http://observer.guardian.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Daily Telegraph](http://www.telegraph.co.uk), 24 November
Mark Palmer visits Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London W1
You should expect some inconvenience when God comes to town. But I was beginning to lose faith in the deity of Alain Ducasse after a series of baffling emails dispatched by various junior disciples. One confirmed my booking, but it was for an entirely different day to the one I requested. Then I received a telephone call telling me that I must print off and fax back the confirmation email, enclosing my credit card details and a current signature. "Could I not just give you my credit card details over the phone and you can take a payment if we fail to show?" I said. "That will not be possible," said a French voice not entirely sure of its ground. "Why on earth not? If I were booking a room, that's what would happen. Anyway, I am currently in Scotland and don't have a printer, let alone a fax machine."
The Times, 24 November
Joe Joseph visits Rhodes W1
Just because this is a restaurant review, there's no reason why it shouldn't adhere to all the usual journalistic principles, is there? You know, diligently collecting facts; scrutinising facts; turning sheets full of facts into aerodynamic paper darts to hurl at colleagues, which leaves no time to assemble fresh sheets full of facts, which results in your having to filch facts, as deadline nears, from nearby colleagues writing on completely different subjects, in turn resulting in an article mapping out the financial prospects of hedge funds being speckled with intriguing references to Caribbean hurricane movements and also to Lindsay Lohan's routine lack of underwear when going about her business in public. Well, those are my journalistic principles, at any rate.
Rhodes W1 - The Times review in full >>
[The Independent on Sunday](http://www.independent.co.uk), 25 November
Terry Durack visits The Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire What do you do when you have mastered snail porridge, parsnip cereal and nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice-cream in the kitchens of Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray? You go to the pub, that's what. James Faulks went to the Anchor and Hope before opening Magdalen near London Bridge, while Dominic Chapman serves up potted crab and ox tongue (as two separate dishes, mind) at Michael Parkinson's pub, The Royal Oak near Maidenhead. Meanwhile, long-term Blumenthal kitchen-mate Garrey Dawson turns out Lancashire hotpots and treacle tarts at Blumenthal's own pub, The Hinds Head. Now, along with business partner Adam Dorrien-Smith, Emily Watkins - another ex-Fat Duck chef - has sought solace in a pub. And what a cute little pub.
The Kingham Plough - The Independent review in full >>
[The Observer, 25 November
Jay Rayner visits Hibiscus, London W1
The arrival in London of Hibiscus is to restaurant critics what the opening of a new Stephen Sondheim musical is to theatre critics. Only without the meditations on love and death. Then again, given the intensity of the food, the animals slaughtered to achieve the effect, and the fact that this is a husband-and-wife affair - Frenchman Claude Bosi is in the kitchen, Englishwoman Claire is out front - perhaps love and death are on the agenda here, too. Let's agree on this: the arrival of Hibiscus, in a smart little site off Regent Street that has been wood-panelled to within an inch of its life, is Very Big Stuff.
Hibiscus - The Observer review in full >>
Jan Moir visits Le Café Anglais, London W2
A menu should be an exciting document; as thrilling as a tax rebate and billowing with promise, like the most succulent of love letters. Diners should be able to pick up a menu, read it, and then tremble with anticipation at the delights to come. You don't need me to tell you that this rarely happens. More often than not, menus in this country are about as appetising as a decree nisi, or as daunting as a writ. They are a fiction of delusion and hubris, an inventory of cheap farmed sea bass, haggis risotto, double shifts and broken dreams. Sometimes they can make the strong diner weep, or reel out into the night with the words handcrafted salad or textures of parsley swimming before his or her oscillating eyes. However, it's not like that at Le Café Anglais. Oh dear, no. It's not like that at all. Here, the menu sings with possibility and dash, and is seasoned with an innate understanding of what it is that people want to eat and what they like to drink. gourmandising.
Le Café Anglais - areyoureadytoorder.co.uk review in full >>