The Guardian, 23 February
Matthew Norman visits Sotheby's Café, London W1 You would never have guessed from the aura of cultivated restraint enshrouding Sotheby's the day we ate in its cafe - where the obscenely moneyed and their agents fortify themselves for a fatiguing afternoon's arm-raising - but the night before had seen a European record set in a salesroom just up the hall. An auction dominated by German and Austrian paintings, with the odd Picasso, Monet and Cézanne chucked in for balance, had scooped £116.7m - some £12m more than the previous best set earlier that week at rival house Christie's.
The Times, 23 February
Giles Coren visits Tom's Place, London SW3 I'll take my hat off to Tom Aikens in just a minute, for his new restaurant moves me almost to tears with the rightness of what it is trying to do and the brilliance with which it achieves it. But first you must allow me to take the piss a little, because mounted on the wall of the upstairs eating area at Tom's Place is a flat-screen television, and on it is a 45-minute programme about Tom Aikens, playing in an endless loop. Forever.
Tom's Place -The Times review in full >>
The Independent on Sunday, 24 February
Terry Durack visits Market, London NW1 How is it I can recall the taste and texture of my first smoked oyster at the age of six - sweet, salty, oily, juicy, oozy - but I can't remember what I had for dinner last night? My theory is that I'm running out of space on my personal taste archive, so the brain automatically ditches anything mediocre or middling to leave room for the great or the truly disastrous.
Market - Independent review in full >>
The Sunday Telegraph, 24 February
Zoe Williams visits The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire
The chef here, Dominic Chapman, is ex of the Hinds Head (Heston Blumenthal's pub), and the owner, Nick Parkinson, is son of Michael. I point this out so that I don't need to explain why the chips are so good (thrice-cooked chips were the reason you'd go to the Hinds Head rather than the Fat Duck, regardless of which was cheaper). Perhaps this is because it is winter and I have no imagination, but I like to think not; the Royal Oak strikes me as a wonderfully wintry destination. The dining-room feels warm and soft and shadowy.
The Royal Oak - Sunday Telegraph review in full >>
Jan Moir visits Galvin at Windows, London W1
Late February is the cruellest time of year for restaurants and the people who eat in them. The catering trade's mid-month fillip of Valentine's Day is over, a crushed red rose in the gutter for another year. All that stretches ahead until Easter are the long, bleak days of Lent and newspaper offers such as Dine Out with the Toytown Trumpet, two courses of cheap carbs and all the tap water you can drink for £8.50. Oi, mister! What? Put those bread rolls back where they belong.
Galvin at Windows - areyoureadytoorder.co.uk review in full >>