What's on the menu – Simon Rogan's the French fails to impress the Guardian's Marina O'Loughlin

What's on the menu – Simon Rogan's the French fails to impress the Guardian's Marina O'Loughlin

Simon Rogan's The French fails to live up to the hype for the Guardian's Marina O'Loughlin who says that despite the universal praised heaped on the new Midland hotel restaurant in Manchester by "normally caustic critics" and "freebie-fuelled" bloggers, she "just doesn't get it".

The two new US burger imports in London's Covent Garden grabbed the attention of two UK food critics this week but their responses were poles apart.

Tracey MacLeod visited both Five Guys and Shake Shack in what she describes as, like Morgan Spurlock in a hurry, attempting her own Vine-length version of Super Size Me. Neither delivered a positive food experience for the http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/travel/wheretostay/scotland/article3819859.ece" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Independent's](http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/reviews/shake-shack-24-market-building-covent-garden-piazza-london-wc2five-guys-13-long-acre-covent-garden-london-wc2-8714495.html) critic, who says that for all their branding, both restaurants are offering fast food and that "fast-food burgers don't taste very nice".

However it was a very different story over at the Evening Standard. Grace Dent described the Five Guys burgers as wholly, succulently, conversation-stoppingly addictive, while her favourite, Shake Shack, gave her the best burger she's ever eaten.

Bruno Loubet's Grain Store in Granary Square in the newly developed King's Cross delivers clever, fresh and fun cooking according to the Metro's Joe Warwick, but he's underwhelmed by the "self-consciously wacky" interior adding that it looks as though it could have been designed as Google's madcap canteen.

The Evening Standard's Fay Maschler finds intriguing street food, oriental tapas and absolute value for money prove well worth shouting about at not so new Japanese Soho secret Kirazu.

Another food critic double this week, this time from AA Gill for the [Sunday Times](http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/the_dish/article1288214.ece) and the Telegraph's Zoe Williams, who both visited Rainer Becker's Oblix midway up the Shard at London Bridge. This time there was general agreement from both parties that the breath-taking views couldn't make up for the food.

In the Scotsman, Richard Bath says that no evening chimes with his own preferences more perfectly than a night out at Restaurant Martin Wishart.

Rio Ferdinand's Manchester restaurant is revisited by Dianne Bourne in the [Manchester Evening News](http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/restaurants-bars/rosso-style-and-substance-4312965), who says that while it's certainly not a cheap night out, Rosso has raised its game to offer both style and substance in its foodie offering.


Tom Chesshyre visited No 11 Brunswick Street for the [Times where he enjoyed the laid back vibe of the boutique Edinburgh hotel as well as its tapas style restaurant.

Meanwhile back in London the Sunday Telegraph's Fiona Duncan calls The Apartments by The Sloane Club, London SW1 - which enjoy full hotel services and a bling décor "likely to frighten the shire horses"- a hometel and predicts it is the way forward.


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