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Fera is stunning, but you're better off at the original, says critic

02 June 2014

Simon Rogan's cooking has found a new home at Claridge's. But at these prices, you're better going back to the original, writes Jay Rayner in the Observer. "Simon Rogan is a clever, driven, stubborn man with ambitions, all of which I am sure he will achieve. The prizes will come, as will the punters who can afford a bill of £300 for two. But I always ask myself a question at the end of a meal. Would I come again on my own dime? The honest answer is no. I'd prefer to put that money and effort into a trip to Cumbria. That way I could eat Rogan's magnificent food at source."
Meal for two including drinks and service: £300
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Chef Lee Westcott, backed by the ubiquitous Jason Atherton, has triumphed with the menu and design at the Typing Room at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green says the Evening Standard's Fay Maschler. "Desserts, or "treats" as they are childishly termed, are carousels of flavour, temperature and texture, one we choose homing in on caramel, coffee and orange, the other on strawberry pistachio and white chocolate. The preparation throughout has been incredibly labour-intensive but never laboured. Perhaps Lee Westcott's experience in Hong Kong running Jason Atherton's 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry restaurants has made him successfully demanding. Typing Room is apparently all his own menu and design and, I would say, a triumph."
Rating: 4/5
Price: Lunch menu £24/£29 for two/three courses. Six-course tasting menu £55 (wine pairing £40). A la carte, a meal for two with wine, about £170 including 12.5 per cent service.
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The food oozes excellence at Beast in London, but the Independent's Amol Rajan would rather attention to detail than concept dining
"At Beast, they lay the concept on pretty thick. With its high ceilings and long, wide tables, the concept is a "medieval banquet with emphasis on sharing", as the waiter puts it. While it resembles a modern take on an Oxbridge college hall, the clientele swiftly reminds you that this is central London.
Moneyed, suited, young and sexy, the crowd here look like they've either just received their bonus in the Square Mile, or are planning to spend their partner's. I would mark it down as more corporate than cultured. First dates and family vibes this ain't."
Rating: 7/10
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Writing in the Guardian, Marina O'Loughlin suggests that Lyles in London is so like St John, it should have been named St John the Baby
Rating: Food 7/10, Atmosphere 6/10, Value for money 7/10
Price: About £30 a head for three courses plus drinks and service
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In Time Out, Guy Dimond visits the Bonnie Gull Seafood Café in Clerkenwell and finds that while the menu comprised of simple cooking, the bill can mount faster than a rising tide.
"We liked the cut of Bonnie Gull's jib, but sometimes the theme is carried too far; the 'Whippy' ice cream resembled an overly sweet seaside treat, but here it costs £3, more than mere pocket shrapnel. Main courses costs £15-£20; side dishes an extra £3.50-£5. But the seafood's fresh, and everywhere from Camber Sands to Littlehampton, you have to shell out for this sort of quality. So visit on a sunny day, bag one of the 20 outside tables and count your blessings that you're not sitting in that traffic jam on the way to the seashore."
Rating: 3/5
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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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