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Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market deserves to bomb, says Matthew Norman

21 March 2011 by
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market deserves to bomb, says Matthew Norman

Three-Michelin-starred US chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new London venture Spice Market deserves to bomb, according to Matthew Norman.

The Daily Telegraph‘s food critic finds only grey gloop and vegetable slurry at the Asian-inspired restaurant housed in the W London Leicester Square.

"Awaiting us in the valley of death was steamed pollack with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, the ugliest dish I have ever seen," Norman complains.

"Mounds of drab white fish were adorned with a hideous grey-green spring onion and tarragon gloop, while the mushrooms were as stone cold as the fish. "Is this meant to be burned?" asked my friend of supermarket-quality chargrilled baby chicken, with a kumquat and lemongrass sauce."

Writing in The Independent, Tracey MacLeod finds something disorientating about Nopi, the new all-day brasserie from Yotam Ottolenghi, with its unfamiliar ingredients, unpredictable meal structure and unclassifiable decor.

She says: "That disorientation intensified after a visit to the loos, a nightclub-style hall of mirrors, which makes it hard to avoid catching unexpected views of yourself mid-act. I'll do anything for lunch, but I won't do that."

Meanwhile The Sunday Telegraph‘s Zoe Williams finds the food at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal a bit unsurprising but adds that even when playing it safe, the chef still manages to spellbind.

The Observer‘s Jay Rayner says Vietnamese eaterie Café East is the best kind of cheap restaurant while The Independent‘s Lisa Markwell finds Meateasy so trendy it hurts but it serves the very best of fast food.

Finally writing in The Guardian, John Lanchester enjoys the Iberico pork at Opera Tavern, the latest venture from tapas specialists Salt Yard Group.

For these reviews in full and more, see What's on the menu?](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2011/03/21/337502/whats-on-the-menu-a-round-up-of-the-latest-restaurant-reviews.htm) Visit [Guide Girl](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/guide-girl/) for the latest gossip from the fine dining world.

By Kerstin Kühn

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