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

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

The Guardian, 20 June
Matthew Norman finds the talent in the kitchen to be a hit and miss at Graze, Hove, East Sussex, where a tapas style menu is the order of the day

Lightly fried strips of Rye Bay plaice with red peppers and gremolata were a shade Birds Eye gougony in taste, but crab risotto was gloriously rich…Roasted quail looked gorgeous on the plate alongside crunchy pancetta, lettuce and parmesan, but was pretty bland. Herb-crusted lamb, although cooked to a perfect pink finish, was undone by the mediocrity of the meat. Skinny chips, with aïoli, were great, as was a baby gem and parmesan salad.

The Independent, 20 June
John Walsh finds better quality cooking than you generally find in a gallery restaurant at Gallery Mess, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, London SW3

It's been reported that Nigella Lawson, wife of the gallery's eponymous owner, was so thrilled by the opening day's special menu, she ordered everything on it and demolished the lot. We did our best. Madeleine's prawn cocktail was served in a sundae glass: juicy prawns and "lepping-fresh" crayfish in "bloody mary" crème fraiche, so cold and fresh tasting, it gave us goosepimples. It was hard to detect much vodka or Worcestershire sauce in the dressing ("Just posh Thousand Island, isn't it?" said Madeleine), but it was delicious. In my English asparagus salad with organic egg, the tepid, soft-boiled egg was off-puttingly coated in slimy green watercress sauce, but the asparagus itself was unimprovably al dente, a real taste of summer.
Gallery Mess - review in full >>

The Observer, 21 June
Jay Rayner finds top notch food at The Felin Fach Griffin, near Brecon, Powys

A ham-hock terrine, with a big, flavourful jelly, came with their own spiky piccalilli and a slice of warm toasted onion brioche. Better still was a main course of local lamb, the tiny chops served pink with peas, both whole and puréed, and alongside a doll's house dish of shepherd's pie. I am a sucker for this sort of thing, the homely made luxury. This was a very good shepherd's pie indeed, a lid of crusty potato giving way to innards of long-braised but not overly minced baa lamb. A lighter main of salted cod, the flakes slipping apart from each other gracefully, was a solid expression of the season: local new potatoes, local asparagus, the bright kick of a sauce gribiche.
The Felin Fach Griffin - review in full >>
The Sunday Telegraph, 21 June
Zoe Williams enjoys a charming meal at Aubergine, The Compleat Angler, Marlow, Bucks

My lamb… was tremendous. Three rosy pieces of saddle, smothered in a herb crust that was nothing short of beautiful, with two slower-cooked, meatier mouthfuls, probably shoulder, perched on top of a fondant potato. Underneath it all were some braised lettuce and peas with tiny onions, in what I suppose you'd call an ironic nod to the peasant cooking from which this couldn't have been further removed. It really was event-eating, like show-jumping: sprightly and pleased with itself, lovely to look at, heartening to have in the world.
Aubergine - reviews in full >>
By Janet Harmer

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