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Truffle tasting,London

 Truffle tasting,London More rubbish is written and said about white truffles than any other comestible. It's a female aphrodisiac, it's more expensive than gold, it will send your taste buds to heaven and back; but will it really? ... read more

11 The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon

11 The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon There's no sign of Damien Hirst in his restaurant in Ilfracombe, but even if the notorious BritArt star did turn up, would there be room for him? Early on this sunny Saturday evening, 11 The Quay is filling with hungry customers. ... read more

36 On The Quay, Emsworth

36 On The Quay, Emsworth The woman behind the bar in 36 On The Quay looks up. Her expression is about as welcoming as a hole in the road. "Can I help you?" she says, in a manner that means she is not going to. ... read more

Abbey Restaurant, Penzance

Abbey Restaurant, Penzance Some restaurants make me weep, but not with joy. At a place called the Palm in Newlyn, Cornwall, a plucky stab has been made at metropolitan cool; ambient music echoes across the pale wooden floor, sailcloth is boldly strung across the glass ceiling, the furniture is clumsily upholstered in white leatherette. ... read more

Adil's and Al Frash, Birmingham

Adil's and Al Frash, Birmingham Adil's is one of the oldest and most famous balti houses in Birmingham. It advertises that it is open all afternoon, but today there are few takers - a mixed foursome in one corner, S and I in the other and a party of six blokes in the no-man's-land in between. ... read more

Agnanti, Skopelos

Agnanti, Skopelos Skopelos is officially the greenest of all the Greek islands, its interior lush and verdant, the hills thick with pine, fruit and nut orchards and olive trees. Even though some like to call it the new Corfu, Skopelos has successfully evaded both holiday cachet and mass tourism for hundreds of years. Bizarre question of the week: will that now change with the release of Mamma Mia, the movie version of the West End stage show which was filmed here last year? Locals still talk about the month big Hollywood stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep blew into sleepy Skopelos Town, where the culinary speciality is a vegetable pie made by spreading a paste of mixed greens, egg and cheese on to sheets of filo pastry, then rolling it up and curling it into a spiral, like a Cumberland sausage. Dainty it ain’ty. ... read more

Al Bustan, London

Al Bustan, London Spring is in the air. Daffodils burst out of window boxes and four men wheeze as they push a giant globe on castors down the street. It looks like something Sherlock Holmes might have in his study. I wonder if it opens up like a drinks cabinet? Is the Empire still pink? What do you think? ... read more

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London The water at restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is £6 a bottle. The bread isn’t warm, and is a little bit stale. Some of the tables are terrible, including one that’s like dining inside a wooden cupboard and another behind a waiter station with a panorama of staff bottoms as they collate dirty glasses before whisking them away. They insist the fish is wild, but I have deep sea doubts about a woolly old wodge of tasteless halibut – although it is served with a good caper sauce, featuring tiny, pinhead capers with a pungency that belies their size. Here, it costs £75 for three courses, £95 for four and £115 for a seven-course tasting menu, which includes a cheese course. Some dishes carry a £10 supplement. At this opening fiscal level, diners are entitled to expect the very best of everything, from the depths of the bread basket to the food on their plate. ... read more

Albannach, London

Albannach, London Albannach is a Scottish restaurant situated in the rolling lowlands to the south of Trafalgar Square. ... read more

All Star Lanes, London

All Star Lanes, London In mitigation, you could say that the Connoisseurs Macaroni Cheese is okay. Just about. ... read more

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