Pro vs punter

Does a reg­u­lar diner reach the same con­clu­sion about a restau­rant as a food pro, who may get spe­cial treat­ment if recog­nised?* Laura Rowe and O reader Chris At­toe com­pare notes on this fine-din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on of­fer in Not­ting Hill

Olive - - Contents -

Laura Rowe and Chris At­toe swap notes on Core by Clare Smyth in Lon­don

The pro

Our ed­i­tor Laura Rowe has re­viewed restau­rants for more than a decade. You can fol­low her on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram at @lau­raroweeats.

The punter

Lon­don-based Chris At­toe’s favourite food is Malaysian and he runs South­east Asian sup­per club Slô Street Food. His top eat­ing-out ex­pe­ri­ence was De­catur for Louisianastyle food, and his guilty plea­sure is eat­ing Manílife peanut but­ter from the jar.

Core by Clare Smyth

Af­ter gain­ing a starry rep­u­ta­tion (as chef pa­tron at three-Miche­lin-starred Restau­rant Gor­don Ram­say, and re­ceiv­ing an MBE for ser­vices to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try), Clare Smyth has opened her first restau­rant. The 54-cover venue in Not­ting Hill gives fine din­ing a con­tem­po­rary edge, with huge win­dows let­ting in plenty of nat­u­ral light and not a sin­gle white table­cloth in sight.

Clare grew up on a farm in County Antrim in North­ern Ire­land, and she con­tin­ues to work with farm­ers to cham­pion sus­tain­able UK pro­duce. It’s hard to get a reser­va­tion, but if you do, choose be­tween the tast­ing menu (£95 per per­son), the five-course menu (£80 at lunch, £85 at din­ner) or the three-course menu (£65 at lunch, £75 at din­ner). Clare and her team work be­hind a glass wall to pre­pare dishes such as Isle of Mull scal­lop cooked over wood, lamb with braised car­rot and sheep’s milk yo­gurt, and pain perdu with peaches and cream. core­by­clares­

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