Jasper Gerard had a nasty surprise when he visited Jamie’s Italian, in Oxford, the first of what owner Jamie Oliver envisages will be a chain. Gerard notes that his prawn linguine was remarkable, mainly for containing a piece of wood, albeit he is offered “a cursory apology”. The “good old-fashioned grill steak”, described as “pink” was brown and rubbery, he writes. Not to be deterred, Gerard enjoyed the ravioli and he enjoyed the polenta chips which were “delicious”. Tracey MacLeod, in The Independent Magazine, reviews Quo Vadis, in London’s Soho, which gets three stars for food, two for ambience and two for service for a meal that cost about £60 including wine. Apparently the waiter’s “general skittishness and anecdote-interrupting incursions” put a serious dampener on the evening although MacLeod was generally happy with the seafood. Giles Coren, in The Times Magazine, visits Cha Cha Moon, in Ganton Street, in the West End, which he describes as “the very definition of cheapness without value”. He says if you only have £3.50 to spend on lunch and you spend it at Cha Cha Moon, you will be sorry. He describes a spring onion pancake as “foul smelling” and he had not even ordered it. When Coren tasted it, he says it was like “compost in a manila envelope” and to add insult to injury, it appeared on the bill. Matthew gives Maze Grill, another West End restaurant, in Grosvenor Square, 7.5 out of 10 although the pricing policy veers wildly “between outrageous chutzpah and startling decency”. The Wagyu stakes are £120 for an 8oz rib-eye so Norman opts for the £18 set lunch. The salt and pepper squid with green chillies were “deep-fried to perfection” and Norman heaps praise on “pigs on toast” – savoury mashed-up trotters served with rocket and parmesan shavings. The Daily Telegraph (Weekend) 05/07/08 page 16 The Independent Magazine 05/07/08 page 45 The Times (Magazine) 05/07/08 page 59-60 The Guardian (Weekend) 05/07/08 page 68-69