Bababoom vs Maison Bab review – new wave kebabs head-to-head
★★★★☆ / ★★★☆☆ / Eclectic / Turkish Kebabs

Bababoom vs Maison Bab review – new wave kebabs head-to-head

Islington brisket vs Covent Garden celeriac Traditional Turkish kebabs are nigh-on perfect. Whether you prefer shish, kofte, doner, iskender or beyti, the smoke and sizzle of a charcoal mangal is hard to beat. The wisest restauranteurs know better than to attempt ‘elevating’ or ‘refining’ these timeless classics, but instead attempt to put their own personal … 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

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

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

Hotbox review – the City barbecue miles better than Bodean’s
American / ★★★★★ / Barbecue/BBQ

Hotbox review – the City barbecue miles better than Bodean’s

Market stall BBQ settles down on Commercial Street Market stalls and street food tend to be underestimated and under-appreciated by many visitors to London. That’s their loss as street food vendors can often be far better than more established restaurants, as my group test of American-style barbecue eateries demonstrates. An increasing number of street food vendors are settling down in … Continue reading

The Ape and Bird review – the Shaftesbury Avenue gastropub that’s no tourist trap
★★★★☆ / British / Gastropub

The Ape and Bird review – the Shaftesbury Avenue gastropub that’s no tourist trap

The Polpo guys do it again Updated 12/01/18 – this restaurant has now closed. Updated 6/04/14 – set menu details added. It’s mildly myopic to say that there’s no where good to eat on Shaftesbury Avenue as the myriad delights of Soho, Covent Garden and Chinatown are only a few minutes walk away. Still, if … Continue reading