A week including new reviews of Moreno and The Angler

Saturday, November 10th , 2012

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I was looking forward to Moreno, a new restaurant in a Kensington with some serious culinary credentials: a two star chef (Moreno Cedroni) from Italy as consultant, some of his team brought over to do the cooking and service. I also heard good things from two knowledgeable people who went in the early weeks, when the chef was over from Italy for the launch. By the time I went the kitchen was in the hands of the official head chef, and unfortunately the meal was disappointing. I won’t repeat the detail of the review here, but one very good pasta dish showed there was some talent behind the stoves, but other mediocre dishes and poor ancillary items (low quality salad, stale bread) let the side down. Given the very high price point, exacerbated by one of the most highly marked-up wine lists I have seen in London, and it was a let down.

By contrast I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Tony Fleming’s new kitchen, The Angler at the South Place Hotel. Solid classical cooking skills showed in an excellent shellfish soup and a gorgeous venison main course in particular. Service was also spot on, and the price acceptable despite the rooftop hotel location.

Two reliable restaurants also featured in my eating this week. Racine is the quintessential London take on the French bistro, and a rabbit with mustard sauce dish in particular was excellent; Henry Harris is a very capable chef. I remain unconvinced by the service here, which has on more than one occasion come across as aloof, but the food is very good.

The Ledbury (pictured) is now probably the toughest reservation to get in London in the fine dining scene (along with Gavroche), and it did not disappoint this week. A tasting menu featured some excellent dishes, in particular some stunning roe deer and very fine woodcock. Service here has always come across as friendly and highly competent, and so it was once more.

The Germany 2013 Michelin guide came out. Until this moment Michelin had not announced any new three star places in the four guides unveiled so far (New York, San Francisco, UK, western Japan), but the duck was broken with the elevation of La Belle Epoque on the Baltic Coast to the select three star club. There were no demotions at that level, and new two star status for Tim Raue, Villa Merton, Il Giardino, Sullberg-Seven Seas, Ophelia, Le Noir and Hirschen. Brenners Park and Schwingshack (I don’t make the names up) were demoted to one star. There are 209 one star places in Germany (up just one from 2012) and 36 two star restaurants. The list of three star restaurants announced so far around the world is here.