Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Matthew Norman finds a superbly rich menu at St John Hotel

16 May 2011 by
Matthew Norman finds a superbly rich menu at St John Hotel

Matthew Norman finds brutally minimalist decor but a superbly rich menu at St John Hotel (pictured), the latest venture from Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson.

The Daily Telegraph‘s food critic praises head chef Tom Harris, who presents his menu with rustic simplicity and without a shred of fuss.

"Every dish was in perfect balance, every ingredient tasted purely and vibrantly of itself, only more so," Norman enthuses.

Meanwhile, writing in the Sunday Times, AA Gill says that although its heart is most certainly in the right place, the food at the St John Hotel does not offer precise flavours.

"It's well intentioned, its heart and all its other organs are in the right places, but its seasoning isn't. The flavours are smudged and imprecise. The dishes aren't clear, or doctrinal enough. And a lot of it is decent, but righteously boring," he says.

Writing for the Guardian, John Lanchester says Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social is fun, informal and customer-friendly. "It's the polar opposite of what we've come to expect of ‘fine dining'. And it's also properly brilliant," he says.

The Times‘ Giles Coren enjoys immaculate service and skilful cooking at Phil Howard's two-Michelin-starred Square but adds he finds it hard to get real joy from this sort of procession.

According to the Observer‘s Jay Rayner Spuntino, the third venture from the team behind Polpo and Polpetto, is the capital's best Brooklyn diner, while the Independent on Sunday‘s Lisa Markwell says if you're caught in the maelstrom of Oxford Street's shopping hell, the Riding House Café offers respite.

Finally, the Sunday Telegraph‘s Zoe Williams says Yotam Ottolenghi's new Soho restaurant, Nopi, does not live up to her expectations of the chef.

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.

St John team release more details of new West End hotel >>

Food at Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social includes ‘vivid and extravagant flavours' >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking