The Independent on Sunday’s food critic Terry Durack turned his nose up at the £125 bill for two at Apsleys at the Lanesborough, near Hyde Park Corner. It was all perfectly acceptable Italian urban peasant food. But Durack says it no longer “feels right, nor particularly helpful” to review places like that “in a world of credit crunches, job losses and general belt-tightening”. So Durack plans to spent the next three months hunting down the “best value in the country, old and new, looking for real food at all levels with a bill of £80 or less for two”. Gordon Ramsay challenged Jay Rayner, of The Observer, to an arm-wrestling contest when the critic dined at his Maze Grill in London’s Grosvenor Square. Rayner says he declined because he did not wish to embarrass the chef. Instead he enjoyed the best steak in London. But, like Durack at Apsleys, he found prices rather steep. The cheapest Casterbridge 10oz sirloin cost £17.50. If you need to ask the price of the Wagyu, adds Durack, you can’t afford it. The Independent on Sunday 04/05/08 (The New Review) page 49 The Observer 04/05/08 (Magazine) page 59