GILES COREN gets drunk at new London hangout EAST@WEST, but has a moment of clarity on a second visit
"Breast, legs and pink bits" - a saucy little joke - involved stunning magret of barbary duck with a slice of brilliant, mealy duck sausage and a resounding (though tiny) sliver of foie gras. Damn fine. And then came twice-cooked pork belly, sitting on layers of sweet potato that might have been cooked longer to suit my taste, in so far as they were there as an accompaniment to pork. Though undercooking sweet pots is no crime, I often cut them into strips and put them raw into salads. But then I'm a crap cook.
(Five-course menu without pudding, £35, excluding wine and service)
WILL SLATER indulges his inner child at ice-cream Mecca S LUCA in Edinburgh
It is only once the savoury stuff is out of the way that this place really comes into its own. S Luca is the name of a revered ice-cream maker in Musselburgh. It's produce is the bedrock of the puddings, which seem like a throwback to a time before I was born, Caribbean long boat, banana basket, strawberry bliss and knickerbocker glory - the names are as reassuring as a Doris Day movie, and just as sweet. (Two-course meal for four excluding wine, £26.35)
MATTHEW NORMAN predicts fame and glory for the WOLSELEY CAFEon London's Piccadilly
As for the menu, it's a peach. Generally menus as eclectic as this (when did you last see chopped liver, spaghetti with lobster and Irish stew jostling for space?) fill the heart with dread. Here there's something hugely cosmopolitan and appealing about the range of dishes, which are all decently priced... If I were one of Messrs Corbin and King's successors at their previous trio of champions, I'd be slightly concerned that this management team is about to take the title for a historic fourth time.
(Meal for two with wine, £60)
Sejal Sukhadwala visits the first Rajasthani restaurant in London, Chai Pani, near Marble Arch
We started with the signature dish - dahl baati churma. This comprises a delicious panchmel dahl (made with five types of lentils), accompanied by dough ball-like baati. You tear off the baati into small pieces, dip it into the dahl, and eat it with alternate mouthfuls of churma (coarse wheat flour pan-fried with sugar and almonds). Don't expect the familiar north Indian flavouring of garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes, however - these are not normally used in Rajasthani cooking. Instead, the food is pepped up with lesser-known spices, such as dried mango powder, asafoetida and black salt.
(Meal for two with wine and service, about £70)
JAN MOIR is carried away by old-fashioned style at the WATERSIDE INN in Bray, Berkshire
At the next table a party of six is having three pot-roasted poulets de Bresse between them, which are served with foie gras, a cream brandy sauce and some macaroni flavoured with truffles. Divine decadence indeed, particularly when the birds are brought whole to the table and carved there at lightning speed. Our duck, with its gleaming bronze breast, is cooked to a dark red glow and also carved at the table; this time into thin, ribbony slices. The heaven of eating this delicate bird is complete, when, halfway through, the waiters bring out the confit legs and a little salad.
(A la carte dinner for two excluding wine and service, £175)