Fine Dining comes to London


The Bloom is gone, and with the Bloom go I

Matthew Arnold

Observer restaurant reviewer Jay Rayner and his food-blogging friend Silverbrow have shared a supernally awful meal at the surviving Golders Green branch of the once legendary Bloom's. There is no one more eloquent than a Jewish messenger bearing bad news, and both of these unhappy diners take us so vividly through their gastronomic trials as to make Moses’ ordeal in the wilderness seem like a holiday outing.


Forty years ago my experience of Bloom's was altogether happier. When the Whitechapel original closed early in 1996, I wrote a lament to the Jewish Chronicle which they duly published in the next issue:



As a goyischer aficionado of Jewish cuisine (how's that for

a linguistic mish-mosh?), I was much saddened by the demise

of the Whitechapel Bloom's. When I came to London from

America thirty years ago, it was the only decent restaurant

open on Christmas Day, so I went there for my first

Christmas dinner in England. It was a long holiday bus ride

from South Kensington, but it was worth it. When I told the

waiter why I was there, I was treated like visiting royalty.

Never in history has hot salt beef been served with such

aplomb or eaten with such relish! If there is a broche for

the death of a great restaurant, let it be said.


John Whiting

©2007 John Whiting

TOP                        HOME                              LONDON  INDEX