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Everything posted by curlywurlyfi

  1. Not answering your question in any way, but I was at a wedding here on Saturday + though mass catering (80 people) isn't ever the best marker for a place's abilities, it was still very good. Beef Wellington was pink in the middle + had proper duxelles; slightly try-hard veg (I don't need my green beans wrapped in a strip of parma ham thanks). Agree about the mishmash of styles in the dining room.
  2. Three of us had dinner here a couple of weeks ago. Pumpkin risotto vanished before I could get near; crispy pig trotters + egg mayonnaise (together at last!) similar; my beet + leek + goats cheese mousse also good but a bit too fridge-cold. Two of us shared the lamb with tian + gnocchi Romana; I had to have my arm twisted since the only gnocchi I've ever encountered have been the gluey thumb-shaped variety which make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth - no thank you. These were, by contrast, HEAVEN. Big flat discs of light, creamy, airy potato puree, delivered in a gratin dish with the butter still bubbling, glazed with Parmesan. Could have eaten twice the amount. The tian was classic E David, just tomatoes + courgettes, white pepper + an unidentified cheese, with the beautifully pink lamb on top. Steak tartare excellent, though chips seriously below average. We too were too full for pudding, but with a bottle of Cotes du Rhone + a coffee got out for £30 a head inc service. Which I think is astounding given you can pay £20 for a foul Pizza Express pizza + a glass of house red. I agree with Charlie Penrose - not historic, but very very spot-hitting. And I'd have those gnocchi again in a heartbeat. One thing though - mind yourself on the stairs to the loos.
  3. I saw a recipe today for butternut squash with chorizo + prawns, thought that would work very nicely with kabocha also. butternut squash w chorizo + prawns
  4. There's a recipe for lamb + apricot stew that has featured in lots of UK cookbooks, the one I've got is Claire MacDonald's Suppers, I think (not being in front of my bookshelf I can't be certain) - this recipe is not dissimilar. I've made it, friends have served it to me - and it's just awful. Thin flavourless broth, grey meat, overpoweringly cinnamony. It does not improve overnight either (heinous sin of casseroles!) And yet I see it reproduced everywhere! Why??
  5. The Bisquick one was called Velvet Crumb Cake + from memory there were also nuts in the topping. it's delicious, esp for breakfast with a huge cup of coffee. Can provide recipe if needed, though I haven't made it in years (may rectify that tomorrow!)
  6. hmmm, I went to the Poland St one about ten days ago + was v underwhelmed. Pork spare ribs still delicious but L's pulled pork sandwich tasted frankly like tinned corn beef with liquid smoke; + T's 'Ham Fest' was literally two slices of supermarket ham in a cheap white roll with barbecue sauce.
  7. Friends went on Wednesday lunchtime. A: can I have a green vegetable as a side? Ken Place: we've only got kale A: what, no spinach, or green beans, or anything else? KP: no A: don't fancy kale so I'll pass thanks Mains arrive. Emily has white fish with... broccoli. A (to waiter): what's that? KP: broccoli A: could I please have some as a green vegetable side, you know, the green veg side that I specifically asked if you could provide? KP: I'll check [runs off to kitchen + returns] KP: sorry, no. Way to win customers!
  8. Embarrassingly simple I'm afraid. Fried a chopped onion in olive oil til soft + golden, added chopped garlic + chopped red chili, a drained tin of butterbeans, bit of chicken stock, cooked til onion was soft. Mulched up a few of the butterbeans to thicken the soup, then added very finely shredded cavolo nero + simmered til done (< 5 mins). Squeeze of lemon juice, lots of black pepper, serve. As is the way of these things, even better the next day (though the cavolo nero goes a bit grey). I like the sound of your garlicky toasts too :-)
  9. Meredith that's such a coincidence. My supper last night was just that pasta dish, but with roasted cauliflower instead of the kale (really really good); + lunch today was kale + butterbean soup (with a teeny hit of red chili + lemon juice).
  10. I was also there on Sunday + it really was a joy. Some things just didn't work for me (eg cockles with Campari) but having been a couple of times it is great that Stephen is confident we will take his more experimental dishes in the wider context. His home-churned butter still worth stabbing your dining companions for (the turbot sauce approx 80% butter, + as for the mussel + bacon chowder...) Warm chocolate mousse with salted caramel underneath, partridge pasties, rhubarb ice lolly with panettone 'milk'... I could go on but I am about to have a Sainsbury's-sourced sandwich for lunch + it's too dispiriting a contrast. I love The Sportsman. You owe it to yourselves to go!
  11. curlywurlyfi


    Judith - yesterday's Observer Food Magazine has a recipe from Heston Blumenthal for poached pears which involve liquorice root: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly...2226109,00.html it's about third/fourth recipe down.
  12. curlywurlyfi


