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

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

The Daily Telegraph, 7 November
Jasper Gerard admires the exuberance of the food prepared by chef-patron Jude Kereama at Kota in Porthleven, Cornwall

Diana has rack of lamb on mash with mint and spring onions, accompanied by broad beans and Morello cherry jelly, a change from redcurrant. Scattered over the lamb is a veritable splat painting of orange nasturtiums, with mustard oil similar to watercress. All meat is sourced from within 20 miles and the lamb sure is succulent. Boats bob into the harbour daily, bringing lobster, turbot and bass. And even under a thick curry sauce you can tell my monkfish is fresher than the latest Jagger girl who has taken to posing in her smalls. It is brought alive by fiery chilli, juicy chunks of pineapple, aromatic coriander, refreshing lime and seductive red peppers, and is accompanied by crunchy mangetout and jasmine rice, again sprinkled with an edible, colourful floral display before the onset of winter grey. (Dinner for two: £76.70. Rating: 3.5/5)

The Independent, 7 November
Tracey Macleod enjoys characterful modern British cooking with a distinctive Kentish twist at Age & Sons in Ramsgate, Kent

Locally foraged ingredients add an intriguing twist to well-known dishes; gravadlax comes with buckthorn berries, sea bass with samphire and sea beet and you can order a bowl of roast chestnuts to pick at while you're deciding. Excellent (and complimentary) home-baked bread, including a pillowy focaccia studded with cherry tomatoes, got lunch off to a fine start. Lamb sweetbreads, pan-fried with girolles, were marginally overcooked, but the accompanying sea beet was a revelation - dark, shiny, chard-like leaves with a mild ferric bite. Harry asked our charming Antipodean waitress what "milts" might be and was told they were "a kind of roe". Like sweetbreads, they were more about texture than taste, as though essence of mussels had been infused into a small sponge. Good, though. I still haven't broken it to him that he was eating the fully-charged reproductive glands of the male herring. (About £35 per head, including wine. Rating: food 4/5, ambience 3/5, service 4/5).
Age & Sons - review in full >>

The Observer, 8 November
Jay Rayner says the City Café at the City Inn in Leeds is the sort of smart, unchallenging, but reliable bistro, that every major city needs

A smoked haddock and salmon fishcake from that menu was unencumbered by stodgy fillers, and lay on just enough of a brisk chive velouté. Slices of chicken breast played a supporting role to a much more enticing boned confited leg, all crisp skin and the whiff of goose fat. There was a proper hockey puck of fondant potato, a pile of acidulated cabbage and carrots, and a good old-fashioned chicken gravy to bind the lot together. At the end a fine-enough chocolate brownie came with a better peanut butter ice cream. The fact that I adored the latter is proof, if proof were needed, that I am just a greedy child at heart. (Meal for two, with wine and service, £65).
City Café - review in full >>
The Sunday Times, 8 November
Lucas Hollweg is filled with a warm glow at RockFish Grill & Seafood Market in Bristol, where good ingredients are served simply

We started with a bowl of Brixham mussels, a Dartmouth crab salad and some scallops, which we passed around between us. The mussels, steamed with chilli, bay and garlic, were plump to the point of obesity, their cooking juices lifted by a hint of fragrant heat. The crab, which came with mayonnaise and the simplest of fennel and gem salads, was rich and sweet, and the scallops, roasted in their shells with tarragon, white port and garlic butter, a gluttonous pleasure of silken nuggets in a lickably good sauce…Main courses were a whole roast john dory, some rosemary-stuffed red mullet and a "skate" wing, which was actually from one of its more sustainable cousins, the starry ray. Everything was perfectly cooked. (Lunch for three, with wine and coffee, £118. Rating: 4/5).
Rockfish Grill & Seafood Market - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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