Food & Drink

This is London: Evening Standard

A sometimes useful and enjoyable site, but the abundance of outdated material is rather at odds with the immediacy of the medium. If the Evening Standard aren't getting all the press releases about chef moves, restaurant relaunches, new shops and so on, who is?

The Evening Standard's Fay Maschler is one of the most revered restaurant critics in the country. This nicely-designed site rehashes previously published material from the Standard's various publications by her and others, including one Ken Livingstone. It's very simple to use and understand, but the speed is frequently poor, and reliability varies: sometimes it's bang up-to-date with features from recent issues of the paper and ES Magazine, but at other times material is from old Evening Standard guidebooks.

From the home page, go to the blue panel at the left of the screen and click on Food & Drink. You can then choose from the day's features, browse the Top 100 Restaurants, or search the Restaurant Finder. Alternatively, search straight from the home page by the keyword-search facility on the far right panel.

Special Features

Featured Articles Current stories from this week's papers, mainly on restaurants but also general food news features. The writers are not all top names, and the quality varies tremendously depending on their knowledge of food and the restaurant world.

The Top 100 Restaurants These are chosen mainly by award-winning food writer Charles Campion, with recommendations from Ken Livingstone and various celebrities. Enthusiasts can argue past closing time over these choices.

Restaurant Finder This is very unsatisfactory. You can search by name, keyword, cuisine, or location, but we found that several reviews were out-of-date - some as old as three and four years. It's certainly not the place to look for hot new restaurant openings either.

Recipe of the Day Lindsey Bareham's daily dishes for the newspaper are reproduced here. They are typically easy, and rely on simple seasonal ingredients, staples and leftovers. The archive is useful.

Other Features

Find a Food Shop gives addresses and phone numbers for deli's and other specialists, and there is a separate department devoted to Pubs, Bars and Drinks. You can e-mail articles to friends.