Another round of hand-tooled rejoinders, improbable twisteroos and celeb baddies – this week ‘Kill List’/’Utopia’ star Neil Maskell – as our team of maverick cops set out to snare a killer who has framed up a judge to take the fall for the murder of a young girl.
Essentially a ‘Jonathan Creek’ locked-room mystery by way of cut-price ‘Mission: Impossible’, the furious over-plotting is fun in an abstract sort of a way. One can picture the scriptwriters all standing around a smudged whiteboard as they attempt to puzzle out the loopholes that will keep their characters from being painted into a corner.
But to buy into any of these overarching scams, we first have to give a chuff about the team behind them, and while the acting here is decent enough, the characterisation is woefully lacking. If (in true ‘Mission: Impossible’ style) next week’s episode featured an entirely new team of fresh-faced twentysomething coppers up to the same kind of grey-area legal shenanigans, it would be difficult to notice the difference.
‘A smart Polish restaurant – isn’t that an oxymoron?’ was the question from my date. But Ognisko Polski has been smart and Polish since 1940, when the Polish Hearth Club was founded in the very grand embassy-style building near the Science Museum, to cater for expat Poles. The venue has great decorum without being stuffy; it’s a great place for business meetings or taking extended family out for lunch (bar food is served all afternoon). The new proprietor is Jan Woroniecki, best known for his mission to modernise Polish food in (now defunct) Wódka restaurant, and in Baltic, near Tate Modern. The revitalised Ognisko has not airbrushed history out of its Polish cooking. The dishes are orthodox and traditional, but the Polish staff do their home country proud. The baskets of breads could have paved the road from the Baltic to the Carpathians – there were generous amounts of pumpernickel and a dark rye bread, both dense and flavour-packed, served with pickled gherkins and butter. Barszcz (borscht) is a dish that originates in the Ukraine, but has been readily adopted throughout eastern Europe; this Ukrainian version was rich in beetroot and other complex flavours, with the smetana (sour cream) served on the side. Wheat flour dumplings are part of national cuisines in a northern arc from China through Russia to Poland. The Siberian-style pelmeni here had a more delicate dough than usual, but the filling packed a punch, comprising earthy-flavoured black pudding (kaszanka) with a