The Daily Telegraph, 3 November
Mark Palmer visits Hibiscus, London W1 Transferring an award-winning production from the provinces to London's West End is always fraught. The prospect of a bigger stage can rattle the soundest of nerves. Then there's that twilight period when the lights go down in the country and are yet to be switched on in town. A new set has to be built and new contracts signed. It has been 12 months of hiatus for Hibiscus since Claude Bosi and his English wife, Claire, sold up in Ludlow, Shropshire, found a new site in Mayfair and began transforming a bland, modern office building into a sleek, discreet 45-seat dining-room in a moneyed part of town.
The Times, 3 November
Joe Joseph visits Texture, London W1
In terms of appetite-whetting inducements to visit a new restaurant, the phrase, "Haven't you heard? The chef's Icelandic!" ranks somewhere between, "This is the restaurant where Britney Spears always holds her wedding breakfasts," and, "Mick Hucknall, who's a regular here, often stands up in the middle of his dinner and serenades fellow diners with his favourite Simply Red songs." Icelandic? Is Iceland very famous for its cuisine? What kind of food do they actually eat there? Moose? Yes, maybe moose. But a moose isn't food, it's a cross between a donkey and a hat rack. According to Iceland's official tourist website, seafood and mountain lamb are big. Icelanders also do a version of haggis, apparently.
Texture - The Times review in full >>
The Independent on Sunday, 4 November
Terry Durack visits Hereford Road, London W2 Double value this week, as I review not one, but two, very different new restaurants. One was dead boring, with food that lacked punch and direction, while the second was right on-song, with a well-oiled kitchen turning out seasonal, daily changing food that was a joy to eat. Interestingly, they share the same address - it's just that my second visit came a week after my first. That early visit to Hereford Road was a real letdown. My fault, perhaps - I had been pumped up about the idea of the head chef of St John Bread & Wine in Spitalfields, Tom Pemberton, opening a neighbourhood-style gaff off the real-people's end of Westbourne Grove with business partner Alex Mosley. I walked past often, checking out the transformation of what was once a butcher shop into a white-tiled, stainless-steel open kitchen, and behind it, a lower-level dining-room.
Hereford Road - The Independent on Sunday review in full >>
The Observer, 4 November
Jay Rayner visits Divo, London SW1
A little over a century ago my Jewish forebears fled that part of Eastern Europe then known as the Pale of Settlement. Having eaten at Divo, described as London's first luxury Ukrainian restaurant, I now know why. It was to escape the cooking. There are many words I could use to describe the food served here, but this is a family newspaper and none of them should be available before the watershed.
Divo - The Observer review in full >>
Jan Moir visits La Nicchia and La Favarotta, Pantelleria, Italy
La Nicchia is the most famous restaurant of the island of Pantelleria. Sting's been here, to eat ravioli stuffed with ricotta under the shade of the orange tree on the terrace. So have Giorgio Armani, Riccardo Muti and Carole Bouquet, the French actress who owns a vineyard here. Anyone who is anyone makes it up the hill to have dinner here at some point, although there are moments when I really don't know why they bother. La Nicchia is one of those restaurants that doesn't so much rest on its laurels as roll about inside a giant haystack of them, while kicking its little restaurant legs in the air. Situated high on a hill on the road to Scauri, it is the kind of place that treats non-regulars with a disdain bordering on unkindness, while extracting as much money out of their pockets as possible
La Nicchia and La Favarotta - areyoureadytoorder.co.uk review in full>>
By Janet Harmer