News Bites

This time of year is all about The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, so naturally all foodies are breathlessly anticipating the crowning of Rene Redzepi’s Noma for the 4th year running – or not, given his bad luck with that food poisoning outbreak a little while back. If he gets it, he will have equalled El Bulli’s record; if he doesn’t, then frankly your guess is as good as ours and did you put any money on it? Read full post


Man Up

Balthazar – if you look it up on wiki – has a number of different meanings: the name of the god of fire and war; one of the three wise men; a character in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, all of which are hummingly apposite in this week’s latest episode of Restaurant vs Critic. Read full post


An Expert Opinion

The best person for the job is clearly the person who knows most about the subject, no? You wouldn’t necessarily want a baker unblocking your U-bend or an electrician trading on the stock market (although many might think “Hey – let’s give that a whirl”); you would naturally turn to those whose expertise naturally defined them for the role. Given that, it’s therefore been rather interesting watching Waitrose take quite a lot of flack on social media websites for their recent ‘expert’ appointments. Read full post


When is a Giraffe not a Giraffe?

The (very long) brass neck of it… In a move calculated to strike fear into the heart of middle-class parents everywhere, Tesco has bought the child-friendly, eye-searing restaurant chain Giraffe for a shade under £50m. Reasons include the ongoing shake-up of supermarkets in general and Tesco in particular to appeal once again to a certain type of consumer, as well as its own personal crusade to ‘supermarket-ise’ seemingly uniquely-branded products. Those with a finger on the pulse will remember the outcry earlier this year when the oh-so-trendy coffee shop Harris & Hoole in North London turned out to be a wholly Tesco-owned enterprise and it will come as no surprise to find the coffee shops in store shortly, as if Tesco can no longer be bothered to keep up the pretence. Apparently trendy bakery chain Euphorium is now also backed by the supermarket. Read full post


Riding The Wave

What do all the following restaurants have in common? Khublai Khan, Glasgow; L’Escargot Bleu, Edinburgh; Host, Bishops Stortford; King of Prussia, Abergavenny; Oliver Peyton’s pop-up, London… Because there’s a word count, we’ll just tell you: they all serve legitimate, legal horse and apparently sales are soaring. So what’s up with the Dobby love? Read full post


Cheval et Frites

Best joke so far? My doctor said I have to watch what I eat so I’ve managed to get a couple of tickets to the Grand National. Ba-dum-tish. You gotta admit, this one’s got legs. Ok, we give up but only because there’s a word limit. The horsemeat scandal will continue to run and run (unlike the horses) and frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if the scandal spreads further than processed food – which, let’s face it, we could all avoid if we had to – to institutions such as our schools, hospitals… hey, even lower-end restaurants may not be immune. Read full post


A Bloody Nightmare

It has begun. The end of the world is nigh, at least for those who like a say in how their food is cooked. Westminster Council are preparing a crackdown on rare burgers, alleging that the dangers of an E. Coli outbreak far outweigh a customer’s preference for a pink burger. Read full post


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