Review of the Year 2022 Part 1: 21 – 35


Another 12 months, another review of the year.

Well, what went wrong this year? Let's start with the insignificant personal stuff. Last year we published 27 reviews. Never again, I said. This year we'll get out more and write less. Ah well, we have 35 this year - how did that happen?

On a more fundamental level, what went wrong for the restaurant trade? Just about everything. Let's start with staffing. Horrendous issues. From an insular British viewpoint it's easy to blame Brexit; however various friends who have homes abroad tell me that they face the same issues in many parts of western Europe. a more sensible analysis, I think, is that COVID made so many people reassess their lives. Working unsociable hours for not great money, when much more can be made elsewhere for a variation on a 9 -5: why would you want to? Thus wage inflation is taking its toll in terms of staff recruitment and, obviously, the overall wage bill.

Add to that the horrendous increase in food prices across the board, and the hospitality industry is in the middle of a perfect storm. A Christmas prayer - please let 2023 be better for them.

Despite all the pressures, the standards just seem to get higher every year. A score of 76% won't even get you into the top twenty. Only one real dud, otherwise nothing under 60%.  Restaurateurs of the world, I salute you.

*** Signifies Guest Reviewer

  Score Comments
21= Brasserie Zédel, London


19 You will be taken back to Paris and have a great evening just off Piccadilly.


21= La Casa, Edinburgh 19 Good tapas and mezze. Spain meets Greece to good effect in Edinburgh's Dalry Road.

21= Light of Bengal, Aberdeen***


19 Tasty Indian in the Granite City. Review by reliable regular David Dickson.
21= Ralph & Finns, Glagow 19 A stylish place just off George Square, recently revamped by the celebrated Tomkins family.
21= The Wheatsheaf, Swinton, Duns*** 19 Carol Main extols the virtues of this charming hotel near Duns.
26 Six by Nico, Glasgow*** 18 David Steele, Emeritus journalist extraordinaire, enjoyed the food, but was less impressed by the service.
27 Amarone, Edinburgh 17.5 Dependable Italian in the heart of the New Town. Exceptional staff.
28= Aqui Há Peixe, Lisbon 17 Miguel and Mafalda Reino are Lisbon legends. Enjoyable, but legends do fade
28= Balthazar, London 17 Similar, but much inferior, to Brasserie Zédel.
28= La Bocca, Edinburgh 17 A Stockbridge newcomer. Food and service very patchy when we visited.
31 Ristorante Settimo Cielo, Vienna 16 Great views; decor stuck in the 1980s; muted service; food quality variable.
32 Adamson Hotel, Crossford, Dunfermline 15.5 Stick to the pub grub basics here, and you'll eat well. We didn't.
33 Ardnamurchan. Glasgow 15.5 Desperately disappointing Scottish restaurant. Lovely place. Open fewer hours and train your chefs better.


34 Swilcan Loft, St Andrews 15 What a mess the famous Old Course Hotel has made. Turning the Road Hole into a corridor. Creating a rival that is neither one thing nor another. Oh dear.
35 Catherine's Cafe, Antigua 11 An astonishing view on a lovely Caribbean island. The rest? S*** in Paradise.



  1. Janet Hood on 24th December 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Goodness knows how you remain so svelte

    Merry Christmas to you and Lesley


    • Tom Johnston on 24th December 2022 at 11:42 pm

      And to you and yours, my lovely. x

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