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30 July 2014

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Blog Reviews from edge and spoon

(menu)

words from the plate


  1. Published : Monday, 4th November 2013

    Mishkin's | Mishkin’s

    Mishkin’s sounds like it could be something akin to a Promised Land: big, brash sandwiches; punchy cocktails; and enough buzz to satisfy even the surliest New Yorker. Mention the word kosher and you’ll be laughed out the door – it actually offers sexed-up comfort food for the unknowing goyim. But this goy knows. Mishkin’s falls well short. Nevertheless, the room is a treat and a half. Russell Norman after all – a foodie sleb, of sorts (Polpo et al) – is the puppet master, and the feel is unmistakably of an American diner: chequered floor, squashy red booths, paper napkins...

  2. Published : Sunday, 27th October 2013

    Yalla Yalla | Yalla Yalla

    After a bout of opulence that would make even Marie Antoinette blush, it was time to reign in the excess. So with heavy heart and empty stomach, I set off to Yalla Yalla with some sense of trepidation. Middle Eastern street food doesn’t fill me with the same pangs that, say, a steak sandwich might. It’s done the rounds already and, as usual, I’m behind: this Lebanese group are now onto their third branch and there seems to be no stopping them. But I’m here to be good. No flesh; no hooch. To prove that non-drinking vegetarians can have fun. Poor sods. This is grazing, fork-fight food. A place to go on a budget. Dishes come thick and fast...

  3. Published : Monday, 30th September 2013

    Social Eating House | Social Eating House

    Never having been one to jump on the bandwagon, I usually find myself firmly on the other side of the road waiting for said wagon to pass by. Compared with Jason Atherton‘s chi-chi Pollen Street Social, demure Little Social, and glam Berners Tavern, Social Eating House strikes an odd tone. Debatably, it’s Atherton’s most popular launch to date, yet something doesn’t sit quite right with me...

  4. Published : Thursday, 26th September 2013

    Alyn Williams at The Westbury Hotel | Alyn Williams

    We need to talk about chairs. They don’t get nearly enough bad press. Many a good meal has been ruined by a wonky leg or a misplaced spring. Bertrand Russell might have said that ‘the aching posterior diverts attention from the enjoyment of eating’, but a wiser man told him to shut up and go to Alyn Williams at The Westbury. Neither too big, nor too small, there you’ll find Goldilocks seating – that ‘just right’ ratio of hard to soft; tastefully upholstered; and, all-importantly, armed. The only dangerous thing is you’ll never want to get up...

  5. Published : Monday, 19th August 2013

    Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs | Kitchen Table

    When was the last time a plate of food really smacked you in the face and yelled “eat me, eat me”? How about two plates? How about fourteen? Kitchen Table does away with the three-pronged dining approach and instead offers a daily-changing, multi-course gastronomic extravaganza. Alright, a tasting menu (£78). Husband-and-wife team James Knappett (chef) and Sandia Chang (front of house) have more experience than you can shake a wooden spoon at (Per Se, Noma, The Berkeley, The Ledbury, Roganic), and it shows: their food is damn near perfect...

  6. Published : Wednesday, 7th August 2013

    José | Jose

    Roll up, roll up. This is a positive review. Which has nothing to do with arriving at the restaurant three sheets to the wind after a morning spent wine tasting. I love José for all the wrong reasons. It’s one of few London places I laud for its no booking policy. I say restaurant – it’s a tiny bar with strategically placed barrels and the odd stool for the lucky few. But thank goodness it’s always full; everything seems to taste better with aching feet. The chef behind the name, José Pizarro, plied his trade in some of the UK’s top Spanish kitchens, by way of Madrid’s renowned Meson de Doña Filo. And the best thing? He’s actually in the kitchen...

  7. Published : Tuesday, 6th August 2013

    Picture | Picture

    An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman leave the safety of a cliché to start a restaurant of their own. Tom Slegg, Colin Kelly and Alan Christie – three ex-Arbutus Group employees – have opened Picture, yet another venue that joins the ranks of the open-the-dictionary-at-random school of naming. Whilst the folks over at Story (see what I mean) have their customers leave behind a favourite read, I dreaded to think what over-the-top act we’d have to do at Picture. Bring some watercolours and an easel? Get our kit off for their life-drawing class?...

  8. Published : Sunday, 30th June 2013

    Namaasté Kitchen | Naamaste Kitchen

    June in Camden. Not quite April in Paris, but it’ll do. Satisfaction hasn’t been found in any of my visits to Indian restaurants recently: Dishoom was bland and Trishna overrated. Famous sub-continental hospitality has been non existent, and I’ve been having nightmares about Saag Aloo ever since. Namaaste Kitchen, a lazy stroll from Camden Town tube, is the second restaurant from ex-Chutney Mary chef Sabir Karim. It’s something of a hidden gem in blogging circles, despite Fay Maschler and Matthew Norman’s definite praise. Aside from tourist traps and greasy spoons, I suppose Camden is something of a foodie Bermuda Triangle. But were we lost at sea at Namaaste Kitchen?...

  9. Published : Saturday, 1st June 2013

    John Salt | John Salt

    When the star chef (Ben Spalding) leaves just a few months into the opening of your new restaurant (booked-up weeks in advance, I might add) you’d be forgiven if things went down the pan. But, magically, things haven’t gone that way at John Salt. Whilst it might not be possible to have Spalding’s ‘Chicken on a Brick‘ any longer, you can, however, sample a range of delights from new head chef, Neil Rankin. There’s no pomp and chefery here. What you get is a new take on unfussy, home-style cooking – but it’s not the place to take your grandmother…

  10. Published : Saturday, 18th May 2013

    Trishna | Trishna

    On the whole, the Michelin guide is a safe place to consult when looking for somewhere to eat out. For a consistently good meal, forget twos and threes, and stick with the cheaper, humbler one star. Undoubtedly, the ‘little red book’ gives preference to European food, so when South West Indian seafood specialist Trishna gained a star (and subsequent blog appeal) in October 2012 for its foodie fireworks, I felt I ought to give it a try...

  11. Published : Friday, 12th April 2013

    Naamyaa Café | Naamyaa Cafe

    On the eighth day, God created brunch. And He saw that it was good. And He loosened his belt, and He rested. Brunch is on the rise, it seems. Neither breakfast, nor lunch, it caters for those like me – the interminably picky. What better way to start the weekend than with an assortment of breakfast/lunch items that really should never be seen together on a plate. But whilst everyone’s at it, brunch always leaves me wanting more. Metaphorically. Could Alan Yau‘s Naamyaa Cafe (of Wagamama/Hakkasan/Yautacha/etc fame) sate the insatiable?...

  12. Published : Monday, 3rd December 2012

    The Square | The Square

    I don’t like Mondays just as much as the Boomtown Rats. Nor does the restaurant industry. Everyone’s back to work, the markets are closed, and no one goes out to eat. Indeed, the best places are often shut at the beginning of the week. Not, however, The Square. I’d read praise for it as having “flawless” service, serving up “sophisticated” food, with Phillip Howard‘s restaurant being “the best of its type”. An excellent reputation demands high expectations. On the Monday I went, I experienced nothing to such acclaim. I have to ask: Where was our fantastic meal that everybody else is having?...