The pop-up above Goldsmith's Tavern in London's New Cross is run by Yianni Papoutsis, famed for mobile burger van The Meatwagon (until it was stolen recently).
"Our burger lived up to the accolades - big, a bit sloppy, made with prime ingredients. The minced ‘chuck steak' (braising steak) is 28-day dry-aged, and minced daily, so it can be cooked rare but doesn't seep blood. The sourdough buns are baked daily to Yianni's specifications," Dimond says.
"The result is like the sort of burger you'd find in a first-rate diner in the US, even down to the processed sliced cheese oozing down through the bun," he enthuses.
And Marina O'Loughlin enjoys first-rate food for the Metro at Hakkasan in London's Mayfair, but is put off by the eye-watering prices. "There's quail, arranged like a child's stacking toy, stuffed with red glutinous rice and sauced with foie gras: smoky and luscious. Soft-shell crab, like a mini typhoon crab, both crisp and juicy, buried in a pile of fried egg-yolk threads and chilli, is jaw-droppingly good. But these small dishes cost between £11 (for a starter) and £35 for the fish. And that's without even sniffing the lobster or abalone.
"You'd think that at these prices tumbleweed would be whistling down the moody corridors. But it's seething with punters: fiftysomething men with necks oozing over the backs of their several-grand suits with laughing-too-loud consorts. I've nothing against the rich (I hope to join them when I grow up) but without wine, we paid more than £150. I repeat: without wine. You could be looking at a ton a head without breaking sweat," she explains".
"This meat was incredible. I've talked of little else since. The flavour was symphonic - deep but heathery, succulent but dense, totally gorgeous. I had marrow and shallot sauce, and this was an eye-opener as well, fetching in more tones of sheepiness, so that the plate as a whole seemed to reinvent a creature I must have eaten a thousand times. Am I banging on? I know I am. It was just so delicious," she says.
by Dan Thomas