Evening Standard (Karen Dacre) – Eat 17 4 out of 5
“With the aim of further delighting those who have already fallen hook, line and sinker (the queue can spill out of the door on a Saturday evening) for the venture’s eat-in burger place, the upstairs extension opened its doors a fortnight ago”
Karen was pleasantly surprised by the “sultry” décor,“impressively-stocked bar” and “oh-so-comfortable banquettes”. She found the food “equally relaxing” and added that it “isn’t intimidating or screamingly adventurous but it isn’t boring either”. The “star act”, as she called it, was the chicken burger that was “cooked lovingly in buttermilk, crisped to within an inch of its life and served with crunchy slaw, tomato chutney, a sprinkling of chilli and more chunky chips than any human being could ever need.” For the review, click here.
Eat 17: 64-66 Brooksby’s Walk, E9
Telephone: 020 8986 6242
The Times on Saturday (Giles Coren) – Tapas Bravas
“Tapas Bravas sits on the edge of the once deeply depressing but now bustling dock, has a good rustic feel to it, lovely service and a short, brilliant menu of modern tapas. ”
After enjoying “the best eating week” of his life in the Conrad Algrave, Giles paid a visit to Bravas Tapas. He liked the room – “big, airy, cool and full of wood, and sunlight winks in off the water in the most alluring way”. The menu, he declared, is “brilliant” and the staff “not only full of knowledge but quite beyond charming”. For the review, click here.
Cooking: 7 out of 10
Service: 7 out of 10
Sustainability: 5 out of 10
Bravas Tapas: St Katharine Docks, London, E1
Telephone: 0207 481 1464
The Sunday Times (AA Gill) – Fischer’s
“The first thing you notice about the room is that it has plainly been here a hundred years. It has the lazy, unassuming comfort of a big old singing bear.”
Like the Evening Standard’s David Sexton, AA Gill wasn’t impressed with Fischer’s. “I imagine, given this company’s track record with feeding people what they want in the way they want it, Fischer’s will be a sustainable, popular success, though I think the kitchen still has some problems with seasoning, balance and harmony.” writes AA Gill for The Sunday Times. For the review, click here.
Fischer’s: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1
Telephone: 0207 466 5501
The Saturday Telegraph (Zoe Williams) – Fera
“Most of the food is faultless but the price is a barrier at Simon Rogan’s Fera”
Just as Giles Coren, AA Gill and Grace Dent have done, Zoe paid a visit to Simon Rogan’s Fera. Really impressed with the food, she tells us that it’s “like a dream, the flavours so defined they seemed to dart into your mouth.” The only issue she had was the bill: “I think the price is a barrier – I simply cannot imagine what the plates would have to look like for the money to feel warranted. Sprinkled with gold, carried in by trained ferrets? The price has more to do with Claridge’s ego than the restaurant itself, it seems to me.” writes Zoe for the Telegraph.
Fera: 49 Brook Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7107 8888
The Telegraph (Matthew Norman) – Chiltern Firehouse 2.5 out of 5
“…Yet the mystery of Chiltern Firehouse’s unparalleled popularity endured. If Michelin gave out stars for PR, this would be the first restaurant on the planet with four of them.”
Matthew thought the service at Chiltern Firehouse was “spectacular throughout”, however he was really disappointed with the food. “Of blackened salmon with cavalo nero, and roasted turbot with seaweed fregola and cucumber, nothing whatever need be said other than that both were so viciously oversalted that we were at grave risk of a stroke from touching the plates.” Norman also thought the carrot cake was saltier than the fish, and the frozen apple panna cotta with herb granité [sic] and “dried meringue” was “quite disgusting”. For the review, click here.
Spoon HQ Editor’s note – I’ve been to Chiltern Firehouse twice and both times chose to eat the Meringue with herb granita. I would happily have it again when I go there next week.
Chiltern Firehouse: 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, W1U 7PA
Telephone: 0207 073 7676
The Observer (Jay Rayner) – City Social
“Jason Atherton’s cooking is often excellent, but City Social seems to go out of its way to make eating it difficult”
“City Social, the latest in a line of London restaurants with the S word in the title, really isn’t very. It is all the very worst of the 1980s revisited. It’s full of clumping tumours of men, jangling change in their pockets and barking at each other about the latest position taken by Millennium Capital.” writes Jay Rayner for the Observer. Even though, “Atherton does have a tendency to overwork things”, he called the mains a “masterclass”.
City Social: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2
Telephone: 020 7877 7703
The Independent (Tracey Macleod) – Palomar
“Here’s something the jaded critic doesn’t get to say very often. I’ve been to a new restaurant, and it’s different. ”
The Independent’s Tracey Macleod describes the Palomar in London as a “curious, crazy one off” where “the chefs and owners are having as much fun as the customers”. Visiting with Yotam Ottloenghi she finds a party atmosphere in which chefs down shots while showcasing fusion dishes which draw inspiration from Jewish, Arabic and Mediterranean traditions. For the review, click here.
Ambience (if you like loud music) ****
Palomar: 34 Rupert Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7439 8777
Time Out (Guy Dimond) – 8 Hoxton Square 4 out of 5
“8 Hoxton Square defies the accepted wisdom that Hoxton is somewhere you go to drink, not eat.”
Time Out‘s Guy Dimond visited 8 Hoxton Square and thought “Byron and Bill’s should either be pleased with this new development, or very nervous, as Emirali and Wilson’s new place is a perfect smart-casual place for a destination meal with a date, with friends or with family.” He was impressed with the food and he thought the seafood is “a strong point.”
8 Hoxton Square: London, N1 6 NU
Telephone: 0207 729 4232
Spoon HQ Editor’s note – the “Bill’s” mentioned here is NOT Bill Granger’s restaurant. Bill Granger’s restaurants around the world are called “bills” but in the UK they’re named Granger & Co.
If you’d like to look back at earlier restaurant reviews, click here.