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24 July 2014

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Blog Reviews from vialaporte

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Unlocking the truth about restaurant reviews


  1. Once again, Michelin-starred Pascal Aussignac has shown London’s chefs how it’s done at Taste of London by winning the “Best in Taste” award for his 2014 signature dish, “Croque Gascon”. Stunning recognition really given the competition and considering that he also took the gong in 2011 and 2012. While Aussignac offers his artistic, fine-dining at *1 star Club Gascon, it’s next door at Cellar Gascon where you can taste his triumphant dishes. These have been added to his full menu of sharing plates inspired by the Southwest of France, which can be paired-up with some expertly matched Gascon wines – something that the Cellar specialises in...

  2. One of Britain’s most loved destination restaurants – le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – is the perfect place for a gastronomic escape. Chef Raymond Blanc is a hands-on kind of boss. It’s not his style to be hidden away, simply overseeing his brigade. He’s out welcoming guests, gauging times, subtly managing the whole operation. And well managed it is too with the front-of-house service working in elegant concert with the kitchen. Once you’ve had a chance to take in the surroundings with you apéritif and amuses bouches, you’ll be escorted to your table. Menu wise, you’ll notice that there doesn’t seem to be any outlandish tricks ahead of you. That’s because Blanc’s cooking is routed in classic, French traditional cuisine. Though what you can expect is simply the most outstanding produce, treated with modern techniques to create fresh dishes. In fact, Blanc is so proud of his suppliers that he names them one by one on the back on his menu...

  3. Fera at Claridge’s is Simon Rogan’s 2014 London venture at what used to be Gordon Ramsay’s art deco dining room. Remodelled with a chic olive grey and silver colour scheme, this is without any doubt one of the most stylish dining rooms in London. The food served is equally beautiful too. This is partly achieved through the way Rogan sources and selects his ingredients. With the amount of greenery and flowers on show, he gives Columbia Road market a run for its money, though these impressive dishes are also a result of his meticulous, artistic style. But what about the food and its flavour? Strangely, Fera was a bit of a roller-coaster experience for us. Strange, because months and months of preparation would have gone into creating these menus. Successful influences would have been adopted from his **2 star l’Enclume and elsewhere. While some dishes were wonderful, others were just nice or even a bit flat. A shorter, punchier menu could have achieved a higher level of consistency with less work. That said, the wonderful things were outstanding, so the overall feeling we came away with was very, very good...

  4. Published : Thursday, 8th May 2014

    Angler | Angler* // The City // London

    London’s fish restaurant scene is going from strength to strength. Whether you’re looking for the sophistication of Corrigan’s or the lively atmosphere of Randall & Aubin, seafood is getting some fine treatment across the capital. And somewhere that really embodies this movement is the D&D restaurant group’s second starred restaurant, Angler. Set atop of the South Place Hotel, the elegant Angler dining room is long and slender, which creates a quiet atmosphere with a lovely outdoor terrace at the western end. Once you’re seated you’ll find an a la carte or tasting menu from which to choose...

  5. Published : Sunday, 27th April 2014

    Coq d'Argent | Coq D’Argent // The City // London

    For most people, Coq d’Argent conjures up two images. The first is the verdant rooftop terrace, which is undeniably one of the best to enjoy an after-work drink when London is at its glorious, sunny best. The second image – owing to its location, is corporate City dining. Though perhaps there is more to the Coq than meets the eye? Whilst it’s true that the main dining room is well used by business folk, Coq d’Argent offers some extremely well priced menus and serves-up some very high quality food. Adding that up with the great design and the professional service, we think this restaurant needs to be discovered by more diners. The mushroom parfait is a wonderfully light, flavoursome starter. Beautifully presented, this colourful dish balances an earthy mushroom flavour with a rich coating of port jelly. Surrounding the parfait is a sprinkling of pickled baby vegetables that have been carefully sliced into crisp ribbons. The effect is both rich and refreshing, and is lifted with a hint of truffle in the vinaigrette...

  6. Published : Thursday, 3rd April 2014

    Pizarro | Pizarro // Southwark // London

    The new Southbank is definitively worth a visit. Its recent rejuvenation treatment has seen the opening of many restaurants which all compete with good food and great ambiance. Located in the new trendy Bermondsey Street, Pizzaro is certainly one of them. With its old-fashioned ceramics on the wall and robust wood table, it is a place to embrace the Spanish style and stay hours. The menu is not very long favouring seasonal Spanish specialities over the classics. So some help might be needed but the waiter will answer all your questions. As a starters, the ceps, hazelnut & jamon fricassee is nice...

