Hot Dinners

Restaurant review charts - week ending May 6

Our latest round-up of the latest London restaurant reviews from the top UK critics as they are added to our reviews section - with a bumper edition covering the last three weeks. Dabbous is still on top, while 40 Maltby Street and Elliot's Cafe get their first reviews in a while (both raves) and we add newcomers Briciole and Meter to the list....

Dabbous - overall score 9/10 (down 0.5)
Dabbous

Jay Rayner - Observer
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "So, how good is it? In places, very... Dabbous's food is, for the most part, exceptionally balanced and thought out."
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Chris Pople - Cheese & Biscuits
9

Choice quote: "...believe me when I tell you, the highlights of this meal - every course from the coddled egg to the Iberico pork inclusive - rank up there with anything else you can pay for in London."
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See all the Dabbous reviews

Petersham Nurseries Café - overall score 8.5/10 (no change)
Petersham Nurseries Café

Fay Maschler - Evening Standard
8.5

Choice quote: "Malouf’s cooking, styled as “modern Middle Eastern”, is deeply enticing, a take on Lebanese that could be compared to the River Café’s rendition of Italian. Currently not every dish is of this ilk but the influence curls its tendrils around most assemblies and like clematis armandii will probably soon take over."
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40 Maltby Street - overall score 8/10 (no change)
40 Maltby Street

Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
8

Choice quote: "What I like most about this unassuming place is its demonstration that you can create a really good restaurant from the most unlikely of ingredients."
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Elliot's Cafe - overall score 8/10 (no change)
Elliot's Cafe

Zoe Williams - Telegraph
8

Choice quote: "...my overwhelming impression is of being charmed by food, won over from the inside out."
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Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley - overall score 8/10 (no change)
Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley

Jay Rayner - London Magazine
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "...there is exceptionalism here which, at this price, is not always the case. Marcus Wareing still means business. And it shows."
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Meter - overall score 8/10 (no change)
Meter

Anne Faber - Time Out
8

Choice quote: "The pizza was a winner: slow-risen sourdough, crusty on the outside but chewy at the same time - these are the textures that a proper Neapolitan pizza should have."
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Pitt Cue Co. - overall score 8/10 (no change)

Matthew Norman - Telegraph
8

Choice quote: "...we drank up, paid up and emerged blinking in the daylight like Morgan Freeman leaving Shawshank, still gushing about the vibrancy and naturalness of flavours that redefine one’s ideas about the limitations of barbecue cooking."
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Boqueria - overall score 7.5/10 (down 0.5)
Boqueria

Andrew Neather - Evening Standard
6

Choice quote: "Boquería isn’t in the same league as José or Ibérica but it’s good value and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood."
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Biciole - overall score 7.5/10 (new entry)
Biciole

Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
8

Choice quote: "Prices are remarkably un-Marylebone. All this plus that rarity, a flawless sgroppino – lemon sorbet zhuzhed with prosecco. A find."
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Guy Dimond - Time Out
8

Choice quote: "It is a guilty pleasure, like wearing nonna's fur coat, or finding nonno's Pirelli calendars. It doesn't blow the doors off, but it's like having Italy right here in London."
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Fay Maschler - Evening Standard
6

Choice quote: "Briciole is the sort of place you want within walking distance of where you live for those evenings when the fridge is bare or your energy gauge is nudging empty."
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Mari Vanna - overall score 7.5/10 (up 1.5)
Mari Vanna

Richard & Peter - Harden's
7
Estimated score

Choice quote: "Taken individually, the dishes were all pretty good – highlights included a crab with salad and poached egg, and the pierogi were tasty too."
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Time Out Editors - Time Out
8

Choice quote: "Western ideas of Russian food may still conjure proletarian staples and bleak surroundings, but Mari Vanna combines great service, good cooking and a cosy, charming interior."
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Tim Hayward - Financual Times
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "But, in a way, that sums up the Mari Vanna experience. The “home-cooked” food is of extremely high quality. The service is cheerfully informal yet blisteringly professional."
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Ceviche - overall score 7/10 (up 0.5)
Ceviche

John Lanchester - Guardian
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "I really like ceviche, and I really liked Ceviche. They have a ceviche bar at the restaurant, and do a good job of stressing the variety of which the dish is capable."
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Richard Vines - Bloomberg
8

Choice quote: "“Peru is probably going to be the next most important revolution in culinary history,” Ferran Adria said in an interview last year. The El Bulli chef is one of a growing number of fans of the cuisine. Count me in."
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The Jugged Hare - overall score 7/10 (up 1)
The Jugged Hare

