Brett Graham was amongst a trio of Michelin-starred-chefs who came under the microscope of the restaurant critics this weekend. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Jasper Gerard said that Graham, who has just been awarded a second star at the Ledbury in London W11, was producing some brilliant food.
"This is a hugely impressive showcase of modern Australian cooking by, yes, an emerging Aussie celebrity chef," he enthused.
At Midsummer House, Cambridge, which also holds two stars, the Guardian's Matthew Norman was surprised to find that such a lauded restaurant was being run for the benefit of its customers.
"This is an extremely well run and likable restaurant presided over by an inventive, gifted chef driven by the desire to please punters rather than inspectors," he said. "So it bloody well should be, you might say on noting the price, but it has been a long time since I paid a bill nudging £80 a head (we had just two glasses of house wine between us) without a rush of psychotic resentment."
However, at the Bingham restaurant, Richmond, Surrey, John Walsh of the Independent
"By the end, we were a tad irritated by that common phenomenon: the chef who disregards what you want and gives you what he thinks may impress you," he said. "Mr Cooper is a cook of considerable skill and subtlety and deserves his Michelin star. But he might consider embracing the old-fashioned concept of letting customers have what they actually want."
Meanwhile, Giles Coren at The Times went overboard in his enthusiasm for the Dean Street Townhouse, London W1, describing it as perhaps the best restaurant in the capital. He loved the busy room packed full of celebrities and the comforting, retro menu, but his love of the place was dampened by an over-salted plate of caramelised sweetbreads on a Lincolnshire onion tart.
By Janet Harmer
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