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Everything posted by Ian

  1. See http://www.mroliveoil.com/ - the shop is in Compton St.
  2. Long gone, if memory serves me correctly. :-( All the best, -- Ian
  3. I disagree. For a start, it falls foul of the Disability Discrimination Act... (If you're visually-impaired and using assistive technology such as a screen reader, you'll get nothing from the website whatsoever.) (Actually that's a slight fib. You'll get "Arbutus Restaurant, Soho - London" - very helpful!) All the best, -- Ian Fenn Chopstix Media http://www.chopstixmedia.com/
  4. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the heads up! -- Ian
  5. I'd laugh out loud at this report if I wasn't so concerned about people taking it seriously. It seems to have isolated specific dishes that are known to be unhealthy. Then they fail to take into account the Chinese communal way of eating. A sane person simply wouldn't eat a whole portion of General Tso's Chicken themselves even if they ordered it. And some of the advice... Ask for brown rice? As if Chinese restaurants have that... -- Ian
  6. It's all about staggering arrival times... and thus cooking times... I'm sure you'd complain even more if the restaurant let everybody in at 8.30pm and then struggled to cook the entire room's meals at the same time...
  7. Yang Sing lost its glow a long time ago - when they deliberately changed their focus to serving non-Chinese people. In other words, if you know anything about Chinese food, Yang Sing will be a disappointment.
  8. The article is now pretty out of date. Fuchsia Dunlop's new book on Hunan cookery has the real story. It's not out in the USA until next year but was recently published here in the UK. All the best,
  9. Yes, Chris Kwan took over as head chef about 6 weeks after Dragon Castle opened. It's his photo that accompanies Fay Maschler's review, though Felix Yu was still head chef when she actually visited a week or so before. He'd previously been part of the launch team. Chris oversaw the introduction of the current menu and there are a couple of old 'New China' dishes on the list now. Before 'New China' he was head chef of 'China House' which is now The Wolseley. Felix, by the way, is still around - he was promoted to General Manager.
  10. Some Chinese restaurants are of the opinion that non-Chinese diners get freaked out by significant amounts of choice so they present two menus - an extensive one for the Chinese, and a cut-down version for the non-Chinese focusing on 'safe' westernised dishes. The westernised one is now gone. Bills were itemised when they first opened but then they had a problem with their tills. They now have new tills so itemisation has been resolved. All the best, -- Ian
  11. Taipan is probably the best Chinese in Newcastle though I haven't eaten in Landmark yet. It's in Thornton Street.
  12. Aha. Giles Coren on Dragon Castle.
  13. Pho is St John Street is fun but the short menu lacks the tripe and tendon based pho I frequently desire. I used to eat regularly at Song Que but got fed up of feeling ill afterwards - their no-smoking section is ridiculously small so I always end up feeding from a neighbours cigarette - and that does my asthma no good at all. The place gets terribly noisy too.
  14. Cheeky devil. I focused on the dim sum in mine. But there's only so much you can do with 300 words :-( And you really have to lead with the main menu when the majority of readers will visit during the evening... All the best, -- Ian
  15. I don't think it's fair to compare the pricing of a neighbourhood Chinese with places in Chinatown. Totally different beasts. All the best, -- Ian
  16. Frankly, if property prices weren't so high now, I'd consider moving to Elephant and Castle just for Dragon Castle... on the basis of my previous review visits. All the best, -- Ian
  17. I did it, then Marina, then Fay, then Jay. The head chef has changed since these reviews but the dim sum team remains the same. I will be going there tonight to see if the main menu is prepared as well as before. Unfortunately it opened around the same time as Bar Shu otherwise it might have received more attention. All the best, -- Ian
  18. Ian

    Bar Shu

    There are two other Sichuan places in London - Angeles in Kilburn and Sichuan Restaurant in Acton - but the ingredients aren't as good and the cooking not as skilled. New China in Gerrard Street has already launched a menu of Sichuan dishes, which a dining room full of young mainlanders were tucking into when I was last there. I tried the twice-cooked pork - let's just say I don't think Bar Shu have much to worry about just yet. All the best, -- Ian Fenn http://www.chopstix.com/
  19. <a href="http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=87963">My thoughts on Bar Shu are in this thread.</a> All the best, -- Ian Fenn http://www.chopstix.com/
  20. Ian

    Bar Shu

    I visited Bar Shu again today. Photos of the food here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chopstixmedia/tags/barshu/ It's only really expensive if you compare it to Chinatown which, frankly, is far too cheap for its own good. More of an issue was that a couple of the dishes didn't quite live up to the hype - gong bao chicken was far too sweet, twice-cooked pork was too salty, and the braised beef with bamboo shoots might as well have been boiled without any spices at all... the dish was very bland. On the other hand, the Dan Dan noodle is worth eating at every available opportunity. The dry-fried green beans, man-and-wife offal slices, numbing-and-hot dried beef, and duck rolls with salted duck egg yolk were also excellent. I'll post more details on Chopstix later. All the best, -- Ian Fenn http://www.chopstix.com/
  21. The Hong Kong restaurant critic William Mark introduced me to my first Shanghai Hairy Crab at the end of last year. Photos here. The roe was fantastic - like egg yolk but with an even more intense flavour. All the best, -- Ian
  22. May I ask why it hasn't been so good? All the best, -- Ian
  23. Old habits die hard, eh? All the best, -- Ian
  24. Sure, it's open to the public and there are a number of retail stalls. Be prepared to prepared to get there early for the best selection (6am) and to prepare the fish for cooking yourself when you arrive home (the traders won't do it for you). For a real insight, do one of the courses at the market school. I did this one: http://www.seafoodtraining.org/knife_skill..._processing.htm All the best, -- Ian
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