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Posts posted by YKL

  1. tiger beans / tiger milk - delciously addictive.  I've been trying to find a source in london.  if anyone knows, please tell

    that would be horchata, no? random googling got me this so that may help. Otherwise spanish suppliers as per those listed in the back of e.g. the Moro cookbook might work.

    Probably best just to go to Anthony's instead ... which clearly I need to do ASAP!

    Think I read today that Time Out have given them a rave review in their new UK guide ..



  2. well I'm back, and it was a fantastic holiday but there was so much sightseeing packed into the schedule that food could not always be a priority - which is a new perspective on a holiday for me! Despite being away for a fortnight, breakfast was usually the biggest meal and lunch was invariably on the hoof! Still, there was some nice (but not gourmet) places I went to:

    Tallinn - went to a restaurant called Hansa, just off the main square - known for its soups, salads and meat grills. Certainly my mushroom soup was creamy and delicious, and they were very generous with the smoked fish salad that I had it with. Others had different types of steak or chicken, and all pronounced fine / good. Some of them also washed it down with a honey beer which seemed interesting. Seemed very cheap as well, reckon I paid about £6-7 .. so maybe about $10-$12. Was thinking of visiting the Peppersack opposite on my return but didn't have time to fit that in - but have some positive feedback about that.

    nothing to report in Moscow since we went for an organised Georgian restaurant in the Arbat district. Was fine - but not so special I'd recommend it (and I have no idea where it is!!)

    St Petersburg - well on a couple of nights we went to a branch of Patio (but you need to allow for the Cyrillic spelling) which is an Italian chain because it was round the corner from the hotel. Was quite good actually - not in a knock your socks off way but pizza was fine, pasta was good and mushroom risotto was actually very good. There's a branch on Nevsky Prospect too.

    We did also go to the Grand Hotel Europa - originally just for a coffee but somehow I ended up spending most on my roubles on afternoon tea there! still pretty cheap at $12 for tea with sandwiches, cake and scones. Have had better, but for the experience and setting it's fine.

    Savonlinna, Finland - can't remember the name of the restaurant but it's right on the waterfront and think it's called the Lighthouse (albeit in Finnish of course!). My elk steak on the first night was delicious - sweet tasting meat and a good dark sauce. the blueberry pie was also very good. We actually went back the second night and my marinated salmon was fine but not as good as the elk. some other girls came back with rave reviews of the food at the micorbrewery - so next time!

    Helsinki - um, ate at the hotel for ease since we were due up at the crack of dawn the next day!

    So - thanks to all for their help. I would like to go back, and hopefully I would be better prepared as an independent traveller than following the timetable of an organised tour



  3. not one i'd want to buy - is it just me or are there any real gems in there?

    Hmmmm .. wouldn't say gems precisely but I did like Sue Lawrence's previous baking book so got the new one as well and am awaiting delivery.

    It's an interesting contrast to the OFM list that was published a couple of weeks ago.



    PS - I hope this isn't going too far off topic in the news round up bit.

  4. umm ... not sure how helpful this will be but wanted to say that the restaurant we visited a couple of weeks back had strawberry lasagne as a dessert ..

    there had been a running joke that evening about a friend who has a lasagne cookbook .. whereby the idea was stretched so that by the time you got to the dessert section, basically it was just layered food - so even tiramisu qualified!

    so we expected some sort of layered dessert but apparently the chef makes a vanilla flavoured pasta, and then layers it with strawberries and possibly cream?

    we weren't adventurous that night - but my friend intends to try at some stage - will let you know if she does ...

  5. Sunday turned out to be a day of blazing sunshine in Yorkshire and so we felt very smug about having concocted a plan of Sunday lunch gluttony followed by compensating walk / amble / pootle in the countryside. Turns out Ramsgill is only just over an hour's drive from Leeds - and through some glorious countryside as well - which makes me wonder why didn't I get here before? Also saw rather helpfully that it's very near the Sportsman Arms in Wath so that's gone on the to-do list as well.

    Anyway, having followed the helpful directions to the pub, friend and I were perched in the sunshine at half twelve, with our Diet Coke and tonic water (driving you see, so no drinking this time) and perusing the menu of delights. It does seem unfair that one has to choose between honey quail on tabbouleh, or beef, chicken and foie gras terrine with asparagus veloute and beetroot relish, or millefeuille of crab salad and wild salmon, or seabass with risotto etc etc ... and the temptation to order EVERYTHING did almost overcome us.

