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Michael Deacon reviews Tom's Kitchen, Birmingham: 'I’m protecting my heart by surrounding it with a wall of fat'

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Tom's Kitchen, Birmingham
Michael Deacon wants to be proved wrong about restaurants set in shopping malls   Credit: Lucy Harris

Location matters, when you’re eating and drinking. Take pubs. The best pubs are almost always found either a) deep in the countryside, or b) beside the sea. There’s something satisfying in glancing out of a pub window and seeing boundless fields or boundless waves. And even if the pub windows are frosted, it’s still satisfying to know that the boundless fields or waves are there.

As I’ve said here before, pubs are wonderful because they seem to stop time; they make us feel as if the outside world, with its relentless jabbering frenzy, has ceased to matter, or even exist. The more remote the pub, the easier it is to feel that comfort.

That’s not to say pubs in towns and cities are no good. But they aren’t the same. They aren’t so relaxed. The outside world infects them, with its stresses and aggressions.

Obviously restaurants are different; we don’t look to them to cut us off from life. But...

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