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Everything posted by Bloated

  1. In the absence of any replies(!) I bought Henschke Tilly's Vineyard 1999, from Handford's, Old Brompton Road. £12 down from £12.99... they pointed out that Semillon/Chardonnay was an uncommon blend outside of the big producers.
  2. Dear eGulleteers Please recommend a Semillon/Chardonnay wine for under £15 in London. I am aiming to buy over the weekend, sorry about the short notice. Ideally available in Oddbins/Jeroboams/a supermarket. Thank you
  3. Referring to the Giles Coren review of The Ebury- it seems to be a restaurant on a site previously occupied by a pub. Is this correct? I prefer places where you order and pay at the bar myself- more informal
  4. Last night I went on a 'pub crawl' of three gastropubs in the Olympia/Shepherd's Bush area starters at Cumberland Arms (Olympia end of North End Rd): roast pumpkin soup with chili and yoghurt (£3.50): this was smooth, tasty and the garnishes olive oil, fresh tomato and yoghurt were improvements fettucine with capers, chili, anchovy, and olives (£5.50): the fettucine was "undercooked" and the anchovies were not "melting" the bread and dipping oil were poor mains at Havelock Tavern (Masbro' Rd): tortelloni filled with sweet potato and goat's cheese served with pinenuts, parmesan and rocket (£9): The tortelloni were very nice curried pea and potato filo pastry with tzaziki, roast tomatoes and lettuce (£6): this was basically a samosa, OK tasting bread here was excellent, with butter desserts at Anglesea Arms (Wingate Rd): poached pear with toasted gingerbread, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream (£4.25): quite nice you had to have ice cream in every spoonful though, the other tastes were too powerful without it buttermilk pudding with citrus coulis and biscotti (£4.25): very nice panna cotta style dessert, citrus appeared to be lemon cappucino (£1.75): "not the proper foam" "burnt tasting" no bread eaten here a pleasant evening. The food was served promptly at all three pubs.
  5. a quick mention of this newish restaurant in Liverpool Road, Islington. Morgan Meunier (Admiralty, Monsieur Max) is the chef. The coconut and rum sorbet in my dessert was 10/10 excellent. The rest of the food was nice to very nice. The service was very slow indeed. My fellow diner put it 'on a par' with Zafferano and Monsieur Max in terms of quality of cooking. I thought it was a bit below that. The decor is certainly a lot below those two. I suspect by the two bookshelves bearing only red Michelin Guides that the restaurant has ambitions in that direction... starters include snails, pumpkin soup, scallops, game terrine fish mains, sea bass or halibut meat mains include venison and pigeon
  6. personally I didn't like the toasted coconut and rum at all, expecially with the coconut bits in it. however I did like Bittersweet Chocolate, Strong Vanilla Bean and Mango & Lime Planning to try the banana flavour soon!
  7. I know you can get frogs legs prepared by Tom Aiken or Marcus Wareing but a friend of mine would like to sample them without having to sit down to a £50 three course meal. Please let me know of cheaper less formal options Thank you
  8. I have had a Zizzi pizza and it was unremarkable. As far as 'chains' go Strada is better.
  9. as their names suggest souvlaki is focused on er, souvlaki and mezedopolio has a much wider range of meze dishes. That is the food difference. Souvlaki is better decorated although that isn't saying much... Real Greek website
  10. I went in September 2002. The twin waitresses were not in place on the night I ate there. The highlights were a passion fruit sorbet (free), a garden pea, chervil and pumpkin soup (starter) and a vegetable sushi roll (free). Overall the quality was not as good as Simon Majumdar found it but perhaps they have hit their stride since then. I may go back for 'brunch' if they still do that.
  11. I agree about Paolo but if you are prepared more then the step up in quality to Zafferano is a big step. One of the dishes I had there last night was ricotta and aubergine ravioli with tomato sauce. I have had the same dish in Paolo which was nice but not in the same league.
  12. I went into Jeroboams wine shop in Belgravia last week and they had single bottles of DRC La Tache 1979 (£564), 1945 d'Yqem (no label, £1000), as well as many similarly highly-priced wines on one of their shelves. I have never bought wine at those prices but I still find it difficult to believe that someone would buy a wine of that age 'off the shelf' as it were...
  13. If you go to the Telegraph website today it is in the top middle of the home page 'Matthew Norman- Why Jamie is here to stay', complete with picture of said Jamie. They change these features daily so you will probably have to use their search engine if you try it later than today's date. Telegraph
  14. Bloated

