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spanky

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Everything posted by spanky

  1. Oh God that programme about superchefs. Some no-doubt-overpaid cretin came on drivelling about chefs' need "to centralise control of the brand [that is, the chef] and exploit it in a 360 degree way". I found the Aiden Byrne stuff very dispiriting: sitting with his humour-free agent, dissecting his appearance on Saturday Kitchen, arsing on about "the Aiden Byrne brand". Do we care that much?
  2. No inside track, as such, but I passed the place the other week and it didn't look like it would be opening for a while. There was work going on, though. A bit of an odd site, tucked up off the main drag on a grand Georgian terrace--he won't get much passing trade up there.
  3. If you can get a throatful of phlegm rattling behind the "ch", so much the better!
  4. Hi-- The List guide is good if you want an overview of the restaurants in the town (although I should add that quite a few places have closed down in the past year--the Jamaican restaurant Coyaba, Fenwicks, Jacques near Tollcross etc) but I wouldn't rely too much on its reviews. It just doesn't seem particularly critical of anything much. I went to The Dogs again last Friday and, after a shaky start with a rather peremptory waitress, we had a great and, for Edinburgh, astonishingly good value meal. I had very good lamb's heart stuffed with prunes and the wife and I shared an unctuous (and, bec
  5. Doesn't Joel Robuchon have a TV slot? I remember watching him jaw on about agar-agar once. Here it is: Bon Appetit Bien Sur
  6. Second the Cafe Royal. I also like The Shore and the King's Wark in Leith. The Canny Man's Bar in Morningside--a bit far out of the centre of town, but eminently reachable by a 5, 11, 16 or 23 bus or a taxi (reachable, that is, if you don't mind sitting staring at road works for half an hour or being snarled at and knocked about by Lothian Buses bus drivers)--has a vast array of whiskies and a very good wine list. It also has a quite unique and (I'd say) beautiful interior, if you can get past the three-feet layer of stoor on everything. I've been very uncomplimentary about this place on this
  7. You could always detour to Oban and go to the seafood shack on the pier--the last time I was there I had a great prawn sandwich and my mate had some beautifully fresh scallops. Definitely worth a look. There's a website here which suggests that since my visit they have another more permanent venue as well as the shack. (I can't quite work out when it's open though.) Ian
  8. Actually, to be pedantic, "nosh" is stressed anyway, with or without the "a". And, from what I can see, he has ended reviews on an unstressed syllable. So there.
  9. Vinotas-- I've got a bottle of the 2002 Extegaraya Lehengoa--have I missed its optimum drinking moment (I was sort of waiting for the legendary tannins to soften a bit) or does it still have a bit of time left in it? Cheers Spanky
  10. We went two weekends ago. Three significant changes from Kropotkin's tasting menu. Instead of the sweet corn soup, we had scallops in a roast garlic veloute (the veloute was one of the highlights of the meal, unctuous and flavoursome--I could have eaten a whole dish of it alone--though we thought the scallops were slightly overdone). There was also a truly gutting change in the meat dish from the beef shin to loin and civet of hare, both of which were toothsome, if tiny, morsels. The dish was certainly a triumph compared to the one that preceded it: mackerel with, as I recall, coffee honeycomb
  11. Hi I'm not 100 per cent on this but I see that Pierre Marcolini has a store on Huidevettersstraat in Antwerp--he might do them. Spanky
  12. On Friday night we went to The Dogs, David Ramsden's new "traditional restaurant", which has taken over the Tijuana Yacht Club's old beat on Hanover Street. Mr Ramsden's a bit of a legend on the Edinburgh restaurant scene, and lately I've been having trouble keeping up with the many pies he's got his fingers in. (Over the past few months, I've read he was general manager of The Apartment and its sister restaurant The Outsider; I saw he had a new restaurant called Iris in the old Monster Mash location on Thistle Street; and now this.) In contrast to one of Mr Ramsden's previous ventures, the la
  13. There's an old thread about Edinburgh somewhere. I'm sure some of it still holds up. Best, as in Michelin-rated: Martin Wishart, The Kitchin and Number One are Edinburgh's one-stars. The first two are down in Leith, which will involve a bus or taxi ride through the construction site of the new tram system. Number One is attached to the Balmoral Hotel, so it's very central. Also, the Champany Inn, a 20-minute train ride away in Linlithgow, just got its first star. As for expensive restaurants, Leith also has The Plumed Horse, which used to be a one-star in the wilds of Dumfries before it moved
  14. V good news about PdC. I had a wry smile when I read this quote from the website: "We feel that at last we have found a location whose traditional gentility is a fitting repository for our Brand." Translation: we weren't all that happy with the bunch of cider-drinking homeless geezers who used to sit around our steps of an afternoon.
  15. Might well have done, but that was before my time. Is that the place that's an Indian place called Saffrani now, just up from the Captain's Bar?
  16. Oh yeah and another Royal Mile resto, Off the Wall, which I believe was well received by Jay Rayner, has also shut up shop.
  17. True enough, speaking as one of that brigade. The restaurant in question used to be the moderately well regarded Reform Restaurant, but there's some sort of curse operating in that stretch of the Royal Mile. Plaisir du Chocolat, for instance, very well known to those who know Edinburgh, went into receivership not so long ago (but that was because they'd stretched themselves too thin). Strange, given that just around the corner are the very well regarded and long established La Garrigue and David Bann's.
  18. Infrasonic-- At the risk of sounding like a pedant (but, hey, you were being pedantic in the first place), I should point out that your sentence makes it sound as if it's Alexander's innovative proprietor, Patricia A Douglas, and not the restaurant, that's "located in the idyllic village setting" etc etc Of course, she might well live in that idyllic village too. Spanky
  19. Re: Fisherman's reply The response I'd expect on this site about where chickens are "sourced from" etc etc Oh if we could all eat poulet de Bresse whenever we chose. (Think, still, of the food miles just for a yellow chicken!) In that respect, I had my doubts about Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's recent endeavour: the economic imperative (low-to-average income parents trying to service their family's needs or even just the basic human attraction to a bargain) tends to trounce the moral imperative most times. That's why Tesco gets richer and more powerful. Anyway. Surely we shouldn't get too hung
  20. Funny, yes, but I felt Gordon was maybe a bit too heavy on his bollocks-centric approach. (Certainly the word "bollocks" and all its various versions, Spanish and otherwise, were as prevalent as the word "fuck".) Anyway, was he secretly hoping that that bull would gore the guy's cojones or something?
  21. "That", said my wife, "was such a boy's show." It wasn't a compliment.
  22. Marcolini also has a pretty fine patisserie and, er, quicherie just up the street from its chic flagship shop with the steepest stairs in Europe. (Did the new patisserie used to be the old Marcolini shop?) Spanks
  23. Oh God! Not Finnegans Wake! Irish bar! Madness! From there it's a slippery slope down Victoria Street to the stag night-hen party hell of the Grassmarket. You could try, instead, the Cafe Royal bar just off the east end of Princes Street (beautiful decor); Frazers at the Dome on George Street (again for decor and cocktails; starting to get pricey, though); the Doric on Market Street (just round the corner from Waverley train station)--good old-fashioned boozer. I like the Traverse Bar on Lothian Road for a "modern, youngish, arty" vibe, myself. If you're adventurous, you could head to Leith an
  24. To celebrate the smoking ban in Scotland, the Canny Man's has just put up a humongous bronze plaque saying: NO SMOKING NO CREDIT CARDS NO MOBILE PHONES NO CAMERAS NO BACKPACKERS Welcome to Morningside!
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