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Posts posted by YKL

  1. Another quick lunch at Anthony's on Saturday - and still very good.

    Lots of new items on the menu - which made the choice rather difficult. the set menu looked very tempting on this occasion, but I was feeling self indulgent so turned my attention to the ALC menu. In particular, the soft shell crab starter and black cod main sounded very appealing but decided to save them for another visit.

    So what did I scoff?

    amuse - almond milk (I think) and cauliflower cream with muesli. Good flavours in both - but preferred the cauliflower cream, and the toasted oats added good texture.

    bread - with the usual parmesan, brown and salted butters, and olive oil. All very much on form.

    starter - ravioli of pig's cheek and scallop with potato foam. A very good dish this one, the thinly sliced scallop formed the pasta sheet to cover the piggy goodness, was garnished with caviar and it all sat on a mound of creamy potato. The dish managed to stay just on the right side of richness ... which Is how I managed to polish off the plate.

    Main - saddle of lamb, lamb's heart and quinoa - um, the menu description tells you everything you need to know really. The onion puree buried under the thinly sliced lamb hearts was particularly good, and overall, was a good meaty counterpoint to the creaminess of the amuse and starter.

    pre-dessert - carrot pannacotta with ginger ice cream and grated chocolate. The ice cream was the star here - lovely warmth and zingy flavour but fabulously creamy as well

    Dessert - chocolate pot - was expecting a dinky pot of chocolate cream as a light finish - but actually got a vast bowl of freshly baked brownie with a jug of chocolate sauce pour over it. The waiter impishly explained that there were a million calories in each mouthful .. but that didn't have the deterrent effect he might have expected ... Still - on the basis that I was due to have dinner at Red Chilli that night, left a little bit.

    With peppermint tea, a few soft drinks and service, I paid £60 for lunch. So not cheap, but a treat. It's worth noting that the set lunch is still £23 for 3 courses which would have been very good value.



  2. Bapi - you're a splendid man for bringing this little gem to our attention!

    Went for lunch on Saturday with sister and nephew - and had a very very good meal for very very little dosh!

    Details off the top of my head:

    Bread - choice of walnut or cheese - fresh from the oven. The walnut one I had was very good - good crust and not over nutty.

    Starters - between us we tried the cider cured salmon with pickled fennel - very good and light, but the best starter on the table was the chicken liver parfait which was wonderfully rich and flavoursome. I had to stop myself from nicking more off her plate!

    Mains - covered all three choices between us - so that was sea bream, rump of lamb and pork (with madeira sauce?) - all with veg and potatoes (dauphinoise with the pork for example). The pork and lamb were good, thought the dauphinouse were a little so-so in comparison, but the sea bream was exemplary as per Bapi's comments upthread. The crispest skin I have ever tried - but the fillet remained moist and tender - how does he do that?!?! but for me - (and I can't believe I am going to type this) - the carrots with my pork were AMAZING! I don't know what he did to them - but they were delicious - sweet but still some deep earthy note to them as well. I only had three - and wished that I could have ordered a separate bowl of them!!

    Puddings were not really required - but when has that stopped us? So two portons of sticky toffee pudding and one chocolate fonant please - all of which seemed to be accompanied by white chocolate ice-cream - which was very very good.

    Water, coffee, and a couple of drinks - and with service - the three of us paid less than £65. If you're anywhere near this place, and you haven't been yet - go now! and if you've already been, then you're probably going again!

    Me? well, we were reminded of the £35 7 course tasting menu so sister and I need to coordinate diaries - all this food - so little time!



  3. Well, it seems as if your right... Gordon Ramsay, Tom Aikens, The Ledbury, The Square, Maze. All closed for lunch on saturday...

    I guess I'll just have to go for a quick burger at The Golden Arches...


    Um .... are you sure about Maze? I was there for lunch on Sat a month ago. Liked the food - think the atmosphere will depend on how busy it is ...

  4. Gary - would it be a complete pain if I brought a veggie friend along for lunch / dinner?  (we are talking May time here!) I could see soup and the hash brown on the menu - but wondered if there is usually something else? 


    :laugh::laugh: Knowing Gary's fondness for salad and all thing's vegetarian- I would be intrigued.

    Mmm, come to think of it - how about a vegetarian tasting menu Gary? :wink:

    yeah - thought I'd check!! she might be ok with just chips - but that seeems mean!