    So I feel we exercised commendable restraint by only having 3 courses each and then some coffee - which were the honey quail and crab as starters, roast beef with all the trimmings as mains, and then plum clafoutis with cardomam (spelling?) icecream and apricot tart with chocolate sorbet as dessert, and coffee with petit fours to finish.

    Don't have time to go into massive detail this time - besides which I can sum it all by saying YUM and referrring to the well articulated opinions above and eslewhere. I would like to give special mention to the cardamon (spelling again) icecream - was absolutely delicious and was a real pity that my friend's spoon was so fast and that there wasn't more on the plate! In fact, this "project" of mine to try new restaurants may have to create a new subset of where is the best icecream - hmmm, maybe another thread? We paid £82 for lunch with soft drinks only - so wouldn't really break the bank either.

    It is a beatiful setting with exquisite food - and the £100 offer for dinner, bed & breakfast seems like a fantastic deal on that basis. Service was efficient and friendly so big tick there as well. Am already considering when we can fit another visit in.

    For reference - the website is here - just to tempt you a bit more.



  6. went in last night for dinner with my friend for fine food and to catch up on news - and was very satisfied on both counts.

    Had the duck canneloni and Foie gras terrine as starters, and both of us went for the sea bass as mains. All the food was good, but think the sea bass was my favourite - sweet succulent flesh and well crisped skin - which I can never do. Wimps that we were - we could only find room to share a dessert of milk chocolate souffle on the basis that it would go well with our coffees!

    However, the main point of this note is to bow down to all those who can manage three full courses from the alc. The food was delicious but I was completely stuffed about halfway through my main course, but felt it was only right and proper to continue! Clearly I need more practice at this gluttony lark :wink: .... good job I have the Blue Bicycle booked for this weekend



  7. Just wanted to post a note about a very nice Sunday lunch I had with family at the above. I think it’s the flagship one amongst Paul Heathcote’s group of restaurants, and perhaps the only one with a Michelin star at the moment?

    Anyway, we rolled up at 1pm and went straight to the table, although we did notice a very cosy bar area at the front where others sat perusing the menu. The website notes that it’s been recently refurbished, but since this was my first visit, can’t give you any comparisons. The restaurant seems to be a series of interconnecting rooms, with tasteful cream and deep red walls, adorned with various paintings and photos of the kitchen. Our table faced the windows into the kitchen which gave us tantalising glimpses of the work and food.

    Four of us (including the thirteen year old nephew – this would be a test!) ordered from the bargainous set lunch menu - £14 for 2 courses and £17 for three courses – that’s practically free! Mum just wanted a main so she went alc. So, what did we actually eat?

    Well we nibbled on some very tasty olives and fresh bread (think there were ciabatta-like rolls, and some swirly rolls had olives / tomato in them) to start with, before moving to salmon with chive (I think) mayonnaise, potted goosnargh duckling and grilled goat’s cheese with vine tomatoes. My salmon was delicious, perfectly cooked (i.e. a little bit rare in the centre) on a huge pool of mayo and a few dressed leaves. Was also rather beautifully presented on a square glass plate. I didn’t manage to get a fork to my sister’s duck or goat’s cheese starters in time, but if we’re judging by speed of scoffing and “mmm” noises then they hit the mark.

    Then onto the main course. Mum had some gammon with dumplings and vegetables cooked in stock broth which was an enormous hunk of tender meat – and she certainly seemed to enjoy it. The rest of us all went for the roast Forest of Bowland beef – done medium, medium rare or rare according to each of our personal preferences. Normally I try and persuade my fellow diners to have something different so that I get to taste theirs in exchange for a mouthful of my food. However, the plates of beef that had passed our table already looked far too tempting to pass up. Will have to go back to try spinach and nutmeg quiche, or turkey with beetroot relish or hake with a mild curry sauce. And boy did we make the right choice! The beef was incredibly tender and melt in the mouth, so that Liam’s comment that there were no serrated edges on the knives was not an issue. My sister felt the sauce / gravy was too seasoned or dominant, and she may have had a point. The yorkshires were also perhaps a little too stodgy for my liking – but we just fed them to my nephew! Still – relatively minor quibbles.

