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
Laura Rowe and Chris Attoe swap notes on Core by Clare Smyth in London
Our editor Laura Rowe has reviewed restaurants for more than a decade. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lauraroweeats.
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. corebyclaresmyth.com