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

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

Evening Standard, 23 July
Fay Maschler believes every neighbourhood would benefit from a restaurant like Le Provence, 7 White Hart Lane, London SW13
Bouillabaisse was served deconstructed with the selection of fish and shellfish, a jug of potently anise-flavoured broth, croutons, rouille and grated cheese brought to the table to meet and merge. Even if not quite what you might find in Marseille, it came together in a highly satisfactory way. Gutsy braised rabbit with fennel and garlic was served with silky mash and green beans glistening in butter, an accompaniment that took me back to early visits to France in the days when restaurant food there seemed a revelation. The same energetic elbow that had poured Pernod or Ricard into the bouillabaisse seemed to have sloshed Armagnac into the prune and Armagnac ice cream. It was heady stuff. (A meal for two, with wine and 10% service charge, about £78. Rating: 3/5)

Metro, 29 July
Marina O'Loughin says Bjorn van der Horst's food at Eastside Inn, 40 St John Street, London EC1, may be first class, but his steer on the service is too controlled
Landais chicken, a bird that makes supermarket chooks taste like Plasticine in comparison, basks in a woodland musk of girolles and vin jaune, the heady, sherry-like yellow wine of Jura. This is five-star cooking, every bit as good as food I've eaten in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Spain, all petits fours and palate cleansers. In high-end London terms, I think only Claude Bosi's now superlative Hibiscus properly compares. So why only three stars? It's the place. And the attitude. BVDH might be a genius chef but he's a clenched restaurateur. The room is hushed, the atmosphere stilted. Staff have been drilled to bother us to distraction: fussing with water, hoovering away imaginary crumbs, talking through each dish for minutes on end. (A meal for two in the restaurant with wine, water and service costs about £140. Rating: 3/5)
Eastside Inn - review in full >>
Time Out, 30 July
Sarah Guy is eager to go back to the Restaurant at St Paul's, St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4, where she enjoyed good food at reasonable prices

Organic bread with Jersey butter, and juicy green marinated olives served in a little Kilner jar made a good foil for a Britain Royale aperitif (Carter's English sparkling wine with Pimm's). Asparagus and poached Gressingham duck egg was summer on a plate, while the sweetness of treacle-cured salmon was nicely offset by watercress. Next, good though a prettily pink Trigger Farm barnsley chop with mint jelly and earthy Jersey Royals was, it couldn't compete with a portobello mushroom wellington served with spinach - this and the pastry in a pudding of gooseberry cobbler revealed a very deft pair of hands in the kitchen. (Meal for two, with wine and service, around £60. Rating: 4/5)
Restaurant at St Paul's - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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