This week saw some big-name critics visit some of London’s most-hyped eateries to see what all the fuss is about. There was also some dining out further afield, with trips to Brighton and County Durham for certain culinary connoisseurs. Read on for praise, disappointment and some fantastic dish descriptions…
AA Gill labels Portland ‘a joy’, and the struggle he had getting a table indicates the rest of London think so too. Charred brassicas with smoked-egg emulsion, soy and winter truffle is ‘almost the best thing [he’s] eaten this year’, amongst other praised dishes. This is ‘the best of modern eat’, he concludes.
Though not one for queuing outside in the rain, things look up for Giles Coren once he gets inside ‘tiny’ Kanada-Ya near Tottenham Court Road. Though rice balls are ‘forgettable’, the soup ‘was not’. This ‘so rich, so fatty [broth] … seemed a bowl of purest cream of pig’, along with ‘dense mushroomy notes’. He ‘[loves]’ Kanada-Ya and its devotedness to ramen.
Marina O’Loughlin finds eco initiatives at Brighton’s Silo are ‘exhaustive and startling’: a restaurant which claims to be the ‘UK’s first zero-waste’ dining spot. Sourdough is ‘dense, addictive’, venison has a ‘thrilling, throat-tickling resonance’ and stout-steamed treacle sponge pudding is served with a custard that ‘[sparkles] in its creamy freshness’.
Tasting menus that ‘shouldn’t work… but do’ are found at Raby Hunt in County Durham: frequented by Jay Rayner this week. Lardo & caviar is the sort of stuff you’d ‘snaffle… in seconds’, a beef dish is ‘sultry, aromatic’, and sea bream the ‘most impressive of all’.