Observer review by Jay Rayner

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Wednesday 28 June 2006 10.53am
Anyone seen the review in last Sunday's Observer of Dragon Castle? Jay Rayner describes Elephant and Castle as 'one of London's most villainous haunts', says he would not be surprised to get run over, a suppurating skin condition etc. in Elephant and Castle. Although the review of Dragon Castle itself is positive, he really slags our wonderful area off as only someone who lives in leafy Hampstead or Kensington would i.e. describes the fish in the foyer of the restaurant as 'the only wildlife in Southwark' etc. etc. Maybe we ought to be grateful as the well-kept secret of the wonderful set lunch for a fiver in the Latino place upstairs at the Elephant and the Prawn Penang at the Lye Torng up the road will remain for ever ours and free from marauding Hampsteadites.
Holiday flat in Barcelona
Wednesday 28 June 2006 12.01pm
I love Southwark.
Don't want to live anywhere else.
But I can understand how the E&C would give the impression he describes (allowing for the rather cruel exagerrations presumably for humour).

E&C needs radical change but thats NOT about pushing out poorer people, but coping with the bad drivers (and there are plenty of them in the area), encouraging traders to improve their displays (is it a "market" outside the shopping centre or a dumping ground?), and crack down on illegal trading. some of that could happen in advance of the regeneration. And if they just took those horrible billboards down that obscure the Faraday sculpture - what a first impression it currently gives......come to the E&C, exit the station and look at pictures of things to buy buy buy as cars go round round round.......the soul of the Elephant?
Wednesday 28 June 2006 1.32pm
I went to the Dragon Castle on Sunday for dim sum with a food journalist friend who had heard only good things about it.
The food was great- everythnig was well executed and there were lots of things I'd never tried before. We had 16 dim sum dishes between 4 of us. tea and some chinese beer.
The food bill came to 36, the drinks came to 34.
Wednesday 28 June 2006 2.05pm
Just searched and found the article,,1803768,00.html

Jay Rayner challenges "I don't expect anybody to write in defence of the current Elephant. Even the council plans to knock it down."

Do you think we could all write and complain to this e-mail address?
Anonymous User
Wednesday 28 June 2006 2.08pm
I think we should keep quiet - god forbid that she and her Hampstead cronies start moving in!!!
Wednesday 28 June 2006 2.11pm
Hmmm... I'm with Jay on this one I'm afraid.
Wednesday 28 June 2006 2.46pm
IMHO the mistake is to take anything these restaurant critics say seriously.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 28 June 2006 3.27pm
I'm sure Ivanhoe is quite right, but the rather vituperous comments were quite annoying. I came to live in E & C from 'leafy' Twickenham 14 years ago because my college was in Spitalfields and easy to get to from here, I was surprised to find out how central E & C is. Since my arrival we now have the London Eye, the aquarium, the IMAX, lots of new restaurants and Borough Market all on the doorstep, quite apart from E & C being like the hub of a wheel with roads and tubes going to all parts of London. Even the Tea Museum has moved from Tower Bridge, and Butler's Wharf is also pretty close. Rather than the emphasis going on the knocking down of the E & C shopping centre, how about a bit of enthusiasm about the new plans?
Holiday flat in Barcelona
Wednesday 28 June 2006 4.02pm

you just have to accept that SE1 is wonderful but not many people will ever realise it (and frankly, that's fine by me). If people don't realise how nice it is here, it's their loss.

I remember Mrs I coming back from a Chelsea-type wedding a few yrs back and describing how she was telling a group of Chelsea-dwelling city-types where she lived.

They had no idea of the existence of the Sth Bank of the River anywhere east of Putney. Mrs I tried to help them out by offering Tate Modern or the National Theatre as reference points, but again they looked blank.

Some people aren't worth the second effort.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 28 June 2006 4.11pm

I know, I know. A friend of mine lives off Sloane Square and could not find his way to an exhibition I was having a few years ago at The Cut gallery as was, practically opposite the Old Vic.

I am dragging a few friends to Borough Market to have some wine and food for lunch, followed by a wander around the market and then a cream tea accompanied by the pianist at the Tea Museum. I hope they manage to enjoy it.

I took another West London friend to Roast, where they thoroughly enjoyed the tasting menu which I thought was rather better than that at the gloomy Connaught, and the waiters more helpful. We really are lucky here.
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