Time Out London (Catherine Balston) – Lima Floral 5 out of 5
“Lima Floral is perfect for diners looking for a new kick…Here, Martinez’s dishes are playful and imaginative.”
Catherine Balston, writing for Time Out London, is taken aback by Lima Flora, the newly opened restaurant of Virgilio Martinez where “interesting textures and depth of flavour…take centre stage”. The sea bream ceviche proves to be a “sublime starter”, while “humble” vegetarian dishes pleasantly surprise, including a soy and sesame stir-fried black variety of quinoa, which Balston notes is “a nod to Peru’s Chifa – Chinese meets Peruvian – heritage”. Compared to its sister restaurant, the nearby Lima, Balston thinks that Lima Flora boasts “a little less fuss, a more reasonable price tag, and a bar in the basement serving pisco cocktails”. To read the full review, click here.
Lima Floral: 14 Garrick Street, London, WC2E 9BJ
Telephone: 020 7240 5778
ES Magazine (Grace Dent) – L’Anima Café
“So when I heard that L’Anima Café, a cheaper little sister, was opening around the corner, I was overjoyed.”
Last week, Grace Dent for the ES Magazine opted for L’Anima Café, the “enormous” ‘little’ sister of L’anima restaurant. Although “overjoyed” by the news of its launch, Dent compared her experience to the closing scene in Goodfellas “when Ray Liotta complains: “I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup.” Her starter consisted of “a bowl of affable but pale and wobbly squid swimming in a pretty but unmemorable tomato sauce”, followed by a baked seafood pasta that she described as “three accomplished sheets of pasta scattered with slightly indistinguishable fodder of the sea and a strong jolt of that sauce” and “king prawns in a Sicilian sauce — essentially the same sauce with a few anchovies”. However, she did enjoy the bread, calling it “the highlight of the dinner”. To read the full review, click here.
L’Anima Café: 10 Appold Street, EC2
Telephone: 020 7422 7080
The Evening Standard (Fay Maschler) – Sinabro 2 out of 5
“This ‘Mom & Pop’ restaurant is welcome in Battersea Rise, a street choked with catering chains — but the food doesn’t live up to the chef’s starry CV.”
Fay Maschler dined at Sinabro last week – a Battersea-based Korean restaurant. When it comes to the menu, Maschler considers the dishes to be “tersely described” which in her mind “befits their presentation, about which I perhaps meanly use the word “naive”. For Fay, the food ranges from carrot emulsion that “is piped in two uneven rows alongside slow-cooked beef cheek and topped with a chunk of carrot, a few baby onions and some micro-leaves” to a seaweed broth that “risks drowning the piece of sea bass garnished with a limp spring onion with roots still attached”. For the full review, click here.
Sinabro: 28 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EE
Telephone: 020 3302 3120
The Saturday Telegraph (Zoe Williams) – White Rabbit 1 out of 6
“Anything nice in here is nice with no intervention – or by accident.”
To say that Zoe Williams, writing for the Saturday Telegraph, was unimpressed by White Rabbit would be an understatement. Williams found the heritage carrots with ewe’s milk and walnuts “ancient, as if grown by one careful gardener, but sadly he’d died in his shed, and six months later someone found his carrots”. She also thought the cured salmon with fresh horseradish, fennel leaves, gooseberry and almond “was good in quite a functional way, like a breakfast item in a boutique Gothenburg hotel” while “impressively, the puddings managed to be worse.” For the review, click here.
White Rabbit: 15-16 Brandbury Street, London, N16 8JN
Telephone: 020 7682 0163
The Independent on Saturday (Tracey MacLeod) – The Strand Dining Rooms
“Simply being in a landmark location doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a landmark restaurant”
The Strand Dining Rooms fails to “live up to its iconic address”, says Tracey Macleod writing in The Independent. After pointing out “some of the dishes sound a bit wrong… Goat’s cheese croquette with summer greens salad and raspberry vinaigrette? Toasted beef tartare?”, Macleod finds seafood Scotch egg with dark crab sauce is “as nasty as it sounds; a stealth weapon of fishiness which announces itself mildly before gathering momentum and lodging itself in the olfactory system”. For the review, click here.
The Strand Dining Rooms: Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, 1-3 Strand, London, WC2N 5EJ
Telephone: 020 7930 8855
The Independent on Sunday (Amol Rajan) – Fischer’s
“At Fischer’s, Corbin and King have brought the best of Vienna back to life.”
According to The Independent’s Amol Rajan, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King have brought the Golden Age of Austria back to life at Fischer’s restaurant in Marylebone. Himmel und Erde (heaven and earth) is a rich black pudding on apple sauce “making the name only half-right: this is pure heaven, as long as you’re not one dose of cholesterol from heart failure” and the wiener schnitzel “is spot-on: thin-cut, coated in a crisp but non-oily batter, and generously portioned”. “As ever with Corbin and King, the attention to detail is all,” adds Rajan.
