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Those who scoffed that Acorn House was the hare-brained notion of a beansprout-eating idealist will be choking on their non-organic words as its eco-restaurateur, Arthur Potts Dawson, launches his second sustainable establishment, the Water House in Hoxton, on Monday.

Funny thing, trends. While it looks like small plates are here to stay, my current bete noir is 'street food'. I want to poke with a fork anyone who thinks ponced up grub served in over-designed spaces has anything to do with the street. The retro movement that Le Cafe Anglais is spearheading is a bit more palatable - lots of en gelee this and hors d'oeuvre that - and Heston Blumenthal is about to go back even further by launching into historic fayre in a big way.

For me though, with everyone from perma-tanned Richard Caring to Shar Pei Ramsay creating their own posh chains, the way forward is intimate, from-the-heart restaurants run by those who are truly passionate about food and know their ingredients.

Ida, Tom Ilic, Terranostra... they may not be particularly glitzy, but they remind us, as Potts Dawson does, what good food should really be about.

Water House - opens 11 February
10 Orsman Road, N1 5QJ
020 7033 0123

by AC
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