Portland – Fitzrovia, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 10/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Price per person: £40

I once read that Giles Coren disagrees with serving bread before a meal. I don’t have a Times subscription so can’t read his review of Portland but I imagine he retracted that comment after trying Portland’s warm crusty bread served with ox heart butter. I didn’t know what to expect but suffice to say it will now be difficult, albeit more practical, to go back to butter that hasn’t been adorned with shavings of ox heart.

IMAG1275 Continue reading

SuperStar BBQ – Soho, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Price per person: £20

The chef behind the first meal I ever ate, my mother, was with me on this occasion. She is someone who will not eat in a restaurant if the occupied to empty table ratio is below 50%, nor if the lighting isn’t good, if it’s too expensive, or if she just doesn’t like the look of it. She heartily approved, so that’s already saying something. Continue reading

Ember Yard – Soho, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: 6/10*
Price paid per person: £40

*I went on a Sunday night, never a particularly atmospheric night anywhere.

Hollywood’s favourite pirate Johnny Depp once said, “I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.” If that is the case then he should dine every night at Ember Yard, the fourth restaurant to be born from the Salt Yard group, for confused is very much how I felt after eating there on Sunday night.

Most dishes were so lovely that I felt a genuine pang of sadness when they were nearing their end, whilst the odd few were almost offensive. Continue reading

Palomar – Soho, London

Palomar (English): Mount Palomar, a mountain in Southern California, northeast of San Diego, height of 1,871 m.

Palomar (Spanish): a shelter with nest holes for domesticated pigeons.

I’ve no idea why it is called Palomar. What I do know though, is it is very very good.

Every time I tried to book a table online I was rejected. What was I to do? Give up? Turn up and hope for the best? We opted for the latter on Saturday evening. We turned up at 7pm to find a hubbub of people outside and one of the managers with a clipboard. She took our name and phone number down and we went for a drink, anticipating a two-hour wait. Our call came early though, after just over an hour, so we walked back, at a brisk pace to ensure our space wasn’t given away. Continue reading

Honey & Co. – Fitzrovia, London

There’s little I prefer in life than an intimate restaurant with good food. In my experience, the staff tend to be more friendly and the food better. Honey & Co. is definitely what you would call an intimate restaurant. There are approximately 8 small tables inside all fairly close together (and 3 or 4 very small tables outside). So intimate in fact that if you needed to have a very confidential conversation (for example relaying juicy gossip or plotting a bank robbery) this may not be the appropriate setting, as your neighbour is quite likely to hear every word you say. In keeping with the stereotype though, the staff were very friendly and the food was very good. Continue reading