Bloomberg, 5 September
Richard Vines visits The Modern Pantry, London EC1
The more I read about the credit crunch, the slump in the housing market, the state of the U.K. economy and the outlook for job losses, the more I find myself reviewing fancy new restaurants where the price of a bottle of wine might keep a Big Issue seller off the street for a month. Having lost my own job once in a consolidation or whatever it's called, I think about such things while tucking into luxury meals. So I am happy to be able to write about a new London venue where the prices are as low as the standards are high. The Modern Pantry looks simple and informal, yet the standards are high. The service is friendly, the wine is cheap — I'm not sure where in the city you'd find decent house wine at £13 ($23) a bottle — and, best of all, the menu features lots of things you might want to try and they are mostly very good.
The Modern Pantry review in full >>
Time Out, 4 September
Guy Dimond visits Murano, London W1
Evening Standard Magazine, 10 September
David Sexton visits St Pancras Grand, London NW1
One morning an elderly peer woke and rang for his valet. As the man entered, his master flung back the bedsheet. "Congratulations, your lordship," the flunky said smoothly, "shall I fetch her ladyship?" "No, no!" his master retorted. "The carriage. I'm taking this one into town." Here we have, in a nutshell, the problem facing St Pancras Grand, the big new restaurant that Searcy's has just opened at the Eurostar terminal. If you arrived here with an appetite, would you rather not just get on the train and take it straight to the Continent, where they do these things better, than knock it on the head at home? Perhaps to prosper, St Pancras Grand needs to become a destination in its own right, for Londoners with no intention of travelling any further - as the champagne bar has to some extent done?
St Pancras Grand review in full >>
Metro, 9 September
Marina O'Loughlin visits 12 Temple Place, Swissôtel The Howard, London
So the dusty torpor of August is over, a time when high-rolling London decamps elsewhere and even the likes of me can get a table at The Wolseley. Now, with the onset of autumn, our somnolent restaurant scene has burst into exuberant life. At every turn there's a new big name to entice our deep-pocketed populace (what? There's a credit crunch?) into everything from temples of fine dining - the new Hélène Darroze outpost at The Connaught; German super-chef Dieter MÁ¼ller's Andaman; what's reputed to be the world's best Peking (sorry, Beijing) duck at Min Jiang in Kensington; Angela Hartnett's new Mayfair joint, Murano - to low-key tratts from high-profile chefs such as Australia's Paul Merrony and his Giaconda Dining Room. It's a restaurant fan's wet dream. So where am I? In a curious dining room, virtually empty on a Saturday evening apart from a brace of American matrons and a snogging couple for whom the phrase ‘get a room' might have been coined.
12 Temple Place review in full >>