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John Lanchester underwhelmed by latest Jamie Oliver restaurant

31 January 2011 by
John Lanchester underwhelmed by latest Jamie Oliver restaurant

John Lanchester is distinctly underwhelmed by Barbecoa, the latest restaurant by Jamie Oliver, which is a co-venture with US chef Adam Perry Lang.

The Guardian‘s food critic says that the restaurant at the One New Change development in the City of London, "has acquired what the French call an on dit: a generalised opinion held by pretty much everyone who takes an interest".

"And this is that the food is disappointing, the service slow and the bill expensive. It always feels like a defeat when you agree with an on dit, but it's sadly accurate," he says.

The Times‘ Giles Coren has an even more disappointing experience at the Highgate branch of Côte, the French brasserie concept backed by Richard Caring, describing both his cassoulet and steak as "terrible".

"I had a sirloin. Terrible. Ordered it rare, it came medium to well. The meat was flabby, grey, wan," he moans.

Meanwhile Nordic restaurant North Road certainly looks the part, says Zoe Williams of the Sunday Telegraph, but the kitchen seems to have lost its bearings.

Tracey Macleod, writing in the Independent, finds innovative food and great value but disjointed service at Van Zeller in Harrogate, while AA Gill returns to Les Deux Salons and says the French bistro is still a good restaurant but adds that it needs to take the kitchen in hand as it's slipping away.

Finally, The Observer's Jay Rayner pays tribute to Elena Salvoni, one of Soho's living legends, who at 90 still works the floor of Little Italy every second Wednesday of the month.

For these reviews in full and more, see What's on the menu? Visit Guide Girl for the latest gossip from the fine dining world.

By Kerstin Kühn

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