Zipping about

Saturday, June 01st , 2013

 relae 5472 outside-crop-v2.JPG

Relae (pictured) is a modernist restaurant in Copenhagen, the food served in a casual setting with counter seats and a few tables. They also have a bakery opposite the restaurant, and the bread from this was genuinely good. The food, though ultra-modern, managed to taste good as well as being clever, a combination that much modernist cooking fails to pull off. Staff were friendly and the food prices reasonably modest. 

Braidwoods is a long-established Michelin starred restaurant in the countryside not too far from Glasgow. It is in a farmhouse and serves just the sort of food that I enjoy: simple, classically cooked without much messing about. It was all the more disappointing then that the meal did not really live up to expectations, despite the nice setting and the modest prices. Several dishes were overcooked, in some cases quite badly, and although there were also some pleasant things to eat there were to many slips for it to be worthy of a star.

The family team behind Sushi of Shiori have moved to Bayswater and created Shiori, unusual for London in that it is a kaiseki restaurant. Kaiseki is the most elaborate cuisine style of Japan and is a tasting menu intended to showcase the finest seasonal ingredients. It combines a variety of cooking styles, so in a kaiseki banquet you may see sashimi, a grilled dish, perhaps some tempura,  sushi all deployed over the course of the meal. Shiori’s chef originally trained in a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto, which is the home of this dining style. The meal I had was very enjoyable and attractively presented, but after my recent trips to Japan it was hard to really compare this meal to similar ones there, given the remarkable quality of ingredients that can be found in Japan compared to London. The bill at Shiori is, understandably, very high, but when you are charging more than the tasting menu at Hedone then diner expectations will be high, and the reality for me didn’t quite match the price point. 

Goodman produces probably the best steak in London; for me it has the edge on Hawksmoor, before and after the considerable expansion of both restaurant groups. There is some attention to detail shown at Goodman, as in the very good chips and the good quality service, though non-meat dishes are merely ordinary. However, for the truly carnivorous this is the place to come, with high quality meat cooked consistently well, in this case on a Josper grill.

Next week I try the new and the old of high end food in the Basque country.