  5. I don't have a spare weekend for ages and all this talk of roast beef is killing me!!


    Gary - would it be a complete pain if I brought a veggie friend along for lunch / dinner? (we are talking May time here!) I could see soup and the hash brown on the menu - but wondered if there is usually something else?


  6. apart from the lemon up the bottom, I also put butter on the breast - but under the skin so that it doesn't fall off in the cooking. (need to carefully separate so as not to tear the skin. and some olive oil and S&P on top

    times are 18 min per lb or 20 mins per half kilo - with extra 15-20 mins on top.

    so 1.5 kg bird gets about 75-80 mins

    also tend to baste a few times during cooking ...

    Cooked breast side up, and rested for at least 10 mins after coming out of the oven.

    so far, touch wood, birds are cooked and succulent. Also also lots of juices afterwards to which I add extra lemon juice to serve

  7. and no michelin starred restaurants in manchester (or leeds either (yet))

    the best cooking is in the sticks, not that i am in any way biased  :laugh:

    I thought Pool Court at 42 in Leeds had a star? I haven't been, opting instead for Anthony's, which was fantastic. Clearly michelin worthy. Has anyone been to Pool Court? I go to Leeds every couple of months and wondered whether I should give it a go, or return to Anthony's.

    Pool Court did indeed have a star but it shut its doors recently (think it was at Xmas / NY) - think the owners decided to go and live the high life in France! Just means that Brasserie 44 has more room.

    Sadly I never got to go before it shut - but admittedly a mediocre meal at Brasserie 44 made me less inclined.

    I'm terribly biased towards Anthony's - but there are other good options too. e.g. No 3 York Place not been mentioned in this thread yet?

  8. not sure that Warwick is known as a hotbed of restaurants but if your friend is prepared to drive / cab less than 10 miles, the following have a decent enough reputation

    Boot at Lapworth - gastropub - apparently they've also opened a sister branch in Warwick called Saxon Mill which you could google for

    Or in Kenilworth, there's Simply Simpsons - which you should do well at?

    Sample menus are on the websites so that should give info on opening times and price range?

  9. A few ideas, Red Chilli up in the carriageworks nr Millennium Square is great for a wide range of fresh and authentic chinese dishes and has a good selection of vegetarian options. 

    There is a great new spanish-slanted deli which has recently opened on Swinegate (opposite Malmaison) http://www.saltsdeli.co.uk

    Piccolino on Park Row is a new branch of the NW chain and pretty good - I haven't tried the salads but they look appealing. 

    Red Chilli is definitely very good indeed - and will be comfortably within your budget indicated above.

    Salts looks great - and keep meaning to make a proper visit.

    Think Piccolino was recommended by Olga at Anthony's the other day - which is high praise in my book!

    Otherwise, you could always fall back on Marks and Spencer!



  10. Agree that Arts by the Corn Exchange is a very good choice - the only problem might be tearing yourself away to go back to the office!

    Have not gone back to Tampopo for several years since a number of mediocre meals. A far better soup noodle option would be Fuji Hiro up by the Merrion centre, or even Little Toyko behind House of Fraser.

    If sushi works for you - Sisushi have now opened a branch in Central Leeds (orginal website is here). Have always had pretty good stuff from the original Chapel Allerton branch - but think this one does more than just sushi, and of course, there is always Yo Sushi in Harvey Nicks now.

    Actually you could go to Harvey Nicks restaurant - surely they must do the ladies who lunch thing properly. But I will admit my bias and say that you would do better at Anthony's at Flannels (website all day menu here) - where I am sure you could find something nutritious but non fattening.

    Otherwise - reasonable Italians for light pasta or salads - well Bibi's is an institution (website here), but Casa Mia on Millenium Square or Brios on George Street are pretty good as well.

    You'll have the usual places offering sandwiches in the centre of town but since I've not worked in the centre for years, am not sure where would be best - and some of them change hands pretty frequently! The Food Emporium on York Place looked to be interesting - but Gary Marshall would be best placed to advise on that.

    Umm .. that's all I can think of at the moment ....

    hope that helps


  11. Some quick notes on a good lunch I had at Jessica's yesterday with my sister.

    The lunch menu seems to offer excellent value - at £23.50 for 3 courses and I was almost tempted by the option which had salt cod and squid starter, belly pork main and blackberry parfait dessert. However, once we saw the alc choices, and saw a menu surprise of 5 courses for £39.95 ... that's what we plumped for. The maitre d' checked if there were any dishes we wouldn't want - which allowed me to blackball the goat's cheese option - v good practice in my book.

