Outlaw's Seafood & Grill at the Capital Hotel in Knightbridge SW3 is refined, polished and picture perfect … a seafood restaurant for people who don't really like seafood, says Jay Rayner. ](http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/27/outlaw-seafood-grill-restaurant-jay-rayner)
Price: Meal for two, including wine and service £150
Giles Coren finds it tough to say what the best dish is on the menu at Tramontana Brindisa, London EC2. Best thing of all was a mini burger of white butifarra sausage and morcilla called "hamburguesa blanco y negro". If you're one of those tedious hamburger bores of which London is full just now, then put a sock in it and get your dreary chops round one of these. The fat, porky sensuousness and wild herby back notes will make it difficult to eat another beefburger ever again.
No, wait, the best thing was a dish called "fideua de sepia", a cast-iron skillet of short, very thin pasta, fried up with cuttlefish and prawns and saffron and served with a roasted garlic aÁ¯oli. One mouthful puts you right there on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, with the sun beating down and a bottle of good cheap cava in the ice bucket.
Price: Depends wildly on what you have. Take 50 quid.
Fay Maschler is unexpectedly charmed, although a little exhausted, by A.Wong in London's Victoria SW1V. Over-emphatic seasoning is a recurrent note, as demonstrated by hot and sour soup from Hunan and the side dish of aubergine. Excellent - and also offered Á la carte - is poached Scottish razor clam with sea cucumber, pickled cucumber, wind-dried sausage and soy butter from Tsingtao. And although I liked baby bok choy with dried shrimp butter and fermented beancurd, I think next time I will eat Á la carte. Despite encouraging shouts of "another glass of Malvasia Chardonnay, darling?" from Natalie, the Tour de Chine was attenuated and slightly exhausting.
Price: Two-course set menu with a glass of wine £12.50. Eight-course tasting menu £38.88. A la carte, a meal for two with wine, about £66 including 12.5% service.
The food is faultless at Tessa Bramley's one-Michelin-starred Old Vicarage restaurant in Sheffield, finds Amanda Wragg. It's said that Tessa gets her inspiration from the surrounding fields and woods, cooking with the seasons and plundering the coast and countryside. She's been doing this for decades, long before foraging was fashionable. A piece of perfectly roast partridge arrives accompanied by a potato & chive croquette/pillow, a scattering of wild porcini and joy of joys, caramelized new season cob nuts. I chose this dish for several reasons, the main one being my love for these shy little fellas - hard to find but always worth the effort. I would never have thought to caramelize them but then that's why I'm writing, not cooking. The sweet saltiness of them makes for a mischievous mouthful of food, along with a dab of the crab apple and thyme jelly which glints in its tiny white pot like insects in amber.
Marina O'Loughlin wonders who will visit the costly Bo London, London W1, once the Michelin-groupie plate-sniffers have moved on. It would be tedious to describe each tiny course - though that does not stop Leung and his myrmidons - but much of it is mesmerising. One flawless oyster on a sliver of seaweed jelly, bathed in sherry-like Shaoxing wine with lime, ginger and onion, is an exhilarating earth-and-sea slurp. "Tomato" brings three treatments of the fruit: one almost confit in sweet Chinese vinegar, one wrapped in an armadillo-like shell of lightest pastry, one a snowy "marshmallow" that combines fairy-wing lightness with astonishing intensity. Wagyu beef, a luxurious two bites of marbled meat, comes with stout little chive jiaozi in a bouillon of limpid purity and staggering savour.
Score: food 8/10, atmosphere 6/10, value for money - "your guess is as good as mine".
Price: meal for two with drinks and service, £350 upwards.
[Family-run The Shed in Kensington W8 conjures up magic amidst the ramshackle restaurants, according to Zoe Williams. ](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/9803312/The-Shed-London-W8-restaurant-review.html)The lamb was sweetish and heathery, the crumb carapace really rich but somehow leavening. The spices in the harissa were whole, and full of character and depth, leaving us able to pick out each one, the coriander from the fennel from the cumin from the chilli. It was astonishing. They knew it, though - when I said to Gladwin the Younger that they should change the name of it (lamb fingers? Lamb planks?), he looked really peeved, like I'd suggested changing the name of the Algonquin or the Danube. Next came cuttlefish (£8), the source of my only criticism - the order of the dishes meant two consecutive deep-fried things. But it was good; it had the look of squid, but was softer and nuttier, with flaked almonds underscoring its gentle character, and a bed of mashed white beans and sweet chilli uniting the dish.
Price: three courses £21.20
The 'minimalist' interior at Manuka Kitchen, London SW6, is more than made up for the richness of the menu, says John Walsh. There are All-Day plates (corn fritters with bacon and cream, fabulous eggs Benedict, tortilla with goat's cheese) and cheap Hot Rolls (meatballs with cheddar and jalapenos, ‘steak sarnie', roasted pork with pickles and red cabbage, all £5 or £6) and Small and Large sharing plates, served with artistry and style. Bone marrow and saffron arancini are a beautiful sight, the risotto rice subtly flavourful, the crumb-coating miraculously light. Crispy squid came with nam jim sauce, a name that's fatally redolent of pyjamas but tastes delicious - a blend of soy and Thai nam pla with lime, chilli, garlic and ginger, that floods the squid flesh and legs with Pacific rim flavours.
Score: food 3/5, ambience 2/5, service 1/5
Price: around £80 for two with wine
Joe Warwick says the Rum Kitchen is a welcome addition to London W11 with a Carribbean menu of old favourites and offbeat alternatives. Opened by the same team that brought the table tennis-themed Ping to Earl's Court, this latest incarnation looks a solid proposition. To start with, they've got the soundtrack right - poppy reggae meets deeper cuts that might have Daddy nodding his head in approval. The interior makes use of timber panelling, oil-drum tops and antique posters decorating the walls, a corrugated tin roof over the bar and workshop-style floods fitted with jelly filters shedding a colourful light on proceedings.
Twice-cooked BBQ wings are suitably sticky, served with their own rather mild jerk sauce, while ackee and salt fish bruschetta work well.
Even better are mains of jerk chicken, expertly cooked, although I would have liked more heat from the seasoning, and there's no faulting a rich oxtail stew with butter beans. A fine chocolate brownie, served warm, is paired with a scoop of well-made coconut ice cream.
Price: meal for two with wine, water and service costs about £75.
The Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh offers luxury refurbished interiors, a Guerlain spa and an excellent choice of restaurants, says Sophie Butler. ](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/hotel/96317/The-Caledonian-hotel-Edinburgh-review.html)A total of 241 very different rooms split into four categories: classic, deluxe, castle view and suites - in soft blues, creams and green-greys. Rooms overlooking Lothian Street have superb views of Edinburgh Castle and the city skyline. For tranquillity, opt for a room at the back. Bathrooms have marble floors and chrome fittings. The Pompadour by Galvin, named after Louis XV's mistress and the hotel's original Twenties restaurant, is overseen by the chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin, holders of two Michelin stars. French-influenced dishes, using locally sourced ingredients (Angus beef, Scottish girolles, Scrabster lobster) are served in an elegant, candlelit dining room, decorated with original floral frescoes in soft pastels.
Price: from £298
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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