Evening Standard, 20 AugustFay Maschler approves of a Gallic take on British grouse at Le Bouchon Breton, 8 Horner Square, Old Spitalfields Market, London E8
Smoked eel came with what was described as beetroot remoulade with horseradish cream, a sort of French chrain. These and a dandelion salad with warm St Marcellin cheese were fine, nothing remarkable; we were waiting to see the French treatment of grouse. The British rules of engagement had been adhered to and the whole bird larded with bacon was presented on a sourdough crouton spread with liver pâté accompanied by latticework crisps, cranberry sauce (redcurrant would have been better), the béchamel with bread and a rather hefty cheffy jus.It had been cooked to the right point and because it was only two days after the Glorious Twelfth had a delicate flavour. (Rating: 3/5).
Metro, 19 AugustMarina O'Loughin loves the subtly alluring and decadent qualities of Andy Campbell @ 23 Romilly Street, London W1
There's a lot of long, glossy hair and statement jewellery, and that's just the chaps. A lanky geezer with spaniel hair and a vague touch of the Kenneth Williams bounces up to greet us. Mr Campbell, for it is he, is determined to make us very, very welcome. We are just loving the whole eccentric shebang. The food is perfectly fine, if as mildly curious as the rest of the set-up. There are a couple of oddball salads - barrel-aged feta, fennel, strawberries, mint, poppy seeds, lemon oil, anyone? - to which you can add marinated tiger prawns or salmon in mirin and soy. These are exactly how you would imagine them to be. You can have ‘Jewish Chicken Soup', should you be in need of soothing. Charcuterie is made in-house, apparently: an extraordinary piece of dedication. We try a home-made ‘Jagerwurst' sausage, a fat, oozing meaty specimen with some sinus-clearingly powerful, caraway mustard. (A meal for two, with wine, water and service, about £80. Rating: 4/5)
Andy Campbell at 23 Romilly Street - review in full >>
Time Out, 20 AugustCharmaine Mok says Yalla Yalla, 1 Green's Court, London W1, is the perfect hideaway for friends and fans of solidly good Lebanese cooking
Our baba ghannouj (or moutabel) with pomegranate seeds, the juicy tang of lemon and a little pool of nutty (and almost mustardy) olive oil came together perfectly. The aubergine had been chargrilled before, imbuing a deep, smokey depth. Fattoush, a salad of chopped ripe tomatoes, crisp pieces of pitta bread, parsley, mint and the crunch of radish and cucumber was a triumph - intensely flavoured and balanced in its piquancy (which came from sour sumac). Most curiously, the savoury flavours faded away between each mouthful, leaving us wanting more with each bite. ..The mains were exceptional. Our chargrilled lamb skewers (lahém meshoué) served with a buttery vermicelli rice was only bettered by Ilska's offerings of a creamy garlic-yoghurt dip and hot harissa, while a hearty lamb shoulder stew with seven-spiced rice (which they simply call a lahém casserole) was long-flavoured and fragrant.
Yalla Yalla - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer