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21 April 2014

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Blog Reviews from Agent Restauranteur

(menu)

A restaurant blog.


  1. Published : Thursday, 13th March 2014

    Kurobuta | Kurobuta – London SW3

    I promise, one of these days I will tell you about a restaurant that does your usual a la carte. I realise small plates isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you’re tempted to venture into small plates territory, do it in style, Kurobuta style. It’s a Japanese pop up, that looks nothing like a Japanese restaurant. Currently found on the King’s Road, though soon relocating to Marylebone, it’s bare and shabby chic setting is not exactly what you’d expect from an ex Nobu chef. But the charm, intimacy and bustle doesn’t feel awkward or temporary. It simply serves to enhance the entire evening...

  2. Published : Thursday, 20th February 2014

    Ember Yard | Ember Yard – W1F

    Little sister to Salt Yard, this Charcuterie Bar & Grill outshines all its siblings. Last Wednesday was not my first visit to Ember Yard. I went in December after it had just opened, with a couple of giggling girls and a poor lad en-tow, who suffered through several hours of female-centric chatter as we worked our way through the super cocktail list. Luckily (for everyone), both the food and drink is so good, the evening could’t possibly have been ruined for him. Just one of the reasons why I had no reservations about going again...

  3. The team behind the ECC (Experimental Cocktail Club) have opened up a wine bar, tucked away in Neal’s Yard, that offers a super wine list, a short, succinct and well-crafted menu of small plates and service that won’t fail to charm and impress. Wine is undoubtedly the main feature. And with those comfy armchairs it is all too easy to sit back, relax and while away the hours, whilst you sip on a superb bottle of wine, most probably recommended to you by the fabulously knowledgeable Marco or the charming Wissam...

  4. Published : Thursday, 23rd January 2014

    Pieds Nus | Pied Nus – London W1U

    After a couple of entertainingly inventive cocktails at near-by Purl, I sauntered into Pied Nus with my favourite couple, Alex & Claire. The table was set for a brilliant evening. Literally. With breadsticks and everything. We started with some ‘Bacon and Onion Brioche, Black Onion Seed Flat Bread, Milk Loaf, Humus’ (£4.5) to whet our appetites, and then ordered almost everything on the menu. Dishes started arriving so quickly we had to ask for a pause to allow us to catch up. But that’s as far as it goes in terms of a negative. The meal was superb....

  5. Ever since my first dinner at The Clove Club earlier this year, I have wanted to visit the sister restaurant, Upstairs At The Ten Bells. A little Christmas treat of a dinner with Amanda was the perfect excuse. The four course set menu (£39 per person) is the only option on offer but you wouldn’t want anything else. We started with a ‘Ten Bells Damson Gin Fizz‘ (and a vodka alternative for the non-gin-drinker) before being presented with some ‘Snacks‘...

  6. Published : Thursday, 12th December 2013

    Zoilo | Zoilo – London W1U

    When you first push through the heavy door, you are met with pitch black darkness. But the darkness is only fleeting. A smiling waiter soon pulls back the heavy curtain to welcome you in, revealing a long bar with counter seating and a trickle of bunker-back tables, enveloped in the warming glow of hanging bulbs and enriched with the soft murmur of relaxed conversations. I had waited a long time to come to Zoilo, but I enjoyed it from the moment those curtains parted. We perched ourselves atop the comfortable counter top stools and settled in at the long bar, running the length of the restaurant. Unprovoked, our waitress launched into a detailed explanation of every dish on the menu but no assistance was necessary – we ordered, and we ordered very well!...

  7. Published : Thursday, 5th December 2013

    Honey & Co | Honey & Co – London W1T

    last month I jumped at the chance to gate-crash my friends’ double date and join them at the now impossible to book Honey & Co. The restaurant is tiny. A coffee shop counter dominates the back wall, overlooking a handful of tables and shelves of preserves, seasonings and relishes. It looks like someone who loves cooking thought it might be nice to shove a few tables out front, jar up a few sauces and see what happens. The result is an utter success...

  8. Published : Thursday, 28th November 2013

    Spuntino | Spuntino – London W1D

    Italian/Americano style small plates, a popcorn machine and a buzzing vibe – this is counter-top dining at its best. Spuntino had been sitting on my ‘must-go-soon’ list for such a long time I had almost given up hope of going. But after an evening perched on one of those sacred and sought after 26 counter-top-stools, I am so pleased I didn’t. I went with a friend but I think this is perfect for a date; its fun, fairly cheap and full of atmosphere. And the food, the food is super...

