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

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

The Daily Telegraph, 12 September
Jasper Gerard enjoys the friendliness and refreshing simplicity of the food at The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye

A waitress rows up with a palate cleanser: peppered strawberries with cucumber and mint sorbet that leaves our mouths tingling with spice. The laughter line around this candlelit, contented restaurant gradually rises, encouraged by the earthy aroma of malt and the sweet scent of warm marmalade. Studying the menu, we realise the "famous" (a little self-regarding, that) hot marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard is being devoured all around. This is wonderfully moist and the marmalade as it should be, sharp. By now the three tiny, packed rooms of the restaurant seem to glow, but this could be the effects of the Talisker. This malt from nearby on the misty isle has long been my favourite and it lends new depth to our puddings. Through the haze I notice that Diana has gone silent, which means she is worshipping, and all she worships other than the great lord above and Jimmy Choo is pudding. A lovely dish, in a lovely place. (Dinner for two, £155. Rating: 4/5).

The Independent, 12 September
Tracey MacLeod hopes the forthcoming Aldeborough Food Festival will bring Metfield Café in Snape, Suffolk - an offshoot of Metfield Bakery - the crowd it deserves

You'd expect a bakery-owned restaurant to serve good bread. The springy wholemeal which arrived immediately was certainly that, with a malty tang that paid homage to the building's original purpose. Even better was the pliable toasted sourdough that came with a fluffy cloud of home-made taramasalata and green olives the size of plovers' eggs. Potted shrimps came with the same moreish sourdough, while rock oysters from nearby Butley Creek were partnered with a tomato relish with a horseradish kick - useful for further dipping when all other options had run out. The carb-fest continued with a shared main course of rabbit, leek, prune and bacon pie, majestic beneath a glazed dome of perfect, buttery, short pastry, and left at the table on a wooden platter for us to help ourselves. I don't know that I've ever eaten a rabbit pie before, and I can't say I'd rush to eat another - the dense, savoury rabbit meat seemed to expand in the mouth to absorb every last atom of saliva. But there was enough good stuff going on in the rich broth around it to make it a decent dish. Cheeky, though, to charge £25 for it, considering the cheap-as-chips ingredients. (About £20 per head. Rating: food 3/5, ambience 2/5, service 4/5).
Metfield Café - review in full >>
The Times, 12 September
Giles Coren says his preview of Pierre Koffmann's La Tante Claire - a pop-up restaurant at Selfridges, London W1 for 10 days in October - is how eating in a great restaurant used to taste

We started with a ragout of langoustines and scallops, pan-fried with a few girolles in a seafood sauce with a fines herbes jus. An immediate blam of old-skool proper restaurant cooking. It took me back in a flash (as a flash-in-the-pan restaurant should) to my meal at one of the last sittings at La Tante Claire in 2002, before it closed for ever (squashed beneath the mighty footstomp of Pétrus, launched like heavy ordnance from HMS Ramsay). That was the last time Koffmann flashed a pan in anger (he has consulted and exec'd and all that malarkey since, but that's all), and he has been missed. For the main course, of course, his pig's trotters. When served by Marco Pierre White, in the great days, they were called "Pig's Trotters Pierre Koffmann". Koffmann, naturally, only ever called them "pig's trotters". My God, they were fine. The thick, wobbling, amber tube of skin, the richly textured paste of the glands stuffed inside, the dark, sticky jus, the titter of weeny vegetables, slung alongside for giggles. (£75 for three courses. Rating:9/10)
La Tante Claire - review in full >>

The Observer, 13 September
Jay Rayner suggests that if More in London SE1 shaved its prices, it could be a brilliant, modern, neighbourhood bistro

It plays as a local neighbourhood bistro, but while breakfast and lunch options are cheaper, the £90 price tag on an evening meal for two is over the odds. There were also major missteps with the food. Some of it was very nice indeed. The pickles in a £3 bowl were crunchy rather than sludgy, and the olives well chosen. A starter of chicken livers, still pink in the middle, with lardons and broad beans, baby onions and rocket, had a bright, summery feel. At the other end of the colour spectrum a deep black stew of long-cooked cuttlefish in its own ink with more baby onions and hunks of chilli-flecked polenta looked like something from one of those Tim Burton films designed to give children nightmares. It was comforting and rich.Mains were where the disappointments hit. For a start there was only one meat choice, because they'd already run out of the lamb (though as that came with a curry butter sauce maybe I should be grateful).
More - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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