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

11 May 2009 by

The Daily Telegraph, 9 May
Belinda Richardson is pleasantly surprised to find that Mya Lacarte in Caversham, Berkshire, owned by The Apprentice contender, Yasmina Siadatan and her brother Matthew, slickly serves fabulous and reasonably priced, locally grown food

The mains are an opportunity for chef Remy Joly, latterly of the popular Crooked Billet in Stoke Row, to flex his muscles. The Mya British pork platter is a masterpiece: a smallish cube of Windsor pork belly, with perfectly hatched narrow lines through the skin, gives tip-top crackling; while mild-flavoured kidneys and silky strands of cheek slip down more smoothly with an apple fritter, fondant potato and (not quite enough) spring green cabbage. Equally good is the Shetland sea trout, which is rich, juicy, salty and sweet. It comes with crushed peas and tarragon, broad beans and pea shoots. A side order of homemade chunky King Edward chips is well worth the extra calories.

The Guardian, 9 May
Matthew Norman decalres Danish restaurant Madsen in London SW7, with its good and fairly priced food and enchanting service, does its homeland proud

We kicked off with a smÁ¸rrebrÁ¸d, Danish for "butter and bread" - an open sandwich involving cracking dark rye bread and, in this case, three versions of herring (plain, dill and onion, and marinated in Madeira), all blissfully fresh and served with fine potato salad. A dish called, almost forgivably, "smushi" proved a Scando-Nipponese concept involving weeny smÁ¸rrebrÁ¸ds. We ordered five, and although we didn't touch the salami on the grounds of its offputtingly lurid colour, we enjoyed prawns with egg, roast beef with pickled cucumber and smoked salmon with cream cheese.As for frikadeller, which sounds like a pervy cousin Andersen cut from the final draft of Cinderella, rather than veal and pork meatballs, these plump little fellas were a bit dry on their own, but worked really well with more of that potato salad.
Madsen - review in full >>

The Independent on Sunday, 10 May
Terry Durack says Il Baretto in London W1 has the makings of a fun restaurant, despite an Italian sense of chaos

The menu lists herbed lamb cutlets done "al forno", but they come grilled instead of oven-roasted; fat, juicy, pink, lamby and beautiful. A special of sea-bream fillet is actually sea bass (£15) with a black olive dressing, but it is not so special, anyway. The flesh is mushy and lacking joy; the frilly leaves of lollo rosso a lazy accompaniment. To finish, a slab of Piemontese chocolate bonet (£5), a modest, blancmange-like milky pudding, is outclassed by a wonderfully smooth caramel ice-cream. It's a simple place, pumping out fresh, colourful, crowd-pleasing Italian food in a smart-casual room to which you could just as happily take your kids or your colleagues.
Il Baretto - review in full >>

The Observer, 10 May
Jay Rayner gives a cautious endorsement to Gandolfi Fish in Glasgow

The Gandolfi Fish version, like the restaurant itself, is so very almost, but not quite. The Maris Piper mash is light and fluffy and buttery, and there is a crust. There is white fish and there are a few prawns and it has a big, bold, mouth-coating flavour. But it doesn't quite hold together. The liquor is too thin, which makes the ingredients feel like guests at a party who are hanging out for the sake of someone to talk to, rather than old friends who know each other intimately. The inclusion of slices of boiled egg, and at the bottom a mound of spinach, didn't help matters. Let's stretch the metaphor till it snaps: who let in the gatecrashers?I explained all this to my companion, who looked at me as if she felt I should get out less. I could see her point. Because even as I went all forensic on the fish pie, I was scoffing the lot, and with unrestrained enthusiasm.
Gandolfi Fish - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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