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

11 June 2007 by
What's on the menu? A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

Sunday Times](http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/), 10 JuneAA Gill finds Dim T's take on dim sum hard to swallow

Dim T - Sunday Times review in full >>

[The Times](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/), 9 June
Giles Coren visits Haiku in Cape Town

It is reassuring when the best restaurant in a great foreign city spawns a replica in London that then merely slots into the middle of our second division of eateries. And that is exactly what has happened with this week's joint. When I reported on some duff meals I had eaten in Cape Town over New Year 2005/6 I was bombarded with angry e-mails telling me I should have gone to Haiku, the best restaurant in town. So when I found myself back in the Cape in January, I told locals that I planned to do just that. Their heads lolled on their necks. Their eyes rolled back. Their tongues rolled out and down their chins. They drooled me a river. And they said, "Ach, man, you wan't be dissapoyntud, ut's hivvinly." When I called to book a table, the receptionist knocked back the first two dates I suggested, apologising that the place was "compleetli rrremmed". When I did finally get in, it looked slick, dark, lacquery, like something out of Tenko, like Hakkasan without the hedge fund managers and Eurotwerps.

Haiku - Times review in full >>

[Are You Ready to Order?](http://www.areyoureadytoorder.co.uk/), 11 June
Jan Moir on D&D's Skylon

Skylon, the new restaurant at the refurbished Royal Festival Hall in London, is certainly very handsome, but is there any point to it? This is what I am wondering as I snack on another piece of pesto bread and watch the tourist boats foam up and down the Thames. Being here, inside this glass castle sandwiched between two bridges, is very special, but patience wears thin when appetite is stretched to the limit. Time delays are to be expected in a brand new restaurant, but even adjusting my irritation gauge to musn't grumble, it begins to rankle after an hour and no starter. Is there any sign of our lunch appearing before dinner, S wonders, in the same kind of simpering, wan voice he uses at home when he wants to sit on the furniture instead of his usual berth on the floor.

Skylon - Are You Ready to Order? review in full >>

[Telegraph](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/), 9 June
Mark Palmer on Skylon, London

The £115m revamp of the Royal Festival Hall has won rave reviews, even before its official opening (or "overture", as the South Bank Centre prefers to call it) this weekend. No pressure, then, on Helena Puolakka, the chef at Skylon, the bar/grill/restaurant on the third floor, named after the 300ft metal structure designed by (Philip) Powell and (Hidalgo) Moya for the 1951 Festival of Britain. This used to be the People's Palace restaurant and downstairs is where New Labour congregated for its "Things Can Only Get Better" victory party following the 1997 General Election. Peter Mandelson, one of the architects of that landslide, was back last week to give the place his official blessing and with some justification, seeing that his grandfather, Herbert Morrison, conceived the Festival of Britain as leader of the London County Council
Skylon - Telegraph review in full >>

[Independent](http://www.independent.co.uk/), 9 June
Tracey MacLeod enjoys posh chippie Geales if not the price scale

We're sipping champagne on slippery banquettes next to a former Newsnight presenter. Mariella Frostrup and A A Gill's Blonde have just been wafted upstairs to their table. Welcome to Geales, of Notting Hill. It's a chippy, Jim, but not as we know it. One of London's great survivors - it opened the day after the First World War broke out - Geales was ripe for a designer makeover. Situated in a desirable little enclave of million-pound cottages just off Notting Hill Gate, it has remained a beacon of something like authenticity while a tidal wave of money swept through the area. As food fashions came and went, Geales continued to serve reliably good fish and chips to loyal locals, plus visiting Americans who could kid themselves that this is what England is really like. The clientele always included a showbiz element, often the kind of celeb who likes to signal how little they've been changed by fame and money. Michael Parkinson, for example, used to bring his production team here after recording his BBC show in the Seventies. I'm pretty sure Kenny Everett was a regular.

Geales - Independent review in full >>

[Guardian](http://www.guardian.co.uk/), 9 June
Mathew Norman visits 32 Great Queen Street restaurant in London

Quite suddenly, and for no immediately obvious reason, we find ourselves assailed by nostalgia for the postwar era. David Kynaston's Austerity Britain 1945-51 has just been published to uniform raves, while Andrew Marr's History Of Modern Britain opened on BBC2 with a brilliantly cogent account of the same years. After decades of respectful froideur, the country has fallen madly in love with that unflinching emblem of postwar stoicism, the Queen, while we are finally poised to swap a gleamingly modernist PM for a man who always appears in the mind's eye in the dull monochrome of Sir Stafford Cripps. We have even reverted to switching off the lights to conserve energy. As for the restaurant industry, though it would be stretching things to discern a towering tide of austerity, it becomes clearer by the week that the opulence and pretension of recent years is yielding to simplicity, even a dash of thrift. Our two top kitchen boys, Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, have opened pubs serving ultra-traditional food wildly in contrast to their fancy-dan Michelin stuff, and the march of cheap and previously dishonoured cuts of meat under what is known throughout culinary academia as the Dick Emery Principle ("Ooh, you are offal but…") seems irresistible. The cleverly named 32 Great Queen Street is a paradigm of the shift in emphasis. A joint project between the chef and food writer Tom Norrington-Davies and partners in two of our more feted gastropubs (the Eagle and the Anchor & Hope), there is a lack of pomp verging on starkness here that appealed even before the first dish arrived.

32 Great Queen Street review in full >>

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