  7. Published : Thursday, 3rd April 2014

    Chotto Matte | Chotto Matte // Soho // London

    When you walk through the hustle and bustle of Soho’s streets, it would be hard to miss the suave sophistication of the three-level complex which is Chotto Matte. You could easily think that you were stepping into a swanky New York club, which is no surprise as its creator is Kurt Zdesar, the same man who made Nobu a household name in London. The decor is artistically tasteful and offers elements of candid surprise, indicative of Chotto Matte’s Peruvian / Japanese fusion. The menu is divided into sections based on preparation method – hot, cold, sautéed, barbecue etc. Try the scallop tiradito, with its sweet, soft slices of raw shellfish that melt in your mouth...

  8. Published : Thursday, 27th March 2014

    Casse-Croûte | Casse-Croute // Bermondsey // London

    Being French, I love to find a restaurant that reminds me of home, which is exactly what Casse-Croûte does. All of the team is French, they speak French with the diners and all food is French. The atmosphere is almost so real that you feel that you are actually in a Parisian bistro, but it takes more than scribbling the menu on a blackboard to make an authentic experience; the food needs to be up to scratch too. Considering the price, I was expecting to the level of food that you’d find in Paris. Restaurants like L’Entredgeu or Ardoise are the benchmark. Firstly, you might not be impressed by the restrictive choice; three starters, three mains and three desserts. When the kitchen is trying to be this efficient with its cooking, then it needs to be turning out perfect plates. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as what you are served is simple bistro food with no hint of a twist...

  9. Published : Wednesday, 26th March 2014

    HKK | HKK* // Shoreditch // London

    HKK shows what Chinese fine dining can be; it’s as simple as that. Although it’s clearly been created for City entertaining, don’t let that put you off if you’re intrigued to go there for a meal with friends. Expectations are perfectly set at a *1 star level, from the welcome, to the apéritifs, to the subtle yet chic decor – and of course the cuisine. If you want the best out of your experience, you should go for one of the many set menus. Even someone used to ordering Chinese food will find it difficult to recreate HKK’s sumptuous offer from the à la carte menu. Also, rather than have wine with your meal, perhaps opt for a fine white tea to cut through the rich elements of the meal without giving you the distinct flavour of wine...

  10. Recently refurnished hotels in New York are a commonality by André Balazs, but for his first foray into the London market, he has certainly outshone himself by converting an old fire station into a beautifully cosy, stylish designer hotel restaurant. With involvement from Nuno Mendes (from the now closed Viajante), this restaurant lives up to expectations both in style, substance and most of all, ambience. Foodwise, the menu is an American inspired twist to Nuno’s contemporary style, with bar snacks including buttermilk fried chicken. Coated in a thin crispy batter liken to a panko crumb rather than the heavily floured batter prevalent in many American diners, the succulent bite size pieces of chicken are served with a smoky bacon ranch dipping. A dish of which you could happily devour a whole bucket...

  11. The pressure of having **2 Michelin stars is not only do you have keep up standards year-on-year for the critics, but you also need to fulfil the expectations of diners who come for that extra special experience; perhaps the more daunting task for the restaurateur. Regular diners will spot small faults while first-timers will want to be “wowed”. Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley achieves this effortlessly and it’s not by luck. Aesthetics and service are wonderful at The Berkeley. The dining room is calm, spread-out yet still animated with a mix of business and private clients. Front-of-house staff are charming, friendly and excellent at their respective roles. However, it’s Wareing’s menu that truly makes this experience unforgettable...

  12. Published : Tuesday, 17th December 2013

    Merchant's Tavern | Merchants’ Tavern // Shoreditch // London

    Being somewhere between a bistro and fine dining is a bit of a strange place to be. Who are you trying to attract? Do you want to serve gutsy classics, but in a more elegant dining room? Can higher prices be justified for simple food just because of an elevated experience? We aren’t sure. And with wonderful examples of bistros and fine dining near-by, the concept of the Merchants’ Tavern might end-up confusing people. On the starters menu, the scallops with trompette mushrooms are nicely balanced in flavour and are well seasoned. Though is this challenging gastronomy? Not really. Similarly, the bavette isn’t a wonderful example of what it should be. As well as lacking imagination, it’s pricey and better examples can be found elsewhere...

  13. Published : Friday, 13th December 2013

    Dabbous | Dabbous* // Fitzrovia // London

    So much has been said about Dabbous, from it being awarded its Michelin star, to various debates around why it has caused so much excitement. After having had some time to settle down, we wanted to understand what the hype is all about, and whether it is deserved. As with so many London restaurants, Dabbous was certainly created with stars in mind. Chef Ollie Dabbous has worked in a list of ‘who’s who’ restaurants before heading-up his own kitchen. It’s undeniable that he’s managed to create success through his cooking in a cut-throat market. But is the Dabbous hype really worth the long wait for a booking? That is the question – and the frank answer is no...

