Critic & Blogger Review Round-Up 16th September 2016

AA Gill & Marina O’Loughlin

Sardine

Sardine
Image source: Andy Hall for the Guardian

Marina O’Loughlin awards her 8/10 to Sardine for ‘sheer, grin-inducing enjoyment’, rather than for ‘elaborate technique or skill’. With its ‘identity based around the cooking of southern France’, she enjoys ‘thrilling’ lamb that’s been ‘treated almost primitively’, a ‘magical’ stuffed tomato, and a ‘wonderful… nutty and squidgy’ apricot and brown butter tart.

AA Gill also heads to Sardine: a restaurant name he expects is a ‘rejection of the phoney pretension… of fine dining’. Despite scoring 2 for atmosphere (probably for the reason that it’s ‘very, very loud’), ‘the food was the thing’: scoring an impressive 4/5. There are ‘fat, meaty, metallic clams with sweet, verdant peas’, ‘plenty of flavour’ pork collar, and the ‘best main course is the veggie option: girolles with polenta and spinach.

Jay Rayner

Clipstone

Clipstone
Image source: Antonio Olmos for the Observer

The latest riot-rousing restaurant on London’s scene seems to be Clipstone: a West End spot from the Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau (both formerly of Quality Chop House & 10 Greek Street respectively). From the menu of small plates, Jay Rayner enjoys ‘softness & silk’ lardo, ‘pungent and deep and soothing’ rabbit & pork rillettes, and an ‘impeccable lobe’ of calf’s brain on toast. The ‘only dud’ of the meal was a pork, fennel & dandelion flatbread that ‘read better than it ate’.

Grace Dent

Farmacy

Farmacy
Image source: Evening Standard

Despite finding Farmacy removed from ‘average, earthly people with 9-to-5 jobs’, Grace Dent ‘liked it a lot and would definitely return’. She chooses a ‘mezze feast plate of well-seasoned, humbly presented’ hummus, quinoa tabbouleh, olive tapenade and sweet pickled carrots, and a wholewheat-bunned black bean burger with chips. Despite ‘expecting a giggle’, she was served ‘proper lunch’.

Giles Coren

Sosharu

Sosharu
Image source: The Times

After enthusing about the loos in Sosharu in EC1, Giles Coren finds ‘both good and pricey’ food at Jason Atherton’s new joint. He enjoys ‘some of the best deep-fried chicken you’ll ever eat’, and pork belly served in a ‘quite sublime’ stock. Aside from the  ‘beautifully designed restaurant’ and the ‘fantastic food’, these are ‘the best bogs for five thousand miles in any direction’.

Where some of our favourite bloggers have been eating out recently:

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