  9. Published : Thursday, 21st November 2013

    Picture | Picture – London W1W

    Cooking that makes you smile – this informal Fitzrovia restaurant is not to be overlooked. Paddy and I had delayed and rearranged our lunch date so many times I have honestly lost count. Social Eating House had been our original restaurant of choice, (but then they went and got a Michelin star so reservations became dramatically hard to come by), so in truth, Picture was my back up. But wow what a back up. Even though I had heard very good things about this little Fitzrovian, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself nearly as much as I did...

  10. Published : Thursday, 14th November 2013

    Café Murano | Cafe Murano – London SW1A

    Angela Hartnett opens a “cafe” that’s unlike any I’ve ever been to. But I’m certainly not complaining. Angela Hartnett’s newest opening is an upmarket and stylish restaurant, nestled down on St James’s Street. Excitingly I was able to secure a luncheon table for their first service during their soft opening, so as it’s literally just opened (officially last night!), I’m kinda excited to let you all know about it!...

  11. Published : Thursday, 7th November 2013

    Chotto Matte | Chotto Matte – London W1D

    I was thrilled to be invited to the pre-pre-opening of Chotto Matte – an evening of cocktails and canapés. Often these evenings are hit and miss, sometimes amounting to a bit of a waste of time, but they are always worth a shot. Walking into what was literally a building site (I was asked to wear a yellow jacket and hard-hat to enter the premises and ascend the stairs to the more-complete-but-not-quite-there-yet second floor dining room), I had my doubts about this one. It was at this point that the endlessly charming Kurt Zdesar, the brains behind this new venture, announced dinner. The eight course dinner...

  12. Published : Thursday, 24th October 2013

    The 3 Crowns | The 3 Crowns – London N1

    It’s not just about the pretty plates at this quaint Shoreditch dining room. Arriving unforgivably early for dinner one evening, and having already burned time by missing the correct bus stop, I decided to wait for my date at the restaurant (certainly beat hanging around Old St roundabout). Tucked away in the back of a local boozer, this quaint dining room with an open kitchen oozes charm. On first impressions, it might appear to be a bit of an afterthought, playing second fiddle to a successful pub. But how wrong you would be...

  13. Published : Thursday, 17th October 2013

    Berners Tavern at Edition Hotel | Berners Tavern – London W1T

    This grand restaurant bathed in candle light delivers a memorable evening of glamorous dining. Jason Atherton’s newest restaurant is a haven from the hustle and bustle of London’s heaving West End. Stepping through the doors of The Edition Hotel is like entering a different world, a world of decadent, stylish glamour. The restaurant itself is stunning – the enormous dining room’s filled with ornate decor; enormous chandeliers hang from the ceiling, framed pictures adorn every inch of the walls, whilst burning candles add an intimate air of romance and atmosphere into an otherwise gargantuan space. Berners Tavern is the talk of town at the moment, and I can see why...

  14. Published : Thursday, 10th October 2013

    The Dairy Bar & Bistro | The Dairy – London SW4

    SW4 is coming up in the culinary world and this little bistro is leading the way. I honestly cannot wait to go back. Two weeks ago the Michelin Stars of 2014 were announced. Scanning the list I realised that I have been lucky enough to visit a fair few of the newly starred restaurants, and yet this little bistro and bar, sitting on the edge of Clapham Common, impressed me far more than any of them. Perhaps it was because it was my boyfriend’s final evening in London before emigrating to Hong Kong, or maybe it had something to do with the faultless food we enjoyed throughout the evening, but in the undying words of One Direction, “It was the best meal ever“...

  15. Published : Thursday, 3rd October 2013

    Damson & Co | Damson & Co – London W1F

    A characterful Soho deli, serving an all day menu fit for nibbling and feasting. I had walked past Damson & Co far too many times before I finally ventured in. And in every passing I cursed myself for forgetting about this characterful little all-day-dining ‘deli’. Having now been twice in three days, you can take my word for it, this place is worth remembering. My first outing was a office-lunch; the four of us piled in, eyeing up the numerous blackboards that adorn the walls. Settling down around the corner of the counter-top bar we eagerly checked out the menu, which I had sold to my colleagues based on the cheese and charcuterie offering...

