The Sunday Times, 27 July
AA Gill at Ambassade de l'Ile, London
The mousseline de brochette et grenouille. Try to picture it. Sitting, nay, levitating in the centre of a circular white table big enough to play Olympic blow-football on. This dish is deceptively simple. It looks like a gateau for the type of woman who says let them eat cake. In fact, it's savoury: a fish mousseline, as smooth as a warm Baileys enema administered by Charles Aznavour by candlelight, with the wobbly texture of a contemplative nun's genuflecting buttock.
Ambassade de l'Ile - Sunday Times review in full >>
The Independent on Sunday, 27 July
Terry Durack at Vapiano, London
The girl at the door tries to give me a credit card. "No thanks," I sigh. "I'm trying to give them up." She insists I take it. Without it, you won't be able to eat or drink, she says. Tell me about it. Then she gives one to my wife, who promptly asks if she can buy shoes with it. No, only pasta, pizza, wine, puds and coffee. She brightens. "I can still do some damage with that," she says, and darts off.
Independent on Sunday review in full >>
The Guardian, 26 July
Matthew Norman at Jamie's Italian, Oxford
For the following confession, I can only throw myself on your mercy. For 37 whole minutes I had stood outside Jamie's Italian, gurning insanely at diners on the other side of the window in a futile bid to force them out, and the queue had moved all of two inches.Why this first in Jamie Oliver's planned chain won't take reservations for parties of fewer than eight I'm still not sure, although a young woman hinted at some kind of anti-elitist philosophy when I rang in the naive hope of booking.
Jamie's Italian - Guardian review in full >>
Are You Ready to Order?
Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
Imagine the prow of a ship glassed over like a gazebo, and you have a pretty good idea of Mark Hix's new restaurant in Lyme Regis. Imagine S's face glassed over with shellfish fright, and you have a pretty good idea of his expression when our oysters arrive. Common sense and the laws of marketing suggest that if you are going to call your restaurant The Hix Oyster and Fish House, you might at least make a big effort at getting your oysters and your oyster service right.
Hix Oyster & Fish House - Ready to Order review in full >>
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