Welcome to Oliver Thring’s weekly round-up of national critics’ restaurant reviews.
Ed Wilson and Oli Barker at Soif, Battersea
‘I like the cooking at Soif even more than that at Terroirs,’ says John Lanchester. Tête de veau was ‘deep and intense in flavour’, and breaded pig’s trotter with remoulade was a ‘masterpiece’. ‘The fish cooking is good too … Soif is by far the best restaurant in the strip of eateries on this side of Battersea Rise.’
Guy Dimond awards stars to The Delaunay. Tarte flambée was ‘a great appetiser’, choucroute ‘hearty [and] wintery’ and the wienerschnitzel ‘would put a smile on Sigmund Freud’s face’. (I can vouch for that.) ‘Part of the joy of The Delaunay is that you’re treated with equal decorum if you’re a big spender, a celeb, or just popping in for Welsh rarebit or hot chocolate.’
‘The most self-assured, delicious London restaurant launch in years,’ says Jay Rayner at 34, Richard Caring’s new place on Grosvenor Square (Rayner is also a member of the Ivy Club). A rib eye was ‘simply a great piece of meat’.
Zoe Williams visits Kipferl in Islington, an Austro-German place ‘devoted to German sausages’. The würsts were ‘the tastiest I’ve had in this country’, and although she couldn’t ‘properly taste’ the veal in a wienerschnitzel, she loved the apricot pancakes ‘more than anything else’.
A dreadful lunch for Matthew Norman at Massimo on Northumberland Avenue. Both gnocchi with lamb ragu and lamb cutlets ‘looked plain hideous’, the former resembling ‘mince and tatties in a Glaswegian greasy spoon’, the latter ‘oversalted, too fatty and stone cold’. It’s a place of ‘outrageous drinks prices … confused service and sullen mediocrity’.
AA Gill is at Mishkin’s, ‘the most crepuscularly dim dining room in London’. ‘It’s a good menu. Exciting.’ Pickled herring with beetroot was ‘disappointing’ and ‘watery’ and a reuben sandwich ‘really wasn’t good enough’. ‘In the end, the food here isn’t very good.’
And don’t miss Time Out’s predictions for the gastronomic trends of 2012, including dessert bars, doughnuts and ‘a ramen revolution’.