    Verjuice + May, I think you can buy that liquorice online from, er, Lakeland. And Judith (hello!) - you can cook with it (grate, steep, strain) but easier just to gnaw on a stick as breath-freshener.
  13. Hi Franco! I went last Thursday + really liked it (NB my experience not harmed by being with two good friends + having just a really nice evening, nor by it being approx one yard from my flat). Agree the room's not all that: weirdly featureless despite huge + rather fantastic circular lightwell. Plus I think that going down steps into the dining room makes you feel like you're having dinner in a swimming pool. Fried Cornish anchovies were nearly menu winner, crisp + scrackly with a daub of very good aioli, but cockles with laver beat them by a narrow margin. Sweetbread salad nice enough but sweetbreads never really going to be my thing (shoot me, I'm a foodie heretic). For mains, the roast pork fantastic, accompanying turnips horrid, accompany sprout tops ace. Widgeon too gamy for pretty much all of us. Whole oxtail unbelievably good, soft thready rich meat, whole thing about the size + shape of a man's arm, served on a long narrow dish with boiled-along-with-the-oxtail carrots (utterly delicious). Didn't hear anything of the 'only after 8pm' thing for the oxtail + our table was booked for 7.45pm, so don't know what that was all about. Prune + almond tart very good but quince + apple sponge truly sent from heaven. So if you want to try again give me a call, I'll be back like a shot.
  14. LiveItUp, my guess is that is a warm chocolate sauce in which the butter has split out. (I'm afraid to say I recognize it from my own exploits...)
  15. Caramel oranges! My mother's 70s dinner party standby. Heavenly! I've been making them again too recently, they're great after heavy main courses (think I served them after short ribs + mashed potato last time). agree with upthread, you need to let the sugar go much, much darker - really, verging on burnt - the contrast of the bitter caramel with the sweet orange is fantastic. But you're on the right lines! or you can make what I call 'stained glass pudding', which is simply pouring the caramelized sugar (made with no water at all) into an oiled baking tray, waiting til cooled then smashing into splintery shards. Strew this over the sliced oranges. Add some halved seedless red grapes. Voila. Best with brandysnaps filled with whipped cream If you have any leftovers, the hardened caramel will melt into the orange juice in the fridge overnight + you will get the result you're looking for in Option A.
  16. I made the coconut tea bread from this last night. Hmmm. Not really happy with the texture - very rubbery inside, but with a very crisp crust. Any thoughts what might be the issue there? Was a very liquid batter even before adding the dark rum. The whole flat smelt divine though. And it was super toasted for breakfast this morning.
  17. hear hear. it was wonderful. Lemon verbena icecream; pickled mackerel with gooseberry jelly + soda bread; the freshest, most simply cooked turbot; strawberry ice lolly with cake milk - but Moby's right, the absolute standout was the salmagundi. A joy to look at + a delight to eat.
  18. I organized a lunch for some greedy friends back here in Feb. The Sportsman treated us absolutely impeccably - actually, beyond impeccably. Stephen did us (14 people) a wonderful mix between a tasting menu + set menu, with lots of hidden surprises - eg when he had put baldly on the menu 'oyster', we got oysters three ways , which is why the food I reference below isn't necessarily shown on the a la carte you can see on the website. Oh and - whatever you do DON'T MISS the crab risotto.
  19. Nishla - wow. Ten million points to you. Er - did you actually, you know, eat it, in the end?
  20. yes, this is currently (May 07) an ad on UK TV. I have to say I think it's utter, utter genius. In fact, since we're in the spirit of truth-telling, it is so beautiful - the whole ad - from people stirring raisins into fruit cake batter, to the final reveal of the whole car made out of cake + icing, it made me well up! Such a brilliant idea. (And I am so ridiculous.)
  21. Inspired by this rave (+ the link Klary so kindly sent me after I PM'd her - thank you!), I made these for lunch today. Well. Bowl one, I was thinking, hmmm, these are all very well, nice enough but a bit ho-hum. Bowl two, on the other hand, with more lemon, more salt + at room temp rather than hot, was amazing! Leftovers for breakfast I think...
  22. curlywurlyfi

    Dinner! 2007

    Hi Nishla - I'm just catching up on the Dinner thread now + I have to say, this made me laugh out loud - what an utterly brilliant idea for a teacher to do for her class. I hope they were totally freaked out! regards Fi
  23. yes, I'll second that - had it for a birthday lunch about a fortnight ago + am seriously considering a round trip train journey from London just to have that one dish again.
  24. right, you talked me into it - these are arriving tomorrow + I will let you know how I get on! thanks Matt!
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