Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Hits and misses at Hedone

Poached Irish Rock Oyster, Granny Smith, Shallots
Hedone is an interesting one. My potted summary goes a little like this: it's a critical darling serving somewhat polarising Michelin-starred food by an ex-blogger out of a cube-like space with an open kitchen in, of all places, Chiswick. Although serving arguably the best bread in London, I otherwise find it hard to categorise the food. Despite the Swedish heritage of the chef, Hedone doesn't really rock to the new Nordic vibe, but it is clearly produce driven. Some dishes we ate were spectacular, but others felt strangely one dimensional. The somewhat hit and miss food, coupled with haphazard service and uneven pacing to the meal make Hedone a difficult one to recommend. But since almost everyone else seems to like Hedone a lot, perhaps I missed the point.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Shiori - a welcome piece of Kyoto in London

Wagyu tataki mitsuba maki
The Shiori is probably as close to having a meal in Japan as you're likely to get without jumping on a plane. Recently relocated to Bayswater, The Shiori is the evolution of Sushi of Shiori, the tiny sushi bar near Euston that closed late last year. I never got a table there, since, much like Sushi Tetsu, it only held a handful of seats. At The Shiori, the emphasis moves away from sushi to explore the full range of Kyoto-style kaiseki and showcase the incredible skills of the chef. The room is still small, with around 6 tables, but it is obviously a labour of love for the husband and wife team. That passion for perfection is infectious, making Shiori one of the most enjoyable meals you're likely to have.