Weekly Round-up of National Critics’ Restaurant Reviews by Oliver Thring, 3/10

Welcome to Oliver Thring’s weekly round-up of national critics’ restaurant reviews.

Ducksoup, London

The first review of Ducksoup I’ve seen comes from Richard Godwin, who became ‘rhapsodic’ at the place. Quail was ‘bracingly vermillion and oozingly succulent’ and roast pork with clams and fennel ‘heroic’. It’s ‘mood-alteringly good’, and I can’t wait to go.

Lizzie Mabbott also visited, finding the raw ceps with lardo and Berkswell ‘excellent’ and that quail ‘exemplary’. ‘Not a cheap everyday lunch’ but she’s ‘keen to go back’.

Zoe Williams: Cut on Park Lane ‘yells luxury’. Crab and lobster cocktail was ‘improbably delicious’, and though calf’s liver was undercooked, steak was very good, if ‘beyond enormous’. ‘The excellent bits were off the scale.’

Mount Fuji is a Japanese restaurant near the Honda plant in Swindon. It’s ‘pleasant and very relaxed’, says John Lanchester, though nobody visits it to ‘scale culinary heights’. Slow-cooked pork belly with mustard was ‘superb’, though teriyaki and yakitory were ‘very sweet’. ‘Perfectly decent.’

Eating at the St John hotel is ‘a genuinely uplifting experience’, according to Andy Lynes. Skate wing was ‘cooked to perfection’, and though rabbit was ‘dry’, apple and Calvados trifle was ‘a star dish’. ‘Service is charmingly attentive … the room crackles with energy’. 

Jay Rayner is at the new and ‘terribly mediocre’ Bistro du Vin in Soho. Onglet was ‘OK, but chips were limp and dull’ and ‘desserts were gloomy’. The wine list is ‘intriguing’ but overall this is a ‘major disappointment’

Galoupet, per Amol Rajan, ‘looks like a spaceship designed by oenophile aliens’. The food is ‘underwhelming’: chilli pork ribeye with cucumber, coriander and lime had ‘serviceable components, but they don’t associate to mutual advantage’, and wine markups were ‘depressing’.

AA Gill is ‘incandescently outraged’ at Nopi’s prices, though ‘the atmosphere is jolly and welcoming’. Catalan tart was ‘hot and delicious’, cheesecake with beetroot a ‘mess’, rabbit pastilla ‘not nice’, and sea trout and bulgur wheat tartare ‘the best of lunch’. It’s a ‘long, long way north of good value’.

Christopher Hirst visits Tontine in North Yorkshire, ‘a persuasive rendition of a Parisian bistro’. Rump of lamb with borlotti beans was ‘terrific’ and lemon posset ‘addictively tangy’. The place is ‘excellent value’.

Giles Coren ‘loved’ Gurkha Cuisine in Chatham. Chicken chilli was ‘vibrant’, dahl ‘full-bodied’, and ‘the traditionally dressed waitresses were lovely’.

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