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  1. Cuisine A La Leke in Deptford high street is supposed to do good West African food.
  2. Gus

    Argentinian sangiovese

    Will I have to kiss goodbye to the prospect of getting my paws on some of this?
  3. Gus

    Argentinian sangiovese

    Lunched at Richard Corrigan at Lindsay House in London last week, which was great. To drink we had wines by the glass and one of three options was a sangiovese from Argentina. Laugh at my ignorance, but I wasn't even aware they grew decent sangiovese in Argentina. Anyway, it was delcious, velvety and smooth. And at about £7 a glass in the restaurant, very reasonable. So I emailed Richard Corrigan asking for the details, and they are below. But I can find almost nothing about this wine by googling, let alone where to buy some in the UK. Be interested to know what people make of it, or where I might find some. “Villa Vieja”, La Agricola Sangiovese, Mendoza, Argentina 2003
  4. Gus

    Dressing up ground beef

    Curries made with ground beef (or ground lamb) can be good, esp with nan breads to scoop them up, rather than rice.
  5. Gus

    Dressing up ground beef

    Stir fry ginger and garlic very quickly (10 seconds) then add ground beef. Lob in spring onions, and vegetables finely diced too if you like. Then lob in chili bean sauce (hot!) and a larger amount of hoi sin sauce to taste. And perhaps some soy sauce. You end up with a chinese sauce to be stirred into noodles. If you make the flavours very strong, you can stir relatively small amounts into large plates of noodles. Alternatively, make it milder and eat like chinese spag bol. Freezes well, too.
  6. Gus

    Wine for Cooking

    Do people think it's really worth using decent wine for cooking. There's an adage that you shouldn't cook with wine you wouldn't drink. Well certainly, I wouln't use corked wine for cooking. But is it worth using decent plonk. After all there are plenty of cheap wines which, in certain contexts, I happily enjoy drinking, and it seems to make more sense to cook with them than with burgundy. Although a society woman in Paris that I met via work told me you should only use good wine in coq au vin, preferably more expensive than you are planning to drink with the meal. Can this really be so? And how do different styles of wine lead to different wine-based sauces?
  7. Stick big, expensive sausages into non-stick frying pan on lowest possible heat. Get back into bed. After 10 minutes get out of bed and turn sausages before returning to medium-warm bed. Re-warm bed for another 10 minutes at least. Stick sausages, so slow cooked they are juicey yet coated in a slightly sticky, slight caramelised gloop, into a big roll and douse with ketchup, and serve with strong tea. Yum. Oddly, I have distinct passion for left-over cold pizza for breakfast (when I happen to have some).
  8. You only need a maitre d' if there's something wrong with the meal, or if it's at a poncey restaurant where you can't get a reservation in reasonable time unless you know the maitre d'. Or if you're the kind of diner who enjoys making some complaints while having the meal (always makes my heart sink to dine with people like this; a sour self-consciousness descends over me til i leave the restaurant).
  9. Gus

    UK Merchants

    Always been pleased with the Wine Society. Excellent delivery service, and confident that I'm never being ripped off. And they also have some interesing wines that I don't see many other places. Also, if I want, say, an Alsace medium white, I feel happy to turn to the relevant bit in the catalogue and pick one knowing it won't be bad, which is a good think. Actually, getting the catalogue every three months alone is worth the membership. The only bad point is that many of the wines they offer don't get reviewed by the reviewers in the press. Not sure why. Although I guess, for example, the Sunday Times Wine Club would not benefit much if the Sunday Times started recommending Wine Society wines. Also, I guess you don't get the special offers you see in some supermarkets (Morriosons are obviously clearly out some Safeway stock; I got Penfolds Bin 389 for under a tenner, and the stupidly named but very nice for the price Fat Bastard chardonnay there for under £5 a bottle).
  10. Gus

    Virgin wines UK

    You see I was a bit befuddled by the wines. None of them grabbed me somehow. Maybe that's because they've arranged chavster-style, but it was also because I'd never heard of any of them. I wondered if the company was simply using marketing hype followed by customer loyalty to sell not-very-good wine. Also, I dug out an old newspaper review, which gave wines there huge praise a year or two ago, when the service just started. I decided to pick those wines, but none of them were there. Google searches also established that they sold De Torens Fusion V, which I'd always wanted to try. They don't do that now. What I can't see are safe choices that would make the discount attractive. And I don't have the confidence that I do when ordering from the wine society - the wines they choose have always seemed good to me. So I'm wondering whether to even exercise my money-off voucher now...
  11. Gus

    Virgin wines UK

    I've got a £20 off voucher for Virgin wines if i spend more than £50 on a case with 12 or more bottles. If anyone out there has used this service and has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them. Most of the wine on the site, I've never heard of. It's http://www.virginwines.com
  12. Absolutely, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, the Charlotte Street Hotel. It's splendid, and not far away. Great for celeb spotting, but relaxed and charming. Check they do champagne, but I know they do great food. 15-17 Charlotte Street London W1T 1RJ Tel: +44 20 7806 2000 Fax: +44 20 7806 2002 Email: charlotte@firmdale.com If you want a cheaper alternative, go to Balans restaurant (there are two, one called the cafe i think; restaurant has an open front which is good in summer). Mainly gay clientelle (it's in Old Compton street). They do great brunch. Again, check they serve champagned in the morning. Balans 60 Old Compton Street, W1D (020) 7439 2183
  13. Have always, always enjoyed eating at Tas in the Cut, by Waterloo. How many restaurants with great meats also win vegetarian food awards. And great value buzz yet pleasant room.
  14. I had exactly the same experience as Moir last week, the same food with the same wine. But I came to some different conclusions. Let me start by saying that I enjoyed it. That said, her point about course after course of flavour has something to be said for it. She talks of wanting a roast chicken, a green salad. I can relate to this. Jelly and mousse does have this effect. But I wonder if the answer to this is not to have the tasting menu, but to have the courses instead. In fact, I almost wish I'd done this. Although I *had* to try the tasting menu. What I do disagree with are the comments about the wine. We had the wines matched to the food, and they did this brilliantly. In fact my girlfriend cannot have cows milk (or butter, obviously). The restaurant not only adjusted and substituted courses, but also changed her selection of wines, and did this brialliantly. Moreover, the way the wines complimented the food was excellent.
  15. I was taken to the Perseverance for a business lunch. Was OK, although could, really, have been a bit more comfy (we were downstairs, by the way). To be honest, when it's a business lunch I'm normally concentrating on the conversation rather than the food (dreadful waste - the restaurants for business are far grander than the ones i pay for myself in my own time). Went to Cigala paying for myself plus girlf. Thought it was OK, but too expensive for what it was. And for the same money, there are better places elsewhere in London. Although on expenses, maybe it's a good bet. It's sufficiently expensive to be a treat, and it's different enough to be of interest to people that do lots of business lunches. I'd glady do business lunch there for this reason. Although in my view, the best place for business lunch, that's not far away, is Cafe du Marche in Charterhouse Square. Bliss.
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