Belly Laugh

You learn the oddest things along the way. Apparently the real reason why pork belly is so expensive these days is not because chefs have suddenly taken such a liking to it (although it is cropping up all over the shop as the cheap cut of choice). Nor is it because they’re all being exported […]

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50 Best Restaurants

A moment’s thought is all you need to decide it’s a load of bollocks. Or, to be fairer, as a measure of great restaurants around the world, it’s bollocks; as a marketing wheeze it’s terrific. It’s the United Nations of gastronomy. Practically every country in the world gets a shout, although some seem to shout […]

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Pollen Street Social

At first sight the interior seems tasteful but unremarkable. White walls,dark blue  banquettes, wood trim, lights like dangling fruits, some nifty contemporary art. So far, so ordinary, you might think. Casual. Contemporary, comfortable. Nothing what you might call fancy about Pollen Street Social. And then, as you settle at your table, feeling at your ease, […]

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Rhubarb & Blood Orange Tart

This dish has a bit of form. It started as my sister-in-law, Dilou’s lemon tart, which, as far as I am concerned is the pinnacle of the lemon tart universe. Far superior to those heavy-gravity, lemon-flavoured custards. To me there is a philosophical contradiction between the clean austerity of the lemon and the gross richness […]

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Zucca

I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, to be honest. Several top eaters assured me that Zucca was hot. In a cool way, of course. Terrific Italian food, they said. Some of the best in London, they said. It’s worth the trip to Bermondsey for the sea bass alone, they said. So I […]

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Brasserie Joel

I remember as if it were but yesterday, the way the waiter broke the biscuity crust covering Joël Antunes’ chocolate soup and then poured a steady stream of opalescent pistachio cream on to the dark, glossy surface of the liquescent chocolate. Think of it: warm, husky, velvet chocolate,  perfumed pistachio. Now that takes a really […]

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