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

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

The Guardian, 16 May
Matthew Norman loves the food at the Glasshouse Brasserie, Worcester, but finds the atmosphere distinctly chilling

There are countless ways to screw up a restaurant… and the one deployed here is misuse of space: the shape is catastrophic, with the tables lined up in one half of a long, thin room that narrows at the back into the corridor in which we sat. So cramped is it that, presumably to find a few extra inches, the forward-slanted, hemispherical banquette seats aren't deep enough for the average bum… Sea bream with crab risotto was the guv'nor, a blindingly fresh, flavoursome fillet and risotto that was alluringly pink and squishy. Braised lamb was a succulent, big-flavoured ovine treat, enlivened by caper-based Housekeeper's Sauce. My slow-roasted pork belly was slightly dry, but the mustard sauce and crackling were delectable.

The Times, 16 May
Giles Coren declares The Duke of Cumberland in Henley, near Midhurst, West Sussex is just about the nicest pub in the county
I had a pale-green, very vernal soup of watercress and Henley wild garlic and then two lovely fillets of sea trout piled on top of Jersey royals and English samphire with caper butter. Chris had an excellent crayfish tail and prawn salad prettily garnished and singing with dill, and their excellent burger, served medium rare. There was dressed crab from nearby Selsey, organic pork sausages from Midhurst, a pint of prawns with home-made garlic and lemon mayonnaise, a Serrano ham salad and some good vegetarian options, not to mention very good organic baguettes. Our bill came to about 35 quid, including beer. All told, you just couldn't ask for more from an English spring afternoon in the middle of the working week.
The Duke of Cumberland - review in full >>

The Independent on Sunday, 17 May
Terry Durack says Toby Leigh, chef-proprietor of Age & Sons in Ramsgate, Kent is an exiting young talent and he can't wait to return

With the help of local fishmonger Eddie Gilbert's, Leigh is putting on some of the best fish I have seen in years. A moist, fleshy tranche of wild turbot (£15), gently braised on the bone with brown shrimps, lemon and white wine - like potted shrimps as a sauce - is as thrilling as British fish gets. Almost as good is a crisp-skinned fillet of sea trout (£14) adrift on an undulating sea-bed of samphire and lightly creamy lentils. Adding to the appeal is the easygoing, obliging service from Leigh's sister, Harriet, who also runs the cosy, padded basement bar. The wine list is solid and well-paced, running from a £13.60 L'Eglise Grenache Merlot to an £80 Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanee, with a smooth and summery 2007 Borgo dei Vassalli Pinot Grigio for £23.
Age & Sons - review in full >>

The Observer, 17 May
Jay Rayner slams Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill in London E1 for serving awful food

I ordered the special of the day, the Lancashire hotpot, which was only special in the way Benny from Crossroads might once have been described as "special". Given Pierre White's Yorkshire roots, it could be enough to restart the Wars of the Roses. In a tiny bowl was dumped a pile of greasy lamb stew, leaking yellow oil, over the top of which were laid slices of undercooked potato that had been browned. It cost a shameful £12.50. The cauliflower in a cauliflower cheese was undercooked, the buttered peas dull and not very buttery. At dessert there is only one choice each day, in this case a bread and butter pudding, which, being soft and light, was the best thing we ate. It would have been even better if they had warmed it properly. All this, with one glass of good wine, served in a miserable tiny glass, for £100.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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