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

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

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

Rick Stein Barnes review – celebrity chef serves the only seafood in the village
★★★☆☆ / Seafood

Rick Stein Barnes review – celebrity chef serves the only seafood in the village

TV CV only gets you oh so far I have little time for most TV celebrity chefs, but I’ll usually make an exception for Rick Stein. His genteel avuncular charm, childlike wonder and boundless yet measured enthusiasm make him far more watchable than the majority of his arse-clenchingly irritating peers. The big man naturally doesn’t cook in … Continue reading

Lyle’s review – minimalist Shoreditch restaurant is exquisite despite its flaws
★★★★☆ / British / Modern European / Modernist

Lyle’s review – minimalist Shoreditch restaurant is exquisite despite its flaws

Defies both easy categorisation and expectations If there’s been one defining cultural aesthetic in the West over the past 20 years or so, then it has to be minimalism. Paring back everything to their essentials is, depending on your point of view, either the ideal way to show off something’s true nature or a stark, monotonous … Continue reading