Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Who Gets Your Vote?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Who Gets Your Vote?

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLES CAMPION

The Tio Pepe ITV London Restaurant Awards offer modestly priced restaurants a chance to shine alongside the capital's top-notch eateries.

Charles Campion profiles the contenders for the Evening Standard London Tonight People's Choice Award

Thankfully the speeches will not be as long as they are at the Oscars, but it's a sure bet that one of the chefs at Mon 4 Apr's Tio Pepe ITV London Restaurant Awards will be captured on camera clutching his award and thanking his Mum and then sobbing as he names everyone he has ever worked with. This year we had the usual lengthy debates on the judging panel - chaired most diplomatically by Fay Maschler - and finally came up with winners in a dozen categories ranging from New Restaurant Of The Year to Fish Restaurant Of The Year and Indian Restaurant Of The Year.

Also to be announced on Monday night is the winner of the Evening Standard London Tonight Award - known informally as the People's Choice Award. This is one award where the judging starts with a very long list rather than a shortlist. The 2005 starting line-up was 60 restaurants (all places where you can get a good dinner for two and pay less than [pounds sterling]60), but over the past few weeks thousands of Evening Standard readers have voted and now we are down to just six outstanding establishments, all bidding for the crown won last year by Chowki in Denman Street. Six restaurants that all offer great value and good cooking and represent the whole of London from Twickenham in the south-west to Hermon Hill in E18. They are all worth a visit to see for yourself, and on Monday night the coveted award will go to one of the following:

THE ARK FISH RESTAURANT 142 Hermon Hill, E18 (020-8989 5345).

Dinner for two with wine, [pounds sterling]50 ****

The Ark gives us a glimpse of what fish and chip shops may evolve into given just a little encouragement. This bright converted pub offers an array of fish and chip favourites with some more ambitious fish dishes and a decent wine list for good measure. The Ark is sibling to Faulkner's - the top-drawer fish and chip shop in the Kingsland Road - so a very decent haddock and chips is no surprise, but the baked crab and grilled lemon sole are also excellent.

GAVIN KINGCOME/OLIVER LIM

BRAHMS 147 Lupus Street, SW1 (020-7233 9828).

Dinner for two with wine, [pounds sterling]40 ***

Brahms is a smallish Pimlico bistro with very competitive pricing and a lively atmosphere.

Whether you go for the main menu (starters [pounds sterling]3.20, mains [pounds sterling]6.50), or opt for the lunch and early dinner special (two courses [pounds sterling]6.50, three courses [pounds sterling]9) you are in serious bargain territory, but the menu still reads appetisingly: avocado and crispy bacon; marinated sardines; spare rib pork chop; spaghetti arrabiata. …

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