  14. Published : Monday, 9th December 2013

    Sushi Tetsu | Sushi Tetsu // Islington // London

    Once you’ve found-out the date and time that you can make a booking, you’ll need an army of people and a personal concierge to get your reservation confirmed at Sushi Tetsu. With only one bar, seven seats and effectively only two sittings a day, it’s little wonder why. If you finally manage to get a reservation, you’ll most probably feel that you need to go for the top set-menu (Omakase – chef’s choice), to make-up for all the anguish that the booking’s caused. After the usual edamame, the chef starts preparing an amazing palette of sashimi: sea bream, sea bass, turbot, seared scallop, snow crab, yellowtail, sweet shrimp, and two sorts of tuna, one being toro; well-known as the fattiest and consequently the most sought after. The quality of all the fish is exceptional and the chef can certainly thank his supplier for sourcing such impeccable products. Following this, you’re served marinated mackerel and sardine, whose tastes are fully revealed by the simple salt and vinegar seasoning...

  15. Published : Monday, 2nd December 2013

    Moro | Moro // Islington // London

    Moro seems to have been one of East London’s ‘go-to’ restaurant references for as long as we can remember. Famous for its fusion of Spanish / Middle-Eastern cuisine, bookings at this ever popular spot are an absolute essential for the dinner service. Part of its ongoing success must certainly lie in its atmosphere. With a long bar and cosy wood tables scattered about, the large room is an invitation to conviviality. Regarding the food, the menu offers a great selection that changes with the seasons. As a starter, the warm peppers stuffed with salt cod brandada is very pleasant, while the mixed vegetable mezze gives you an opportunity to taste a more traditional Middle-Eastern dishes. Served with freshly baked pita bread, the spicy lentils salad, humus and tzatziki are tasty and ideal for sharing...

  16. Published : Thursday, 21st November 2013

    Social Eating House | Social Eating House* // Soho // London

    Social Eating House, Jason Atherton’s latest *1 star venture is exactly what you would expect. Hidden at the bottom of Poland Street, it’s already become a favourite Soho catch-up spot for customers that aren’t looking for a fine dining experience but still expect some above average food. Plenty of attention has been paid to develop this new concept. The shabby chic dining room looks like a resurrected former brasserie, while cosy leather banquettes and recycled vintage cutlery are contrasted by a very lively atmosphere and some up-beat music. The swanky bathrooms have certainly had a designers touch too. Though what might surprise is that for such a boisterous on-trend establishment, the food has also been given a lot of attention...

  17. Published : Wednesday, 6th November 2013

    The Lady Ottoline | The Lady Ottoline // Bloomsbury // London

    In central London, it’s never difficult to find either a good pub or a nice restaurant. However, it’s not always so easy to find a great gastro pub, which performs both functions at once. Normally, they are tucked away in London’s more leafy postcodes. Still, there are some that exist, and without a doubt, Bloomsbury’s The Lady Ottoline is a prime example. Just off Gray’s Inn Road, The Lady Ottoline serves refined yet traditional British cuisine. While at first glance the menu may seem a bit basic, all of the dishes are well executed and are made with high quality produce...

  18. The latest restaurant in the Gordon Ramsay Empire has been subject to huge media attention. The opening saw punters flirting with the thought of David Beckham lingering about, which ensured that the first few months of booked were confirmed within a nano-second. While dreams of Mr. Beckham failed to materialise, it’s clear that some serious money has been spent on kitting this place out. However, the industrial cavernous dining room doesn’t really create the buzzy atmosphere that it was perhaps intended to, though the downstairs cocktail bar is a wonderfully intimate space. So has the same amount of attention gone into the food?...

  19. Published : Thursday, 24th October 2013

    Paesan | Paesan // Islington // London

    Exmouth Market continues on its culinary evolution with the arrival of Paesan, a restaurant (and subterranean cocktail bar) that’s part of a growing number of Italian sharing-style restaurants in London. It’s ‘cucina povera’ solidly focuses on using excellence produce, in gutsy, vibrant combinations to a satisfying effect. Half of the menu is dedicated to cured meat, cheese and vegetable antipasti, ‘piccolo’ sharing plates (which aren’t that piccolo) and lusciously adorned four-slice pizzas. These offerings alone can create a varied and tasty dinner for you and friends. The other half of the menu is completed with full-sized meat, fish and pasta dishes, for a more conventional meal if that’s what you’re after...

