Restaurants: Flying tonight

Bites Thai curry to Cajun to couscous - Caroline Stacey explores the restaurants that are going global

Birdcage 110 Whitfield Street, London W1 (0171-383 3346). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner. The former executive chef of the Hempel's I-Thai restaurant flies in the face of minimalism with his own tiny Fitzrovia dining room. Exact execution and precise presentation make the miscellany of East and West work beautifully at best (at worst, it can lead to a disparate mixture of refined morsels). Thai chicken curry with gingko nuts, and tiramisu work better than Cajun patties with vodka creme fraiche and beansprout salad. Dinner, pounds 19.50 for two, pounds 25 for three courses of unusual depth and delicacy. Lunch is pounds 19.90 for two courses.

Deane's Belfast 38-40 Howard Street, Belfast (01232 560000). Brasserie, Mon-Sat lunch and dinner; restaurant, Tue-Sat dinner. Highly rated, and one of the standard bearers of the renaissance of Belfast. The ground- floor brasserie has Oriental dishes with European: Thai breast of chicken with chilli noodles and curry oil; sirloin of beef; goat's cheese tart. Champ comes top of the vegetables. pounds 25-pounds 30 a head with wine. In the first-floor restaurant, Michael Deane turns out fine classical French dishes with an inventive Eastern edge, distilled, for example, in a dessert of citrus fruit brulee with lemongrass ice cream. Two courses, pounds 27; Seven- course tasting menu, pounds 45.

Nobu 19 Old Park Lane, London W1 (0171-447 4747). Mon-Fri lunch, dinner daily. The London branch of Nobuyuki Matshisa's New York Nobu. Lancashire-born Mark Edwards makes a good enough fist of replicating the "New Style" Japanese (with South American and Nobu's knobs on - as in hamachi sashimi with jalapenos) to have earned the outpost a Michelin star. Fish follows fish at its freshest, fleshiest and purist, with extraordinary twists. Head for the separate sushi bar if you prefer your Japanese fish straight; or the omakase multi-choice menu for pounds 60, if putting together a meal from many incy-wincy options defeats you.

The Sugar Club 21 Warwick Street, London W1 (0171-437 7776). Lunch and dinner daily. Is it an advertising agency? Is it the reception area of a beauty salon? No, it is Peter Gordon's launch pad in the West End. Clinical outside appearances apart, misgivings about fusion don't hold up here. Grilled chorizo on rocket and new potatoes with a soft-boiled egg and sweet potato crisps (pounds 7.20); and beef fillet on polenta with braised Swiss chard and tomato salsa (pounds 17.80) prove that it is not all kangaroo and Iki Jimi red snapper. The cooking doesn't seem to have missed a beat in the process of moving to a restaurant twice the size of its previous Notting Hill incarnation (see page 36). Service has a great deal more heart than the spacious place itself.

Venue 66 Regent Street, Cambridge (01223 367333). Lunch, tea and dinner daily. Just opened. A two-floor brasserie, restaurant and music venue. Food describes itself as Californian or Pacific Rim, and seems to fit that description: pigeon breast with Thai noodles in a chilli and ginger dressing; seared langoustine with cinnamon rice and wild leaves, served in the ground-floor restaurant (which has a stage for live music). Around pounds 35 to pounds 45 a head; Cajun lamb with citrus couscous; grilled goat's cheese with cranberries and star anise dressing in the first-floor brasserie. Around pounds 20 to pounds 25 a head.

Vong Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, SW1 (0171-235 1010). Mon-Sat lunch and dinner. Another upmarket franchise of a New York original, the French-Thai hybrid, in, of all places, the Berkeley Hotel (though with Pierre Koffman moving in under the same roof, the whole place is set to become more of a foodie palace). Terribly picturesque plates of sometimes sensational, sometimes too tamely spiced refinements of Thai: quail with spices, crunchy cress salad; roast lemongrass chicken with rice

in a banana leaf. Try exotic fruit salad with white-pepper ice cream, or Valrohna chocolate fondant with lemongrass ice cream. Good value for lunch (pounds 20, or a taster plate for pounds 15), as many Knightsbridge ladies will attest; not extortionate for dinner - pounds 30 without wine

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

    £50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...

    Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

    £50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...

    Primary Teaching Supply

    £130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

    Year 1/2 Teacher

    £130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

    Day In a Page

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories