Bloomberg, 12 December
Richard Vines visits J. Sheeky Oyster Bar, 28-32 St Martin's Court, London WC2 J. Sheekey is so good, I waited outside to be sure of a seat when this London restaurant opened a separate oyster bar with a no-reservations policy on Nov. 25. I needn't have worried. I was the first customer. In one of the quickest reversals since the BBC's John Sergeant quit its "Strictly Come Dancing" show, the policy has been abandoned, so you can book to enjoy the opening offer of a glass of Theophile Roederer Champagne and half a dozen Strangford Lough rocks for £15 pounds.
Metro, 9 December
Marina O'Loughlin visits Babylon, 7th Floor, Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London W8
When Richard Branson's Babylon restaurant opened way back when, it made me come over all starry-eyed. The view! The fact that it looks over the legendary Roof Gardens! The handsome waiters! One of these led me by the hand into the ladies' lavs so I could squint through a gap under the taps on to a full view of the men's urinals opposite. (Why, I've no idea: neither about the gap, nor the waiter's motivation. All gave me quite a thrill, I can tell you.) Anyway, among a clamour of critical drubbing, I was a lone positive voice. Blame that waiter - it certainly wasn't anything to do with the food, especially a chicken sausage of memorably lubricious appearance. Now it's been relaunched.
Babylon - review in full >>
Evening Standard, 17 December
David Sexton visits Canteen Baker Street, 55 Baker Street London W1
Canteen looks so much the part. The owners stress that they take design as seriously as they do food. This new Baker Street branch is the third to be opened, the first being in Spitalfields and the second around the back of the Royal Festival Hall. They have in common a definite Festival of Britain look - if anything, more plushly done than the real thing. In a little promotional booklet placed on every table it states that the design is inspired by classless, communal, public spaces "such as schools, libraries, town halls and interiors" from that epoch.
Canteen Baker Street - review in full >>
Time Out, 18 December
Charmaine Mok visits Taste of McClements, 8 Station Approach, Kew
If you thought the days of elaborate tasting menus had just gone down the plughole, grab your nearest and dearest and head to Kew, where John McClements's (of Ma Cuisine Le Petit Bistrot et al) newest endeavour is set. At once his most ambitious and most modest project, the 16-course tasting menu is yours for a relatively bargainous £29. Seating just 20 and open only for dinner, it's a tiny restaurant rather more akin to a posh and slightly fey uncle's dining room than a plush Michelin-starred boudoir.
Taste of McClements - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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