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

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

Bloomberg, 20 February
Richard Vines visits Goodman, 26 Maddox Street, London W1, & Hawksmoor, 157 Commercial Street, London E1

It's possible to find a good steak in London, yet authentic steak houses are as rare as decent Mexican eateries. The gap in the culinary repertoire may puzzle American visitors who have heard of the capital's gastronomic diversity. Most local business diners probably think of Gaucho Grill, a chain that can deliver big flavors yet lacks the consistency and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of great steak houses. Aficionados may direct you to Buen Ayre, in east London, or to Hawksmoor, near Liverpool Street, which I revisited this week to try the hamburger that restaurant has spent months developing. Maze Grill, chef Jason Atherton's take on the New York steak house, has been my personal favorite. But there's a new challenger: Goodman, just off Regent Street. This Russian-owned restaurant offers a range of Australian, British and U.S. cuts, including U.S. Department of Agriculture Prime, grain-fed for 120 days, as well as specials such as Irish rib-eye on the bone.

Evening Standard, 25 February
Fay Maschler visits A Taste of McClements, 8 Station Approach , Kew

Between marriages I offered a meal with myself reviewing for the Evening Standard as a lot in a charity auction. I overheard Rupert Everett, who was in the front row of the theatre where the event took place, stage-whispering to his companion: "Do we want to go to dinner with Fay Maschler? No, I don't think we do". Bit of a blow. A chap who apparently did want to and offered the most money was an American banker, handsome in a vulpine sort of way, working in the City (you can tell this happened a long time ago). The Highest Bidder, as I came to think of him, and I went out on one date and one date led to another. The moment when he observed that I wasn't in too bad shape for someone who ate out all the time probably accounted for my declining his offer to join him on a business trip to Paris where he said his wife would be unlikely to spot us.
A Taste of McClements - review in full >>

Metro, 24 February
Marina O'Loughlin visits Terroirs, 5 William IV Street, London WC2

I have been to Terroirs twice now and the experiences couldn't have been more different. The first time was minutes after opening, tipped off by an insider. We sat in a room that looks like a French-themed caff attached to a railway station - a few vintage-y posters on the bland walls, some unremarkable bentwood furniture, a tiny open kitchen - and had a perfectly blissful time. Perched at the bar of the sparsely populated room, we were love-bombed with Gallic charm, schmoozed through the remarkable, reasonably priced wine list (the wines, whose suppliers include the redoubtable merchants Caves des Pyrène, are like little else you'll find in London: organic; biodynamic; minimal-intervention; written up by someone with a lyrical and slightly bonkers bent) and tempted with delicious little picks of this and that - duck scratchings, ripe, gamey jambon, fruitily stinky cheeses, first-class, chewy baguette. I couldn't wait to go back and give the place a proper workout.
Terroirs - review in full >>

Time Out, 26 February
Guy Dimond visits Sushinho, 312-414 King's Road, London SW3

The carnival is over. Now Rio de Janeiro is sleeping off its hangover, hundreds of partied-out Brazilians are returning to work in London, and British visitors and Latin-loving well-wishers can stash away the Havaianas and cachaÁ§a bottles for another year. The spirit of the carnival, and Rio in particular, is anarchic, fun-loving, laid-back. But there are many other Brazils, and one of them is SÁ£o Paolo. In Brazil they say that while Cariocas (residents of Rio) party, Paulistas (SÁ£o Paolo folk) get to work. Of all of Brazil's many immigrant groups, the Japanese chose to settle in SÁ£o Paolo. The first wave of immigration was more than a century ago, and now, Brazil has the largest ethnically Japanese population outside of Japan, more than a million. Little wonder, then, that you can find good Japanese food in SÁ£o Paolo, but also plenty of fashionable restaurants where the rich like to flaunt their wealth. What you won't find in SÁ£o Paolo though is a restaurant like Sushinho. In looks, it's a very Chelsea take on fantasy Orientalism: dark wood, screens of bamboo poles, clean lines, clever lighting. Black-clad waiting staff walk by carrying trays of artfully-arranged sushi.
Sushinho - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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