Succinct, concise or just plain short. Whatever you call these menus, they make a virtue of brevity

Succinct, concise or just plain short. Whatever you call these menus, they make a virtue of brevity

The Goods Shed, Canterbury Farmers' Market, Station Road West, Canterbury, Kent (01227 459153)

Operating inside the daily farmers' market in Canterbury, this restaurant makes gloriously good use of what's to hand and in season. Trout and sorrel omelette might be one of only five starters, and when others are smoked eel with poached duck egg and sorrel, seared scallops and butter bean purée or small duck and sausage cassoulet and you want to eat them all, thank goodness there aren't more.

The Hat Shop, Presteigne, Powys (01544 260017)

This is a friendly and offbeat bistro that never sold hats (don't ask) with a menu that changes daily. It's short, but not that short. Four kebabs (£6.50) always top up the half-dozen main courses such as Turkish lamb casserole and prune and bacon stuffed chicken breast. No more than six puddingss either, unless you count more than one flavour of locally made sheep's milk ice cream.

Merchant House, Lower Corve Street, Ludlow (01584 875438)

The Ludlow landmark – the town's original powerhouse of gastronomy – has a menu far smaller than its reputation. Shaun Hill cooks alone. And with only four options for each course, there's no room for error. Dover sole, rack of lamb, pork or venison might be the foundations of the main courses. A line-up of puddings: rhubarb tart with ginger custard, chocolate pithivier, muscat crème caramel, pear in white wine with cinnamon ice cream. Or cheese. Who needs choices? £33 for three courses.

The Millrace, 2-4 Commercial Road, Leeds (0113 2757555)

The produce is all organic which imposes limitations on the kitchen, but entirely healthy ones – they only use what's good and cook it with assurance and flair. Six main courses always include one dairy-free option, and the pudding selection is boosted by organic ice creams and sorbets, so nothing's lacking. Not with the organic chocolate truffles to finish. Around £23 for three courses without wine.