Having been praised last week,Bar Bolud at the Mandarin Oriental comes in for some criticism from the Guardian's Matthew Norman in this weekend's restaurant reviews.
He finds the food unmemorable and mediocre and says "the portions were on the Hubble-telescope-to-table-nine side of measly." On this evidence, he claims, Heston Blumenthal's new restaurant, Dinner, opening in the same venue "will kick Boulud's arse so hard that this mediocrity will take its rightful place as an overflow pen for those who can't get in upstairs."
Elsewhere, the Independent's John Walsh describes Chapter Onein Locksbottom, Kent as his gastronomic find of the year so far. His smoked eel with beetroots and celeriac "featured quite the prettiest frilly rasher of bacon (sorry, chargrilled pancetta) I've ever seen, with a beetroot jus like an elongated lollipop."
The Times' Giles Coren is unimpressed by the dreariness of décor at Parliament Square, Michel Roux Junior's co-venture with Compass' Restaurant Associates, but finds it's more than made up for by the precise, effortless cooking.
While he's distracted by "a table of pale, flabby people taking photographs of everything on their plates before eating it", he marvels at a meal of "extraordinary quality and skill. The highlight is "Landes foie gras, sautéed and dressed with a pistachio crumble and rhubarb: a classic English autumn pudding made into a perfect French springtime starter," he says.
Meanwhile, Zoe Williams of the Telegraph enjoys the asparagus panna cotta with asparagus tips and crispy bacon dressing at Time and Space
Finally, Jay Rayner writing in the Observer finds the menu at the Curlew in East Sussex simple and unpretentious, with food that soars when it comes to taste. "Sure, your mouth will water, but only because mouths always do," he says. "Much more important is this: the food is great."
By Janie Stamford
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