The Independent, 15 March
Tracey MacLeod visits Yellows, Norwich City FC, Norwich
It's been a tough season for Delia Smith. She's come in, she's published a book showing busy people how to cook using supermarket ingredients, and she's been shown the yellow card for cheating as a result. And to make matters worse, her football team, Norwich City, are still recovering from a terrible start to their own season. Despite all the aggro, though, Delia has won respect even from her critics for not cashing in on the Delia Effect around her latest book. Unlike many of her colleagues in the culinary premiership, she isn't in league with the supermarkets, or lending her name to a range of bottled sauces, or flogging stock cubes.
The Times, 15 March
Giles Coren visits Goodfellows, Belfast
Can there be anything more counter-intuitive than choosing to pay a visit to a restaurant the day after it has lost a court case? I don't consider myself a fussy eater. But expecting a joint to keep itself off the wrong end of an historic verdict in Her Majesty's Court of Appeal is surely not too much to ask - especially a verdict upholding a critic's right to describe the atmosphere as "joyless", the ingredients as "the cheapest . . . on the market" and the food as "inedible". When I read in Tuesday's paper about the victory of The Irish Times over a Belfast restaurant called Goodfellas, where "the chips were pale, greasy and undercooked" and "the cola was flat, warm and watery", I tittered quietly to myself, thanked God for Jamie, Gordon and Hugh and peeled myself another organic carrot.
Goodfellows - The Times review in full >>
Observer, 16 March
Jay Rayner visits Le Cassoulet, South Croydon, Surrey
Le Cassoulet is not a great reason to visit Croydon, but it's not a bad reason for staying in Croydon if you already happen to be there. This is not (quite) as sniffy and bitchy a comment as it sounds. Obviously it is a bit sniffy and bitchy, but it's Croydon we're talking about here, people. I know it has lots of things to recommend it. I just can't quite recall what any of them are. It's on the way to the south London branch of Ikea. Saddam Hussein never lived there. It isn't Dorking. Nothing against Dorking. The word just makes me laugh. It sounds like a particularly filthy verb, as in ‘I like to go Dorking'.
Le Cassoulet - Observer review in full >>
The Sunday Telegraph, 16 March
Zoe Williams visits Tom Ilic, London SW8
It's true that if C walked into a restaurant and decided the chef looked like Uma Thurman, then spent the evening extolling her virtues, it would make for a sour atmosphere and would end with at least one of us being put off our food. Trying not to overdo it, I nevertheless must point out that Tom Ilic' does look like Jose Mourinho - easily London's most fashionable person to look like. Oh, and the value is tremendous, and the local-bistro look belies some absolutely stunning cooking.
Tom Ilic - Sunday Telegraph review in full >>
Jan Moir visits Launceston Place, London W8
Launceston Place has had its ups and downs over the last few years. The last time S and I came for lunch, his grouse looked as if it had been made from the body parts of some multi-species avian massacre. The kitchen was in chaos, the front of house uncaring, the prognosis terminal. In this genteel backwater of Kensington, the famous old restaurant was sinking fast, like a duchess in a lime pit. Has a takeover from restaurant group D&D, formerly the Conran group, stopped the slide?
Launceston Place - areyoureadytoorder.co.uk review in full >>
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