Every now and then The Dumbwaiter enjoys visiting a restaurant the day after it’s been reviewed. Hām in West Hampstead got 4 stars from Fay Maschler this week and The Dumbwaiter can see why. Exactly the sort of neighbourhood restaurant you want at the end of your street - quality hospitality too.
To Clerkenwell for dinner cooked by legendary chef Bill Poon of Poon’s. The original Chinese restaurant in Covent Garden has been resurrected by Poon’s daughter, Amy, as a pop up. The menu featured all of Bill’s classics including a pig’s ear terrine
It’s one of the buzziest launches of the year, so The Dumbwaiter was lucky to get into Brat for a sneak preview before this weekend’s launch. Chef Tomos Parry was serving his signature turbot, old dairy beef and some fabulously delicate red mullet escabeche to the room, which with wood panelling and cosy bar feels well established already. A few sherries might have been imbibed too, from the quirky, fascinating wine list by Keeling Andrew & Co.
It’s fair to say The Dumbwaiter doesn’t go to too many pubs but on Wednesday evening he went to the Cleveland Arms in Paddington and discovered his sort of pub. Cosy but chic interiors and a decent wine list to match. The downstairs restaurant reminded The Dumbwaiter of somewhere in Manhattan with its vintage New Orleans lights and clubby decor.
Hidden up a quiet creek of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary sits the picturesque village of South Pool, and within it the ancient Millbrook Inn. The Dumbwaiter paid a visit on Saturday for a celebratory lunch, dining on Bouillabaisse full of fish freshly caught off the South Hams coast. Whilst chef Jean-Phillippe Bidart has cemented the Millbrook’s reputation over the years, Monday evenings throughout winter see the kitchen taken over for the ‘Village Table’ - a chance for the local community to sit down together for a three course meal for just £10.
Tasting menus can divide opinion, but every so often The Dumbwaiter likes nothing more than to be thoroughly wined and dined. So it was to Launceston Place with a cheese trolley full of delights and Presa Iberica so rich and tender that it blurs the lines between pork and beef. Ben Murphy’s egg & soldiers were a particular highlight, especially when washed down with a glass of Sharpham’s 2015 Dart Valley Reserve from South Devon.