  16. Published : Thursday, 19th September 2013

    Smokehouse | Smokehouse – London N1

    I am really going to miss those lovely summer evenings, rare as they are, when you can sit outside until after darkness falls, enjoying good food, good wine and great company. The Smokehouse has now intensified that longing, although thankfully the al fresco tables aren’t even close to the being best thing about this Islington newcomer. Sitting at the junction of the fairly busy Canonbury Road, Smokehouse has recently opened to the delight of both beer lovers and those with a passion for superbly cooked meats. With what seems like hundreds of beers on offer, this will become a destination drinking den, but the menu should not for a second be overlooked. Dominated by meaty cuts with a mixture of innovative and unusual traditional dishes, the menu is appealing in its entirety; so much so, that to get the best of what was on offer, we opted for a handful of starters and sides, avoiding the heavier mains that would have threatened to fill us too quickly...

  17. Published : Thursday, 5th September 2013

    Flesh and Buns | Flesh and Buns – London WC2H

    Flesh and Buns is the newest venture from the guys behind Bone Daddies (which serves super ramen for those who don’t know). Located in a basement in Seven Dials, it is very easy to walk past, as both my fellow diners soon discovered. A hint, look for the massive sign for Flesh and Buns on Earlham St...

  18. Published : Thursday, 29th August 2013

    LeCoq | Le Coq – London N1

    It isn’t often I have a roast for my dinner, and on those rare occasions when I do, chicken certainly isn’t my preferred meat. However, Le Coq serves up such a fabulous feast of rotisserie chicken that I couldn’t help but be charmed. This is roast dinner with a difference. And I liked it...

  19. Published : Thursday, 22nd August 2013

    The Clove Club | The Clove Club (Restaurant) – London EC1V

    I have previously reviewed The Clove Club on Agent Restauranteur – (See The Clove Club (Bar) – London EC1V) – however my second visit was so spectacular I felt it unjust not to share what the main dining room at The Clove Club has to offer. It’s nothing short of a culinary delight. Arriving a little too early to go straight to our table, my guest and I settled ourselves down on the tall stools by the bar, and were happily sipping on glasses of English Rosé Champagne (sparkling wine) within moments of catching the barman’s eye. Despite knowing that we would soon be enjoying a five-course dinner menu, I could not help but order a bowl of the ‘Smacked Cucumber, Chill Oil and Peanuts‘ (£4.90) – just as refreshing, tasty and more-ish as last time, the snack whet our appetites and we hurriedly moved through to our table...

  20. Published : Thursday, 15th August 2013

    Kirazu | Kirazu – London W1D

    I had discovered an unknown gem! A London secret! An as of yet unheard of, but soon to be talk of the town, little restaurant… or so I thought, until I got home and Googled ‘Kirazu’ and found it had already been discovered by Bitten & Written and Fay Maschler of The Evening Standard earlier last month……gutted. However, my evening could not have been spoiled...

  21. Published : Thursday, 8th August 2013

    Hutong at The Shard | Hutong – Shard – London SE1

    On a stunning summer evening, I was lucky enough to be enjoying a view over London, from 800ft up, on the 72nd floor of The Shard. Without a cloud in the sky, the view was jaw-dropping. But what awaited me, 39 floors down, proved to be just as mesmerisingly good...

  22. Published : Thursday, 1st August 2013

    Akari | Akari – London N1

    Standing across the road from the supposed address of a Japanese kitchen, I spyed an ordinary looking local pub. I’m dubious. But not one to judge a book by its cover, I venture in. Pushing through the swinging doors of what is now definitely the wrong address, my date and I are greeted by the familiar, welcoming sounds of an ordinary pub. But, on a moment’s reflection, none of the sights. Admittedly the entire room is decked out in pub-like dark wooden panelling – probably the original decor from when it did act as a local watering hole – and much like a pub, an assortment of wooden furniture is packed into the room in such a manner that you are pretty much guranteed to bash your neighbour whilst trying to squeeze out from your pew, but instead of pints, each table is adorned with chopstick...

