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

27 November 2008 by
What's on the Menu? – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

Bloomberg, 21 November
Richard Vines visits 1901, Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, London EC2

There's a theory that as times get tougher, people go for comfort food. So in London, tiny portions of fancy French cuisine are out and hearty servings of traditional British favorites such as bangers and mash are in. Well, maybe. My guess — I wouldn't elevate it to a theory — is that people are thinking about value as much as comfort. When we feel the pinch, we don't care if food is British, Indian or Italian, so long as it tastes good, it's not too expensive and there's plenty of it. We want to fill up without feeling ripped off. The flagship restaurant at London's Andaz hotel (formerly the Great Eastern), called 1901, is swinging in line with a trend by focusing on local seasonal produce. It's au revoir to French fine dining and how do you do to grouse from Yorkshire, poached and roasted breast, butternut squash and creamed cabbage, juniper jus.

Metro, 25 November
Metro visits Murano, 20-22 Queen Street, London W1

I want to love Murano, really I do. Not just like but love in a big sloppy way. Because the last time I reviewed an Angela Hartnett restaurant - at the Connaught Hotel - her boss, Big Sweary himself, appeared on television calling this illustrious organ nothing but ‘toilet paper' and yours truly a know-nothing f***ing numpty. Or words to that effect. Despite all his posturing, I'm an admirer of BS and I'd like to show there are no hard feelings. I also have a lot of time for Hartnett. She comes across like a genuine sort of gal, one who works bloody hard and has won major plaudits in what's still very much a man's world. And I like most of what we eat at Murano. In the case of some pheasant agnolotti, I positively adore it: perfect pasta hand-formed into belly button-shaped pouches stuffed with gamey bird; sultry, silky white onion purée; and a generous dandruff of pungently sexy Alba truffle.
Murano - review in full >>

Evening Standard, 26 November
Fay Maschler visits Cinnamon Kitchen, 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2

My lesson for today concerns upmarket Indian restaurants opening at a time when what is wanted is probably a cheap Ruby Murray down at The Star of Deflation. Well, they didn't know, did they, when they were totting up in their projections of customers spending £50-plus a head, that it would all come tumbling down? Cinnamon Kitchen, in the Devonshire Square development near Liverpool Street Station that was once East India Company warehouses, is the sibling of Cinnamon Club in Westminster. Executive chef Vivek Singh has moved over to the City for at least the next few months.
European waiting staff and a tendency to slightly neuter the food in the name of modernity minimises the potential of an Indian meal but Singh is a gifted cook and we found the dishes here more striking and exciting.
Cinnamon Kitchen - review in full >>

Time Out, 27 November
Chris Moss visits Garufa, 104 Highbury Park, London N5

Argentina is a land of myths of exile and nostalgia. All over the planet there are expat-owned steakhouses that double as temples to tango, Maradona, the humid pampas and Buenos Aires in its belle epoque days. With the opening of Garufa, London now has its own homage. Alberto Abbate, who has already enjoyed some success with Buen Ayre in Hackney (now managed by his former business partner John Rattagan) and Santa MarÁ­a del Sur in Battersea, has decorated his new restaurant with sepia-tinted photographs of smart porteÁ±os, ancient buses, leafy plazas and, most relevantly, a cart transporting meat before the days of fridges and lorries. His aim, he says, is for Garufa to be an 'Argentinian restaurant' rather than a straight steakhouse.
Garufa - review in full >>

By Janet HarmerCaterer Eats Out
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