Evening Standard (Nick Curtis) – Primeur, 4 out of 5
“The idea is you can eat as much or as little as you like at Primeur but linger as long as you want. Lucky Canonbury.”
Nick describes the Canonbury-based Primeur as “friendly, airy former garage with reclaimed wooden doors”; the dishes as “filling and fulfilling” and the staff as “laid-back, matey” and “happy to chat about the concept of cooking”. Overall a great experience it seems. For the whole review click here.
Primeur: 116 Petherton Road, N5
Evening Standard (David Sexton) – Fischer’s 2 out of 5
“There’s no faulting the professionalism of Corbin & King’s latest restaurant, but there’s a reason there are not Austrian restaurants like this in London”
David wasn’t impressed with Fischer’s atmosphere and “full-on Germanic menu” as it reminded him of “a Teutonic Café Rouge”. While he acknowledged that in terms of design the restaurant is “spectacular”, he wondered why would one eat and drink Austrian in London. “As the evening went on, our mood shifted from Cabaret to Hostel.”, he writes in the Evening Standard.
Fischer’s: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1
Telephone: 0207 466 5501
ES Magazine (Grace Dent) – Q-Grill
Grace says that Camden’s Q-Grill “has filleted the London restaurant scene and come up with something smoking” – the concept is locally sourced meat and fish, cooked via a charcoal pit grill and in-house smoker. She remarked upon a “friendly, professional, chipper, informed vibe among the staff”. Grace was also impressed with the desserts: “I had the greatest ever bourbon and pecan tart and a stonkingly moist, irresistible banoffee cheesecake”. For the review, click here.
Q-Grill: 29-33 Chalk Farm Road, NW1
Telephone: 020 7267 2678
The Sunday Times (AA Gill) – Fera, Claridge’s
AA Gill enjoys a dinner of “finely mixed messages” at Simon Rogan’s new London outpost at Claridge’s, Fera, thanks to the prevailing restaurant aesthetic of “decluttering, unstuffing, deformalising dinner” and the chef’s complicated menu.
“This started with little mouthfuls of stuffed puffed barley, smoked eel and watercress; mackerel, seawater cream and caviar; stewed rabbit and lovage; potato and duck heart, all of which were pretty sublime. Then came raw beef with smoked broccoli cream, scallop roe and apple juice. Then on to prawns from Gairloch, brill flavoured with hogweed and blewits. Then duck with bean purée, leek, hyssop and chickweed; pineapple weed, butterscotch and celery; iced beech leaf, nitro sweet cheese and sorrel,” he writes in the Sunday Times.
Fera: 49 Brook Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7107 8888
The Times – Fera, Claridge’s (Giles Coren)
‘Simon Rogan is probably the best chef now cooking in Britain, but this is not the best restaurant’
Giles also reviewed Fera last week and described a food experience that starts off “very strong”.
“My memory, a couple of days on, is of brightly coloured flower petals and tiny leaves framed by perfect levels of crunch and salt, great physical beauty and freshness, purées in a delicious range of greens, swift and efficient service, tight focus, the best canapés imaginable,” he says. “Then a gradual decline of focus (mine or theirs, I’m not sure) through the mains but a delicious bit of lemon sole literally braised in nettle butter and not (as I feared it might be) bathed in it overnight at low temperature, sweet hogget fillet served with a musty corner of the shoulder and slices of pickled tongue from way beyond my ken, and then four desserts which were a bit of a mess.” For the review, click here.
The Telegraph (Zoe Williams) – Gujarati Rasoi, 4.5 out of 5
“Traditional vegetarian Indian food, done Dalston style. What’s not to like? Erm, not a lot…”
Zoe thought that Gujarati Rasoi is “a bit cooky” with “nothing to blow your head off”, however she thought that if one is looking for “elegance over fire”, the restaurant is spot on. She was particularly impressed with the Papri chaat (£6.50) that she describes as “packed with surprises, leaving you wanting more”.
Gujarati Rasoi: 10c Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN
Contact: 020 8616 7914
The Independent on Saturday (John Walsh) – Pavilion
“Perfect for power couples striking sexy business deals”
John thought that Pavilion “is a huge experiment in trying to make several things work at once.”
“From the outside, it looks very cool, dark and pin-striped. Inside, you’re led past a shop selling homemade bread, cheese and charcuterie, around the spectacular square bar with yellow leather stools, past the opening to what seems a hotel lobby. It’s marble, marble, marble, wherever you look – there are some formica floorboards but they’re on the ceiling. You discover that it’s the entrance to a private members’ club, six floors of on-the-knocker commercial endeavour, with rentable office ‘suites and pods’ (eh?), meeting rooms and everything the cast of The Apprentice would kill to get used to. Is it a restaurant, though?” he wonders.
He suggests the owners “might like to try giving the modern business clientele a bit more to get their teeth into.” For the review, click here.
Pavilion: 96 Kensington High Street, London W8
Telephone: 020-7221 2000
The Independent on Sunday (Lisa Markwell) – Wyatt & Jones, 7.5 out of 10
“Now, who’s going to do something like this in my corner of London, please?”
After her visit to Wyatt & Jones, Lisa concluded that “almost everything’s been good and the vibes are so positive it’s a surprise not to see genuine hallowed light from behind a stained-glass panel”.
“If you don’t want something from an all-Kent beer list, the most expensive wine on a good, balanced list is £40. Keenly priced and hugely welcoming, W&J deserves to stick around. Now, who’s going to do something like this in my corner of London, please?”, wonders Markwell. For the review, click here.
Wyatt & Jones: 23-27 Harbour Street, Broadstairs, Kent
Telephone: 01843 865126
The Guardian (Marina O’Loughlin) – No 131, Cheltenham
“The fun kicks in with the side dishes: Stilton hollandaise, roast bone marrow, half a lobster with garlic butter, English snails. I love the idea of a side order of snails.”
Marina’s first impression is that No 131 is gorgeous – “gorgeous chandeliers, gorgeous turquoise leather seating, gorgeous tiled floors”.
“So, the good stuff: smoky slabs of perfectly pink lamb, as tender as a farewell, come on a lovely, spring-like bed of broad beans and nutty new potatoes fragranced with mint. Duck fat chips, crisp and savoury, are dangerous little blighters, especially when swooped through that cheesy hollandaise. And I love the pineapple tarte tatin, sticky and tooth-clamping as malt loaf, with a scoop of excellent coconut ice-cream…” writes O’Loughlin for the Guardian. However, she wasn’t quite so impressed with the crab and found the staff are “a little disengaged”.
Value for money: 5/10
No 131: 131 The Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1NW
Telephone: 01242 822939
The Observer (Jay Rayner) – C&R Café
“The food at the C&R Café is cheap, spicy and dangerously delicious. But the laksa deserves serious attention.”
Jay was genuinely impressed by the food; especially with the C&R Café’s laksa that “goes straight to the top” of his laksa list. “There is fire and softness and a big slap of umami. And all for £6.50. It should be available from the NHS on prescription.”, writes Rayner for the Observer.
He also thought the dishes “leave you licking slicks of salty oil from your fingertips and crying out for more.” For the review, click here.
C&R Café: 4-5 Rupert Court, London W1
Telephone: 0207 434 1128