    So what did we have? Well, didn't take any notes so all the following is from memory

    pre-starter - artichoke cream, pomme veloute, cubes of pear (can't remember the preparation - poached?), and roasted pistachio oil in a shot glass. Very good start - each flavour clear and distinct yet supporting each other really well. Particularly liked the sweetness of the pear with the earthiness of the artichoke, and the pomme veloute was amazing. Things were looking promising.

    starter no.1 - veloute (?) of trompette de mort with a lightly cooked egg yolk, smoked haddock cream and confit of baby leeks. Hmm, the least successful dish of the day for both of us. The fish sauce was good but possibly over dominant, and it was impressive see the yolk was only just set on the edges. But ... didn't get enough of a flavour coming through from the mushrooms, and overall - the dish didn't really click for us. It wasn't a bad dish - just didn't work for us.

    starter no.2 - ballotine of duck foie gras with orange jelly with parkin bread. Best dish of the day for both of us. Great foie - and we both liked the lift that the orange glaze and jelly gave it. But the genius touch was the treacly spicy goodness of the bread - delicious by itself but amazing with the foie. More please!!

    starter no.3 - salt cod, (baby?) squid rings, and merguez sausage. We were very pleased when this arrived since we'd both been eying it up on the menu! and it didn't disappoint. Salt cod was dense and meaty as it should be - without excessive saltiness. Squid was tender and sweet, and was a rather delicious mouthful with tiny cubes of merguez. Think there might have been a dab of celeriac sauce on the plate - but we weren't sure and didn't ask. All very very good again.

    main course - breast of duck, salsify cooked in pineapple juice, puy lentils, buttered savoy cabbage and black olive sauce/paste. Still doing pretty well here. I might have preferred the meat slightly more pink - but a very very minor quibble. Salsify was delicious, and again the fruit provided a pleasing sweetness (seemed to be a theme to some of his other dishes?).

    dessert - popcorn parfait with coconut ice cream, caramel and lime syrup sauces. A good rather than stunning dessert I would say. Ice cream was very good - light and milky. and the parfait was nice with a decent popcorn flavour. We wondered what made him choose this dessert rather any of the others ... maybe it's more unusual?

    Coffee/ tea and p4s to follow. A couple of bottles of water and the bill came to under £110 with service. There were no other drinks because although we'd ordered some wine by the glass, it didn't arrive immediately so we thought maybe it was being brought with the later courses. By the time the duck came, we realised they'd forgotten, and by then, we couldn't be bothered. But this was the only hiccup in what was otherwise very smooth service. We were amused when he asked if we were in the trade - were we that disruptive?! :blink::D

    Eventually waddled out the door after 3pm ... and felt that we'd had a good meal. So - the acid test - will we return? Yes, probably - once we've figured out if we can fit it in. We both reckoned on trying the lunch menu next time to see how Chef worked with different budget constraints ... so we shall see.

    website is here



  12. so far .. have Jessica's booked for Jan, and Maze in March. The alliteration is entirely coincidental although that could be amusing ... Fraiche in Feb?

    There are also tentative plans for my first visit to Ludlow and all the delights it has to offer, and maybe this year I will finally get to try Yauatcha or Hakkasan. Am also keen to visit the Ledbury and Galvin Bistrot deluxe

    Closer to home, H and I have made a "to-do" list for this year - including Rish in York, Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey, Cafe 21 in Durham and / or No 21 Queen St in Newcastle, McCoys at Yarm, Sportmans Arms in Wath, Angel Inn in Hetton ... as well as going back to places like Anthony's, Star at Harome ....

  13. my favourites have already been mentioned .... but Sybil Kapoor's Modern British Food is another good one. Rather like Margaret Costa's book in that she picks a few highlights for each month .... and then provides recipes for them.

    and if you happen to have Nigel Slater's appetite ... then there's a good couple of pages in his introductory chapter which sum up what to look forward to throughout the year.




  14. Bapi & Yin have had the pleasure of Sunday lunch, i think they're coming back so

    Sorry - didn't get time to post earlier but I can confirm that it was very good indeed. The pub itself is warm and homely, hospitality from Gary and Sarah gracious and food is well executed. Special mention must go to the Oxtail faggot I had that day - sweet sweet shreds of meat - just lovely!

    Am sure Gary and Sarah will do very very well - they certainly deserve to!

    and I'll be back ASAP!!



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