold lamb and more
★★★★☆ / Eclectic

Rawduck Hackney review – fish for Sunday roast, raw duck, cold lamb and more

East End brunch and dinner I’m deeply sceptical about the entire idea of brunch. It’s the original naff restaurant marketing gimmick – add some muesli and eggs to get a whole new meal! Charge extra for some mediocre coffee! While Rawduck didn’t change my mind about this bastard relative of the elevenses, I’m still mightily impressed … Continue reading

La Cuisine de Joel Robuchon review – Theatreland fine dining
★★★☆☆ / Modern European / Modernist

La Cuisine de Joel Robuchon review – Theatreland fine dining

The Ivy’s sexier next door neighbour isn’t as good as it should’ve been L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is the closest thing to a fine dining chain with almost identically appointed branches in numerous cities around the globe including Las Vegas and London. The bar-style seating can be brutally uncomfortable though which makes La Cuisine de … Continue reading