Weekly Round-up of National Critics’ Restaurant Reviews by Oliver Thring, 26/09

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

Roux at the Landau, London

Roux at the Landau is ‘an enjoyable enough experience’, says Andy Lynes, but not everything is ‘spot-on’. Slow-cooked pig’s head and trotters was ‘top drawer’ and apple tarte fine ‘cracking’. ‘Service yo-yos throughout the meal’.

‘The cooking is good in parts’, says Giles Coren at Manchurian Legends. Chicken hearts were ‘delicious’, though dumplings were ‘like chewing on the Michelin man’s scrotum’. And the place gets a poor sustainability rating: ‘they recycle nothing’

‘A masterclass in sourcing’ is John Lanchester’s view of Hedone. 55-day aged beef ‘had great flavour but was on the chewy side’ and ‘lobster and cep coexisted politely on the plate without creating any synergy’. That said, ‘Hedone is only going to get better.’

‘Very likeable’, is Zoe Williams’s verdict on the Fox and Grapes on Wimbledon Common. Nettle soup ‘could have used less salt’ but a terrine of jellied eel and brawn was ‘chewy, profoundly English, full of character’. Summer pudding ‘had a perfect consistency’: the place is ‘special but informal’.

‘The service is ridiculously obsequious,’ says a disappointed David Sexton at Senkai. Sashimi was ‘not bad but not exciting’, robata quail ‘tender and well-flavoured’, and the ‘drinking is expensive’. ‘We’d have been happier at … Kulu Kulu round the corner’. 

Yashin is ‘overstaffed’, according to Matthew Norman, though its sushi is ‘nice enough’. While oysters with spicy vinegar were ‘great’, the fish ‘melded into one uniform flavour’.  

Tracey Macleod visits the newly redesigned and ‘distinctly more expensive’ Café Rouge at 9 – 11 Villiers Street. Though steak was ‘tough and ragged’, ‘bouillabaisse was better’, and a lemon tart was ‘from the Tesco Finest school of patisserie’. ‘Not-bad-enough-to-be-bad, not-good-enough-to-be-good’. 

Cut ‘looks like a smart petrol station’, says AA Gill, and its customers are ‘those zombie people you only see in Park Lane’. Crab and lobster salad was ‘perfectly nice’ and the steak is ‘very good’. Mind you, ‘it costs’.

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