Monday, 30 January 2012

Bread Street Kitchen, London

Rating: 6/10  Food: a little bit of everything, Cost: £30 (average for two courses)
10 Bread Street, London EC4M 9AJ

Like fashion, art or film, restaurants are all about trends. Whether it’s “small plates”, no-reservation policies or gourmet burgers, most places, with the exception of high-end establishments, will probably indulge in one fad or the other. One big trend, and one folks can’t seem to get enough of, is pissing all over Gordon Ramsay and anything he touches. Once the enfant terrible of British cooking, Ramsay—lauded by critics, adored by the public—could do no wrong. Now, anything he goes near has critics’ cross-hairs trained on it and the masses baying for a cock-up.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Burger & Lobster, London

Rating: 7/10  Food: American, Cost: £20 (It's a concept thing)
29 Clarges Street, Mayfair London W1J 7EF

The great Christopher Hitchens once said that the four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. And while some might feel that's a touch harsh (who doesn't love a picnic?), I tend to side with him on the lobster front. And while it's not something I eat a lot of, when I do, I've just never fallen in love with it. I've tried it in various configurations, in different countries and in many a restaurant. And nothing. No raised pulse. No butterflies in anticipation of its arrival. Just the continual thud of disappointment. Why? Friends tell me; "Ah, you imbecile, you simply haven't sampled the finest." But I don't buy that as I'm sure advocates of all four indulgences would say the same.

I don't eat out as much as I'd like so when I do, like most, I try something different or indulge in an old faithful. The cost of lobster in any half-decent London restaurant versus the sheer satisfaction I expect from a meal just doesn't add up. But then it appears I'm not alone. This cost versus taste thing has clearly occurred to some very smart restaurateurs.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

MEAT Liquor, London

Rating: 7/10   Food: American, Cost: £15 (average cost for a burger, side and beer)
74 Wellbeck Street, London W1G 0BA.
The burger has never been more fashionable. Sure, they’ve always been popular, but there’s a difference. You wouldn’t have had Hélène Darroze at the Connaught putting a burger on her brunch menu 10 years ago. Or two for that matter. And while the faddish nature of it is slightly irritating, it has meant a significant raising of the bar, which can only be a good thing. On the receiving end of some serious hype at the moment is MEAT Liquor, brought to us by Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Colli of Meatwagon fame.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

In Vino Veritas, Brighton

Rating: 2/10   Food: French (Sorry France) Cost: £55 (cost per head - NYE tasting menu)
103 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YW

It's because of restaurants like this that there's so many bloody food blogs out there. It's the old adage; "If you have a great meal, you tell three people and if you have a terrible one, you tell ten". Or words to that effect. After eating here I wasn't happy telling ten, I wanted as many people as possible to know how bad this meal was. And friends, family and strangers on the bus, just weren't enough.