What the ex­perts rec­om­mend

The Week - - Leisure Food & Drink -

Seoul Kim­chi 275 Up­per Brook Street, Manch­ester (0161-273 5556) The table I man­age to bag just be­fore 7pm on a Tues­day night at this rammed Korean cor­ner shop turned restau­rant is “by far the worst table for two I have ever had the plea­sure of lung­ing for”, says Jay Rayner in The Ob­server. It’s so close to the door you have to lean in ev­ery time any­one en­ters or leaves; it’s cramped; and the view is of a “quasi­in­dus­trial cul de sac”. Yet for the “cheap, gutsy Korean soul food” on of­fer here, I could for­give any­thing. High­lights in­clude jeon (a thick savoury pan­cake) with squid and prawn; fried chicken with a “sweet and salty, hot and fiery” gochu­jang sauce (a “culi­nary opi­oid”); galbi (soy-mar­i­nated Korean beef ribs); and a bibim­bap (rice bowl) of ground beef – “one of the sin­gle most sat­is­fy­ing items of com­fort food avail­able”. One point: Seoul Kim­chi is unlicensed, but the food cries out for beer; you can bring your own drinks for min­i­mal cork­age. Meal for two: £30-£45.

The Wig­more 15 Lang­ham Place, Lon­don W1 (020-7965 0198) This re­cently opened ad­den­dum to the swish Lang­ham Ho­tel claims to be a pub, says Ma­rina O’lough­lin in The Guardian. And so it is – in the sense that it sells al­co­holic bev­er­ages and its menu fea­tures pies, roasts and toasties. In other re­spects, The Wig­more is “as far re­moved from Wether­spoon as it’s pos­si­ble to be while shar­ing the same at­mos­phere”. Walls dec­o­rated in a “beau­ti­ful”, high gloss sage green “bring to mind Vic­to­rian gin palaces; there’s in­tri­cate par­quetry un­der­foot; and the bar ap­pears to be lined with end­pa­per from an­cient, pre­cious books”. The food is pub grub as “reimag­ined by an­gels” (in the guise of con­sul­tant Michel Roux Jr). A “prince” among chicken pies – prop­erly crisp crust, flavour­ful meat bound in cream and loads of leeks – comes with Robu­chon-style, per­fectly smooth but­tery mash. I love the idea of crab­meat on tiny crum­pets with sliv­ers of nori. And a cheese toastie ooz­ing “ex­cel­lent aged ched­dar, red onion, mus­tard and cor­ni­chons in the most las­civ­i­ous way” is verg­ing on Sa­tanic. About £30 a head plus drinks.

Mr Han­bury’s Ma­son Arms Sta­tion Road, South Leigh, Ox­ford­shire (01993-656238)

This just-opened place is part of a trendy new ho­tel chain called Artist Res­i­dence – and vis­ually it’s a cu­ri­ous beast, says Michael Dea­con in The Daily Tele­graph. It is housed in a 16th cen­tury farm­house, “cosy and dark” and tra­di­tional – but is dec­o­rated with “kitsch hip­ster art­works” in­clud­ing a vast neon sign that, in chaotic pink cap­i­tals, reads, “WHAT DID I DO LAST NIGHT?” Still, the staff are “ex­tremely friendly” and the food is de­cent – lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, veg­eta­bles they’ve grown in the gar­den – with­out be­ing as­tound­ing. Grilled sar­dine is nicely salted, with a crunchy dust­ing of golden bat­ter, com­ple­mented by fen­nel and but­tery sam­phire. A “hearty wedge” of grouse is en­livened with pearl bar­ley and co­coa nibs, girolle mush­rooms, lar­dons and chunky savoy cab­bage un­der­neath. And a pud­ding of many flavours and tex­tures – fat straw­ber­ries, cham­pagne jelly, crum­ble, sor­bet and ice cream – is “lus­cious”. Three cour­ses for two: about £80 plus drinks

Mr Han­bury’s Ma­son Arms: “a cu­ri­ous beast”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.