  20. Published : Sunday, 20th October 2013

    Marianne | Marianne // Notting Hill // London

    Having a top-quality restaurant arrive in your neighbourhood is always a wonderful surprise. The residents of Notting Hill seem to have stuck some serious luck with the opening of Marianne Lumb’s self-entitled restaurant – Marianne. While relaxed and friendly in person, chef has clearly built on her incredibility varied private and professional chef experience to put-in-place a kitchen (and team) that runs like clockwork. While the cooking space is only the size of some restaurants’ coldstores, the dining room is equally small, seating a maximum of 14. The delicately lit, calm space is instantly relaxing, dotted with people enjoying exquisite food in a harmonious environment, with the Maître’D delivering an expert yet warm front-of-house service...

  21. Published : Wednesday, 16th October 2013

    Balthazar | Balthazar //Covent Garden // London

    Two steps from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the carbon copy of a New York City restaurant, Balthazar. After ten years, Keith McNally decided that diners this side of the Atlantic needed to experience his version of a Parisian brasserie. Despite all the hype that surrounded the launch, Balthazar aims to deliver simple dishes made with high products. And the result? Well, it fulfills the brief well. As you arrive you’ll be struck by the magnificence of the dining room, with its high, decorated ceiling and sumptuous chandeliers. Certainly one of very few complaints would be that the day time menu is quite limited in comparison to the evening offerings, so bear that in mind when booking. Balthazar, however, is spot on with its sourcing of its products. While most of the dishes are absolutely spot-on, the team in the kitchen are still perfecting a couple of things...

  22. Published : Wednesday, 9th October 2013

    Oblix at The Shard | Oblix // Southwark // London

    How can you not be impressed by the magnificence of The Shard? While Dubai is the undisputed home of skyscraper supremacy, the shape and size of The Shard are absolutely amazing. With one of its restaurants on the 32nd floor, the almost surreal silence of the lift rockets you up to your destination in less than 10 seconds. After the doors open, you’ll take a few steps into the dark corridors leading to Oblix. In the bar, you’ll be suddenly confronted by the full view. Embrace it, it’s stunning! After your aperitif, head to the restaurant and enjoy your path through the kitchen. The wood fire oven, the massive pieces of meats in the glass fridge, the fresh herbs and vegetables on display – just a sample of the products that await you...

  23. Published : Tuesday, 3rd September 2013

    The Greenhouse | The Greenhouse* // Mayfair // London

    Mayfair’s The Greenhouse restaurant offers guests a unique way to dine in London. As you come to the end of the picturesque Hay’s Mews, you’ll arrive at a lush, tropical garden, with tall, architectural plants that create a serene retreat. Once inside the chic, neutral dining room, large windows frame the verdant view, which creates a relaxing setting for a stylish meal. It’s no wonder that The Greenhouse is popular with both business diners and couples looking for romance. And it’s not just the setting that’s impressive – the food matches-up too...

  24. Published : Thursday, 29th August 2013

    Lima | Lima // Fitzrovia // London

    Lima is a restaurant that has given London something completely new. With its Peruvian flavours and ingredients, it’s playful bright plating, its enthused and charming service – it all comes together to create an exceptional dining experience that you won’t have been expecting. While you kick-off with a passion fruit pisco sour, you’ll need some time to digest the inventive flavour combinations on the menu...

  25. Published : Thursday, 29th August 2013

    Ottolenghi Islington | Ottolenghi // Islington // London

    Upper Street and more generally Angel is one of those places where choosing a restaurant is made difficult by the sheer number of options. The dilemma is, does it follow that busy restaurants serve great food? Perhaps not, but there is one place where this is certainly the case; Ottolenghi. Opened as a delicatessen, there is a long communal table and a couple of smaller ones. With amazing displays of cakes and pastries in the window, it won’t take much for you to be drawn inside to check-out what other goodies lurk within. Once inside, you won’t be disappointed. Ottolenghi’s counter is jammed full of platters, covered with appetizing, colourful salads, made with combinations of vegetables, nuts, herbs and dressings that you could never dream-up. The vegetarian food is so good that despite the plates of seared tuna and grilled lemon thyme organic chicken, you may even think about becoming a vegetarian – for an afternoon...

