Matthew Norman, writing in The Guardian, says that the Crab House Café in Wyke Regis, Dorset, is a great place to eat because it follows the simplest of formulae.
"It takes local ingredients of top quality, cooks them simply and accurately in its open kitchen, and serves them (via friendly teenagers in aprons) without poncery," he enthuses.
Another Dorset restaurant, the Wild Garlic in Beaminster, where chef-proprietor Mat Follas is inspired by René Redzepi, also receives a glowing review. Jasper Gerard of the Daily Telegraph says that if the inhabitants of every country town could enjoy a restaurant like the beaming folks of Beaminster's, we Britons would be happier bunnies.
Follas claims to employ three foragers and Gerard finds that, as a result, the food zings with bold flavours.
Baumann's Brasserie in Coggeshall, Essex, proves to be a welcome stopping-off point for Tracey MacLeod of The Independent on a delayed journey. Despite finding Mark Baumann (who took over the restaurant from the late Peter Langan of Langan's Brasserie fame) and his kitchen serving food that is a "little over-excitable", she enjoys the general bonhomie of this well-run operation.
Meanwhile, Jay Rayner of The Observer finds the experience of eating at Inamo in London W1 to be fun, but is exasperated by the fact that it has replaced waiters with an interactive ordering service and yet charges prices as high as £16.50 for a quarter of crispy duck.
By Janet Harmer
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