    Tour d'Argent

    A work colleague is having lunch at this restaurant at Friday lunch. Can anyone who has been recently recommend something from the lunch menu or even a dish/wine combination. Thank you
  15. I got the Wither Hills SB 2002 because I couldn't find the Villa Maria Reserve SB when I went back. I also got the Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2001 but I would have preferred to have the 1999. Does anyone know a seller of NZ wines that as a matter of policy stocks more than one vintage? PS- on the Australian front what do people think of Alkoomi Frankland River wines?
  16. so what is the individual chocolatier's input in the making of a chocolate bar? do they just decide the thickness of the bar and the shape of the chunks? how does their taste come into it?
  17. I am choosing a Sauvignon Blanc as a birthday present. I am looking for immediate drinkability for someone who hasn't drank a lot of wines but knows they like sauvignon blanc. I settled on the Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001- but Oddbins now only have the 2002. Has anyone tasted this? What about the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (screwtop)? Any other suggestion- please say where in London I can buy it if you make another suggestion thank you
  18. Al Bustan on Old Brompton Road is very good Lebanese. The moutabal is excellent. It is on the site formerly occupied by Hilaire.
  19. After failing to secure a booking before Christmas I managed to eat at Sutton Arms last night despite discovering on arrival that the booking had been wrongly made (not by me!) for the night before. The dining room is upstairs from the bar- there were 2 tables of 4 and 6 of 2 laid out and a further table had a pile of voting forms for a category (I forget which) of a restaurant of the year competition. dishes eaten at our table baked eggs with leek and cep grilled chicory and goats cheese salad 'pork, black pudding, chorizo and butter bean' stew with cornbread ricotta pancakes with sprouting broccoli and butter seville orange tart with cream three types (one very good) of wholemeal bread were offered with good butter and salt The dishes were simple but competently executed. I wouldn't say this place was worth crossing London for- in west London gastropubs such as the Anglesea Arms and Havelock Tavern are a notch better and if anything cheaper. An honest enough endeavour though. There is food available in the bar area- I don't know if it is prepared by the same kitchen.
  20. I have not eaten at Spiga but at its cousin Spighetta- the pizzas are above average but unspectacular. I saw a review of London's pizzas in the Standard by a certain Mr Zilli who described Spiga pizza as '10/10; Naples on a plate'. I can only assume Spiga is very different to Spighetta. I went to Naples recently and the closest in London to the standards set in Naples is Pizza Metro, with Napule and its cousin Made in Italy not far behind.
  21. what I am hoping to achieve is that any flavour lost by the potatoes during boiling goes into the cream which is going to be mashed with the potatoes anyway...
  22. I am planning to boil potatoes sealed with single cream inside a plastic bag- then mash it all up together. Does anyone know what grade plastic bag would be safe/suitable? Could I use a sandwich bag and tie it up? PS by all means knock this mashed potato experiment but do answer the plastic bag question as well! thank you
  23. I ate at Hakkasan last night. I thought the cooking and presentation was about the same standard as other Michelin stars I have eaten at, although I cannot comment on whether other Chinese restaurants are equally or more deserving. One thing there were no free appetisers/desserts so I don't think they were 'fishing' for the star...
  24. In Naples last week I ate at some of the ‘famous’ pizzerias: Sorbillo, Trianon, Port Alba and Da Michele. There were queues outside of Da Michele and Sorbillo. The pizzas are cheap (three euros for a Margherita) and were all very nice- all roughly the same standard. I ate twice at Da Michele- on one occasion the pizza had a different character to the other pizzas I ate. It was baked in less than a minute- that was the main difference I could tell compared with the other ones which took about two minutes to bake. Most of the pizzas on menus are made with ‘fior di latte’ cheese rather than mozzarella and have a lot of oil poured on them before baking. Those of you that live in London: I am going to go back to make sure but I don’t think the pizzas at eg Pizza Metro are far behind the Naples standard at all- perhaps the base is a little bit heavier at Pizza Metro, the pizzas there are of course much more expensive. I tried some of the potato croquettes available at roadside stands, but even the ones with mozzarella in them were not all that great- but the mashed potato was light. I bought a couple of chocolates to sample. Cioccalata di Modicano was one of the brands.
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