  26. Published : Wednesday, 28th August 2013

    Club Gascon | Club Gascon* // The City // London

    For more than 11 years, chef-patron Pascal Aussignac has been building his reputation in The City, especially around Smithfield Market. His first venture was Club Gascon, which has since extended to the Cellar, the Comptoir Gascon, the recently opened Cerle in Chelsea and Baranis, tucked-in behind the Royal Courts of Justice; nothing can stop this acclaimed chef. Quietly working, Aussigac has permanently been creating after the success of his flagship...

  27. Published : Wednesday, 28th August 2013

    Hereford Road | Hereford Road // Notting Hill // London

    When we say bistro, we define a simple place, with simple food served with “love”…..and this is exactly what Hereford Road is attempting to deliver in Notting Hill, with its white and elegant dining room...

  28. Published : Saturday, 24th August 2013

    Otto's Restaurant | Otto’s // Holborn // London

    Otto’s is one of those restaurants that you may have heard about without really knowing where it is. It delivers the true meaning of the word “restaurant” by serving “food that restores”, but not in a food-for-food’s-sake kind of way, but in a classic, chic style. When you enter Otto’s, you’ll get a sense of a typical corner Parisian bistro that has been running for years, with its timeless, slightly rococo decor...

  29. Published : Friday, 9th August 2013

    28°-50° | 28-50 // Holborn // London

    Hidden between two rather depressing buildings off Fetter Lane is an underground restaurant called 28-50. Despite its subterraneous location, you’ll immediately feel warmed-up by the woody atmosphere, where there is nothing better than plonking yourself on one of their bar stools and enjoying a nice glass of wine. With a name based on the two latitudes where most of the world’s vineyards can be found, they have obviously paid special attention to their wine list, in terms of both the by-the-glass and bottles on offer...

  30. Published : Friday, 9th August 2013

    Hush | Hush // Mayfair // London

    If there was a place to fall in love with in London, it would definitely be Lancashire Court. Nowhere is more romantic than this hidden courtyard in Mayfair. At its centre is a secret garden with, light, candles and plants; the terrace at Hush. The setting couldn’t be more perfect, though unfortunately, the rest doesn’t live-up to the same expectation...

  31. Published : Friday, 9th August 2013

    Terroirs | Terroirs // Covent Garden // London

    Oddly placed between Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross and Covent Garden is Terroirs; perhaps not the kind of area that a foodie would dream to eat in. But those who look down their nose at this establishment will be missing-out. Despite the location, the restaurant is not filled with tourists. The regulars here are all sorts of Londoners - business colleagues, friends, even couples on their first date. As for the menu, it’s pure French bistrot...

  32. Published : Wednesday, 31st July 2013

    Opera Tavern | Opera Tavern // Covent Garden // London

    Opera Tavern, Salt Yard and Dehesa are all sibling restaurants specialised in Italian and Spanish tapas. In between Covent Garden and Aldwych, Opera Tavern is the latest addition, where the specialty is Iberico pork and the different ways to serve it: rare, charcoal grilled and cured. Credit where credit is due – being just a step from all the main theatres, the location is perfect, and the work done on the facade and the dining room is very cosy chic...

  33. Well known to The City of London’s bankers, tucked away near Farringdon Station is the Bleeding Heart Tavern; a local favourite serving good French food. Though if you are looking for a more elegant dining experience, there is the Bleeding Heart Bistrot, which spreads-out onto the sunny courtyard in the summer; fantastic for a late afternoon drink. At the Tavern, the service is very friendly and you’ll usually have no issue in popping-in last minute without a reservation...

  34. Published : Wednesday, 31st July 2013

    Maze | Maze* // Mayfair // London

    Is it about time that Mr. Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants were put under the microscope again? Ramsay can certainly be credited with elevating food to new heights that were previously unknown in London. But has his loss of his second star at Claridge’s meant he’s lost a bit of his sparkle? Are standards at his one star Maze as good as they were when Jason Atherton was around? That is the main question...

  35. Published : Wednesday, 31st July 2013

    Bocca di Lupo | Bocca Di Lupo // Soho // London

    In London, a proper night out should always have a stop in Soho, the pulsing heart of the capital. However, it’s an absolute maze of streets, so it’s best to know where you’re going before getting lost. Archer Street, although just of Piccadilly Circus, can be one of those difficult places to find. Once you arrive in this tiny alley, your eyes will catch sight of the ice cream shop, Gelupo, and on the other side of the road you’ll find its mother restaurant, Bocca Di Lupo. Don’t worry that the building is nondescript, that is certainly not the case with the cuisine they serve...

