FOOD&DRINK London Lite Wednesday, 26 August 2009 15 dresses she has collected from years of taking part in the Carnival. 110 St Johns Hill, SW11 (020 7228 5584) MangoRoom EXPLORE F rench-inf luenced Caribbean food at Mango Room. Work your way through the dozens of cocktails from around the world at the new bar before trying the mouth- watering menu. Starters include grilled scallops on a melon salsa with apple crisps and pomegranate dressing (7). For main course order the platter of sea bass, snapper, grilled tiger prawns and scallops with papaya sambale and fried cassava (14). But what the restaurant is really known for is Camdens famous curry goat (10.50). It comes with scallions, glazed carrots, potatoes and Caribbean spices. 10-12 Kentish Town Road, NW1 (020 7482 5065) SavannahJerk STOP off for a cocktail at the bar first, where youll find a huge selection of rum to get you in the mood. When youve worked up an appetite, skip over to the restaurant and try the fried pickled fish Jamaican style (6) to start with and the braised oxtail with butter beans (9.50), a comforting and substantial one-pot concoction. The restaurant is also known for its rotis, flatbreads filled with mutton, chicken or prawns in a curry sauce with diced potatoes (from 9.50). 187 Wardour Street, W1 (020 7437 7770) Cottons SITUATED on buzzy Exmouth market, the menu at Cottons is varied and includes twists on Caribbean classics, such as mixed jerk fish grill with fried plantain, rice and peas (13.50) and adobo-rubbed pork knuckle with black-eyed peas, callaloo, hot sauce and corn bread (12.50). Theres a wide range of vegetarian options, too, including roast vegetable curry with sweet potato and callaloo (11.50). 70 Exmouth Market, EC1 (020 8305 2500) She wears it well: Femi of Ace Fusion, above, offers a fusion of Caribbean, African and English food; right: chowing down at Carnival Litebites Foodanddrinknews Lovelytolookat...butweighupthecost SITUATED slap-bang next to Eros on Piccadilly Circus, odds are youll have walked past Criterion thousands of times without even noticing it -- let alone poked inside. But do. Its amazing. The neo- Byzantine dining room is the size of a football pitch. Gold ceilings and marble walls twinkle. Its jaw- dropping. As are the prices -- given the only adequate quality emerging from the kitchen. The menu looks fancy: sample starter, a 13 sea trout carpaccio with Baeri caviar. But chef Matthew Foxon should forget his pretentious modern Euro cuisine and knock out simpler stuff. The folk on the table next to Glitzy: Criterions dining room is jaw- dropping, as are the prices -- but the foods only adequate us were happily tucking into the cheapest dish on offer, a 6.50 egg Balmoral (smoked salmon and scrambled eggs) -- we should have followed their lead. Our half-dozen oysters (12) were so muddily brown we didnt want to eat them, while a Kashmir saffron risotto with parmesan ice cream (8) was just a bland plate of yellow weirdness. A main course of wild mushroom risotto came with a generous blizzard of summer black truffle (16) but was otherwise as scoffable as your average pub grub. An overpriced wild sea bass (22) came prettily dressed with artichoke and langoustines, while a malva pudding (8) was unmemorable. That said, the bread was delicious, and the venue is so gloriously bling there are real goldfish in the loos. My advice: go for the basic, better-value two courses for 18 pre- theatre menu, or try to wangle a drink at the long bar where Conan Doyle first imagined Sherlock Holmes meeting Dr Watson. You must go to the Criterion -- just dont splash out on dinner there. LARUSHKA IVAN-ZADEH CRITERION 224Piccadilly,W1(02079300488)Three coursesfortwowithwineandservice,125 Sixties food prices FORTY-FIVE years old this year, Golden Harvest in Chinatown is celebrating throughout next month with a Back To The Sixties menu. On Mondays and Tuesdays throughout September, selected dishes from the regular menu will be available for 2.50 each. Quote Back To The Sixties when booking. Golden Harvest, 15-16 Gerrard Street, W1, 020 7494 1200 Riseofgreatbread GOOD bread is a big part of any serious foodies life, and were glad to say its getting easier to find. Gails Bakery, known for its additive- free loaves, has opened its fourth London store on Northcote Road. In store now is vitamin-rich bread packed with quinoa and delicious vanilla brioche with custard. Gails Bakery, 64 Northcote Road, SW11, 020 7924 6330 The flavour of NYC CANARY WHARFS dining scene keeps getting better. The latest arrival is trendy bistro Lower East. Taking its cues from New Yorks cool Lower East Side, it serves all- American fare like clam chowder and sirloin burgers, plus great cocktails. It officially opens next Tuesday, but pop along before for a 50 per cent discount on food. Lower East, 28 Westferry Circus, E14, 020 7536 2862 Londons own ale ON A mission to get Londoners drinking real ale, the brewers at Greene King have created a brand- new cask beer, Royal London, in honour of our favourite city. The rich and fruity new brew (4% abv) is now available at two dozen distinctive watering holes in town including The George at Southwark and the Old Tea Warehouse in Aldgate. Theyve even designed an Ale Trail. greeneking.co.uk HILARY ARMSTRONG Wellequipped Ice Orb THIS handy wine cooler also makes ice. Fill the plastic container with water, insert the removable centre bucket allowing the water to expand into the plastic bubbles. Pop it in the freezer and insert a bottle into the bucket -- the surrounding ice will keep the drink cold. Alternatively, once its frozen, remove the bucket and pop out the ice cubes for instant refreshment. Ice Orb, 14.95, firebox.com dicedwithsaucecurryainprawnsor market,Exmouthbuzzyon andvariedisCottonsatmenuthe includes twists on Caribbean classics, withgrillfishjerkmixedassuch (13.50)peasandriceplantain,fried withknuckleporkadobo-rubbedand saucehotcallaloo,peas,black-eyed wideaTheres(12.50).breadcornand too,options,vegetarianofrange withcurryvegetableroastincluding She wears it well: Femi of Ace Fusion, above, offers a fusion of Caribbean, African and English food; right: chowing down at Carnival upfor Carnival index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html