Bloomberg, 22 May
Richard Vines recommends the luxury brunch, which offers good value for money, at Helen Darroze at the Connaught, 16 Carlos Place, London
The burger is unlike any I've tried, and that is the opposite of a criticism. A layer of braised Aberdeen Angus beef ox cheek is topped generously with slices of foie gras. The meat is marinated with red wine and spices for 24 hours, then braised at a very low temperature, according to Darroze. It's then shredded and the cooking jus is reduced. The flavor is deep and intense. The foie gras on top is from Darroze's home region of Les Landes, in southwest France, and is bought from Robert Duperier, the supplier she has always used…The proportion is about one-third foie gras to beef and the buns are a mixture of recipes for milk bread and a Vienna loaf, with a lot of butter.
Evening Standard, 27 May
Fay Maschler rejoices at the exceptionally good food at Gallery Mess, a new café and restaurant attached to the Saatchi Gallery within the Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London SW
My first course was avocado and fennel salad with beetroot, organic seeds (majoring on pine kernels), pink grapefruit and honey dressing. It was judiciously balanced, extremely good. Cumberland sausage with slow-cooked Puy lentils was, I thought, a bit too feisty, for which you can read salty, but on the second dinner when served with salad it seemed a tamer beast. Sea bream with salade NiÁ§oise elicited the comment "I would eat here every night if I lived nearby" and char-grilled Freeman's Farm chicken with a mustardy sauce and watercress salad delivered more flavour than most chickens can muster. Only the chips, served in a wire net, were disappointing.
Gallery Mess - review in full >>
Metro, 27 May
The Metro reviewer says 500 at 782 Holloway Road, London N19 offers city centre cooking at suburban prices
A basket of terrific home- baked bread - carta di musica, focaccia, black olive pinwheels - shows they take the food seriously. Groaning on a wooden board come ‘tagliere': pungent coppa; velvety Parma ham (not pre-packed); weeping, sweet mozzarella; prawns with tomato and basil; sultry aubergine; smoked haddock; almost candied beetroot; Sardinian pecorino. This mini feast for two costs £7.90. Puffy, light, deep-fried ravioli are filled with an addictive mix of salty provola cheese and mint.
500 - review in full >>
Time Out, 28 May
Guy Dimond can't quibble with the cooking at newly opened Eastside Inn, 38-42 St John Street, London EC, but questions the prices
We relished the dense flavours of the braised veal sweetbreads, and the delicate foam of a cappuccino covering poached foie gras, which had a hint of coffee and amaretto flavours to it. Less impressive was a steamed slice of eel, with the bones still in; a cockney dish it might be, but this was bland and mushy, and the accompanying fresh peas added colour but little else to the dish. The main courses were better. Salt marsh lamb was the best of them, served with oddly-textured ricotta gnocchi. Aged rib eye of beef was perfectly tender slivers of rare flesh, served with a 'ratte mash' which seemed to be half butter.
Eastside Inn - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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