  36. Published : Friday, 26th July 2013

    L'Anima | L’Anima // The City // London

    In the heart of The City, just beside most major financial institutions, is L’Anima. This incredibly elegant establishment combines an immaculate restaurant with a more relaxing area designed to enjoy drinks and nibbles. Instead of using the chic transparent chairs from the dining room, superb white leather couches are on offer; the ones you can only dream of fitting into your flat. Enormous glass windows are certainly another detail which makes L’Anima one of the most gorgeous places on the East side of London...

  37. Jason Atherton found his fame while running Gordon Ramsay’s Maze. Following in his bosses footsteps, he threw himself headfirst into the world of celebrity chefdom. After becoming a household name, it was no surprise when the Yorkshireman opened his own restaurant in 2010. Sleek, modern yet still warm, Pollen Street is a different kind of dining room to those Londoners are used to. Though the wooden floors and a lack of soft furnishings create a hectic and lively buzz, which borders on noisy...

  38. Published : Friday, 26th July 2013

    Seasons.Casamia | Casamia* // Bristol // England

    Remember the winners of the Gordon Ramsay best UK local restaurant back in 2009? Another fabulous set of West Country brothers, cooking sous-vide Italian fine dining. If you are heading past Bristol, stop in for lunch or dinner and you’ll be transported to Italy for couple of hours. When you arrive, you’ll walk down a charming outdoor passage, which opens-up to the restaurant. At the end, a high quality welcome is on offer, with the maître’d welcoming you with a warm and generous smile...

  39. Shoreditch, while famous for its underground nightclubs, isn’t exactly known for its top-level restaurants. However, this view could be set for a shake-up. Several restaurants in the neighbourhood are building reputations for both their cuisine and atmosphere and Les 3 Garçons is one of them. If the gritty, edgy surrounds lack a bit of refined style, then the interior of the restaurant certainly makes up for it. With the beginnings of a smart brasserie, the dining room has been transformed with crocodiles, giraffes and tigers...

  40. Published : Friday, 26th July 2013

    Koya | Koya // Soho // London

    A Bib Gourmand sets a pretty clear expectation in your mind; tasty food at a reasonable price. Well, Koya in Soho...

  41. Call us cynical, but Seven Park Place is a hotel’s vain attempt to put itself on the map by bringing in a well-known chef...

  42. Published : Wednesday, 24th July 2013

    The Gun | The Gun // Canary Wharf // London

    Happily sitting on the eastern fringe of Canary Wharf is the Gun; a lovely gastro pub with a superb view on the O2. The Gun is the perfect spot for a sunny Sunday brunch beside the Thames. The terrace is really nice, though be careful not to go on a windy day, you might not enjoy the view so much if you’re being swept away. All year round, this lovely pub serves traditional English food (mainly inside), which is well presented and delivered to nicely dressed tables...

  43. Published : Tuesday, 9th July 2013

    Texture | Texture * // Marylebone // London

    Texture’s kitchen, run by Icelandic Agnar Sverrisson aims to present diners with fresh, Nordic inspired food using modern techniques. With some fierce competition in that department from the one star North Road in Farringdon, standards need to be high to deliver the same level of innovation and surprise. While this smart (yet noisy) dining room does its best to impress, the whole experience falls flat and fails to live-up to expectation...

  44. Published : Tuesday, 9th July 2013

    Aubaine Mayfair | Aubaine // Mayfair // London

    In a nice courtyard just off Heddon Street, is one of the Aubaine group’s restaurants. Designed with large windows and furniture in gentle shades of grey, Aubaine gives you the feeling that you’ve left busy London for some elegant winter garden in the countryside. Once at your table, a quick glance at the bar and your waiter with his oh so French brasserie style apron will make you think that you have actually crossed the channel...

  45. Published : Tuesday, 9th July 2013

    Zuma | Zuma // Knightsbridge // London

    Zuma is one of those places in London surfing on the wave of Japanese trendiness. Not far from Harrods, it attracts wealthy Knightsbridge customers while its sister restaurant Roka in Canary Wharf is dedicated to business diners. In terms of service, you will be immediately impressed by the sheer number of waiting staff, who do a good job at making you feel special. But don’t be fooled, on a busy day you’ll be regularly reminded when the table has to be given back...

  46. Published : Monday, 24th June 2013

    The Delaunay | The Delaunay // Covent Garden // London

    The Delaunay is one of those restaurants that is on ‘the must visit’ for many visitors to the capital, which is no surprise given its stylish yet relaxing dining room. For those who are looking for something other than one of the many French bistros proliferating London, the Delnaunay offers a more Germanic approach. Though like its sister restaurant, the Wolseley, there’s an eclectic choice of dishes, as well as a very attractive afternoon tea...

