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

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

Bloomberg, 8 May
Richard Vines searches for the most sedate tapas in town and declares Fino at 33 Charlotte Street, London W1, the best

Fino… is the restaurant that gave birth to Barrafina. Both are owned by Sam and Eddie Hart, who also own Quo Vadis and are the warmest of hosts… It's the quality of the produce that shines through as messing about in the kitchen is kept to a minimum and the flavors are all about the integrity of the ingredients. The food is similar at both venues. The prices are a tad higher at Fino, which has Barrafina's buzz but not the long queues. Both serve plates such as the classic tortilla, chorizo Iberico, sardines from the plancha and marinated grilled quail. At Fino, you can also order larger dishes such as suckling pig from Segovia (with 48 hours' notice) and marmitako, a tuna-and- potato stew from chef Nieves Barragan's home town of Bilbao.

Evening Standard, 14 May
Fay Maschler describes Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria at 7 Ladbrook Road, London W11, as "a jolly restaurant" as she tucks into a metre-long pizza

The pizza, which can be ordered by the half or whole metre, is covered widthways in stripes of different ingredients so that members of a family - or a group of customers - can select their favourite bits. Wary of what I believe to be the lowering effect of melted cheese, I am not a great fan of pizza, but so crisp, thin, scorched and shardy, verging on volcanic was the base, so sweet and sunny the tomatoes used in the topping that I kept eating more of what, first time round, had been ordered as a kind of side dish. Apparently Franco Ferro, pizzaiolo, has in the past made a three-metre pizza for Jim Davidson. I dare say he would do the same for you and yours.
Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria - review in full >>

Metro, 13 May
Marina O'Loughlin has utter respect for Sir Terence Conran and his latest restaurant concept - Albion at The Boundary, 2-4 Boundary Street, London E2 - despite its no-booking policy

The menu bristles with things you want to eat, all at the kindest of prices (I'm prepared to bet our bill was the day's highest and we still only managed about 70 quid). Welsh Rabbit, fish pie, steak and chips, shepherd's pie, earthy salads like beets with goat's curd, the fattest, porkiest bacon sarnies, even bridge rolls with egg mayo. All the glorious bread is made in-house and in case you're tempted to write the set-up off as fogey-ish, they have a Twitter feed gasping breathlessly about what's fresh out of the oven: croissants, apricot and rosemary bread, sourdough, fresh foccaccia and baguettes, cheese scones, apple turnovers.
Albion at The Boundary - review in full >>

Time Out, 14 May
Guy Dimond finds No 20, the restaurant in the new £20m hotel, Sanctum Soho at 20 Warwick Street, London W1, fails to live up to the anticipation

We were impressed by a fricassée-style dish of rose veal, perfectly tender and served with baby vegetables; and a starter of pressed ham hock was also well-made. A pudding of 'blueberry pie' (actually a tart) had wafer-thin pastry and stole the show. Other dishes were well-intentioned, but the execution was wide of the mark. Salt cod cake tasted of potato, with no discernable salt cod flavour, and the breadcrumbed crust reminded us of cheap fish cakes; the dabs of salad leaf garnishing the cirmumference of the plate like the face of a cuckoo clock couldn't disguise a dull dish. And a wagyu beef burger, '100% wagyu' as the charming manager reassured us, could have been sensational if the kitchen hadn't toasted a stale bun to sandwich it.
No 20 at Sanctum Soho - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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