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

09 October 2008 by

Bloomberg, 2 October
Richard Vines visits York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, London NW1
Talk to Angela Hartnett about her Italian roots and you can almost feel the tribal closeness of an emigre family trying to make its way in Britain, and visualize the generations gathered around steaming dishes of pasta. If it wasn't pasta it was probably battered plaice, because the Hartnetts owned chip shops, where Angela helped out. But eat in her London restaurants and you're unlikely to find much evidence of such hearty traditional fare, British or Italian. She often favors refined dishes that give no more than a polite nod to her roots while offering instead a bow and a "bonjour" to M. Michelin. That's very much the case at Murano, which she opened a couple of months back, and there are traces of the approach at the York & Albany, which opened this week.
York & Albany - review in full >>

Metro, 7 October
Marina O'Loughlin visits Soseki, 30 St Mary's Axe, London EC3

Soseki, twinkling seductively under the lowering armpit of the Gherkin, is perfectly lovely, one of the most beautiful new restaurants I've visited in a long time. Like many restaurants in Tokyo or Kyoto, it looks very much like any old faceless modern block from the outside but climb the open-tread stairs and you'll find magic. Owner Caroline Bennett, creator of Moshi Moshi - Britain's first conveyor-belt sushi chain - has commissioned Japanese designer Yusaku Kaneshiro to recreate an evocative look based on the teahouses of early 20th-century Japan's Taisho period. It has worked gloriously, all dark wood panels and the gem-like beauty of embroidered kimono fabric (used to fabulous effect under glass tabletops), while ceilings are papered with the book covers of eponymous author and famously grouchy temporary Clapham dweller Natsume Soseki.
Soseki - review in full >>

Evening Standard, 8 October
Fay Maschler visits Avista, Millennium Mayfair hotel, 39 Grosvenor Square, London W1

Avista - review in full >>

Time Out, 9 October
Guy Dimond visits York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, London NW1

The cocktails are great, aren't they? And this place is just so wonderful,' said the friendly, tipsy blonde sitting beside me at the bar. The thought did cross my mind - was she a plant from Ramsay Holdings, there to talk up a bar heaving with press in the first week? 'We're local, you know,' said her equally blonde friend, as if reading my mind. 'And this place is just the best thing to have happened round here for years.'

They were right of course. Camden hasn't seen anything like this new Gordon Ramsay Holdings hotel, bar and restaurant which just oozes glamour at the northern end of grimy Parkway. The building's a former coaching house, designed by John Nash in 1826 as part of Regent's Park. The York & Albany monicker is a reference to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany - better known to most of us as 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.
York & Albany - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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