    Now if we were sensible decent folk, we would have stopped there. But when faced with the option of lemon cheesecake and raspberry sorbet, bread and butter pudding with clotted cream and poached apricots and apricot bakewell with crème anglaise ….. well, it would have been rude not to!! (I blame the party who had a huge pile of profiteroles with a spun sugar crown – they made me have sugar cravings )

    And they were GORGEOUS :wub: . My B&B pudding was a huge quivering crispy buttery creamy mass of unctuousness. (best comedy moment was when my sister took an enormous spoonful of whipped cream to cut the richness – but turned out to be clotted cream!). The lemon cheesecake was also good, and sublime when combined with the fruity raspberry sorbet. However, the winner was the warm apricot bakewell, pastry so short that it shattered into buttery crumbs, melt in the mouth almond filling and altogether one of the finest dessert experiences of my life. And there has been some serious research on my part! Eyes rolling and speechless appreciation all round the table on that one.

    With bottles of water, a few glasses of wine, some tea and 10% service – bill was £119 for the five of us.

    So – to sum up, fantastic food and service, nice setting and if you do the set lunch thing, so cheap it’s practically free. For those of you who haven’t tried it – maybe the website here - (follow the link to Longridge restaurant)… will tempt you. It’s only about 5-10 mins from jn 32 or 31a of the M6 so not difficult to get to either. I certainly intend to go back – and may consider eating nothing but pudding … but that would mean missing out on some fine cooking for the main as well. Still – nice to have such choices!




  8. was trying to creatively use up some ingredients from my fridge and freezer so I had:

    lunch - prawns warmed through in a sauce of sauteed onion, mushrooms, and half a tub of baby plum tomatoes, touch of sun dried tomato puree and some extra water - all cooked down till it collapsed, reduced, caramelised .. whatever. Accompanied by freshly steamed rice and wilted spinach. and a pot of bio live yoghurt to finish. was tastier than it looked

    had some fresh beet and potato with salad leaves for supper later .... felt very virtuous re: my five fruit and veg a day requirement by the end of the evening!



  9. bought some fresh beetroot for the first time ever at the weekend (I know ... what have I been doing with my culinary life :wink: !) - were being sold on a stall outside someone's house and were obviously only picked an hour or two beforehand ... and now wondering what to do with them.

    I think the basic choices I have are slow roast or boiling ... and then some sort of salad ... or possibly borscht - although the latter sounds like a lot of effort when it's just me. Have had a quick look at the recipe gullet, but was wondering if there were more great recommendations out there?

    I remember seeing various recipes for chocolate cake with beetroot in ... or is that a travesty of a great vegetable?

    With hopeful thanks in anticipation


  10. very lazy supper last night:

    two salmon fishcakes - bought fresh from the smokehouse at Craster on Sunday ... with salad leaves, halved baby plum tomatoes, green beans - dressed with french dressing and sliced avocado as well. dessert was pear and almon tart which lasted about 15 seconds!

    dinner will be even lazier tonight - something off the room service menu in my hotel ... (must not have chips .... must not have chips ..)



  11. friend and I are going on holiday in September around eastern Europe - will be two weeks in total - and have a few days in each of the above mentioned cities and wondered if any egulleteers have recommendations to visit or even avoid!

    I do have a couple of guidebooks, and we are going with a group of people so I doubt that I will starve, but any hidden gems or local favourites would be interesting to hear of. My friend is vegetarian but I suspect that she is not expecting to have a huge choice so anything along that line would be a tremendous surprise for her.

    As for me - apart from really scary offal, am up for most things. Would be interesting to see the range of restaurant experience as well - from most basic to the most luxurious (assuming my roubles stretch that far!)

    So .. fingers crossed for any recommendations!




  12. if I'm allowed to add more suggestions then I would also point you in the direction of Margaret Costa's Four Seasons cookery book - which was reprinted a few years back. I'm generally quite a fan of the grouping by ingredients approach to recipes - suits my "oh ... I have a glut of apples ... or I fancy something with mushrooms" moments and style of feeding. For the same reason, am also a fan of the Simon Hopkinson Roast Chicken books already mentioned. Sybil Kapoor does something similar with "modern british food" and "simply british". however, these latter suggestions may be unhelpful since a quick trawl on amazon showed they were a bit harder to get hold of.

