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Tonyfinch

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  1. Well, not wishing to re-run an old Italian food thread but are adventure and surprises what people are looking for from an Italian restaurant? I don't think so.
  2. Anybody got news of the new venture Koffman spoke about when he left?
  3. I could be wrong but I thought Koffman retained three stars when he moved and was relegated to two later.
  4. Well there's a bar in the hotel where LL is situated. Couldn't get closer.
  5. Tasting Menu

    Episure sorry. I really have very little knowledge of Zins.
  6. Just over the road is Embassy. Not ethnic but good French.
  7. Another staple is Cassava- Mogo in Swahili. Eaten pounded and mashed, or fried and sprinkled with chilli powder and lime, its delicious.
  8. Some clarification. M'Chuzi is the generic Swahili name for any stew or curry. Irio is a beans and corn dish and does not necessarily include potatoes, as implied by the recipe on the link.
  9. The staple in Kenya is Ugali. This is maize meal boiled into a porridge very akin to polenta. It is then moulded into a ball with the fingers and used to scoop up and absorb the stew or the curry. It is not a "neutral" flavour and has a distinctive taste. The main course will mainly be goat or chicken, and fish on the coast. Palm oil is the most widely used cooking medium although corn oil and groundnut oil are also used. Onions and chillies are always used in the stews. Corn on ther cob is ubiquitous, not served boiled with butter but roasted on roadside braziers and sprinkled with chilli and lime. The Kenyans have a taste for a bitter green vegetable. I forget the name but its like spinach or callalloo, but with a distinctive bitter flavour. It's an acquired taste but oonce you've acquired it the stuff is addictive. On weekends or special occasions Kenyans will eat roast or bbq'd goat-Nyama Choma. Also, there are many Asians living in Kenya originally bought over from India to help build railways in East Africa. As a result Indian food is very popular and some marvellous Indian food is available in Nairobi and Mombasa.
  10. I've been cooking salt beef a bit lately. My local butcher brines brisket and I boil it with an onion, a stick of celery, peppercorns , a few bay leaves etc. I find I need to change the water after its come to the boil otherwise ithe meats too salty. Also you need to get the timings right. Boil too long and the meat disintigrates when you cut it into strings. And Thomas is right about keeping it in the water, otherwise it dries out.
  11. I've always enjoyed the steaks there. But its a very uncomfortable restaurant-well its just a prefab really and I'm not overkeen on the whole experience. I agree Bodeans is better. Mayne Bubba needs to move on and get himself a "proper" restaurant.
  12. The Butler's Wharf Chophouse has more or less the same view as Blue print Cafe, albeit from a ground floor level, and is now a better restaurant IMO. They still do set meals in the bar for £9 two courses, £11 for three which I think is one of London's unsung bargains. Only trouble with that is that you can't book. Interestingly the other big Conran joint along there, La Pont de la Tour, which has always struck me as a tourist rip off, was absolutely jam packed on an admittedly lovely Saturday night. They're obviously doing something very right.
  13. Tasting Menu

    Really? That's a shame. Personally I'm a fan of ice cold White Port with Indian snacks and starters but I realise that's an eccentric choice. Same with Amontillado Sherry. A more acceptable choice would be Vouvray, in either the dry or medium versions. Or a good new world rendition of Chenin Blanc. In my experience, Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier do NOT work with Indian food.
  14. Tasting Menu

    Aniseed, asparagus and cilantro are difficult flavours for wine. For that reason I'd play safe with the first three courses and stick to Champagne, or its top class sparkling equivalents. For the Prawn dish you can be more daring but red chillis mean you don't want too much subtlety in the wine because they'll kill it. An Alsace Gewurtztraminer, or Pinot Blanc or a New World Riesling or, if you want something medium sweet a good German Riesling. For the mutton/lamb an Australian Shiraz, or a rich Rioja or Ribeira Del Duero. Green Tea Kulfi-No wine will go with this. If you were having the more regular Pistachio or Almond type Kulfi then only Pedro Ximenez Sherry will be sweet enough
  15. Lovely view but stretched service and awful food at the Blueprint Cafe last night. Salt Duck, Red Cabbage and Watercress had a miserly portion of paper thin slices of duck which, if it had any taste, was completely overwhelmed by the sweetness of the dressing on the red cabbage. It was like a dessert and it killed the hitherto pleasant bottle of Morgon Beaujolais. Fennel, Celeriac and Spinach Soup was fine. Ox Tongue with Tomatoes, Pepper and Basil had thick chunks of tongue but it was curiously tasteless and instead of slices of tomato and peppers came with a mushy salsa which had leeched juice and rendered the meat and the dish "wet". Fahro's Braised Veal with Green Sauce was inedible (well, except for the fact that I ate it ). Think school dinner stew-brown meat with globs of fat with a gloopy green sauce. That'll be £16 please. We really should have sent it back but the restaurant was crowded, the waiters harrassed and we knew we'd have to wait ages for something else as we'd already waited ages to order and get what we had and, in all honestly, we didn't want anything else. We just wanted to go, despite the view. On the way out I asked if Jeremy Lee still headed up here. I was told yes and did I want to speak to him? I confess I chickened out. At that moment I really didn't know what I'd say I now wish I had. This place was once considered the best in an area clogged with restaurants. I'd had an excellent meal here myself a couple of years ago. Maybe people still rate it but I really wish we'd stuck to our original intention and carried on round the corner to Tentazione instead. I won't be going back.
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