Giles Coren - Times
7.5

Choice quote: "So. Tony had roast pork, also off the spit, with apple caramel and perfect crackling, which I thought was a very good effort indeed, the lean meat nice and tender, good bit of fat, and the sticky apple business not too sweet."
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Grace Dent - Evening Standard
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "I didn’t see who made the Dorset white crab, brown crab mayo, served in a tiny glass jar, delicious, sharp and with a zing of spring onion, with delicate thin croutons, but I declare them very clever."
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Morgan M - overall score 7/10 (no change)
Morgan M

John Lanchester - Guardian
8
Estimated score

Choice quote: "The full-on Frenchness of all this is a welcome reminder of how good French cooking can be. This is, though, one of those places where à la carte isn't the best way to go; you can tell the rhythm of the restaurant is more geared to the set menu."
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Soif - overall score 7/10 (no change)
Soif

Zoe Williams - Telegraph
7

Choice quote: "If I'm not in love with the place, it's because of its functional interior. But the food is good, which is what the whole thing's meant to be about."
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Tom Aikens - overall score 7/10 (down 0.5)
Tom Aikens

Lisa Markwell - Independent
4

Choice quote: "The low score reflects the experience rather than the food. It's clever without being intelligent. There's plenty of accomplishment in pure technique – but wouldn't a better accomplishment be empty plates and happy smiles?"
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Karpo - overall score 6.5/10 (no change)
Karpo

Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
6

Choice quote: "There’s a lot to like in this unlikely setting: excellent home-baking; moody downstairs bar; a terrific breakfast menu... Karpo is a rare beast in that it’s far nicer than you expect."
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Cinnamon Soho - overall score 6/10 (down 1)
Cinnamon Soho

Richard & Peter - Harden's
6
Estimated score

Choice quote: "For a robust and reasonably-priced dinner in a handy location in the heart of the West End, then, you’re unlikely to do very much better than here."
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Andy Lynes - Metro
4

Choice quote: "It’s an enjoyable lunch, but apart from the brains, none of the food really hits the high notes... Cinnamon Soho feels like it’s playing catch up."
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Market Cafe - overall score 6/10 (down 1)
Market Cafe

Marina O'Loughlin - Metro
4

Choice quote: "...it’s blatantly attempting to sell the hipster ethic, pushed through a corporate filter, back to the hipsters – right in their heartland. Sadly, they appear to be swallowing it wholesale: you can’t see the food for the beards."
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See all the Mari Vanna reviews

Union Jacks - overall score 6/10 (down 0.5)
Union Jacks

Chris Pople - Cheese & Biscuits
4

Choice quote: "Union Jacks have access to some fantastic local produce that we should be very rightly proud of, but dumping them all on a pizza base and calling it cooking is most definitely not the future."
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La Bodega Negra - overall score 5.5/10 (down 2)
La Bodega Negra

Chris Pople - Cheese & Biscuits
4

Choice quote: "...tiny portions of mediocre food served at high prices is never going to be popular, especially not in Soho with such brilliant competition elsewhere."
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AA Gill - Sunday Times
0

Choice quote: "All in all, this was as bad as a bad Mexican could be — and let me tell you, I’ve come across some very bad Mexicans. This was such a low-down, ornery, four-flushing, despicable hombre, I wouldn’t be surprised if Eli Wallach was the chef."
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Giles Coren - Times
5.5

Choice quote: "The food was mostly good. I’ve never had Mexican food that I found especially interesting, and was hoping at best for stuff that tasted like food. And we got that."
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See all the La Bodega Negra reviews

Kitchen Joel Antunes - overall score 5.5/10 (up 0.5)
Kitchen Joel Antunes

Jay Rayner - Observer
6
Estimated score

Choice quote: "Let's be clear. I had a nice meal – in places a very nice one. The space is light and bright. You could mislay an afternoon at Embassy ...Kitchen Joël Antunès at Embassy only becomes a great restaurant if money is no object. Right now, that's not a good thing."
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Cotidie - overall score 5/10 (down 0.5)
Cotidie

Amol Rajan - Independent
5

Choice quote: "Your best bet if you're desperate for an affordable Italian, in the capital at least, is somewhere such as Ciao Bella on Lamb's Conduit Street. Cotidie aims to be something in between. It misses."
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ALSO REVIEWED

Oriental Dragon

Fay Maschler - Evening Standard: "The young, friendly staff respond helpfully to interest and look on in delight as Westerners make discoveries in their gastronomic kingdom. Full disclosure: Oriental Dragon is close to where I live. But I would travel a long way to eat there even it wasn’t."
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Rochelle Canteen

Tim Hayward - FT: "There are flashes of brilliance in the food at the Rochelle Canteen, though there are some rough edges. It’s to the advantage of a place like this that it’s there for the duration, so there’s the time and the will to polish things to perfection."
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