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

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

Bloomberg, 11 September
Richard Vines enjoys good South African wines and straightforward food at High Timber, London

The wine list itself is short because you are encouraged to go and have a look around the cellar to select something suitable. I'm not sure this ambient approach is great because it can disrupt a meal and may be intimidating if you don't know your grapes, but the wines are good. The food is unfussy, with light starters such as a salad of heritage tomato, basil jelly, warm goat's cheese fritter (8 pounds/$13). Most diners go for the steaks, again prepared with a minimum of fuss and attractively presented on a board, with braised mushroom, roast vine tomato, onion rings and baby watercress, with hand-cut chips in a mini-frying basket. Rib eye and rump steaks are 19 pounds for 250 grams, 27 pounds for 350 grams, and there's a selection of sauces, including black Perigord truffle butter (3.50 pounds) and Bordelaise bone marrow (4.50 pounds.) If you're on a budget, the set lunch is 15 pounds for two courses and 19 pounds for three. (Rating: 3/4)

Evening Standard, 10 September
David Sexton says you can enjoy one of London's gamiest views from the newly opened Formans - owned by food supplier Forman & Field - which overlooks the Olympic Stadium in London E3

The new Forman HQ was built in just eight months, and was opened this January by Boris Johnson. It is a prominent, rather endearing, construction, having been modelled on the shape of a darne - a fillet piece - of salmon and painted pink. Moreover, the building looks directly over the River Lea (or a canal-like section of it) towards the Olympic Stadium itself. Forman has capitalised on this position by creating a glamorous function room, with one wall all glass, looking over the water to the 2012 site - and putting next to it a fairly small and expensive restaurant, enjoying the same view, with a balcony, ideal for raising towards the monstrosity un verre or a finger, according to taste. At the moment, the restaurant is open only by prior appointment, since the whole area remains a building site. Forman's hope must be that in due course the Olympic moguls will be doing themselves proud here on exes. (Rating: 2/5).
Formans - review in full >>

Metro, 9 September
Marina O'Loughlin describes Chutney & Lager, London W1, as "pleasantly unremarkable"

In what used to be a large, noisy chain pub, there's now this curious hybrid between long, clattery bar with sports-playing giant TV screens and upmarket Indian ‘tapas' (their word, their inverted commas) restaurant, all serene furnishings, polite staff and starched napery. I say ‘tapas' but who are they kidding? Despite an online promise, there's no ‘tapas' menu on offer. When I ask, we're directed towards the lengthy ‘Appetisers' section, a selection of familiar dishes - bhajis, samosas, seekh kebabs, all enthusiastically priced (a tiger prawn appetiser costs an alarming £13.95). Ordering three or four of these babies would leave you severely out of pocket. What we end up with is a conventional Indian meal, with more starters than normal. (A meal for two with wine, water and tip, about £60).
Chutney & Lager - review in full >>
Time Out, 10 September
Guy Dimond applauds Boho Mexica, London E1, for being a slick operation for serving food far superior to the capital's Tex-Mex norm

One of the day's specials was sopes, which are small fried corn-dough bowls, filled with beans and in this case topped with chicken, braised pork or mushrooms with sautéed mild chillies. Masa, or maize flour, is also fashioned into tacos such as the fish-filled versions you find in Veracruz on the Gulf coast, though in this case they use sautéed sea bass. Coarser corn meal can be cooked as corn mash (polenta), then served with bacon-thin strips of grilled pork tenderloin. Mexicans love corn so much that it's served here as a dessert, as corn-on-the-cob buttered with mayonnaise, lime, grated cheese and a touch of chilli; tender and appealing. If you have a sweet tooth, you may prefer the day's special they call Copa Nevada ('snow-capped cup'), which resembles a cold lemon-and-vanilla meringue pie without a crust but with extra whipped egg white , lightly dusted with cinnamon powder. (Meal for two, with wine and service, around £55. Rating:4/5)
Boho Mexica - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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