Those who were worried about incomers ruining the Gay Hussar, the iconic Greek Street restaurant whose site the new Noble Rot Soho now occupies, needn’t fret. The owners, Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling, are far too canny for that. True, the walls are dark green rather than the deep red I remember and the clientele more 2020s Soho than ‘80s politicos but it still has that warm clubby feel. And the staff - masked, of course - are much friendlier and more engaging.
At first sight kale toast appears to be the only vegetarian option at Richard Corrigan’s new restaurant Daffodil Mulligan. Then I spot beetroot but still no mains. The veggie member of our party, having scanned the menu in advance is unimpressed. We’re worried - the other three of us, having heard good things about the restaurant which is named after the daughter of a famous Irish street seller, are gagging to go.
You may have heard that Mirazur in Menton has been voted best restaurant in the world at the World’s 50 Best awards this week. You may well not have heard of it and wonder why it’s so special. I was fortunate enough to eat there and interview the chef Mauro Colagreco earlier this month and here’s why I think it made the no 1 slot.
I’m writing about Rovi in almost ideal circumstances. After two visits - one very shortly after opening, the other last week, two and a half months later. I could, of course, have reviewed it after the first visit. It was fully open not a discounted ‘soft’ opening yet there isn’t a restaurant that gets into its stride in the first month. American publications insist that their critics go three times before their review is published I believe. In an ideal world you would.
One of the problems about being a food writer - though I’m not expecting much sympathy from you - is that you’re always chasing the latest new opening. Which means that restaurants you make the effect to go back you feel pretty special about.
One of the strange things about the restaurant scene in Venice is that the big players are pretty well exactly the same as they were when I last went 10 years ago (yes, way too long!) Only the prices have changed - unfortunately in an upward direction, aggravated by our lamentable exchange rate.
Sometimes it pays not to look at the menu of a restaurant you’re thinking of going to. I was nearly discouraged from visiting Scully by the vast list of unfamiliar dishes and ingredients. Did I really want to eat puffed beef tendons or Welsh mutton with black barley and bisbas? I wasn’t sure I did.
“Eagerly awaited” is a well worn cliché but but aptly describes the opening of Nieves Barragan Mohacho and Jose Etura’s Sabor. Originally scheduled to launch last autumn it took a further 6 months to finally open its doors a year after they left their previous jobs.
I sometimes wonder if we value novelty too much. As an avid restaurant-goer the temptation is always to head for the the latest opening - but keeping pace with what’s new inevitably means you don’t spend as much time as you’d like in the places you actually enjoy.
It’s rare to find a restaurant that excites almost universal approval but then, like buses, two come along at once. Just before Christmas everyone was raving about the new outpost of Margot Henderson’s Rochelle Canteen at the ICA. This month there’s a general love-in for Parsons in Covent Garden
Unless you’re a seasoned jet-setter it’s not often you have the opportunity to compare a restaurant in London with its counterpart in the far east. But having been to the original Duddell's a year ago in Hong Kong I was intrigued to see how they would translate the experience to London
If you want to open a new restaurant serve pasta. That seems to be the formula for success these days.
With dozens of restaurants opening every week in London what do you do to stand out from the crowd? The answer, it seems from James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy's recently opened Magpie in Heddon Street, is to pretend you’re a Chinese restaurant and wheel around the menu on a trolley.
Veg is the new chicken - or so it seems from the overnight reincarnation of Bristol chef Josh Eggleton’s fried chicken shack Chicken Shed into a largely vegetarian restaurant called Root.
The last time I did a round up of the best places to eat in Bristol was back in 2014. Since then the food scene has exploded to such an extent that I hardly recognise my original list.
It’s already a bone of contention between me and my Islington-based friend T that she has an unfairly large number of good restaurants on her doorstep.
What makes you want to go back to a restaurant? It may be because it’s convenient for where you live or work. The food certainly has to be good but I think the most important factor is the warmth of the welcome - whether you feel at home there.
My heart usually sinks when I’m recommended an Asian-fusion restaurant in France. It generally means a mishmash of dishes devised by a chef who’s never set foot on the continent.
There are two good reasons for eating at The Barbary. One is the Jerusalem bagel, a wondrous piece of baking. Served warm from the oven, encrusted in spicy sesame seeds it must be the best bread roll in town.