Bloomberg, 19 April
Richard Vines describes the food at Ba Shan at 24 Romilly Street, London W1, as delicious, understated and inexpensive
This new restaurant offers Chinese snacks, "xiao chi," which you might equate with Cantonese dim sum but the cooking and spicing are different, with bigger flavors. What you lose in subtlety, you gain in punch, which isn't to say the dishes lack finesse. For a menu that's dominated by dumplings and noodles, Ba Shan's food isn't short on refinement. It's the brainchild of the restaurateur Shao Wei — who also owns Bar Shu across the road — and food writer Fuchsia Dunlop, the first Westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine.
Evening Standard, 22 April
Fay Maschler tries the vegetables-dominated menu at the newly opened Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room at 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1
Head chef of Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room is Maria Elia, who previously cooked to general satisfaction at Delfina Studio Café in Bermondsey, also surrounded by art. Her menu is short, seasonal and something of a vegetable patch for those who eschew meat. Char-grilled broccoli, soft-boiled egg, dandelion leaves and Berkswell cheese was an attractive, healthy assembly slightly wrecked by extremely salty vinaigrette. Much better was ham hock and Jersey Royal terrine garnished with soft-boiled quail's egg and deeply flavourful English asparagus spears, as green as grass, from Secrett's Farm. Eel pÁ¢té made from "locally smoked eel" was served with slender slices of grilled baguette and almost transparently thin discs of marinated beetroot laid artfully alongside, making crimson circles on a long, narrow white plate.
Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room - review in full>>
Metro, 21 April
Andy Lynes and his family enjoy exemplary food and service at Goodmans at 26 Maddox Street, London W1
The USDA prime (ie, the best quality American beef as certified by the US Department of Agriculture) rib-eye fills my plate with meat and heart with joy. The charcoal-scented aroma (they cook their meat here in a fancy-pants Josper barbecue oven from Spain) is intoxicating and my scary-looking Tramontina steak knife cuts through the tender flesh as though it were butter. A New York strip, or sirloin, is a closer-textured piece of meat but equally delectable. This sort of quality doesn't come cheap. Those steaks are nearly thirty quid a pop - £26 for the strip; £27 for the rib-eye.
Goodmans - review in full >>
Time Out, 23 April
Guy Dimond finds a simple menu, quality meat, top-end wines and a river view at the City's newest steakhouse - High Timber at 8 High Timber Street, London EC4
If you don't fancy steak, alternatives include Label Anglais chicken (a slow-growing breed that's the first choice of many top chefs), John Dory, rump of lamb and a token vegetarian dish (leek, cheese and potato terrine). But we tried the loin of venison with braised haunch, the two cuts cooked separately to get the best out of this fallow deer from Denham Estates. The meat was as tender as the steak, but with extra gaminess. It was also simply but attractively presented on a black slate, with a slick of quince purée and peppered red cabbage. Sarters are Modern European classics: parfait and brioche, roasted scallops, smoked salmon with egg mayonnaise. Puds include lemon steamed pudding, chocolate tart, ice-creams.
High Timber- review in full >>