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

16 March 2009 by
What's on the Menu? – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

The Guardian, 14 March
Matthew Norman visits The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire

With the post of poet laureate vacant, and paying heed to a recent report claiming that heavy users of social networking sites risk untold damage to their attention sp … sorry, lost my train of thought. Anyway, with the above factors in mind, I am pleased to audition for the former and assist the latter by compressing this review into a single line. Those with the will are welcome to plough on, but all you need know about The Church Green is this: it's a slapdash mishmash verging on a car crash. In its defence, the day we visited it was barely a month old under new owner/chef Aiden Byrne, a cook with the CV (the youngest ever Michelin star winner) to match the ego implied by all the references to his recipe book and telly appearances. Even so, when you're charging full whack, with no set menu, you have to hit the ground running, not crawling with petty.
The Church Green - review in full >>

The Independent, 14 March
John Walsh visits J Sheekey Oyster Bar, London WC2

J Sheekey (the J is for Josef, the market stall-holder who in 1893 was graciously allowed by Lord Salisbury to sell fish and shellfish on his new manor of St Martin's Court, provided he served meals to Salisbury's theatre-going pals) is a legendary eating-house. I remember my mother pointing it out as a London landmark, along with Fuller's Cake Shop and Fortnum and Mason (this was the late Fifties, and food was clearly on her mind). I've always loved its solidity and class, even when it was getting down-at-heel in the 1980s. The mash carefully piped round the perimeter of your sea-bass was always the best mash. I once saw Anita Brookner lunching there with her agent, holding a cigarette in the same hand as her fork and taking puffs between mouthfuls: the epitome of ladylike decadence.

The Sunday Times, 14 March
AA Gill visits Daylesford Organic, London W11

This week's review isn't so much a criticism as a parable. It is about a place that has so comprehensively failed to notice the change in the weather, that is so utterly out of step, desperately, sadly passé, and embarrassingly over, that it should be called The Bigger Golden Calf. Instead, it's called Daylesford Organic, in Westbourne Grove, in London's crunched and conflicted Notting Hill. It is a small, self-satisfied chain that's been unloaded from the mother shop, which is a sort of Cotswold Westfield, selling everything you've never wanted for that cashmere lifestyle. At its heart, it is a food shop of such towering pretension and expense that only those who are bored and weepingly depressed enough to live in Oxfordshire can appreciate. A passing friend told me he'd gone in to buy some cheese, "but I only had £196 on me".
Daylesford Organic - review in full >>

The Observer, 14 March
Jay Rayner visits Gordon Ramsay at The London, Los Angeles
It tells you much of what you need to know that in the days following my meal at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Los Angeles I found myself thinking very seriously about how to write an interesting review of a boring experience. And then, as I thought about the meal there - the blah chicken thing with the blah jus and the blah wild mushrooms, the ho-hum pigeon with the, yawn, steamed broccoli - I would doze off only to awake a few days later, my face stuck to the desk, and realise I was no closer to a solution. Gordon Ramsay at The London: a better cure for jet lag than melatonin, if a bit more expensive.
Gordon Ramsay at The London - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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