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

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

The Daily Telegraph, 27 June
Jasper Gerard finds the food at San Lorenzo Fuoriporta in Wimbledon lacks the lightness and freshness he now expects from an Italian restaurant

I start with pennette alla mozzarella but you could just as easily finish with it; huge, though not hugely good, with the tomato evoking less a Tuscan hillside than a Teesside tin factory. I follow with grilled lamb cutlets with rosemary and pan-fried potatoes. The three cutlets are succulent but come with no vegetables, while the potatoes look to have seen better years. More impressive is Piero's generous fillet of wild bream with olive oil and marjoram, which add an aromatic but mild oregano flavour. The dish, which is accompanied by rosemary pan fried potatoes, is finely presented and our fresh and fleshy bream has Piero rhapsodising about feasts on the Amalfi coast.

The Guardian, 27 June
Matthew Norman enjoys outstanding food served with unaffected charm at The Carpenter's Arms, London W6

My grilled octopus was the best I can recall, the innate blandness of the eight-legged beastie brilliantly offset by lemon, chilli, radish and sesame oil, and enlivened by that char-grilled tang. Both main courses franked the form, too. My Barnsley chop, cooked to an ideal light pink, had the gratifyingly fatty, palate-sucking flavour of top-notch lamb, and came with a ratatouille-esque collation of shallots, peppers and pimentos, as well as fresh mint. My friend's roast pollack was beautifully cooked and elevated by an anti-blandness antidote as clever and inventive as the octopus's, in this case a Mexican-inspired medley of spiced black beans, avocado, salsa and soured cream. Thin and crispy chips were great.
The Carpenter's Arms - review in full >>

The Independent, 27 June
Tracey Macleod finds hefty prices and disappointing food at the newly opened Palm, 1 Pont Street, London SW1, the first British outlet of the 27-strong New York steakhouse chain

Can this really be the food on which an empire was built? Fried calamari - a hangover from the original Palm's Italian menu - were light and crisp, but piled on a pointless bed of iceberg lettuce, and served with a revoltingly sweet tomato dip reminiscent of a cook-in pasta sauce. Shrimp Bruno, another Palm signature dish, doesn't, alas, fly through the air and park its bare bottom in your face. Instead, three butterflied and lightly battered shrimp (or as we would call them, prawns) sit forlornly in a white wine and Dijon mustard sauce which again struck us as unpalatably sweet.
Palm - review in full >>

The Sunday Telegraph, 28 June
Zoe Williams says that with a bit of fine-tuning, Bjorn van der Horst's new eaterie Eastside Inn, London EC1, could be a smash hit

I drew the short straw with the mains… with a blanquette of turbot over samphire and morels. I was expecting a buttery tumble of samphire, but this was a creamy, claggy heap. The morels were incredibly salty, and the skin of the fish had been left on but subjected to no direct heat. Few things tickle my fancy less than peeling off a soggy bit of skin before I start. C had aged rib-eye of beef with Ratte mash and some very explosive little olives that took the dish in a whole new direction, cutting through the buttery spuds and bringing out the depth of the meat. It was spectacularly good.
Eastside Inn - reviews in full >>
By Janet Harmer

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