Fischer’s: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7466 5501
The Guardian (Marina O’Loughlin) – Fischer’s
“I’ve a feeling that Fischer’s will outlive us all.”
Last week, Marina O’Loughlin also dined at Corbin & King’s new venture Fischer’s, which she thought is that rarest of things: “cool and timeless”. Unlike the Evening Standard’s David Sexton and AA Gill for The Sunday Times who were less impressed, O’Loughlin thought Corbin & King “just get better and better”.
“Their fetish for Mitteleuropa continues, the food as much of a homage to old Austria as the decor. There are schnitzels and fat, smoky sausages, sauerkraut and strudels. It’s all delivered with their trademark, almost maniacal attention to detail: solid flatware and monogrammed crockery; silvered serving dishes and tea strainers; lemons wrapped in muslin. As ever, it looks as though they’ve ransacked a mythical grand hotel.”, declares Marina. For the review, click here.
Value for money 7/10
Fischer’s: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1
Telephone: 020 7466 5501
The Financial Times (Nicholas Lander) – Kirazu & Antidote
“Freshness in a dish is an unquantifiable quality, but it’s one that I seem to crave more and more – and not justin the summer month.”
Writing for The FT, Nicholas Lander reviews Antidote – “run by a largely French team but with an English chef, Chris Johns, under Swedish guidance from Mikael Jonsson of Hedone” and Kirazu – “run by Yuya Kikuchi, with the simple wooden interior designed by his wife, Sakiko”.
Kirazu impressed Lander with its “long menu” and “range of what Kikuchi calls ‘seasonal tapas'”: “When we ate there all the dishes were excitingly fresh but the highlights were tuna, scallop and salmon sashimi served in a razor clam; octopus carpaccio in a spicy marinade with salmon roe; prawn tempura; chicken teriyaki wrapped in a pancake; and a bowl of simmered bamboo and seaweed.”
While Nicholas was pleasantly surprised by the “excitingly fresh” dishes at Kirazu, he thought “Antidote’s charms are broader, as is the list of individuals who have brought this corner site to life” – Thierry Bouteloup, the general manager who has worked there for 13 years; Mikael Johnsson of Hedone, who serves the once called by Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler “best bread in Britain” and Chris Johns, head chef of Antidote.
“Freshness here came in two forms. The first was via a trio of memorable dishes: a cube of slow-cooked pork belly enlivened by San Marzano tomatoes and a mixture of fresh and sautéed endives; a breast, heart and leg of duck cleverly offset by miso-glazed courgettes; and two thick pale slices of Cornish turbot enhanced by a topping of thin slices of gooseberries and very fresh almonds. The second was an appetising bottle of 2010 Faustine red made by Abbatucci in Ajaccio, Corsica, which was correctly and appropriately, served cool.” For the review, click here.
Kirazu: 47 Rupert Street, London, W1D 7PD
Telephone: 020 7494 2248
Antidote Wine Bar: 12A Newburgh Street, London, W1F 7RR
Telephone: +44 20 7287 8488
The Sunday Times (AA Gill) – Wormwood
“The food, with its radical but thoughtful fusion of north Africa and southern Spanish cuisines (which are already a divorced old couple), is accomplished, inventive, emotional.”
Last week, The Sunday Times Magazine‘s AA Gill discovered “accomplished, inventive and emotional food” at Wormwood in Notting Hill.
“I started with the croquettas made with squid ink and a garlic mayonnaise and preserved lemons, light and surprising with that musty, minerally flavour of the sepia, spiked with bright shocks of flavour. The tomato and the octopus were also good,” he states. “For meat, I had lamb tartare, like kibbeh, a dish that seems to be having a small, outré moment. This was a timbale of chopped, raw lamb that had been sealed on the outside and served with a sauce that was so pungent it was like coating your tongue with warm tarmac and for me it was the only wrong note in the whole meal. There was also a marvellous lobster couscous, and a little bit of sea bass that came as an accent for some elaborate riffs on cauliflower.” For the review, click here.
Wormwood: 16 All Saints Road, London, W11 1HH
Telephone: 0207 854 1808
The Observer (Jay Rayner) -Ben’s Cornish Kitchen
“Sharing a kitchen with your mother and brother might sound like hell… but at Ben’s they love to keep it in the family”
Last week, Jay Rayner travelled to Marazion in Cornwall to sample Ben’s Cornish Kitchen’s menu. He found the restaurant “remarkable” not only because of the “enjoyable” food but because “it’s a proper family venture.” Rayner was pleasantly surprised: “Three members of the same family crammed in a small kitchen. Six days a week. Without killing each other. The result is not eye-widening food, but it is very pleasing. He states that a starter of lobster and crab ravioli, the seafood compacted within the tight hold of thin pasta is “like the best silk knickers over a pert buttock – Sorry, but really good seafood does that to me”. For the review, click here.
Ben’s Cornish Kitchen: West End, Marazion, Cornwall, TR17 0EL
Telephone: 01736 986644
If you would like to take a look at earlier restaurant reviews, click here.