    For a good basic book - then I do think Delia or the ever reliable Good Housekeeping general ones are hard to beat.

    Moby mentioned the pudding club book a bit earlier - I've a much thumbed copy, which sits alongside similar - "summer pudding club" and "the book of old tarts" on my bookshelves. The latter was a xmas present and a pretty bloody cheeky one at that! :biggrin:

  13. Things like 'The art of the tart', 'In praise of the potato',

    don't forget "a paeon to peas" and "a eulogy to eggs"

    I'm waiting for 'Bravo for Bcon' myself :biggrin:

    almost there - there's a book called Everything tastes better with bacon.

    am too stoopid to do a proper amazon link - but it's defintely there



  14. looking at the lists above suspect I am much more low brow, but still have a lot of fun!

    Nigel Slater is probably the cookbook writer whose writing I enjoy most, and his Real Food is my favourite for the way he just concentrates on his eight favourite foods (potatoes, garlic, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, chicken and two more which escape me).

    Tamasin Day Lewis's Art of the Tart is pretty luscious too.

    I have various Elizabeth David books, and do enjoy dipping into them (especially the essay ones) but probably don't cook from them very often.

    However, if anyone happens to be short of her books, then they may wish to visit The Book People website and wander into their cookery section. And in amongst the celebrity chef type books is this excellent set of Penguin cookery books for a tenner - Titles in this set: Real Fast Puddings, Real Fast Food, (Nigel Slater) Italian Food, A Book of Mediterranean Food, Summer Cooking (Elizabeth David), English Food (Jane Grigson), A Celebration of Soup (Lindsay Bareham) and English Seafood Cookery (Rick Stein).

    I didn't care that I had most of them - went and bought one anyway!



  15. Friend and I had a very pleasant Sunday lunch at the Durham Ox yesterday. It's at Crayke, just north of York, about 20-30 mins drive northwards from the centre (depending on who's behind the wheel!). Ate in the bar for a more informal feel, but looks like the beer garden at the back would give you an excellent view of the vales and green hills etc. Apparently this is the hill where the duke of york has 10,000 men and marched them up to the top of the hill etc etc. We had no such thoughts of marching - food was what we wanted!

    We each had a starter - my fishcakes were light and tasty, and her breaded camembert was polished off pretty quickly. Then onto roast beef with roasties and yorkshire pud for us both - and meat was tender and juicy - so all good. We were too full for dessert each so split a granny smith brulee with vanilla shortbread biscuits. Was very yummy with a creamy custard and hidden nuggets of apple. I tried to convince my friend that it was like a lower fat or carb version of apple pie since there was no pastry - just custard and apple. She wasn't convinced!

    We had a coffee each, but sadly they let themselves down since both of them were excessively bitter - even with extra milk. Still - at £50 for two people, it's pretty good if you're in that neck of the woods.

    Admittedly the Star Inn at Harome is only another 30 mins away, but it can be difficult getting a table there. This place would be more than decent consolation.



  16. well my lunches have been known to go on, so we might still be there  :biggrin:

    well i stayed until about 7pm, until mrs marshall made me come home as she wanted to go out for dinner with me- spoilsport :biggrin:

    giles coren did a great review in the saturday times, www.thetimes.co.uk.

    a great lunch was had by all, a full attack of the ALC with the 2 starters, mains, cheese & desert strategy working well.

    full report to follow....


    revised link for the times article here ...

    *sigh* - where's my phone? only Monday and already am feeling need to venture in for Sat lunch ...

  17. I am useless with Lake District geography but I do know that there is a Leeds-Settle-Carlisle route which would get you pretty close - Leeds - Settle - Carlisle link and there is also the Transpennine Express which I have used regularly to get across to Preston - and you can pick up all sorts of necessary connections from there - Transpennine link

    Hope some of this helps.

    Please don't mistake any of this for altruism - am just trying to facilitate some more glorious reviews!



  18. but nibbed hazlenuts can be a nice addition to the crumble topping - honest! :smile:

    someone has already mentioned turning the berries into a sauce - would think it would go well with rich meats like duck, venison or such like.

    and also a blackberry fool would be lovely for summer. Think Bill Granger has a recipe for blackberry butter which could be a bit different? try this link blackberry butter



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