Review of the reviews… what the critics say about Trinity in Clapham and others

14 March 2007
Review of the reviews… what the critics say about Trinity in Clapham and others" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Times](, 10 March
Giles Coren falls in love all over again at Trinity in Clapham, London

And the veal we did order was even better. Ahead of it came two big plates, very hot, slicked with brown sticky juice flashes and pale onion rounds and smears of Jerusalem artichoke purée. And what veal it was: narrow slices of pot-roasted rump, the flesh pink and plump like the lips of a fair-haired teenage girl at her first party, the slender bard of fat like the enthusiastic over-smear of her silvery lipstick. The slices were served to us on a giant slate with bunches of thyme, and then alongside it a red ceramic pot of cottage pie of the animal's shin. Not a wimpy little garnish, but a pie. A proper pie. Rich, dark leg meat with tiny cubes of carrot and turnip. (Score 9.25/10. Meal for two without wine £80)

[The Guardian](, 10 March
Matthew Norman is advised that he won't be able to smoke in Soho's Benja come July, but wonders if the restaurant will live that long

Where chicken satay ties in with "a new type of Thai cuisine" is one for the All Soul's high table, but it lacked any succulence and came with a feckless peanut sauce. In a blind tasting, I'd have guessed "locusts" for the deep-fried frogs' legs served with crispy lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and some much-needed chilli sauce. As for the minced chicken curry puffs, I'm still suffering stoically from the burn inflicted upon the soft palate when a bite into some clumping pastry unleashed a stream of molten chicken with a flavour reminiscent of the curry sauce offered as an accompaniment to chips in Chinese takeaways. (Score 4/10. A la carte with wine £45-£55 per head)

[The Observer](, 11 March
Jay Rayner finds over-ambitious chefs a recipe for disaster at Langtry's in London's Knightsbridge

The problem at Langtry's is not just lousy concepts, but inconsistency. A starter of beef tea - though we can call it beef consommé, what with it not being 1893 out there no more, guv - had a lovely intense depth of flavour. There was, however, nothing lovely about its toad-in-the-hole. Instead of sausages, there was a fillet of pork crusted, for reasons which escape me, in almonds. The Yorkshire pudding was burnt around the edges, and dumped inside was Savoy cabbage with shards of bacon. All it made me think was how nice toad-in-the-hole is, and how nice this wasn't. (Meal for two including wine and service £80)

[The Independent on Sunday](, 11 MarchTerry Durack finds that the smaller the restaurant, the more compelling the sushi, at Dinings in London

By now, I'm so excited about the obvious care and quality that my chopsticks are trembling. A seafood "salsa" of diced salmon, octopus, tuna and scallop strewn over layered slices of chilled bean curd (£4.75) might sound like a cheap marinara mix, but each bite has a distinct taste and texture. A fillet of Chilean sea bass (a.k.a. Patagonian toothfish) with sweet soy (£8.25), and local sea bass with a chilli sauce (£6.75) are both confident dishes, the fish lightly cooked and the sauces single-minded. Many of the servings are small but not mean, and every dish stands alone with that wonderful clarity of purpose that makes Japanese cuisine so compelling. (Score 15/20. Meal for two about £80 with wine and service)

[The Sunday Telegraph](, 11 March
Zoe Williams gets wrapped up in the fabulous food and comically formal service at Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, Somerset

BS's pumpkin soup, in which swam three cheesy tortellini, was a thing of simplicity and beauty, wholesome and nutty. My pork belly with prawns and chickpeas was delicious but uneven. The pork was seasoned to China and back (heavy on the salt and five-spice, top-to-bottom delicious), the prawns and chickpeas weren't seasoned at all, so the dish didn't really knit. It all looked very energetic, though, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. I continued with the beef stroganoff, which was a million times more delicious than it had any right to be. The pilaf rice was resoundingly savoury, not in the least bit gluey, and came with braised cucumbers, which worked very well indeed. (Score 7/10. Three courses £52.50)

[Metro, 14 March
Marina O'Loughlin visits London's Gazette

It's note reinventing any kind of wheel and it's in a curiously soulless, blocky modern complex location but it has still managed to claw itself a degree of personality and warmth. The menu is quite a document. It's divided into dishes of the day, the regular ‘menu principal', sections headed ‘breakfast', ‘all day' and, wince-makingly, ‘little people'. There's also a seriously lengthy list of ungreedily priced, interesting wines. Bread and butter arrives, utterly ravishing; dense, real French bread with glorious butter that has that slightly cheesy tang that proves appallingly addictive. If the rest of the meal is an anticlimax, it's only testament to the sheer beauty of that b&b. But it's all fine in a robust, pleasingly slapdash way. (three stars out of five; meal for two with wine, water and service costs about £80).

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