Making Noize

Saturday, October 28th , 2017

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Ginza Onodera is what used to be Matsuri, just south of Piccadilly. It has now been completely revamped and is a very smart room indeed, all cedar wood and glass. The cooking is no longer just teppanyaki, so there are separate sections for a robata grill and also a sushi counter. The dishes that I tried were capable, with a version of eel donburi my favourite. Prices at lunch are tolerable but the same meal in the evening would result in a much more expensive outing, especially if you indulged in wine or sake. However, Japanese food is rarely cheap and this is a very smart central London space.

Zedel Brasserie is in the vast underground space just by Piccadilly that was once The Atlantic, a hot spot of London over a decade ago. The huge main dining room, now decorated in art deco style, is impressive, with two separate bars in addition. As with other Corbin and King restaurants, the menu is highly appealing, with plenty of choice and dishes that people actually want to eat rather than things that show off how clever the chef is. Service is always well drilled at their places and so it is here, but what is unusual are the modest prices, which are presumably needed in order to fill such a huge space. Just as at my previous visit, the pastry section comes off best, with a genuinely good lemon tart at just £4.50, and an excellent coffee financier.

I was very impressed by my meal at Noize just days after it opened. This is a restaurant from Mathieu Germond, the former general manager of Pied a Terre, located a stone’s throw from his former employer. The menu of French dishes is very appealing and the dishes that we tried were excellent. A particularly impressive old-fashioned sauce with my partridge main course was a thing of beauty. A scallop with cauliflower was also of a high standard, and as a bonus the wine list was very interesting. As a former sommelier Mr Germond has constructed a list that actively encourages you to trade up and drink better wines, the classier bottles being marked up more kindly than the cheaper ones. At the very high end of the list some wines are actually below their retail price. This is definitely a place to which I will be returning.

The San Francisco 2018 Michelin guide was announced.A third star for Coi, a second for Californios and Single Thread and an overdue demotion for the absurd Campton Place. San Francisco and the bay area now has 7 three star restaurants, 7 two stars and 41 one stars. An indication of just how generously scored the city is can be gained if you compare the normal ratio of three stars to two stars. In Tokyo there are less than a quarter as many three stars as two stars, a fairly normal ratio for large cities. In San Francisco it is 1:1.