Dabbous

You can’t get a table at Dabbous during the week until August. If you want to go over the weekend, you’ll have to wait until October. There hasn’t been a phenomenon like it since the Fat Duck spread its 3 Michelin-starred wings all those years ago. Among metro-centric restaurant critics, bloggerati and the grazing herd […]

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The Sportsman

It was a slip sole, just a slip sole, slim and elegant, glistening with seaweed butter. No sauce, no veg, no micro-herbs, nothing to distract from the individual beauty of the fish. The flesh was taut and dense, almost muscular. Its flavour had a pure sweetness. The butter carried a faint nutty richness through which […]

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Pitt Cue

The night was wet and Pitt Cue was full. Full as in crowded, heaving, bulging at the seams. People were being turned away from the door. I only just squeaked in because I am very small and I was on my own. I also raised the average age there by about 20 years. I don’t […]

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Copita

Smart, laid back, egalitarian, cheerful, cool. Copita is the model of modern metropolitan eating. It has a no booking policy. It draws in people who are smart, laid back, meritocratic, and cool, even if they aren’t necessarily egalitarian and cheerful. There’s communal eating at long, chunky wooden bar-level tables. There are creamy-toffee repro old railway […]

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Tom Aikens

Well, stone me. All is changed, changed utterly. Tom Aikens. The restaurant, not the man. Gone the suave polish of a French-inspired restaurant, the rich carpeting and heavy linen tablecloths, the weighty cutlery and waiters uniformed in black and white. Gone, too, that sense of luxury and expense and formality. Everything has been stripped back, […]

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Jeremy Lee at Quo Vadis

‘Lead, kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom, lead thou me on,’ goes the hymn. If ever there were a kindly culinary light, it’s Jeremy Lee, tall, genial, eyes beaming and sparkling behind gig-lamps, generous in mood and manner and on the plate. For the last couple of centuries Jeremy has been keeping the Blue Print […]

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Brasserie Terminus Nord

It’s the same as it has been since I’ve known it, just across the street from the Gare to Nord, the Brasserie Terminus Nord. It’s all there, the art deco posters, wall decorations and lights; the tiled floor in flower motif; the mirrors reflecting the choreography and drama of the room; the crisp white table […]

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The Ledbury

When Dr Nathan Myhrvold, co-author of Modernist Cuisine, started making cooing noises at The Ledbury, I realised that the ceviche of scallops with seaweed and herb oil, kohlrabi and frozen horseradish had hit the spot. It was the first course of a nine-course menu that Brett Graham served up, during which Dr Myhrvold did quite […]

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Hand & Flowers

The sun was bright. The day was warm. I sat in the shade of an umbrella outside the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, that pretty Thanes-side town where the air is perfumed with money and conservative values, reading the newspaper and waiting for my daughter. There was a pint of Morlands bitter within easy reach. […]

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Roganic

Nasturtium, meadowsweet, millet, orache, lovage, wood sorrel, chenopodiums (eh?), sweet cicely, verbena, hyssop, buckthorn – is there a hedgerow or coppice that hasn’t been picked over by Simon Rogan and his assiduous foragers? Over the last 8 years Rogan has built a reputation for serious and highly individual food in Cartmel in Cumbria, famous for […]

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