The wonder years

Clockwise from top left: canard de Challans at Taillevent, Paris; Ballymaloe in Ireland; oyster with caviar at The Sportsman in Kent; Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur; haddock with poached egg at The Wolseley, London; Union Square Café, New York
©Nathan Rawlinson; Kodiak Greenwood

The FT’s Restaurant Insider picks his personal highlights from the past 30 years

The garden at Barwick House

Little Barwick House, Somerset

‘A restaurant with rooms can be run with a certain amount of eccentricity’

Inside Kin Khao

Kin Khao and Los Gatos, San Francisco

‘A hotter version of the dry-fried ribs in turmeric and curry paste left my head tingling’

Jago’s stylish, Spanish-designed premises
©Steve Joyce

Jago, east London

‘Solley’s menus get the attention they deserve at night; by day, Jago is mainly a staff canteen’

Jérôme Aubert (fourth from left) with staff outside Ratapoil
©Eric Valdenaire

Ratapoil and Frenchie, Paris

‘Restaurateurs reported that as the fall in the euro attracts more visitors, business is improving here’

Shikumen’s dining room

Shikumen, London

‘We were here for the Peking duck and the dim sum — and neither disappointed’

Camino’s open kitchen and dining room

Camino, California

‘I have never agreed that service standards in the US are high because the customer controls the tip’

Hawksmoor in Manchester

Hawksmoor, Manchester

The pricing hasn’t changed, although Mancunians do enjoy a special £15 rump-and-chips lunch

Smoking Goat
©Paul Winch-Furness

Smoking Goat, Blacklock, Milroy’s, London

‘Soho’s small, intimate ground floors lend themselves to the style of food many want to eat today’

Dining room: The Restaurant at Meadowood

The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa Valley

‘Without a menu, the diner is flying blind, placing all his trust in the chef’

The Chancery, London

‘The Anglo-French brigade is fitting since the restaurant feels Parisian, though the location is old London’

Nusr-et and Qbara, Dubai

‘Sayadieh – black cod with spiced rice, served in the metal dish it had been cooked in – was addictive’

Hawker House, London

‘For a snapshot of the exciting food-and drink scene in London, there is nowhere more stimulating’

Rijks, Amsterdam

Fried dough balls were served with oyster ‘braaioli’, a sauce of puréed, grilled oysters

Din Tai Fung and A Wong, London

‘Sales of the dumplings, whether filled with pork, chicken or pork and crab roe, are a staggering 2.3 million a month’

Grill restaurants in London

‘The tendency has been to grill rather gently, merely adding stripes to a steak. No longer’

Dining out in Cape Town

‘This is South Africa, after all, where appetites are large and portion sizes have to be too’

La Trompette, London

‘A Jerusalem artichoke soup sounds pretty straightforward until the extra ingredients are factored in’

Tufnell Park, London

This latest French influx has contributed to a new sense of affluence in the area

The Simone, Bâtard, New York

‘A pear bavarois and lemon cream tart bring our meal, most reluctantly, to a sweet finale’

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Nicholas LanderNicholas Lander writes a weekly restaurant column for the FT Weekend edition

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