The Daily Telegraph, 17 January
Jasper Gerard visits The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow, Cornwall
The Guardian, 17 January
Matthew Norman visits Esarn Kheaw, London W12
The relationship with a beloved local restaurant is very much - at times, indeed, all too much - a family affair. By and large, you rub along together, smiling on one another's foibles through affectionately gritted teeth, but inevitably there will be the occcasional flare-up that leads to a period of silence followed by a grudging apology. So it is with Esarn Kheaw, an eccentric but adorable maiden aunt of a Thai joint in Shepherd's Bush. Esarn, I know you are - to borrow the Yiddish for holding a low-level family feud - broigus with me. I shouldn't have been so grumpy in response to an oversalted rendition of a soup, tom yum talay, that has been magnificent on countless occasions before, and I'm sorry.
Esarn Kheaw - review in full >>
The Independent, 17 January
John Walsh visits Clos du Marquis, Stockbridge, Hampshire
What, you may ask, is a classic French auberge doing by the side of the A30, the straightest Roman road in Hampshire, as it stretches from horizon to bleak horizon? Are they expecting passing motorists, en route to Andover or Worcester, to feel like stopping here for lunch? I mean, this is the middle of nowhere. But they do stop, evidently - enough to have given the Clos du Marquis a reputation as one of the best eateries in the county. This elegant 18th-century farmhouse has been through some crazy times. It started life as a sheep-drovers' hut, a place for ambling shepherds to crash for the night and billet their ovine charges. Then for 200 years it was an inn called the Leckford Hutt, a charming spot for drinkers when the River Test used to chatter by outside. RAF types were billeted here during the war, to fly off to aerial dogfights from the airfield at Chilbolton. It was converted to a restaurant 10 years ago and renovated by its present owner, Germain Marquis, in 2004.
Clos du Marquis - review in full >>
The Observer, 18 January
Jay Rayner visits Kikuchi, London W1
There is only one thing worse than bad cheap sushi and that is bad expensive sushi. OK, I accept there are worse things. Having your feet nailed to the floor while being forced to listen to "The Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh is probably worse. But if we exclude acts of physical violence and the crappy little tunes of that crappy little Irish git with the obese caterpillar eyebrows and stick to the business of Japanese food, the only thing worse than bad cheap sushi is, as I say, the bad expensive stuff. Of the sort I was served at Buddha Bar a few weeks back. I should, of course, move on but I can't. The experience keeps repeating on me, like a rancid kipper. I wake in the night, the bedclothes clasped in my white-knuckled fists, muttering about revenge and pain.
Kikuchi - review in full >>
The Sunday Times, 18 January
AA Gill visits Min Jiang, London W8
Min Jiang is a Chinese restaurant in the Royal Garden Hotel. I was desperate for this to be good. I had the five stars already in my pocket. The number of edible authentic Chinese in London is dwindling alarmingly. Outside the hotel, there were lines of riot policemen on horses. Hello, I thought, this is a step up from the three sulky girls at a lectern. But they didn't want to check my reservation. They were here because the Israeli Embassy is, and there'd been a demonstration. I come to this hotel twice a week. The Blonde and I do Pilates here. She says couples who exercise together stay together; I say that Pilates is middle-aged sex. She says she's very good at it. She also says I'm dreadful.
Min Jiang - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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