CHELSEA: There are any number of arguments against naming a restaurant 'Aubergine'. In the case of Aubergine, 11 Park Walk, SW10 (071-352 3449), one would think the presence of a restaurant called 'Red Pepper' several doors down would suffice. It didn't. And it doesn't really matter: in Gordon Ramsay, Aubergine has one of the best young chefs in London. His repertoire is classical, and owes much to one of his mentors, Marco Pierre White, so diners might find braised oxtail en crepinette, delicate leek terrines, or as many as eight plump scallops on a plate. Puddings are provided from Mr White's Chelsea restaurant, the Canteen. Booking essential. Major credit cards. Open lunch and dinner Mon-Fri, dinner Sat.

CITY: Food writers write about food for a reason: most can't cook. Ken Hom, the Chinese American cookery writer, is a notable exception. For proof, try braised aubergine at Imperial City, Royal Exchange, Cornhill, London EC3 (071-626 3437). The vegetable is deep fried, then slow cooked with chicken stock and a well-judged seasoning of garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy, spring onions and bean paste. The upshot is earthy, warming and delicious. The vast new dining room is difficult to find: the City is strict about signs in front of the Royal Exchange. But it is likely to be full. Open peculiar City hours: 11.30am-8.30pm Mon-Fri.

SHEPHERD'S BUSH: The late Peter Langan used to say that the three most important things for a restaurant were location, location and location. He was wrong. Consider Chinon (25 Richmond Way, W14 071-602 5968). It is in Shepherd's Bush. The streets are a one-way maze, punctuated by piffling roundabouts. Parking is hell. Yet Chinon works because of its food. Chef Jonathan Hayes is talented and also very playful. So squid might come on a sheet of pasta, dyed black with squid ink, the cap stuffed with a tomato fondant, pine nuts and pesto sauce. Rare and admirable generosity shows in thickly cut liver, its texture firm, flavour excellent. Approx pounds 30 for 3 courses, wine, coffee, service and VAT. Open lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat Access, Amex, Visa.