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

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

Blue’s Smokehouse Twickenham review – dire suburban barbecue fit only for meatheads
★★☆☆☆ / Barbecue/BBQ

Blue’s Smokehouse Twickenham review – dire suburban barbecue fit only for meatheads

The meal so bad, I had to apologise to my dining companion The cliché about the suburbs, especially those south of the river, is that there’s nowhere good to eat. That’s not quite true anymore, if it ever was, especially as London’s property crisis and the increasingly brutal restaurant market push more and more restaurateurs … Continue reading

Kailash Momo review – cheap Tibetan food in Woolwich
★★★☆☆ / Tibetan/Nepalese

Kailash Momo review – cheap Tibetan food in Woolwich

Warm your cockles with blue cheese and dumplings Most suburban and semi-suburban high streets have to make do with a string of chain restaurants, but the denizens of Woolwich doesn’t have to put up with such dreary, unimaginative, repetitive and frankly tedious slop. The streets branching off from the town centre host a string of interesting restaurants … Continue reading

Low, Slow and Juke review – the most hideously disgraceful BBQ in London
American / ★☆☆☆☆ / Barbecue/BBQ

Low, Slow and Juke review – the most hideously disgraceful BBQ in London

Unutterable swear words suppressed The quality of American-style barbecue in London has made leaps and bounds in the past several years, but continual progress is by no means guaranteed. There’s no clearer example of the potential for setting back an entire genre through massive incompetence than Low, Slow and Juke. Owned by pubco Marston’s, this underground … Continue reading

Hill and Szrok Pub review – Old Street meat pub is worth a butcher’s hook
★★★☆☆ / Gastropub / Steak/chophouse

Hill and Szrok Pub review – Old Street meat pub is worth a butcher’s hook

Steakhouse and pub all-in-one Update 19/7/21 – this restaurant has now closed The original Hill and Szrok is a butchers in Broadway Market that branched out into catering. Re-purposing its central marble slab into a communal table, the butcher turned into a self-described ‘cookshop’ at night. ‘Cookshops’ are apparently the Regency-era precursors to restaurants in … Continue reading

Piquet review – classy French where you’d least expect it
★★★★☆ / British / French

Piquet review – classy French where you’d least expect it

Oxford Street has never had it so good Update 14/2/17 – this restaurant has now closed Although by no means the most incongruously positioned restaurant I’ve ever come across, Piquet is nonetheless oddly located. Wedged in-between a faceless office block and a hair salon, it sits opposite a building site and part of Oxford Street’s branch … 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

Red’s True Barbecue review – the North brings US BBQ to Shoreditch
American / ★★★★☆ / Barbecue/BBQ / Burgers

Red’s True Barbecue review – the North brings US BBQ to Shoreditch

Red Alert! Update 10/5/18 – this restaurant has closed Thanks to restaurants, I now detest the word ‘concept’. In restaurant management and public relations speak, ‘concept’ generally refers to the restaurant’s overall feel from cuisine and service style to atmosphere. Unfortunately, the word has now, in many cases, devolved to simply mean ‘gimmick’. Far too many … Continue reading