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Simon Majumdar

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Posts posted by Simon Majumdar

  1. Try some of the Vietnamese places or malaysian places. Melati just off Berwick st used to have them, not sure now as I have not been in ages

    With so much French influence in that part of the world, Frog's legs are a staple in many of the cuisines

    Also, Fung Shing in chinatown has them on the menu in two ways, crispy fried and braised, both very good

    Of course, you could always buy them in china town and cook your self. Dead easy. Just soak in milk, dredge in flour and fry in nut oil


  2. I really find it depends on what you are eating

    With grilled meats or dry curries, go for something with a bit of spice and pepperiness like a Ribero Del Duero or a Rioja. Also Some Shiraz and some South African pinotage work quite well

    With ligher curries and vegetarian dishes I like to have a reisling or a gewurtz which compliment excellently.


  3. well I am pleased to say that on last night's experience, it still seems up to snuff

    I met Tony Finch, Macrosan, Robin and a couple of ex EG's ( a long story )

    We started with some cobnuts for the table which came, thankfully with some industrial nut crackers. hard work but tasty

    For starters, Tony, Me and Martin went for Duck necks. Served with a dandelion salad. Delicious, greasy, crispy. I liked the salad with it a lot.

    Robin had potted pig's head ( brawn by any other name ) which came with some lovely cornichons, Ex EG No 1 had the Marrow bone which tasted great and Ex EG No2 had radishes ( I think )

    For main courses, Robin had a rack of lamb which was the best tasting lamb i can ever remember tasting. Two of us had roasted Grouse, plump and pink served with the guts on toast and with a fabulous bread sauce which I ate far too much of. The grouse had been hung for about 9 days I suspect. our guest seemed to enjoy and attacked the bones with some good gnaw action. Martin and Tony went for mallard which was tasty but not a patch on the grouse. The last of our group had veal, which I also ate too much of.

    For puds, we ordered two eccles caked with Lancashire cheese for the table and then ate a selection of other desserts family style. Strawberry shortbread, Rasberry Ice cream ( superb ) Jelly and cream, Plum crumble. All were excellent

    Service was agreeable and they managed to restrain themselves from hitting Martin who has become ornery in his dotage.

    Bill with four bottles of red, four stickies, tea and coffee came to £60 a head inc service which is very good value for another very enjoyable evening


  4. I am at St J's tonight

    I have been about 5 times this year. Each time has been good with some of the qualifications you raise.

    I have always found service to be friendly but sometimes a bit dippy.

    My most recent visit about three weeks ago was excellent but your comment about the Marrow bone is spot on

    I have had more enjoyable meals at St J Bread & Wine in the last few weeks and I wonder if they are turning their attention to that to the detriment of the mothership

    We shall see tonight


  5. Tony, Faro, Charlene, Chris, Me & Rob had a superb supper there last night

    Meeting up just after 6pm at the grim but convenient Good Samaritan pub we had a few pints first ( while sending Chris off to buy some extra bottles of wine - four bottles for six people what were we thinking?) then headed the short walk to the heaving restaurant

    Faro, in full John the Baptist mode had gone ahead to prepare the way and, I guess there had been much clucking and finger wagging as all the waiters hid the moment we popped our heads through the door. There were already queues out of the door, but we went straight to our nice big round table and set about the wine and papads while F ordered

    First up were huge ( and I mean huge ) plates of freshly grilled Kebabs, Mutton chops and Chicken. These came with the best indian breads in London by far. I don't eat bread but I devoured tons of it ( and there was tons of it to devour ) Roti, Stuffed paratha and Naan. piping hot and with loads of ghee. Fabulous

    I often think at tayyab that the grilled meats outshine the curries. Not on this night. Saag Lamb, two types of dhal and a super dry meat curry were amongst the best I have had there. All eaten with more more breads. Stunning

    To drink, we had a South Australian Reisling ( from Charlene ) an agreeable South African pinotage ( from me ) an excellent Faustino Primera Grand reserva 1994 ( Tony ) and some others I don't recall ( a beauj I think )

    Great food, great company and a great evening

    The bill, with a big tip was £15 each

    The BEST value in London


  6. "Petrus by Marcus Wareing at The Berekeley" will be where the chef's personal touch can be felt. If you see what I mean.

    Well I see what you mean, Andy, but does Marcus ????

    My last visit to Petrus a couple of months ago was significantly disappointing. Do we have any indication how much of his time Marcus will be spending at the Berkeley ? I feel I would want to give it a try, but I have to say that I intend to wait a few months to see what others are saying about it first :hmmm:


    It was hideously expensive and not that great. The word "perfunctory" came to mind when I thought about the cooking


  7. I have often said I believe Marcus to be a wonderful chef, but one small thing irks me when he and his uber buddy open a new place.

    The price.

    The set them very low, upon opening anyway, create a bit of a buzz for their good value and gradually increase the price.  I am not talking about needing to increase to meet costs, or an increase in ambition, just a low price as marketing ploy in the first instance.

    it is a small thing I grant you.

    To me this is actually one of the least annoying things they do :biggrin:

    I have a real bugbear with restaurants charging full whack and then saying " sorry the service/cooking is a bit iffy tonight, everybody's just bedding in" it is like paying full price for previews at the theatre. Some smart places offer a reduced rate in the first few weeks to promote trial and offer a deal while things are settling down

    West St is one I can think of.

    The only criticism of GR & W in this instance is that they don't tell people that the opening prices will last about about 13 minutes before being hiked. But, give their track record, then people probably expect it


  8. Isn't that how it happened with Thai food?

    But bear in mind that 90% of the Thai food in the Uk is garbage too.

    And, I doubt that many people going on package holidays to Mexico are going to be sampling anything other than "international Cuisine" at their all inclusive resort, so will have little chance to come into contact with any regional cooking

    Ask most people what they think of Mexican food and they will come up with a description of tex-mex, as indeed will most people in the US.

    As Ballast says, even in the US good mexican food is very hard to find. I have spent a lot of time travelling around some of the states that border Mexico and there is a real paucity there

    I don't mind Mexican food. At its best it can be rather nice

    it would be good to have one or two places that offer a decent interpretation in the way we now have a few decent BBQ places, but I am hardly crying in my lime wedged pissy beer


  9. The lunch I had with Sam & Scott there a few months ago was very pleasant indeed

    There were a few wrong notes and there was the impression of the cooking being done by the second string under the supervision of one of the senior staff ( rather like in my student days when I had hair going to Vidal Sassoon and having a trainee cut my hair while a senior stylist stood over the shoulder to make sure I did not come out looking like Phil Oakey )

    but, as Sam says, for the price ( £30-ish ) I think. Very good value indeed


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