Critic review roundup – 21 February 2020

The nation’s top restaurant critics have been out and about again, sampling everything from as-British-as-it-gets fish and chips in Cumbria, to Portuguese small plates, via a hidden gem of a taco restaurant in Surrey Quays. We took a look at what’s been on their plates recently…

Jay Rayner

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The pictures of the food I ate for this week’s review of @thegallivant. For some reason I’ve got them round the wrong way this week so we’re starting with mains: glazed beef cheek with fermented barley and fresh horseradish, and lamb chops with green sauce. Each week some clever clogs complains about the quality of these pics. So let me repeat what I said when I started doing this. I don’t take these pics for Instagram. I can’t abide people halting restaurant conversation to get the right shot. These are taken very quickly to remind me what each plateful looked like when I come to write the review. Some happen to be great pics. Most are awful. Follow other people if you want beautiful photography. Think of me as anti-Instagram. Anyway – you’ll find a link to the review via my twitter stream where I’m also @jayrayner1 or on the journalism page of my website, link in profile. And while you’re there have a look at the live shows page to see if anything is near you. #food #restaurant #rye #review #sunday #jayrayner #theobserver

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Jay Rayner heads to the coast to find ‘unfussy and extremely satisfying cooking’ at The Gallivant in Camber. Beef cheek is glazed with a glossy jus, lamb chops come from ‘animals that have literally patrolled the waterfront down on the nearby Romney Marsh,’ and the wine list includes bottles from as little as 10 miles away.

Grace Dent

Angel Lane Chippie

Angel Lane Chippie
Image source: The Guardian


Returning to her native Cumbria, Grace Dent samples the traditional delights of Angel Lane Chippie in Penrith. A ‘shining example of British brilliance,’ Angel Lane Chippie is ‘wonky, ancient and doesn’t need changing.’

Fay Maschler

Bar Douro

Bar Douro City
Image source: Evening Standard


Fay Maschler is impressed by the Portuguese small plates at Bar Douro City. Suckling pig is ‘lush, juicy and finely balanced,’ fried eels are ‘like no other eels I have ever tried,’ and traditional pastel de nata with ice cream also impresses.

Jimi Famurewa

La Chingada

La Chingada
Image source: Evening Standard


Writing in the Evening Standard, Jimi Famuwera finds ‘one of the most exhilarating food discoveries of the year’ at La Chingada in Surrey Quays. With decor that is ‘faithful to the best Californian taco spots,’ tacos come packed with ‘meat freshly winnowed from the twirling trunk,’ and ‘brisket slow-bubbled in beef fat for four hours,’ whilst the quesadillas were the only thing he wasn’t crazy about.

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