All posts tagged: review

Sackville’s brings truffle and gourmet burgers to Mayfair

Swish new Mayfair bar and restaurant Sackville’s opens with a fine truffle and beef showcase. This isn’t a place you’ll forget any time soon, for if your thoughts thereafter regularly turn to whether a dish, any dish, could be enhanced with a bit of truffle, then Sackville’s has successfully imprinted its ethos of easy indulgence into your being. This very thought ruminated in our minds as we watched some black truffle being mandolined into what was already a damn fine martini at our table. The display of decadence is a thread that runs through all that Sackville’s is, from the sumptuous teal velvet banquettes and heavy marble tables, to the marvellous cuts of beef and obligatory inclusion of truffle at every possible turn. The small, open kitchen at the end of the restaurant, which has space for four, feels intimate and offers a fascinating glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes, that’s if you can if you can handle the heat. Whilst the exterior is admirably discreet, the dark industrial but highly polished, 60s-feel …

Portrait restaurant launches Ciro’s Club menu

The National Portrait Gallery’s restaurant Portrait creates a Ciro’s Club-inspired menu to coincide with its Audrey Hepburn exhibition. It’s all too easy to while away the time at the National Portrait Gallery, not least because of an exhibition running over the next couple of months that celebrates the life and works of Audrey Hepburn. Not only that but once you’ve finished admiring the photography, there’s a special menu to be enjoyed up on the third floor at the gallery’s uber-sleek restaurant Portrait. The new Ciro’s Club menu takes its name from the former nightclub, now the National Portrait Gallery’s library, where Hepburn had performed early on in her career. The menu, although small, is a pretty decadent one. It kicks off with Champagne for a start – the Ruinart Rose Champagne (£16) has extra pop thanks to a helping of edible rose pearls that bubble away in the glass, whilst the Champagne-based Moroccan Bellini with lime, sugar syrup and mint (£9) is a sweeter choice but an equally refreshing sip. The indulgence continues with a …

Crab Tavern seafood restaurant and bar opens in the City

All-day surf-and-turf restaurant Crab Tavern is the latest foodie spot to open up in burgeoning dining hub Broadgate Circle. Who says seafood can’t be an everyday indulgence when there’s a feast to be had right in the middle of the City at the newly opened Crab Tavern where you can comfortably crab out on your favourite crustaceans any day of the week. But don’t let the name above the door fool you because this isn’t a one-trick restaurant. Whilst crab may be their speciality, you’ll find there’s a satisfying selection of other sea and land options too, from the catch of the day (market price) to steak and chips (£25) and pot roast chicken (£17.50). Sandwiches are given an upgrade too with the lobster BLT (£18) and oyster po’ boy (£10) being the highlights. And do try to start with a pot of slip-off-the-bone pork belly ribs (£7.50) that come smothered in a sweet and mildly spicy barbeque sauce that will leave you smacking your lips. But whilst you’re here, it is certainly worth shelling …

Noir opens late night bar and kitchen in Marylebone

New evening drinking den Noir opens its doors to late night revellers. It’s quite handy knowing there’s somewhere close by you can pick up a cocktail to celebrate a successful spree at Selfridges. In fact, Noir, which opens its doors at 5pm, is situated just opposite so there aren’t any excuses. It’d be a shame not to be outdoors during the summer but you’ve got to be quick to grab an outside table. Alternatively, the main bar area makes for a comfortable pit stop where you can enjoy a quick succession of energising cocktails and some pretty substantial bar bites. Pink Friction (gin, grapefruit, lime, elderflower and lychee foam – £11) and Scarlet Fever (Cognac, blueberries, violet and blueberry liqueurs, blue mist tea and peach – £11) are equally summery sweet and endlessly gulpable. Those in need of a stronger hit should opt for Citizen Cane (aged rum, rum-fashioned syrup, vermouth and amaro – £12) or the smoked Conflicted Hero (mescal, tequila and vermouth). Thankfully, the bar bites here go beyond a bowl of “from …

Springtime blooms during Sakura at Sake no Hana

The ‘sakura’ cherry blossoms have arrived, so the Japanese tradition of hanami begins with a fitting food and drink feast at Sake no Hana. Down along St James’s Street, London, there’s a rather curious sight. Cherry blossom trees seem to be taking over a certain Japanese bar and restaurant and they can barely contain themselves. They’re artfully draped over doorways and arched across the windows. They’re positively blooming and it’s a magnificent sight, certainly one best enjoyed inside by the bar. This annual tradition of celebrating the Sakura at Sake no Hana makes for a beautiful light-dining experience. The limited edition cherry blossom-themed menu is served in the bar area and is a great introduction to Sake no Hana’s wider restaurant offering upstairs. Dishes on the new menu include a Sakura Gozen (£32) which includes a sweet and warming white miso soup, some sautéed spinach with plenty of sesame to keep it interesting and the highlight, a vibrant selection of sashimi (kuro kampachi, salmon, sea bream), nigiri (otoro, chu toro, akami) and maki (spicy tuna, …

Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults

An ambitious new theatre project by Les Enfants Terribles and Emma Brünjes Productions takes you down the rabbit hole and into the heart of Wonderland. “DRINK ME” or “EAT ME”.  You need only make one decision but it will play a part in how your experience unfolds in this marvellously mad, subterranean production of Alice’s Adventures Underground. Though the production bears her name, Alice is decidedly absent for the most part but this only serves to place the audience at the heart of the story – you may be following in Alice’s footsteps but this is most certainly your adventure underground. The Vaults at Waterloo is the perfect home for Wonderland, playing host to 33 specially-designed sets that bring this fantastical, imagined world to life. Here, you’ll get to see, touch, taste and interact with everything and everyone that you encounter, from burrowing your way through secret bookcases, landing in dizzying digital zoetropes, diving for cover in Tweedledum and Tweedledee’s nursery to facing the formidable Queen of Hearts in her court. Although 56 people enter …

Amaru brings Nikkei cuisine into St Katharine Docks

From Spain to Japan via Peru in just a few quick steps, the team behind Bravas Tapas has set up shop right next door for their latest Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian cuisine) eatery Amaru. If the arrival of spring has brought on the inclination for lighter meals, the small plates at Amaru (pronounced am-MA-ru) is a pretty good place to make a start. The pared-back, almost all wooden interiors gives the place a warm, café-deli vibe. It’s ideal for quick drop-in lunches or takeaway dinners, although there is room to eat in if you’re one of the speedier 15 people that the restaurant can accommodate at any one time. Take a seat on one of the tall stools by the windows if you want a view into the docks. Classic Japanese flavours come in the form of sushi, soups and salads whilst the ceviches and cured meats offer a lively, Peruvian kick. Naturally, chopsticks are the utensils of choice but here, they have an uneven, hand-carved quality that make them particularly fiddly and could surprise even the …

Chinese New Year additions at Yauatcha

Yauatcha celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with a special edition menu, pop art window display and woolly makeover throughout February in honour of the Year of the Sheep. If you happen to pass the windows at dim sum restaurant Yauatcha, you might well do a double take, for yes, those colourful pop art portraits staring straight at you are indeed of sheep. And the fun continues inside where you’ll find more vibrant portraits dotted around the restaurant along with neon blue, pink and yellow sheep statues, all to help mark the start of the Year of the Sheep. You may also notice the columns wrapped in bright red woolly coats and the odd splash of colour amongst the sea of grey chairs. No, the padding isn’t there to cushion any bumps and Yauatcha hasn’t run out of chairs. The bright accents are entirely intentional and is the result of a collaboration with The Campaign for Wool to mark the date in the Chinese calendar. But those aren’t the only reasons for visiting before February …

Neapolitan pizzeria Numero 28 arrives in Notting Hill

Pizza. It’s one of our favourite indulgences but if you’re after an authentic Neapolitan experience, try Numero 28 for the real Italian job. This Italian has a huge one – oven that is, and it’s quite striking with a shiny brass dome and pipework that winds its way around the restaurant. A pizza counter, complete with an array of toppings and sauces, surrounds the wood-fired oven so you can watch your pizza being made whilst you wait. The view is even better from the mezzanine so grab a table by the glass balustrade if you can for a bird’s eye view of the action. As you may have guessed, the pizza menu is pretty extensive and features all the usual favourites but you can also have pizza “bianche”, that’s without the tomato sauce, and then there’s the “Eccellenze” selection of pizzas – posh pizzas if you will, that feature more indulgent ingredients for those that really want to splash out. There are three sizes to choose from whatever your choice: 14” (already pretty large for …

Aqua Kyoto New Year Solutions

Determined not to break your health kick when dining out? Try Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto’s New Year Solutions menu. One month in, if you’ve managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions, hats off to you. You deserve a treat. But don’t worry, this one won’t make you fall off the wagon. The New Year Solutions menu is a deliciously light but perfectly filling three-course meal that will actually complement your intention for healthy and nutritious eating. A vibrant sashimi trio of salmon, tuna and sea bass comes to the table on a bowl of crushed ice to keep it fresh and is as delicate and tasty as you could expect. The tuna is a wonderfully light option too – three slices with braised daikon and sea buckthorn berries set in a jelly su miso sauce. Don’t underestimate the spinach rolls though – the aroma from the crushed sesame seeds and goma dressing that accompanies it will win you over before you’ve even taken a bite. If you’re after indulgent food without the guilt, the main …