Food Critics Send David Chipperfield’s Restaurant Renovation Back to the Kitchen

Restaurant criticism, as many of us probably know, is not only about the food. Dining these days involves much more than achieving caloric satisfaction or stimulating a diner’s tastebuds. For instance, it also involves the setting, the architectural experience that ensconces that superb risotto. With that said, two of the UK’s most reputable restaurant critics have declared that David Chipperfield‘s renovation of the Café Royal hotel restaurant Ten Room needs more than a little extra salt.

According to BDOnline, while Ten Room’s chefs were “found innocent,” Chipperfield — no stranger to vitriolic feedback — was held responsible by both the Observer and Sunday Times critics for a lackluster dining experience, to say the least. The restaurant’s walls were likened by Observer critic Jay Rayner to “a design feature from a self-consciously modernist men’s loo” and described by Sunday Times writer AA Gill as “a line of marble stumps like an OCD Stonehenge.” Rayner summed up the overall look and feel of Chipperfield’s design by comparing it to “an airline club class lounge without the design features or the nibbles,” while Gill lambasted its “derivative, tired, badly finished, safe, committee collection of minimalist clichés and corporate beige inspiration” for being nothing more than “in-the-box thinking.” How’s that for a finger-licking meal of acerbic architecture bashing?

Photo courtesy Ten Room

- Kelly Chan