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

10 August 2010 by
What's on the Menu? – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

The Times, 7 August
Giles Coren welcomes the return of a much missed old master at Koffmann's, London SW1, where the classic French menu is admirably pared-down but full of flavour and technical astuteness

The best thing, for me, was the Coquilles St Jacques à l'encre, in which the scallops reclined on a bright white apostrophe of puréed cauliflower, itself snuggled by a matching apostrophe of deep black squid ink, very harlequin, very Cecil Beaton at Ascot, very cool indeed. My rabbit in mustard was less diddy: multiple quarters of bunny, some stuffed, all sweet and tasting of Dijon. There was a crab salad served under a pink, knobbly cycling helmet that may or may not have been its shell.

Pudding was almost the best thing of all, and I rarely say that. Don't normally care for it. But aside from an unimpeachable pistachio soufflé (and a less lovely black velvet sorbet), there was a sort of caramelised île flottante, a fluffy pillow of softest meringue under a golden sugar carapace that was just ravishing, and worth the trip in itself. (£50 a head without drink. Rating: 8.33)
Koffmann's - review in full >>

The Independent, 7 August
Tracey MacLeod enjoys a meticulously refined menu at Koffmann's, London SW1, where like a legendary rock star going back on the road for one last triumphant tour, Pierre Koffmann has returned to his roots

In Koffmann's hands, traditional dishes are meticulously refined. A casserole of meaty snails and girolles on a bed of none-more-creamy mashed potato comes anointed with a herb foam conveying a whispered suggestion of garlic and parsley rather than the usual knock-out punch. Tiny shimmering scallops, poached in beurre blanc and Noilly Prat, are served on the shell they've been cooked in, still carrying traces of its pastry seal. Roasted rabbit with Dijon mustard, the breast stuffed with an offal-rich forcemeat, is revelatory. But fabulous though all these dishes were, they were only the warm-up act to Koffmann's near-mythical signature dish: pig's trotter stuffed with sweetbreads and morels, the big hit of his career, widely covered but never bettered. Koffmann may be condemned to perform it at every service, but clearly he's not just phoning it in. Extraordinary to look at, this gelatinous cornucopia, glazed to the sheen of burnished copper, yields maddeningly delicious mouthfuls of spiced pork, silky fat and delicate stuffing, right down to its pointy little toes, which I resorted to picking at like some deranged chiropodist. (Dinner for two with wine, around £150. Rating: Food 4/5; Ambience 3/5; Service 4/5)" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Koffmann's - review in full >>](

The Independent on Sunday, 8 August
Lisa Markwell is enthused by Koffmann's, London SW1, where she finds a restaurant with charming service and a menu full of gutsy French flavours

[Koffmann's - review in full >>](

The Observer, 8 August
Jay Rayner discovers a truly authentic Japanese restaurant in Sushi of Shiori, London NW1, serving a menu showing exquisite attention to detail but which is sadly let down by the ever important rice

And then I tried Shiori's nigiri sushi - the thumb-length pillows of rice with raw fish on top - and I realised it really could be all about the rice. Good sushi rice should be just warm, each grain capable of letting go of the next with barely a shrug. Unfortunately the rice at Shiori just ain't all that: cold, claggy, under-flavoured, underwhelming. It is such a shame, because everything else is so good. Although there is a longish menu of various sushis and sashimis, you can, when you book, ask for an omakase - a Japanese-style tasting menu prepared according to what's best and available. You name the price you want to pay per head, from £30 or so upwards, and a delicate Japanese woman with small feet and perfect hands brings it to you. We asked for an omakase for two for £45. It started magnificently, with four cylinders of white crabmeat, tightly wrapped in nori - toasted seaweed - with a fine dashi broth. (Meal for two, with wine and service, £60-£150)
[Sushi of Shiori - review in full >>](

The Sunday Telegraph, 8 August
Zoe Williams wants to love vegetarian restaurant Amico Bio, London EC1, but just can't because despite the charming ambience and service the food is just awful

Amico Bio is a charming idea, in a charming building, in a charming, higgledy-piggledy Smithfield street, and the service is lovely, and the atmosphere is sweet and the food is just awful. It's enough to give vegetarianism a bad name, but anything's enough for that. This is enough to put you off all vegetables. When, after seven different dishes, the best thing I'd tasted was some tofu and cucumber, I was ready to give up and move on to space food. Use those valuable dining-hours for social good. Do some kind of voluntary work. I was with my brother, B. We tussled over who was allowed the aubergine, because there was nothing else really that appealing among the main courses (at this point I was generously assuming that they just didn't know how to describe things in an appetising way). So I had that, he had a pasta and I chose us three starters. Now, the principle of the fried risotto ball is that it's a little bit mucky, a little bit fatty, the food equivalent of a hangover, basically, but so utterly edible that you can't keep your hands off it. That's the point. (Three courses: £17.25. Rating: 3/10)
[Amico Bio - review in full >>

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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