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

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

The Daily Telegraph, 23 May
Jasper Gerard enjoys good food in pleasing surrounding at Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire

My starter of grilled Cornish red mullet, baby calamari, Provençal vegetables and anchovy vinaigrette is an aesthetic and culinary delight. Heaped on couscous, olives and aubergine, this transports us from English country house to Moroccan souk and back in time for main courses. Diana rhapsodises about her fillet of Cornish halibut, carrot and star anise purée, marinated fennel salad and tortelloni of crab topped with seafood foam. The aniseedy fennel and dill showcases the fish, and the crab sings of the sea. It is difficult to err with good pot-roasted pork and caramelised apple. The addition of foie gras makes my main course utterly scrumptious, the sweet apple foiling the foie gras's richness. No wonder this is the chef's signature dish.
Lucknam Park - review in full >>

The Guardian, 23 May
Matthew Norman says Boundary, London E2, is a real labour of love for Sir Terence Conran; it's just a shame the punters don't seem to buy it

What we should do is congratulate the old boy for investing some of the fortune trousered from selling his stake in the group that brought us Quaglino, Pont de la Tour and all the rest in the creation of a genuinely impressive restaurant. I say this with unwonted authority, having eaten there twice on account of Sir Tel's ventures' tendency to start brightly before swiftly yielding to complacency.The good news is that the second meal was every bit as excellent as the first. The bad news is that, where this theatrical underground space - two-tone brick pillars, huge showcases of armagnac bottles, arty fabric draped across the ceilings as much for the acoustic as the aesthetic - was heaving in March, in May there were twice as many staff as diners.

The Independent, 23 May
John Walsh leaves The Carpenter's Arms, Fulbrook, near Burford, Oxfordshire "feeling sated with food and wine and carpet-bombed with conviviality"

When you tear yourself away from gossiping with the locals, the menu promises familiar porky and fishy ingredients coaxed into sophistication. A single enormous blini the size of a coracle carried a pink tarpaulin of exceedingly fresh smoked salmon from Stornoway with sour cream and lumpfish caviar, and left you gasping. The whitebait was a perfect balance of crunchy and soft on tongue and palate, perfectly seasoned, terribly more-ish. A simple main course of "peach, parma ham, fig and mozzarella with honey and bee pollen dressing" was beautifully presented like a Fauvist oil painting, a delicious riot of summer flavours that I've never seen combined before (nor have I ever tried "bee pollen" on its own).
The Carpenter's Arms - review in full >>

The Observer, 24 May
Jay Rayner is reminded of a Richard Curtis film set as he enjoys lunch at Moonrakers, Alfriston, East Sussex

At the back of an ancient black-beamed cottage, twisted and turned by time, was a terrace beneath a sky the shade of blue that art directors pick out for Greek travel brochures. Beyond was a manicured pasture where children frolicked - pastures are always for frolicking on, never playing - and beyond that, poking shyly through the mighty trees, the spire of an English church, guardian to a graveyard of the village dead, gone but still so much with us. Chocolate box? Oh yes, and sweet enough to make the least sensitive teeth shriek in agony…When the setting is as good as this, as unforced as this - and the long-range forecast promises many more azure skies this year - the job of the food is very simple. It doesn't have to succeed. All it has to do is not fail. For the most part, that's what the cooking at Moonrakers in Alfriston manages.
Moonrakers - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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