Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for What the Critics SayMatt Gillian’s ambitious, sophisticated and original menu at the Pass at South Lodge near Horsham, Sussex, is let down by the lack of excitement of the open kitchen, according to John Walsh.

Former Acorn winner Gillan, who won a star in Michelin’s 2012 guide, is to be congratulated on his fine, imaginative cooking says the Independent’s food critic. But the lack of drama of the chefs in action ruins the dining experience.

“I have never encountered such a dismally misconceived ambience, such a chilly anti-comfort zone, such blithe indifference to diners’ real needs,” Walsh complains.

Writing in the Times Giles Coren has a very good dinner at the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Scotland but questions its rating in the various eating out guides. 

Meanwhile both the Guardian and the Observer’s food critics are appalled by the food served at Novikov in London’s Mayfair, the first UK venture from Russia’s restaurateur to the rich and famous Arkady Novikov. John Lanchester and Jay Rayner agree that the food is shocking but what’s truly surprising is that the restaurant also full.

The Sunday Telegraph’s Zoe Williams says Loves Restaurant in Birmingham may not be a good looking restaurant but chef proprietor Steve Love’s cooking is almost tear-jerkingly good.

Finally the London Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler says 10 Greek Street in the West End is an independent restaurant with a gifted chef, benign service, revelatory wine lists and reasonable pricing.