Hot Dinners

Restaurant review charts - week ending 19 June

Our latest bi-weekly round-up of the latest London restaurant reviews from the top UK critics as they are added to our reviewssection. This week, Jose leaps straight to the top, while Russell Norman's empire still rules with great reviews for da Polpo and Spuntino.

Jose - overall score 8/10 (new entry)
Jose

Hermano Primero - Dos Hermanos
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "José is an exemplar of the cliché of the best ingredients cooked simply. This is the stuff that all those Spanish Michelin chefs really want to eat on their day off."
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David Sexton - Evening Standard
6

Choice quote: "Pizarro isn't trying to make each small plate a big hit, as many places do - this food is simple, clean, not over-emphatic."
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Samantha Jones - View London
7.5

Choice quote: "Although in its very early days, José has the potential to join Brindisa as one of capital's favourite tapas restaurants."
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See all the Jose reviews

Spuntino - overall score 8/10 (no change)
Spuntino

Zoe Williams - Telegraph
7

Choice quote: "I continued with a 'slider'. I don't like the word; I wish they'd called them 'mini burgers'. Anyway, there were three varieties; I tried the ground beef and bone marrow, which was fantastic."
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Giles Coren - Times
7.5

Choice quote: "The best thing by a mile was the truffle egg toast, a huge slab of truffly cheese on toast with a hole in the middle containing runny egg yolk. Magnificent."
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See all the Spuntino reviews

da Polpo - overall score 8/10 (new entry)
da Polpo

Kang Leung - London Eater
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "Classic cooking going on here, this is not a place for cutting edge ideas; rather there are comforting recipes and fresh salads, to accomodate the all day dining mood..."
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Kelly Hussey - View London
8

Choice quote: "da Polpo was always going to be a surefire hit but it’s good to see that they’re not relying on the group’s reputation alone and are instead trying to build something new for Covent Garden."
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See all the da Polpo reviews

Pizza East Portobello - overall score 8/10 (new entry)
Pizza East Portobello

David Sexton - Evening Standard
6

Choice quote: "The food, once we get to it, proves to be highly rewarding, more "River Café for the masses", as Fay Maschler put it reviewing the original Pizza East, than aspirational Pizza Express."
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Kelly Hussey - View London
8

Choice quote: "Wood oven cooked (the pizzas) are quite a sight to behold – the deep pan, homemade and rippling crisp base with a generous crust comes with lashings of cheese and filling in the middle."
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See all the Pizza East Portobello reviews

The Opera Tavern - overall score 8/10 (no change)
The Opera Tavern

Richard Vines - Bloomberg
8

Choice quote: "...I would want a minimum of two mini-Iberico pork and foie gras burgers. These are of such magnificence, sharing is almost impossible."
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See all the Opera Tavern reviews

Pollen Street Social - overall score 7.5/10 (no change)
Pollen Street Social

Richard & Peter - Harden's
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "Both first courses – particularly one presented on a black plate, and featuring chilled beetroot mousse, as well as mackerel and horseradish cream – were a picture."
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See all the Pollen Street Social reviews

Massimo - overall score 7.5/10 (down 1.5)
Massimo

Hermano Primero - Dos Hermanos
5
Estimated score

Choice quote: "We already have a number of tony Italian establishments in London doing the exactly the same thing, whilst at the other end there’s a growing number of places where the cooking is enthusiastic and the pricing keen."
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See all the Massimo reviews

Red Dog Saloon - overall score 7/10 (new entry)
Red Dog Saloon

Chris Pople - Cheese & Biscuits
6

Choice quote: "By the standards of the city, and let's remember it's a very big city, Red Dog does very nearly the best BBQ money can buy - I ate all of it, more or less enjoyed all of it, and I would probably go back."
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Kelly Hussey - View London
8

Choice quote: "The food is big, loaded with calories, cheap and satisfying; all things the Americans pride themselves on."
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See all the Red Dog Saloon reviews

St John Hotel - overall score 7/10 (down 0.5)
St John Hotel

Zoe Wiliams - Telegraph
6

Choice quote: "(the decor has) elements it shares with the original restaurant in Clerkenwell, but there it had the charm of a struggling new venture, trying like billy-oh to make things work. Now it feels a bit tight."
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Giles Coren - Times
7

Choice quote: "...I had a meal that was as precise and gorgeous a manifestation of Fergus Henderson’s beautiful philosophy as any meal I have had at one of his restaurants for a while."
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See all the St John Hotel reviews

Riding House Cafe - overall score 7/10 (no change)
Riding House Cafe

John Lanchester - Guardian
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "It would be great, as the small plate fashion rolls inexorably on, if everywhere that joins the bandwagon does so as professionally as the Riding House Cafe."
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Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
6

Choice quote: "I love the place. I’m marinating in decent Albariño and gung-ho, let’s-give-it-five-stars-and-just-move-right-in goodwill... But the arrival of the food makes us crash like a pair of over-Smartied toddlers."
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Lucie Green - City AM
7.5

Choice quote: "The food is simple but still interesting. It has also managed to be cool without feeling pretentious. Central London needs more of these."
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See all the Riding House Cafe reviews

Quince - overall score 6.5/10 (new entry)
Quince

Tracey Macleod - Independent
6.5

Choice quote: "... for us, the food wasn't quite the draw we hoped it would be. "It's basically tricked-out Turkish-ish," concluded my friend, who writes about Middle Eastern restaurants."
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See all the Quince reviews

Bill's Produce Store - overall score 6.5/10 (down 1)
Bill's Produce Store

Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
4

Choice quote: "The hand-knitted shop in East Sussex was the real deal: naturally evolved, run by an individual, a stranger to the stylist. The roll-out is the polar opposite."
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See all the Bill's Produce Store reviews

The Gilbert Scott - overall score 6.5/10 (down 1)
The Gilbert Scott

Lisa Markwell - Independent
7

Choice quote: "If I travelled regularly via the nearby Eurostar I might pop back from time to time (there's a dearth of choices in unlovely King's Cross), but I can't quite love it. And if that fails me the foodie litmus test, so be it."
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Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
4

Choice quote: "I can’t imagine ever being, or wanting to be, a regular here: too big; too imposing; too busy trying to be an event."
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Hermano Primero - Dos Hermanos
6
Estimated score

Choice quote: "So great room and good service, both of which are the result of no little effort I assume. Shame then, that things went downhill when it came to the food."
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AA Gill - Sunday Times
4

Choice quote: "It’s an exercise in sentimental hindsight. To remake the past, either as a carpet or a pie, is not to relive its glory, it’s to deny the present its moment."
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See all the Gilbert Scott reviews

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