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

12 April 2010 by

The Daily Telegraph, 10 April
Jasper Gerard recommends Gordon Ramsay's revival of Pétrus as the place to find unfussy interpretations of classic combinations, for a relatively ordinary outlay

So is this a floater? Well, I'll tell you what I like best: the diced carrots. I like them because they show how after an era of sophistry and sophistication, Ramsay now prefers simplicity and sincerity. Pondering the set lunch, I wonder if he might even mean it. Three courses cost a bargain £25 and that's including the extra courses and seasonal side dishes. What's more they come with the Club World service and film set surroundings common to most of Ramsay's restaurants. Among all of London's crunch lunches, this is definitely the crunchiest. The focal point of this smallish room is a circular glass wine store housing 1,500 vintages. The walls are Pomerol red. We are brought cones of popcorn (one lemon, one a smoky pimentón) before an unimprovable amuse bouche of white onion velouté, which is thick, creamy and full of chives. "Pure velvet," my guest purrs. I opt for the set lunch, starting with cauliflower soup and curried golden pollock fillet with braised lentils. The crunchy lentils highlight the soup's smoothness. My guest goes à la carte (£55, three courses) with crispy veal sweetbreads, choucroute (fermented cabbage), carrots and sherry vinegar. The soft veal serves as a vehicle for the choucroute's tanginess and the vinegar's acidity. (Lunch for two: £135, set lunch is an admirable £25. Rating: 8/10).

The Guardian, 10 April
Matthew Norman is appalled at the hideous and inedible food served at Atul Kochhar's latest restaurant, Colony in London W1

Even stale poppadoms offered no warning of the food to come, which is apparently modelled on old Raj favourites and tapas-y street dishes. Even the starters, being no worse than abysmal, flattered to deceive. "Crisp" calamari were soggy, the squid in both texture and taste bringing to mind a condom fitted over an unwashed garlic press the day timetable confusion forced the cookery teacher to take sex education at short notice. Crab in pastry left a bitter, curry powder aftertaste. And fennel-marinated lamb chops were overcooked lumps of nasty meat. "No, no," said my wife, unveiling herself as a rhyming existentialist as she tasted her main course, "this kedgeree cannot be." It could be, however, and it was. "It tastes like rice thrown into a pan of stale oil and sluiced around with burnt hot dog onions and some unidentifiable fish. Sorry, but I just can't eat it. (Three courses with drinks: £40-50 a head. Rating: 0.05/10).
Colony - review in full >>

The Times, 10 April
Giles Coren thinks La'Art du Fromage in London SW10, is a brilliant concept, but advises you go easy on the cheese

I'm sitting here afraid to lie down because I ate a meal that began with a tarte flambée Strasbourgeoise - thin, crispy dough, slathered with melted cheese and then sauerkraut and sausage - followed by a huge, roiling cauldron of goat's cheese fondue, then raclette, the giant sweaty cheese triangle leaking its yellow flesh from a copper contraption looking like something designed to extract confessions from enemies of the Inquisition on to plates spread with sliced potatoes and charcuterie, and then a cheese and apple pie tart and three scoops of cheese ice cream - white cheese, goat cheese and Roquefort - and… Actually, you know what, I don't think I can go on. I think I really do have to go and lie down. (No more than £35 per head, including wine, unless you have fondues which are pricier. We stacked up to £50 per head. Rating: 8/10)
L'Art du Fromage - review in full >>

The Observer, 11 April
Jay Rayner finds charming service and competent, but the wrong cooking at Blythswood Square, Glasgow

The shame is that, like the faintest of pulses on a dying patient, there are signs of competence here. A foie gras mousse is light and creamy. Sadly, it is obliterated by a layer of overly sweet sherry jelly. The candied kumquats and slices of crisp beetroot hang about on the side looking for something to do. In another starter, scallops (or just one scallop, cheekily sliced up) are sensitively seared, and there is skill in the preparation of the scallop "tripe", the membranes so often thrown away but which can be, as here, delicious. But there is no excuse for turning basmati rice into a starchy purée. Main courses collapse in on themselves: tough lumps of duck with a "pastilla" of the leg, which is nothing of the sort. It should be crisp, light, sweet and, for what it's worth, triangular. This is a log which could have your eye out. Black truffle gnocchi, which had all the texture of those swabs used by dentists, were a travesty. That sound? The noble dead of the Glaswegian-Italian community spinning in their graves. (Meal for two, including wine and service, £125)
Blythswood Square - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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