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

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

Metro, 25 November
Marina O'Loughlin gives the thumbs up to the opening of Pizza East at 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1

Pizza East - review in full >>

Evening Standard 26 November
Fay Maschler is impressed with the room, but uninspired by the food, at Chris and Jeff' Galvin's new eatierie, Galvin La Chappelle and Café de Luxe at 35 Spital Square, London E1

Much thought has obviously been lavished on everything - except, it would seem, the food. I don't know quite what I expected but it was not just a rerun of the Baker Street menu plus a few twists. Sticking to what you're good at is all very well but the dramatic surroundings demand a burst of original, maybe even stupendous, effort.
Salad of wood-fired autumn vegetables with walnut (in the singular) and goat's cheese featured a puny array of veg. Members of that church may well be happier with the velouté of Potimarron pumpkin, chestnuts and cèpes. Escabeche of yellow-fin tuna with aubergine caviar appeared seared rather than fried then marinated the way escabeche describes. More like tuna tataki, it was well liked. Salad of red-leg partridge with pomegranate and maple dressing hovered on the edge of oversweet but never fell over. However, I wouldn't call it a wine-friendly dish, a description also not applicable to the main course tagine of squab pigeon with harissa sauce. How Paul Jaboulet AÁ®né of Hermitage la Chapelle would have flinched at that mention of harissa. (A meal for two with wine, about £125. Rating: 3/5).
Gavin La Chappelle - review in full >>

Time Out, 26 November
Guy Dimond also finds the menus at Galvin La Chappelle and Café de Luxe to be cautious, rather than daring, but enjoys the eating experience more than Maschler

Classic dishes are perfectly rendered, such as the terrine of butter-smooth foie gras, ready to spread on light toasted brioche. SuprÁªme (breast and wing) of flavoursome Landaise chicken was simply served with poached leeks, French beans and tournéed (lozenge-shaped) roast potatoes, in the French way. Both dishes from the Á la carte were good, though not sensational. The prix fixe, in contrast, was a far better deal on our visit. For £24.50, you'll get three courses such as a starter of red mullet, escabeched with a dressing of a carrot and onion stew, but tasting of the vinegar dressing, saffron and a squeeze of lemon. The main course boudin noir was blacker than Satan's soul, the pudding so thick with blood it was jelly-like, while the puréed potato had enough butter in it to fuel an altar lamp. But the dish was utterly delicious, the fat and richness neatly balanced by the addition of tart roast apple. The puddings had the most 'wow' factor, for the precision of their execution: a tiny chocolate fondant with the concentrated flavours of high cocoa bean content, and a pretty crème caramel decorated with sweetened raisins. (£24.50 fixe prix menu. A la carte: starters £10, main courses £15-20, desserts £5-£10. Rating: 4/5).
Gavin La Chappelle - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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