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Review of the reviews… what the critics say about Geales in London and others

30 May 2007
Review of the reviews… what the critics say about Geales in London and others

Bloomberg, 25 May
Richard Vines loves the fish and chips at Geales in London
The huddled masses of London's fashionable Notting Hill now have access to what must be one of Britain's best fish-and-chip shops, in the shape of Geales. The business was founded in 1939 but was reopened this month under the ownership of a nightclub promoter, a Michelin-starred chef and the manager of British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The result is a menu that encompasses roast sea scallops, warm orange dressing; a special of roast monkfish and salsa verde; bread and taramasalata; and, yes, rocket and parmesan. At the heart, though, is battered fish with chips that is as good as I've tasted. Better then the Ivy, or even Doncaster market.

Metro, 30 May
Marina O'Loughlin adores the food but not the service at London's Olivomare

Time Out, 23 May
Sejal Sukhadwala finds a hidden gem in Papaji's Lounge
Over the course of two visits, we tried around 20 dishes - and the only dud was butter chicken, which came in a lacklustre, tikka masala-style sauce. We sent it back, and it was swiftly replaced with another, incomparably more delicious chicken curry. It's not easy to make Punjabi food contemporary: the flavours are earthy and homely, textures tend to be mushy, and dishes lack the elegant razzle-dazzle of their sexier Awadhi and Mughlai cousins. But here, the talented Andhra-born head chef Mahesh Flora (from the Taj hotel in Mumbai) and his three-strong brigade from Delhi and Dubai, have kept the recipes true to their peasant roots, while bringing them into the twenty first century. A hidden gem, then? Yep, a pukka diamond.

The Guardian, 26 MayMatthew Norman can't imagine anywhere you'd feel more comfortable than in the time-defying gem, Jack's Place, in London SW11

Grapefruit cocktail, melon boat, avocado vinaigrette, jellied eels, the gloriously artless "egg mayonnaise with Hovis", duck Á l'orange, gammon and pineapple… The menu is unmatched in London, except perhaps by that at the fabled Oslo Court, making Jack's Place as much a culinary museum as restaurant. And the food, which comes in portions as Goliathan as the prices are Lilliputian, is terrific. While my mother did her best, as always, to track down flaws, the best she could do with her perfectly cooked asparagus was, "I don't like blobs of butter. I like the butter compl…" her voice trailing off sadly as the blobs completed their melting. (Rating 8/10. Two enormous courses with wine, water and coffee £25-£35 a head)

The Independent, 26 MayTracey Macleod discovers that, despite the folksy name, there's nothing quaint about the Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry, Fife.
Our general feeling of relaxed wellbeing was punctured only by trepidation at having to point out to a maÁ®tre d' who obviously knew his wine that the £32 bottle of Domaine Henri Delagrange Pinot Noir we'd ordered didn't seem to be at its best. It was swiftly replaced, to the mortification of my own fiscally cautious Fifer, who moaned "that's their profit margin gone". Further excursions into the cheese board, pudding list (a loose-textured clafoutis studded with golden slices of plum) and dessert wines helped to bridge the deficit. The cheese platter in particular struck us as good value at £5.75, offering a generous selection of Scottish artisan cheeses, along with the pleasure of hearing a Frenchman with a strong accent attempting to pronounce "Mull of Kintyre Cheddar". (About £22.50 for three courses, plus wine and service)

The Daily Telegraph, 26 MayMark Palmer finds supposedly restaurant-style horrors at Wembley Stadium, in north-west London
The pizza baguette tasted almost as depressing as it looked, but at least the cheese had melted, providing sufficient glue for the three small slices of pepperoni. The chicken pie didn't have much chicken in it, but the balti sauce just about saved it from immediate binning. "Do you mind if I forego pudding?" said Andrew as the interval approached. No, I said, before reminding him that he would be missing out on either a Mars bar, a Snickers bar or some M&Ms. It's all such a wasted opportunity, but utterly predictable. I dare say the corporate punters in the Club Wembley areas fare a bit better, but for the rest of us the food in the new national stadium is a national disgrace. (Rating 1/10. Chicken meal deal, including chips and soft drink, £8 cheeseburger meal deal £7.50)

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