Diwana Bhel Poori review – Euston vegetarian Indian group dining
★★★☆☆ / Indian/South Asian

Diwana Bhel Poori review – Euston vegetarian Indian group dining

Cheap as chips and almost as good Trying to find a restaurant for a large group of people is a royal pain in the unmentionables. Cramming a baker’s dozen around a table can be a logistical feat akin to the Berlin Airlift, especially when everyone has competing, conflicting demands. My own unruly posse of dining … Continue reading

Old Tree Daiwan Bee review – the other Taiwanese restaurant on Rupert Street
★★★☆☆ / Chinese / Taiwanese

Old Tree Daiwan Bee review – the other Taiwanese restaurant on Rupert Street

Xu’s cheaper and more homely neighbour By accident or design, the sumptuously superlative Xu isn’t the only Taiwanese restaurant on Rupert Street. The West End’s most unlikely restaurant side street is also home to Old Tree Daiwan Bee. This oddly-named Taiwanese restaurant originally started out on a site in Golder’s Green and must be one … Continue reading

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

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

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