From Chelsea to Maidenhead

Saturday, July 20th , 2019

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Noize has a new chef, Daniel Mertl, but is still serving the same style of classical French food. There is a lot to like about Noize, with its appealing menu, capable cooking and well thought-out wine list. Service is lovely and the dining room peaceful, free from unnecessary music. I have no idea why it didn’t get a Michelin star, as the food was, and continues to be, at one star level.

Myrtle (pictured) is a Chelsea restaurant with Anna Haugh, former head chef of Bob Bob Ricard, cooking. We had a very good meal here, with several capable dishes and a particularly nice passion fruit posset. This is a very enjoyable neighbourhood restaurant that I imagine will prosper, especially as Chelsea, despite its wealth, is not overloaded with good restaurants. 

The Crown at Burchetts Green is a most unusual venture, where chef Simon Bonwick works on his own in the kitchen,  with his son running the front of house. Despite the constraints of an empty fridge at the start of each week, Simon prepares elaborate and time consuming French food, with sauces made from scratch. My latest meal was superb, the highlight being wood pigeon stuffed with veal sweetbread and foie gras, then poached and glazed. Fabulous cooking, with a whole meal at a price that would barely buy you a main course in Mayfair.

Michelin normally follow an annual cycle, with for example the UK guide coming out each October. In Japan they do the same with Tokyo and the Kansai area, but also have some one off "special edition" guides to more remote areas of Japan. In this case (as always) the stars awarded last exactly one year, and sometimes Michelin refresh these guides a few years later, as they did some time back with Hokkaido. Recently they have issued two more of these one off guides, one an update to Fukuoka and a new Aichi, Gifu and Mie. In this one three restaurants were awarded 3 stars: Komada, Ueda and Hijikata. On July 9th the Fukuoka guide was updated, and Sushi Gyoten was re-awarded three stars, with three stars also for Sushi Sakai.