  47. Published : Wednesday, 12th June 2013

    Corner Room | Corner Room // Bethnal Green // London

    Cambridge Heath might not be somewhere that many Londoners can pinpoint on a map, but there is one really good reason to discover this East London area. While the grimy industrial and housing estates aren’t exactly enticing, the magnificently restored Bethnal Green Town Hall certainly is. Now home to the Town Hall Hotel and Nuno Mendes’s two restaurants, which have been garnering a bit of attention themselves; the more causal of the two is the Corner Room...

  48. Published : Wednesday, 12th June 2013

    The Grazing Goat | The Grazing Goat // Marylebone // London

    The Grazing Goat in Portman Village is a smartly fitted-out pub, with an upstairs dining room and townhouse style bedrooms. The Cubbitt House group, to which it belongs also has three other similarly smart public houses across well-healed West London...

  49. Published : Wednesday, 12th June 2013

    Vinoteca Farringdon | Vinoteca // Farringdon // London

    Filled with offices buildings, Farringdon might not be the first place you think of when it comes to choosing a restaurant for the weekend, but you’ll find it’s actually quite a smart move. With plenty of good places to eat, the weekday punters who crowd the area leave its restaurants deserted, tranquil and relaxing over the weekend. Vinoteca on St. John Street is a perfect example of this. On Saturday, the lights are low, the jazz is on and time flies by with a glass of something nice in your hand. While having a strong focus on their Spanish wine, they also serve-up some appealing food, which you should definitely hang-about to try...

  50. Ametsa was meant to be one of the hottest restaurant openings in London in 2013; it was the talk of the town for months before its official opening in March. Created by the heavy-weight Spanish duo of Juan and Elena Arzak, it aims to produce Spanish gastronomy using British ingredients; a welcome concept given the lack of high-end Spanish dining in London...

  51. Published : Friday, 7th June 2013

    Purnell's | Purnell’s* // Birmingham // England

    Amongst the ranks of TV chefs, Glynn Purnell must be one of the best entertainers. With his cheeky style, the Yummy Brummy has been showing 1* star nosh at his restaurant since 2009. Birmingham is a business city, so what better test for his cooking than a busy mid-week lunch service. Locals certainly seem to be impressed if the repeat custom is anything to go by, but does Glynn deserve to hold onto his rating?...

  52. Everything seems perfect at the beginning. The handsome white champagne bar beside the restaurant seems like it couldn’t be a better place for a drink. Though if you sit at the bar, be prepared to...

  53. Published : Monday, 3rd June 2013

    Yauatcha | Yauatcha* // Soho // London

    Looking for a nightclub with Ping-Pong level food? Go to Yauatcha. With trendy waiters, Tiesto/Guetta music blaring in the background and Wagamama-style communal tables, the atmosphere at Alan Yau’s Michelin starred restaurant is...

  54. Published : Monday, 3rd June 2013

    The Ledbury | The Ledbury** // Notting Hill // London

    Known across London as Zagat’s best restaurant and across the world as one of the top 20 San Pellegrino restaurants, The Ledbury was awarded **2 stars two years ago. Located in Nothing Hill between the bustle Portobello Road and Westbound Grove’s smart shops, the restaurant’s Australian chef Brett Graham has found the secret to dining success. Both English and French staff offer a pleasant welcome, with many of the customers seeming to come from the area. Surrounded by large windows and mirrors, you will immediately feel special in this elegant environment...

  55. Published : Thursday, 30th May 2013

    Medlar | Medlar* // Chelsea // London

    Medlar is a neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea, cooking in a French classical style. Co-owned by Joe Mercer Nairne and David O’Connor (both of former Michelin fame), Medlar was awarded a single star in 2013. It has a contemporary décor with a cosy and semi casual feel...

  56. Despite not being the newest hotel on the block, St. Martin’s Lane has managed to remain at the forefront of designed hotels in London and still attracts a trendy crowd. Enhanced at night with its different coloured lights, the high white ceiling in the lobby is very Saatchi gallery-esque. The Light Bar behind reception...

  57. Published : Wednesday, 29th May 2013

    The Jugged Hare | The Jugged Hare // The City // London

    Open for about two years now, The Jugged Hare is a sister pub/restaurant of The Gun in Canary Wharf. Tucked in behind the Barbican complex, it has a bar in the front, restaurant in the back and private dining downstairs. The atmosphere is Victorian bistro, in the same style of Dean Street Townhouse. It delivers hearty food based...

  58. Published : Thursday, 23rd May 2013

    Dragoncello | Dragoncello // Nothing Hill // London

    Dragoncello is one of these restaurants that is so good, you’ll not even want to tell your best friends about it. However, to be fair to the owner Tobia Speranza and the chef Monserrato Marini, vialaporte is pleased to share this little gem...

