Despite interiors reminiscent of Weirdsville Arizona, Lord Sugar's Essex gastropub Sheesh, Ye Olde King's Head, in Chigwell, serves great food, says John Walsh.
Writing in the Independent, Walsh is taken aback by the oddness of the design of the restaurant owned by the star of the BBC's Apprentice, where the main dining hall features "the biggest mirror in Essex" and a black-tile floor buffed to such a shine, you can glimpse ladies' undergarments it.
However, he adds that the food is surprisingly good: "At the end of this most peculiar banquet, everyone confessed, a little sheepishly, that the food had been far better than they'd expected on walking in. And also, that they wouldn't have missed this flamboyant display of Essex style for all the slingbacks in Basildon."
Giles Coren, food critic for The Times, finds great albeit expensive food in a lovely location at D&D London's Coq d'Argent but adds that the service is a bit too fussy for him.
"I had 12 of the best snails I've ever had, in garlic and tomato butter. So fat and sweet and salty and moreish, I could have eaten a thousand. I could have totally cleared your garden," he enthuses.
Writing in the Guardian, John Lanchester enjoys "very good cooking all round" at the Pheasant in Harome, Star Inn owner Andrew Pern's other restaurant in the Yorkshire town, where Peter Neville is head chef.
The Sunday Times food critic, AA Gill, enjoys the food at the Sir Charles Napier in Oxfordshire, where the menu is perfectly matched to the customers: a mixture of summer-holiday European and stalwart English rural cliché.
The Observer‘s Jay Rayner says Soseki is a restaurant that is as concerned with sustainability as it is with offering authentic Japanese flavours.
In London, the Metro‘s Marina O'Loughlin says Marcus Wareing's new restaurant the Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance hotel is average and cramped without the flair or drama of similar establishments, while writing for the Evening Standard, David Sexton finds himself queueing for top tapas at former Brindisa chef Jose Pizarro's first solo venture, Jose.
By Kerstin Kühn
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