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What's on the Menu – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

15 August 2008 by

Evening Standard, 13 August
Fay Maschler is unimpressed by Buddha Bar

A confession here. I have never been to a Buddha Bar, not even the original in Rue Boissy d'Anglais in Paris. But for reasons I won't go into here, I once attended a meeting at the Ministry of Sound where key staff, brought together to discuss possible new ventures, kept saying, "We should do it like Buddha Bar." Or sometimes they said, "We mustn't be too much like Buddha Bar."

Metro, 13 August
Marina O'Loughlin visits L'Anima
It's not that I don't like it - I love the City within the city, constantly offering up surprises to the most urbane Londoner - but it remains entirely alien. Maybe this is why I found L'Anima (Italian for ‘the soul') slightly bewildering. It is, without doubt, a striking creation: you'd have to be pretty jaded not to be impressed by the stark, monochrome beauty of the place. The press information chunters on about the use of precious materials such as porphyry, marble and onyx, making it sound more like a repository for a boy king than a bar and restaurant.
L'Anima - Metro review in full >>

Time Out, 14 August
Guy Dimond dines at The Victoria

If you're hoping for Michelin-starred food in Sheen, you'll be disappointed. The menu's of very modest ambition, no more extraordinary than many new gastropubs these days. But simple can also be done well. Watch Merrett on BBC Food's 'Get Cooking' videos, and you'll see him demonstrating how to cook steak and chips; go to The Victoria and you can eat the dish. The triple-cooked chips were crisp and dry, the steak - rib-eye this time - a little chewy; the béarnaise exemplary. The most adventurous the menu gets is topping a starter of gravlax with a scoop of beetroot sorbet, the pairing of the colours even more startling than the flavours and textures.
The Victoria - Time Out review in full >>

Bloomberg, 15 August
Richard Vines enjoys Aaya

The cuisine is contemporary Japanese, the kind of culinary territory explored by Roka and Nobu. Starters include tuna tartare with a spicy sesame dressing, and robata-grilled Kumamoto oysters with ponzu sauce. There's also a warm salad of an assortment of wild mushrooms, and a mini-selection of three Japanese appetizers. While everything is wonderfully fresh, it's the sashimi that stands out for its buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture and the clean flavors. A selection of five pieces costs 18 pounds ($33.65) or you can go for five kinds of tuna, an explosively tasty selection of cuts and textures, including tartare.
Aaya - Bloomberg review in full >>

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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