  59. Published : Thursday, 23rd May 2013

    St John | St John Hotel* // Soho // London

    Following the successful St John Smithfield and Spitalfield restaurants, Fergus and Trevor opened their latest restaurant-hotel in Chinatown in mid 2012. Within a few months, it had already earned its first Michelin star. It’s hard to miss this immaculate corner restaurant...

  60. The bar, downstairs, is a boisterous mix of Shoreditch types, tattoos, avant-garde haircuts. Upstairs, their sedate bobo older brothers/sisters, perhaps even parents, intent on eating fashionable food in an art laden space, without ‘brick licking’ gimmicks. Service is extremely friendly and guests are seated at vintage tables, which are sometimes communal...

  61. Published : Thursday, 23rd May 2013

    The Chancery | The Chancery // Holborn // London

    The Chancery restaurant has provoked one of vialaporte’s biggest debates, caused by some exceptional cooking and some not up to scratch service. Despite the confusion, we think diners should make up their own minds on this one by giving it a try. Orchestrated by chef Simon Christey-French...

  62. Certainly the one of the best female chefs in the world, Hélène Darroze come to London from her native Gascony/Landes Region in France. With one Michelin star at her restaurant in Paris (formerly two), and after recently receiving her second star at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, she certainly sets high expectations. The hotel itself is just beautiful. From the moment you arrive you will experience chic, five star service. The restaurant carries-on this trend with its elegant wooden-paneled dining room and its sumptuous table settings...

  63. Farringdon certainly isn’t the most glamorous of London roads, tending to be more of a dual carriageway than a dining location. It’s here that the Quality Chop House has taken-up residency in an historic working man’s restaurant. Though it manages to fit in well with the neighbours around the corner at Exmouth Market. No longer is this listed Victorian dinner a stop for hungry labourers, but rather a trendy, sympathetically refurbished space, with a dining room filled with upright booths. Although the tables are laid for six, four is most probably a more comfortable setting, given the snug fit...

  64. Published : Tuesday, 23rd April 2013

    Shanghai Blues | Shanghai Blues // Holborn // London

    Shanghai Blues is a fine dining Chinese restaurant located in Holborn and is the perfect place for a corporate diner or for big groups of friends. A mezzanine area gives you the option of having a private area too, whilst you enjoy live jazz on Saturday evenings. Classy and chic, the atmosphere is made cosy by the dark wood and the ’20s Chinese style...

  65. Sitting alongside Marcus Wareing’s **2 star restaurant in the Berkeley Hotel is Pierre Koffmann’s self-titled French brasserie. Though don’t be fooled into thinking that this modest restaurant will be a disappointment beside its illustrious neighbour. Koffmann is a chef who knows a thing or two about elevating bistro food up to the highest level...

  66. Standing tall and proud in hectic William IV Street between Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden is Les Deux Salons. A typical Parisian-style brasserie that has proven itself to be a serious contender in the fierce market for both the tourist and local diners. Perhaps the reason why it has been able to kept-up trade since it opened in October 2010 is that it doesn’t rely on a mass of Press and PR hype to survive, unlike others. Instead, it actually delivers lovely plates of tasty food for excellent value for money which gets the punters in; a tricky feat giving the explosion in number of seats available for French bistrot dining in the city...

  67. Published : Monday, 8th April 2013

    Inn the Park | Inn The Park // St James’s // London

    It’s usually difficult to find a nice restaurant around touristy spots, but Inn The Park is an exception to the rule. Located right in the middle of St James’s Park, it is as charming for lunch as it is for an afternoon tea...

  68. Published : Monday, 1st April 2013

    Dinings | Dinings // Marylebone // London

    Booking at least a week in advance is almost a prerequisite to get a chance to enjoy Dinings. Reason being, there are very few tables and they don’t having two sittings, so that they can ensure the comfort of their customers. And what fuels this demand? Tomonari Chiba; a former chef of the oh so well-known Nobu...

  69. Published : Thursday, 21st March 2013

    Bob Bob Ricard | Bob Bob Ricard // Soho // London

    As you enter Bob Bob Ricard, you might feel like you’ve just entered Restaurant Prunier in Paris. Walking through the lobby, lavishly decorated with black marble, smooth brass, gold and shininess everywhere, waiters will take you to your table where you’ll be sat at some of the most beautiful booth banquettes in London, where you discover BBR’s now infamous Champagne buttons. Turquoise and pale pink, the colour scheme is in complete harmony...