COVERS & CAPERS

London

Posts from the “Fitzrovia” Category

Portland – Great Portland Street

Posted on February 10, 2015

It’s Friday lunchtime and Portland is packed. It’s been this way for the three and a half weeks since opening the waitress tells me, due, in part, to a five-star review from Timeout’s Richard Ehrlich who deemed the latest restaurant from Will Lander and Dan Mortengau of the Quality Chop House and 10 Greek Street respectively, a place of pure ‘astonishment’. The upside of this is that, surely, I was in for a treat. The downside: I’m left tableless, perched on a stool with the glass fronting inches from my nose, my back to the restaurant, looking out on a rather unremarkable stretch of Great Portland Street and equally visible myself to the scrutiny of Fitzrovia’s lunchtime rush. I was in a culinary vivarium,…

Roka – Charlotte Street

Posted on January 8, 2015

I must visit more bad restaurants. In fact I’m making it a resolution. Either that or I need to develop A. A. Gill’s punitive and hyperbolic knack of making a restaurant seem so repellent you’d rather lick the surface scum from its blocked guttering than ever enter through the doors of such a godforsaken totem of taste-bud loathing; a morgue of an eatery in which ingredients are cut open, probed and then cremated to destroy all evidence of culinary ineptitude… It wouldn’t be too difficult; but, in all honesty, I haven’t got the minerals. This is because when it comes to reviewing them, good restaurants can be relatively dull. Waxing lyrical is a tedious process, full of monotony and thesaurus-thumbing – you’ll invariably find…

Berners Tavern – Berners Street

Posted on December 1, 2014

Jason Atherton is a modern day Midas. His prospects have yielded so many nuggets of restaurant gold he’s caused a feverish migration. A manic rush not seen since California circa 1850. Everyone wants their own shake of the gold pan, their own seat at an Atherton table and the inevitable dunk into a dippy egg that goes with it. These overzealous gannets are the reason I’ve only just made it to Berners Tavern more than a year after its opening. And even then I only manage Sunday brunch. The most depressing thing is that he’s just about everywhere. As ubiquitous as pulled pork. He hasn’t just got one decent restaurant I can’t get a table at; he’s got 5 in London alone. I’m sure I’d…

Barnyard – Charlotte Street

Posted on November 10, 2014

Barnyard’s picket-fenced exterior couldn’t look more different from its parent restaurant up the road. From the outside, Dabbous is imposing. Its 10ft metal door and frosted windows are impervious, both physically and metaphorically – you won’t find many restaurants with a longer waiting list for tables. But at Ollie Dabbous’ latest venture in the middle of Charlotte Street, you wont need a tactical unit sporting explosives to breach the place in search of a meal. You simply walk up the steps and sit on the veranda or at the bar and wait for a table with the other cool kids whose collective farming experience couldn’t run a small holding. Inside, there’s more picket fencing, corrugated iron and a mishmash collection of stools that look…

Lobster Kitchen – Great Russell Street

Posted on November 9, 2014

I’m now a fully-fledged member of the Claw Club. The first rule of which became apparent on entry to its headquarters, Lobster Kitchen, on Great Russell Street: ‘You do not talk about Claw Club’. And its members are doing a great job because at two-thirty one Thursday lunchtime, it was empty. Having eaten there though, I can see this why this rule has been so easily adhered to. It isn’t great. It’s just all right, and who recommends an all right restaurant. I’d never have gone if I wasn’t going to receive half price lobster in return for my email address and I probably wouldn’t go back again even with the further promise of 50% off until the end of November. From the outside…