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Restaurant 22 has been quietly filling the gastronomic gap between two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House and the ubiquitous chains for 30 years, which perhaps explains why it feels a little dated: occupying an unassuming Victorian terraced house, the tiny dining room has a hushed intimate tone that attracts a loyal following of senior citizens and university professors. Monthly changing menus are fixed-price (with extras), and the food has a certain appeal, with traditional themes and the odd modern flourish – from seasonal favourites such as partridge with sweet potato purée and poached apple to pistachio-crusted monkfish with curried winkle cream. Amuse-bouches and palate cleansers suggest ambitious intentions that the surprisingly up-to-date cooking generally matches. Service from young girls under the eagle eye of the maître d’ is competent if not always confident, and the sommelier’s knowledge of his wine list is impressive.
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