Bloomberg, 12 September
Richard Vines visits St Pancras Grand, London NW1
Searcys 1847, the owner of St. Pancras Grand, has left little to chance in opening a restaurant serving the central London train station and Eurostar clients. The advisers on the project are A Private View, a consulting firm run by Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard's restaurant critic, and the journalist Simon Davis. Their slogan? "Get the critics before they get you." It's a refreshing approach. The most I'm usually offered is a free meal, which I am obliged to turn down. Silly me. Anyway, someone has done a good job on the project, in which the chef Richard Corrigan, food director of Searcys, also has been involved. The dining room looks fabulous — classic, romantic — like the Club at the Ivy, which opened this week using the same designer, Martin Brudnizki, who also was responsible for Scott's.
St Pancras Grand - review in full >>
Metro, 16 September
Marina O'Loughlin visits Baozi Inn, London WC2
Bar Shu shook up the taste buds of adventurous London food lovers when it landed, with its fiery-and-numbing Sichuan flavours, hotpots and acres of offal. The owners now bring us this low-key little joint concentrating on the street food of Beijing and the Sichuan capital, Chengdu. The eponymous baozi is a stuffed bun, like a fatter, more ignorant version of the delicate dim sum bao you'll find elsewhere in Chinatown. For anyone expecting the ethereal lightness and stickiness of a good steamed pork bun, this large, somewhat greasy creature will come across as a coarser relative. But forget sophistication and it's a fine, filling snack for £1.20. Pour in some black rice vinegar and a slug of chilli oil to perk it up no end.
Baozi Inn - review in full >>
Evening Standard, 17 September
Chris Blackhurst visits Brasserie St James, London SW12
Time Out, 18 September
Guy Dimond visits Andaman, London SW1
Lehman Brothers folds with the loss of 5,000 City jobs in London alone. The housing market has been in decline for months. Experts predict the worst recession since the 1930s is imminent. With the prospect of bare-footed hedge-fund managers marching on Downing Street, it's hardly the ideal time to be opening top-dollar haute cuisine restaurants -after all, it's City earnings that has kept most of these places afloat for the last 16 years of economic bouyancy. The just-opened Andaman restaurant must be following the news, and be concerned, as they have just introduced a cut-price set lunch. Presumably not enough customers are willing to pay £100+ per head for a meal, which is what is would normally cost. Andaman is a collaboration between the St James's Hotel and Club, which has just reopened after an 18-month refurbishment with rooms costing from £200 per night; and chef Dieter MÁ¼ller, who holds three Michelin stars for his restaurant Schlosshotel Lerbach in Germany.
Andaman - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer