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Pranian man

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  1. Has anyone been to Don Alfonso recently and does it live it up to it's excellent reputation? Does anyone have any other suggestions in this area - especially anything simpler and less expensive? Many thanks
  2. Many thanks for all suggestions - I should have added that I would be interested in all general food excursions rather than just restaurants so all are gratefully received Got hold of The Food and Wine Guide to Naples and Campania and it looks fantastic I knew nothing about this area before but am getting the idea that the overall standard of food served in restaurants will be good....?
  3. Staying in Marina di Camerota for a week and looking for simple trattorias serving traditional, local fayre. Is there a distinctive regional cuisine? Any suggestions from Maratea to Agropoli would be very welcome. There was a time when going on holiday to Europe offerred a good excuse to go crazy at the high end. Now, with the state of the pound v. the euro it is literally cheaper to go to the top London establishments which is saying something.... Still I could be tempted if there are any suggestions. Thanks
  4. Many thanks for your reply Maureen Sorry, I cenrtainly didn't want to knock Heinz Beck, it was simply a question of "when in Rome"... I am very intereested in the Piperno suggestion and may well opt for there but could you just tell whether you would describe L'Altro as Roman (or even regional Italian based, or is it more sort of "internationalised" high end cuisine as at Enotecca Pinchiorri in Florence?
  5. Can't find much about this restaurant except having seen its 1 star in Michelin. Not always sure about Michelin in Italy but their ratings do seem reliable. Having looked through many of the others recommended on egullet it looks like many of them seem to have quite a few "off nights" and as I am there for one night only, I want to make sure it's a good one. Would be delighthed to have any other consistent mod/high level recommendations as well (La Pergola is too high unfortunately.....and the chef is German anyway I beieve) many thanks to anyone that can help
  6. Could anyone recommend me any such bistros or point me to any other threads which may be useful? Chez Maitre Paul has been recommended but has anyone been recently? Many thanks if you can help and sorry if this has been covered already!
  7. Many thanks for everyone's help - especially Pelayin with driving directions and all - look forward to getting to as many of these as possible! Will report back in August
  8. Thanks a lot Victor. This information is priceless! Naturally I will report back. Any more comments from anyone????
  9. Has anyone eaten anywhere in this area recently? I see that El Corral del Indianu and Casa Marcial in Arriondas appear to be the top resturants in the area but is this still the case? I would also be very up for finding out about any (hopefully) Rafas style more rustic establishments serving local seafood if at all possible.......? Any reccomendations very welcome, either up or downscale Thanks
  10. Has anyone actually been to Calima yet? I can't find much about it or even the hotel on web. I may have the chance to go next week. thanks
  11. Anyone know where to get fresh chick peas in London? Also looking for the likes of fresh haricot and borlotti beans.
  12. Did anyone see who AWT is up against next week? Surely he can't win can he, whoever the other one turns out to be?? And as for his chances of beating the likes of Marcus Wareing in a final if it did come to it....
  13. Thanks Viking. Can you tell me anything else about Gamvik as regards prices/booking/formality and barrio?
  14. Anyone got any more recent info on Colibri? I can hardly find anything on it re type of restaurant (eg formal/informal), menu (rustic/nuevo), prices etc. Shoud I choose there or Hisop? Already booked in at Cinc Sentits and plan to follow Silly Disciples essential top 10
  15. Great series of posts Silly D. Doesn't sound much like Kitchen Confidential there (which is literally all I know about cooking schools). Just wondering what level the trainee chefs have to reach to cook for the restaurant? I was planning to visit soon.
  16. The restaurant behind the tiny tapas bar Casablanca (Zaragoza, 50) is a delight, and fantastic value. Is medium-high end (but not quite alto cocina) Andalusian cuisine but perfectly executed with the best ingredients and the odd creative flourish. It would be my first port of call in Seville. As already mentioned, the tapas bar is supoosed to be very good as well, but does get very crowded.
  17. I wish I could remember more about them now, but my favourites were Ensalada “folie”; Quinoa germinada con sopa de tucupí, kaffir y callos de pollo; Ventresca de caballa en escabecche de pollo con cebolla and Bogavante al natural. The Ensalada “folie” seemed to me to be the essence of what El Bulli is all about and one of my favourities for sheer, downright cleverness. It was hard to work out what most of it was and when we did recognise something, it wasn't what it seemed. At least half of it escaped me, but there was probably some celery(?) with the texture of apple, bread (?) with the texture of sponge, baby artichokes like no others I have come across, and the whole thing had additionally taken up the flavours of the surrounding foam (dressing). I thought the Santos article was interesting and put our evening into the context of the evolution of the restaurant, but still don't see why his removal of unsolicited bread from the menu means that (or is symbolic of the fact that) he has calmed down and set off on this new path? Also, fascinating report from Vmilor (and trsierra) - thanks. We ate at Can Roca the day before and left wondering how El Bulli could be any better. In the end we left El Bulli with the feeling that it was another step up again. Maybe it's because we had been to CR before or just that we were carried away by the mystique of El Bulli? Also, I can't help being impressed by the fact that at El-Bulli we didn't really know what we were eating, but I know that shouldn't really count. Maybe they shouldn't be compared as really they are very different styles despite having the same foundations? Looks like a controversial year for El Bulli, even amonst the Catalans and Spanish.....?
  18. Have typed up my menu below. We were given ours in English as the other two in the party didn’t speak Spanish and none of us spoke Catalan. Much is similar but we didn’t get the Caipirinha, Barbapapa que se va, muelle e aceite de oliva virgen, salicornia rebozada al azafran con emulsion de ostra, merengue seco, papillote de tomates al mastic, caracoles con necoras, espardenyes etc, not to mention the morphings. (BTW, why does the phrase “morphings” actually mean?) In fact, Docsconz’s menu contains another 10 items. (We said at the start we liked everything and had never been before). Ours does miss off two deserts, but in any case, we were hardly left wanting… margarita 2005 spherical olives parmesan cheese marshmallows pop-corn of Reypencer-muscat nut 3D with Ras el Hanout spices and basil-lemon mango disk and black olive “cru” melon with herbs and fresh almonds pumpkin oil caramel cloud of popcorn spherical mozarella sea asparagus with safran and oyster emulsion brioche by steam thaw 2005 (based around pine nuts) “crazy” salad carrot-lyo foam - Marrakesh, hazelnut air foam quinoa with tucipi soup, kaffir and chicken tripes (don’t remember any tripes) sweet corn sufle/coulant monk fish liver in fondue with sesam linquat earthy marinated mackerel belly – chicken and onion “escabeche” fresh lobster (with passionfruit and lobster caviar/jus foam etc) red cabbage with ham lentils (translucent, and quite large chick pea lentil shapes) tandori chicken wings with germinated green shisho and oysters sauce passion fruit marshmallow with fresh mint peach liquid Morphings…. (need to check these but all different from below photos) Regarding “(dining?)”, I only meant that it wasn’t just other dining experiences that were overwhelmed by the El-Bulli evening, but many other favourite moments as well. However, off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else I have enjoyed so much in a very long time. For me I think it’s the whole mystique of the restaurant being situated in such a lovely part of the world, at the end of a slightly treacherous road, tables being so hard to come by, so much having been written and said about it – so many superlatives, such huge expectations, a rare two night break from my (young, lovely but tiring) daughters……….
  19. Thanks Docsconz and Molto for all the amazing pics. I just caught sight of them before leaving for my trip to Spain to eat at El-Bulli actually the 14th, but didn't look at them too closely so as not to spoil the surprise. Also, I was especially grateful as I thought you two had saved me the trouble of taking any pictures. However, as it turns out, even a matter of a couple of days later much of the menu seems to have changed, but the crazy salad and the earth dish seem to be the same, along with one or two others. Also, I was struck by the fact that even on the night different tables seemed to get different courses. For example, we got the frozen margharita to start, but the next table got the caipirinha-nitro that Docsconz described. Also, in contrast to another table we didn't get the goodbye hands - but this was hardly anything to be upset about. Overall, despite our enormous expectations, El-Bulli far exceeded them. I was expecting more food to challenge and shock the palate without it necessarily being the sort of the thing you would be delighted to eat all night. However, as it turned out, everything was utterly sublime and it has blown all my previous (dining?)experiences out of the water. To us, it was certainly in a different league again to the Fat Duck for example. Also I have to admit that, in contrast to many previous top-end meals, there is absolutely nothing that I fancy trying my hand at.…
  20. In the first episode he spoke of seeking honest, traditional French food - not the sort that comes from Michelin starred restaurants (as if there were something wrong with them). Could there be any jealousy here? I have never been to his restaurant, so can anyone tell me whether he has deliberately eschewed making compromises that could have won him a star or has he just not been up to par? He also ate at Tupina in Bordeaux and showed its delightfully antiquated kitchen with more or less everything cooked in an enormous fireplace. He thoroughly approved because it "wasn't following any food trends....thank God". Fair enough, I am all for authentic, rustic regional cuisine, but not to the exclusion of the nouveau. And by a food trend, does he mean "creative"? French cuisine would have stopped evolving once Larousse was published according to this logic. Fair enough to have a go at the foam bandwagon jumpers without a single new idea between them, but I once saw a piece in OFM where he made his views of Heston and the like quite clear....and they weren't positive. Also, in this series he makes it clear how much he owes to Brittany in particular and France in general for the menus at his own restaurant.......but if he really seeks to emulate them, why doesn't he let children in, even at lunchtimes? Surely in Europe they wouldn't hear of such a thing. And while we're on the subject, did anyone think it was slightly ironic when, in his last Food Heroes series, he made such a point of lionising these producers of high quality produce who "will never get rich doing it" but are just 100% committed to the enduring value of their traditional methods. He could at least have mentioned that he has done very nicely off the back of them through his series fee and the two associated books. At least he could have given something back to them from the profits of the Guide to the food heroes of Britain book? Especially as he probably never lifted a finger in writing it in any case. Still very watchable, mind
  21. Can anyone point me to a recipe for the above? I believe coconut milk, lime and chillies are involved.....? A search of recipe gullet and google yielded nothing Would be very grateful for any assistance
  22. I would highly recommend Zafferano for such an occasion, after my own visit in similar scenario last week. Cost is £35 for 4 courses at lunch. It is perhaps a little more formal than the others you have already visited, but certainly more lively and upbeat than Andrew Edmunds (it is Italian after all). Better book pronto though.
  23. Just been to the Menu for lunch today and I would recommend it highly to anyone. The set, three course menu (with three choices for each course) at £30 looked more than adequate and very reasonable.......but, cheekily, they do give you the £55 a la carte menu just slightly earlier, and by then I had caught sight of entrees involving fois gras, scallops, lobster and other favourites that just couldn't be ruled out. We started with bread sticks accompanied by a really outstanding black olive tapenade that seemed to include some black lentils and a small dish of incredibly moreish and subtly fragrant olive oil. A pleasant amuse bouche of melon juice/puree with a little mint followed which proved suitably refreshing for a hot day, but wasn't explosive in any way. For my entree, I had a slice of pressed foie gras that had been built around two layers of pancetta and one of black truffles, served with toast (maybe not brioche due to their Italian influence?), chutney, a small collection of parsleys and a few dressed, raw, fine green beans. This was not groundbreaking, but executed to perfection. The main course (perhaps unusually I have to say?) of Anjou Rabbit was the finest part of my whole day. It featured a kidney, a liver, 2 racks of ribs, 2 rolled joints and 2 fillets and was served with some extraordinary, crunchy green peas (or beans of some type) and a roll of mashed potato. This medley was topped with a thin meat jus and a black truffle vinaigrette, finished with a handful of white truffle shavings. Naturally the whole plate exuded an enchanting aroma of truffles and the flavour of it all perfectly complimented the rich, tender (obviously quite young) rabbit. A slight disappointment here - no pre-desert! I ordered a desert named something like...Carib semi-freddo. I get the freddo bit but am not sure about the Carib. Anyway, it was made of layers of quite hard (semi-chilled perhaps) chocolate with three layers of a kind of coarse sponge cake complemented by - what had really attracted me in the first place - olive oil sorbet. This was similar to an ice cream, probably due to the emulsification of the oil, but still seemed almost creamy and had only a subtle, but lasting, finish of marvellous Italian olive oil of the highest possible grade (well, maybe not quite Manni?). The whole plate was given the appearance of wings by two wavy chocolate tuiles inserted into the sorbet, around the size, shape and texture of rashers of crispy back bacon - but were otherwise not comparable in any way I must add. Friandises was a tiramisu with two slender sponge fingers and a small basket of cherries. Another slight disappointment as I do appreciate some chocolate at this point....but maybe I have become to used to petit fours. Why couldn’t they have made, say, chocolate coated cherries? Overall, this was the best meal I have had in some time and I wouldn't hesitate to go back. The entree and main course were more traditional in nature, but just perfect and the desert was a little more creative and still a tremendous success. I know it was a special meal as I have still got that slightly ‘floating a cloud’ feeling now - if you know what I mean? Always a good sign. Anyone else had the £30 lunch menu recently?
  24. Can anyone shed any light on these two above mentioned dishes? Ravioli de alga kombu y erizos Sesos de cordero con erizo de uva de mar I understood erizo to be hedgehog, but it seems to have some kind of seafood connection here Also, what on earth is this? Panceta iberica confitada con buey de mar a la cantonesa Thanks
  25. Struggling to remember now, it was so long ago. Hostal la Granota is a solid choice. It's the most rustic of the three, by some margin, with bare stone walls and floors and has a ridiculously cheap set meal, for lunch times at any rate. You could conceivably miss this one if short of time, but it would be a worthwhile stop on your journey. La Xicra is, as opposed to La Granota, neo-rustic and filled with well-upholstered furniture and tasteful poster art. The food is similarly a step up from la Granota, but more traditional Catalan than nouveau. I recall duck with summer truffles and sliced potatoes as a main course and a mint sorbet for desert. El-Roser 2 is another step up again and is a solidly white table cloth affair. We sat in the annex part which is essentially a greenhouse with a view across the bay at L'Escala. On a less windy day I think this edifice could be deconstructed to provide a more authentic en terraza type of dining experience. Here I recall an entrada of very generous portions of foie-gras and scallops, both seared and crispy on the outside and similarly delightfully jelly-like on the inside. With both my favourites over in a single course, this meant I could have a main course of something involving neither scallops or foie-gras for a change! I chose a superb casserole of lobster, clam and espardenyes with a red-wine and (lots of) garlic type of sauce. This would be my pick of the three, but one will pay accordingly.
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