  23. Published : Thursday, 25th July 2013

    Lola Rojo | Lola Rojo – London SW11

    On a balmy summer mid-week evening, Northcote road is a delightful mish-mash of commuters scurrying home, post-work drinkers on their 3rd or 4th “quick pint”, and hopeful diners window-shopping along on the look-out for something appetising. Sadly, many of the latter group will be tempted in by one of the fairly average chain restaurants, incongruous to the numerous upmarket stores and cute independent antique shops, filled with knick knacks and shabby chic furnishings, that populate Northcote Road. However, should they hold out, and venture down past the big brands, inviting you in with ’2 for 1 cocktails’ and overpriced burgers, they’ll find a handful of super local restaurants: Lola Rojo is just one of them...

  24. Published : Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Salon | Salon Brixton – London SW9

    I don’t think there are many restaurants in London where I would happily sit, on my own, for 45 minutes, waiting for my date. I can now safely say that Salon Brixton is one of them……. This summer Salon Brixton is doing a series of one off collaborations. The usual 4 course menu is being revamped and extended to 7 courses, using the same seasonal British produce and imaginative cooking techniques. I bagged myself two tickets to Salon x Niall Davidson and thought I would treat my father to the delights of Brixton. Unfortunately Heathrow chaos caused an unavoidable delay, so I found myself sitting in this tiny attic restaurant listening to buzzy beats coming from the open kitchen’s laptop speakers, clatters from the kitchen and welcoming chit chat from the staff, for close to an hour. And I felt entirely an ease...

  25. Published : Saturday, 6th July 2013

    The 10 Cases | 10 Cases – London WC2H

    10 Cases – London WC2H July 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment Wines may be the focus but the food doesn’t disappoint at this tiny wine-bar with chalk boards full of tasty plates. With a glass of Riesling Grand Cru pressed to my lips and the glorious British sunshine peeping through chimney tops, casting a spot light of warming rays onto our al fresco little table, I think to myself, ‘I must have the best seat in London right now.’ I did. The 10 Cases is a tiny bistro on the edge of Covent Garden – and wine is kinda their forte...

  26. Published : Saturday, 22nd June 2013

    Grain Store | Grain Store – London N1C

    Hurrying up King’s Boulevard towards Granary Square, a rush of adrenalin suddenly surged through me. I had managed to secure a reservation at the Grain Store – Bruno Loubet’s newest venture – through a friend the day before, who had generously invited me (and my plus one) to gatecrash his Saturday night date. A double date at one of this year’s hottest summer openings! I couldn’t believe my luck...

  27. Published : Thursday, 20th June 2013

    The Clove Club | The Clove Club (Bar) – London EC1V

    Making a last minute reservation at one of the hottest restaurants in town is usually a stressful affair; countless re-dialling, minutes of hold music and finally an offer of 5:30pm or 10pm. Not so at Shoreditch Town Hall’s newest resident bar and restaurant. (The fact that it was a Tuesday and I was more than happy to sit in the bar may well have played in my favour.) Nonetheless, I found myself, that very evening dining at The Clove Club...

  28. Published : Friday, 14th June 2013

    The Shiori | Roganic – London W1U

    On a wet, wintery evening in late 2012, I hurried along Blandford St, desperate to get out of the freezing air. Stepping into the tiny dining room of this two year “pop-up”, to the warm welcome of the charming maitre d’, I had no idea that what would follow would be such a terrific evening of culinary delights. Having already decided to order the 10-course tasting menu, and thus eaten a suitably small snack for lunch at the nearby La Fromagerie, we both studied the menus, so as to prepare for what was to come...

  29. Published : Saturday, 8th June 2013

    Dabbous | Dabbous – London WIT

    It was early February 2012 when I first pushed open the heavy metal door of Ollie Dabbous’ new London restaurant. Tucked down a side road of Fitzrovia, it’s easy to walk past the bizarrely inconspicuous entrance, despite the large windows running the length of the dining room. So easy in fact, that we did walk past and arrived slightly late for the PR evening to which we had been invited. Spoilt with inventive cocktails and creative canapés, we were charmed by the energetic and enthusiastic staff...

  30. Published : Thursday, 6th June 2013

    La Bodega Negra | La Bodega Negra – London W1D

    Despite knowing full well what to expect, it still feels a bit naughty, walking through the doorway of what, for all intents and purposes, looks like a strip club. Yet as soon as you step inside, past the neon lit silhouettes of dancing ladies, nerves evaporate and intrigue takes over. La Bodega Negra is dark, seductive and incredibly cool, with a cavern-like feel which plays into the pretence that this is London’s best kept secret (that just about everyone knows about). The Mexican menu delivers, with colourful collaborations of tangy tastes and hits of chilli throughout...