Category Archives: ★★★★☆

December 09

Park Chinois. Put on your dancing shoes.

“Park Chinois occupies a niche, and offers a balance to the current club culture. It brings about a rebirth of the Dinner Dance aesthetic, a modern interpretation underpinned by old school values.” Website: Park Chinois One of the more creative of our serial restaurateurs,  Alan Yau has for this, his latest venture, chosen to target the much-moneyed Mayfair […]

November 11

NOW CLOSED : Piquet, W1: Piquing my interest in Mr Pickett.

I might as well just give in to my inner OAP. I’m happy to fantasize about a post-work trek across town to Hackney or Peckham Rye but unless the tube is going to deposit me at the mouth of my chosen restaurant,  I’m not going to be schlepping across the darkling plains of E5 or SE15 to eat in […]

October 16

Bao. Stuffed in Soho.

It is a Monday lunchtime and a tedious morning has my brain looking for a food-based displacement activity. There is nothing calling to me within a mile of my office and I am not in the mood for polite conversation.

September 21

The Clove Club. Who said romance was dead?

“Happy loving couples make it look so easy.” Joe Jackson, 1989. I’d last been to The Clove Club on Valentine’s Day, that passion-killer which ranks up there with New Year’s Eve as top of my nights to stay at home under all circumstances. I was so overjoyed to be able to find that a table […]

September 20

Oldroyd. Local Hero.

Think about your dream neighbourhood restaurant. It would have a chef-owner who spends real time in the kitchen. It would be around the corner, so that you could stagger home, if and when necessary. They would know your name, so that when you called they would always manage to squeeze you in. The food would be […]

August 30

Petersham Nurseries Café. A garden at the centre.

Petersham Nurseries. Remember that? Of course you do. You’ll probably be recalling its heyday, under Skye Gyngell, when it had a Michelin star and everyone went on about how expensive it was. I never really fancied it then, I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was the airy-fairiness of it, or the worry that I was going […]

August 25

André Garrett at Cliveden House.

Shall we go to Cliveden, I say to C, who is sitting on the chair in the kitchen, playing with his phone.  I am sitting at the kitchen table, preparing a schedule of mortgage requirements for a new client. Unsurprisingly, the tedium is leading me to thoughts of escape. There are only so many times […]

August 21

THIS RESTAURANT IS DECEASED : The Newman Arms. Not your average boozer.

No, it’s not the Newman Street Tavern, a hop skip and a jump away, around the corner, on Newman Street but you’d be forgiven for being confused by this two Newman-named gastropubs malarkey. I did that old-fashioned thing and phoned to book. There was none of usual Sisyphean endeavour needed to speak to an actual human at the […]

July 31

Chez Bruce. Safety first.

There is, I am told an unspoken rivalry between locals as to which is best, Trinity, Clapham or Chez Bruce, Wandsworth. My companion J, is very definitely Team Trinity and I sense that he is not entirely comfortable on enemy ground.

July 03

Amaya. Rich pickings.

I feel like I’m five, says C, waving his arms high in the air and simulating an exaggerated knife and fork movement. The chairs in the raised section of the restaurant are too low or the tables are too high, it doesn’t matter which. Obviously, I point this out and the maître d’ suggests I might […]