Old and New

Saturday, December 27th , 2014

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Kouzu (pictured) is a smart new Japanese restaurant near Eaton Square. With an experienced head chef, the food was generally good, with very clean batter for the prawn tempura for example. A spicy tuna tartare was interesting and successful. There is a sushi counter upstairs and the kitchen has clearly made some effort to source good ingredients, importing fresh wasabi from Japan for example, as well as beef from Kyushu. Service was slick but the wine list pricing is ambitious, even given the location.

The recently re-launched and rebranded Marcus is in the same room at the Berkeley hotel, though with a marginally less formal feel. What I did like was that the dishes seemed less complex than they have typically been in the past, where the kitchen seemed to make life hard for itself by composing so many elements on the plate. The nibbles and starters in particular at this meal were excellent, the service superb. A risotto of widgeon topped with black truffles was a lovely dish.

I enjoyed another excellent meal at Dysart in Richmond, which combines a talented young chef with a comfortable setting and excellent value wine list. The mackerel with kombu-braised daikon and a sauce of champagne and ginger is an old favourite here. I also really enjoyed sika deer with celeriac croustillant and an excellent Cumberland jus. This is a charming restaurant, and I commend it to you.

I had not one but two further meals at Hedone, taking my tally there to 54 meals since it opened. The kitchen here continues to produce some of the very best food in London, such as a superb hare royale dish alongside old favourites like the liquid Parmesan ravioli with horseradish foam. The quality of the ingredients here always shines through, such as with a simple but superb scallop served on its shell.

I hope you all had a good Christmas; wishing you a happy New Year. 

Due to so many restaurants being closed over the holiday period, the blog will take a short break.