The Guardian, 24 October
Matthew Norman thinks Fishy Fishy, Brighton, co-owned by X Factor frontman Dermot O'Leary is eager to please, but needs to try harder
The Independent, 24 October
Tracey MacLeod describes Hix, London W1, opened by Mark Hix, as a great new restaurant which already feels like a copper-bottomed success
Heaven and Earth is Mark's interpretation of a German dish, an inspired teaming of soft, loose-textured black pudding, akin to Spanish morcilla, with mashed potato sweetened with apple and onion. A tart of sprouting broccoli and Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire cheese tasted wonderful, but the puff pastry base was dismissed as "a bit cardboardy". Best of the starters was the unpromising sounding cod's tongues - actually bite-sized morsels of the less favoured bits of cod, including cheeks and collar - in an unctuous, oriental-style one-pot dish, with girolles and spring onionsâ¦Desserts included an individual Bramley apple pie, and an autumnal reworking of Mark's winning dessert from the Great British Menu, featuring blackberries suspended in a shimmering jelly made with Kingston black cider. (Around £60 per head, including wine and service. Rating: food 4/5, ambience 4/5, service 5/5)
Hix - review in full >>
The Observer, 25 October
Jay Rayner says Eastside Inn, London EC1, has survived the recession because the food is so damn good
People come here not to be seen or talked about, but to eat. On a weekday night all the tables around us in the bistro were filled with people happily eating off each other's plates. The menu is admirably small - just five choices at each course - but the flavours are enormous. Quail can so easily disappoint. It's a game bird which generally tastes not at all of game and sometimes not even of chicken. Here it is braised for hours, bigging up the flavour of field and hedgerow before being roasted with a sweet but not cloying honey plum glaze. Baby squid in the Basque style brings an earthenware pot with sweet curls of seafood, perked up with smoked paprika on a bubbling olive oil stew of peppers, onions and garlic. You clean out the bowl with your fork, then with your bread, and finally with your finger. (Meal for two, with drinks and service, £120).
Eastside Inn - review in full >>
The Sunday Telegraph, 25 October
Tim Auld believes you will be hard pushed anywhere in Britain to eat so well, for so little, in such welcoming surroundings as Seaham Hall, Seaham, Co Durham
When I went for lunch with my wife on a weekday, we ordered from a set menu offering three courses for £29.50, which, as will become apparent, is an absolute stealâ¦My roast loin and confit shoulder of local lamb, sautéed sweetbreads, confit cherry tomatoes, pea and mint purée, young leeks and rosemary set the taste buds dancing, the pea purée adding zing to the perfectly cooked cuts of meat. My wife's pan-roasted belly of confit pork, glazed apple, braised cheek, Scottish girolles and sage cut a similarly impressive caper, the meat being both melting and sweet, while the unexpected star of the dish was a purée of lemony potato. (Three courses, £29.50. Rating: 8/10).
Seaham Hall - review in full >>
- By Janet Harmer
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