This week's guide as to where to eat (and where not to eat) in London
WHERE TO AVOID
It's rare that we disagree with A.A.Gill who reviewed this restaurant semi-glowingly. " This restaurant is one deep breath away from being in the half-dozen best dining rooms in the country.." (The last time we disagreed was his damning review of L'Ami Louis in Paris).
In contrast we thought this revamped version of his earlier restaurant on the same site ghastly beyond imagining. In fairness we were only a party of two and didn't try enough of the dishes but if the starter of salted duck egg and the main course of Romney lamb were anything to go by, the food is appalling. The salted duck egg as a starter was frankly inedible. We love salt with everything but the amount of salt in this dish rendered it little more than tasting a jar of salt. The Romney lamb came in two tiny nuggets of lamb with a bizarre sprinkling of ewe's cheese. The lamb was tasteless and the addition of the cheese made the dish quite awful.
We would though return for one reason only and that's because they have the most charming and enchanting receptionist in London. She alone is worth the visit. But don't restrict yourself to being greeted by her. Devise strategies to keep going back to reception. For example even if you don't smoke, use this as an excuse to pop out frequently. Or keep needing to get something from your coat.
In short forget the food but revel in the pleasure of the Receptionist's smile.
WHERE TO GO
We' ve now been to the cavernous Novikov three times though each time in the Asian restaurant and so haven't yet tried the Italian restaurant. And on each occasion the food was superb. Every dish we've tried which was familiar from other restaurants was simply in a different league to anywhere else. (Dinings excepted for the Japanese dishes.)
It is hideously expensive particularly if you order, as you'll be tempted to do, multiple dishes. They do, however, have a £22 multiple dish set lunch which is excellent. We've now had this twice and supplemented it with Dim Sum such as the exquisite Pork Sui Mai.
And further afield...
We do get around at Globalista and so we have just made a flying visit to the famed Bukhara in Delhi. We're sure there are better and more authentic restaurants in Delhi that long time residents will steer you towards but we adore this restaurant and can't conceive of anywhere better as do vast numbers of Indians also queuing to eat there.
It's hard to recommend the ultimate combination of dishes but our choice of Tandoori Chicken, Dal Bukhara, raita and naan was superb. And if like us you find the Dal Bukhara moreish you can buy it as you leave.
ITC Maurya Sheraton Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, Delhi, 110021 T: 11/2611-2233
To be highly recommended.
Read our full Delhi report here