A High Profile London Opening

Saturday, March 18th , 2017

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Mere is the much-awaited opening from Monica Galetti and her husband David, who both worked at Le Gavroche. The food here is far from old-fashioned French though – tortellini with Marmite being one example. My meal was rather erratic, with a distinctly underwhelming amuse bouche and so-so nibbles, though the main courses were better and just about salvaged the overall evening. The trouble is that at £38 for one of the main courses the bill inevitably adds up, and so minor slips are less easy to forgive. It was very early days and doubtless things will tighten up as the kitchen settles down, but based on this meal there is still some work to do in order to justify the prices.

Dum specialises in biryani, and as you might hope from a restaurant that mostly does one thing, it does it well. I was impressed with a starter of Andhra stir-fried prawns too, and a halwa was also capable. This is a casual place and prices are not excessive. If you enjoy biryani it is certainly worth stopping by.

Ruben’s Bakehouse in Twickenham makes pizza as well as bread, and I was tipped off that it was particularly good at the former. The pizzas themselves were pleasant but not really more than that. In particular their oven was simply not hot enough, so the pizza base did not have the characteristics of those that you find at London’s really top pizzerias. Also, the salad and bruschetta here was quite poor, so although it is a harmless enough local restaurant it is not somewhere that is worth making a detour to, at least based on my meal.

Kitchen W8 is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant that I like, serving appealing dishes that do not require the customer to navigate a culinary minefield of trendy ingredients. My most recent meal there featured a very enjoyable glazed sweetbread dish, while panna cotta was also classy. There were one or two minor slips, with a heavier hand on the salt cellar than I recall, but overall it was still a very pleasant meal, albeit not exactly cheap.