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Everything posted by BertieWooster

  1. Completely wrong. Restaurant cooking is about consistency and delivery of the same high-level experience to each and every customer. Michelin requires consistency of standards, which requires a very clear template (not to mention delivery to GP does likewise). With a few exceptions, one doesn't visit a top restaurant expecting sheer new invention each and every time The skill is in the origination of the idea and the quality and service control, which doesn't imply having to be there all the bloody time. THere's also massive skill involved in running a business, particularly in this sector. Its the difference between being a cook and being a chef.
  2. I don't expect Mr Porsche to have personally overseen construction of each of the cars coming out of his factory. I do, however, expect them to have the standards and quality expected thanks to bearing his imprimatur. (unfortunately, it appears Messrs Alfa and Romeo DO oversee production personally. Its just they're always drunk)
  3. Don't most of the larger outfits put service charges through the PAYE system though? (Or in some cases actually make up the wages to minimum out of tips ) ← AIUI, there's a difference between the 'compulsory' service charge, which for tax purposes is treated as if it were part of the normal wage bill once dividied, and is the responsibility of the employer, and the tronc which is totally separate, and is legally not regarded as the responsibility of the employer in any way. NI and PAYE are paid on the former through the normal systems, while on the latter it is up to the employee. I would wonder, then, how many people would put extra service on top of the 'optional/compulsory' service charge in top-end places? WHich might suggest the accounting figures do include the majority of service amounts. ((Some employers try to have it both ways, not paying NI and tax on tips, but claiming them as contributing towards minimum wage...))
  4. Now remember that these figures are historic.Not a reflection of what is happening currently. ← Uhhr, not necessarily. Given it's not stated which FY these breaches happened, they could have taken place any time up to the week before the accounts were signed off. Auditors have to take a view on the going concern of the business and therefore make judgements and add statements about the current operation. The implication of the statements is not that GRH missed a payment, but that they over-extended and went beyond the level of debt allowed. The US might be something to do with this. Can Gordon spell 'pre-pack'?
  5. More detail in T'Guardian, including some interesting loans. Does say the notes have 'breaches' of covenants rather than just re-negotiation.
  6. GRH has breached its covenants, though whether in this FY or last, no-one seems to know.
  7. Had a good, if not great, meal at the Star yesterday. COuldn't work out the stuff about the new areas as the restaurant seemed much as it always had--but the place was empty due to the snow, so they maybe were just using the old bit? Mrs W. had an oxtail ravioli which was lovely for a cold evening. My black pudding was over-dry, and they only had a couple of fish dishes (again cos of sup[plies I would assume). So BUrton is leaving the Black Swan? Not surprised--not quite the right clientele I would't have thought.
  8. Though spectacularly self-obsessed if, on a flight from Mumbai a week after the bombings, his main object of interest was the food.
  9. And there we are all bigging up the wonder of Harvey Nick's as the best fine dining place in Manc and Ms Seagrave decides to leave
  10. THats what Murun Buchstansangur and co are claiming. However, as pointed out on the Michelin thread, other restaurants opening later in the year HAVE got stars
  11. Actually I wasn't being sexist. At least not in quite that way. When specifically 'women-friendly bars' were introduced a couple of decades ago (principally All Bar One) they were deliberately designed to have very large windows. Research demonstrated that women preferred to be able to see into somewhere they were going, and likewise to look out at the streets whilst drinking. While men like dank, dark caves obviously. Yeah, we do cocktails and beat Harvey Nicks' into a cock(tail)-ed hat. I'm almost more proud of the cocktail list (all from pre-1960 and including some very obscure and beautiful ones) than I am of the food.
  12. We did a staggering number of Sex and the City parties when the film was on at the Printworks, so we must be relatively xx-chromosome friendly. And we host the women in business networkers too. Its probably all the glass.
  13. well evidence would suggest not, there's plenty of 1* places especially who obviously have the accoutrements and 'complete package' to be starred but the chef goes and they lose it. ← I think there's also a bit of leeway given to places that lose their chefs. Example being the Devonshire. Wignall goes, they take three-four months to make a new appointment, so it loses its star. Once SMith is up and running, first opportunity it gets its star back. NOw, I think the food is better than under WIgnall (but more my taste) and is certainly deserved (especially as they shed the appalling maitre d' to Amerdale House), but its probably no better than a host of other places. Having had a star already seemed to make the inspectors more willing to issue one again. Your example of Gueller also had him going to a previously one-starred place. The INspectors were attuned to both chef and venue being previously starred, so its easy to award one. And they now, after a couple of years, finally deserve it!
  14. Northcote's hardly French inspired though. There have been literally hundreds of posts on this subject over the last year or so and Thom must be too-busy two-timing this board with Skyscraper City to have noticed and given his usual report. The French at the Midland, as noted, is the nearest you'll get in the city if you really want French inspired. Seems weird to come to Manchester and do that though? Abode is usually seen as the best high-end, though the service is a bit lacking still. THere's a couple of good British places (including ours which is going more and more down the 'obscure bits of animal' route). Harvey Nicks fourth floor is lovely, but service can be a bit hit and miss. The cooking is getting better and better, and would be my high-end venue of choice. Depends what you mean by environs though. Northcote is easy reach, as is Fraiche in Birkinhead. As is L'Enclume in Cumbria (ninety minutes-ish on the train). As is Anthony's in Leeds. None exactly French though (whatever two of their names might imply)!
  15. Not sure its about 'over' charging. Just that costs have increased substantially in the last year. Course, why they should have increased in MAnchester and not elsewhere is interesting.
  16. Indeed - and I'm surprised (and disappointed) to see "Jem & I" on that list. ← LIkewise. Glad to see I was right with the LAtymer and Burlington. Pleased for the latter. No Hipping Hall, probably tried too hard! And The Bruce Arms with a Bib. A classic 'doing great food for decades' place, well rewarded. Good for Becasse in Ludlow as well. The town's rep is saved somewhat Ducasse rising three? Hated the place and, for once, was not alone given the kicking it got. Wonderful for Fraiche, and, yes, Thom when are you going to organize a meal there?
  17. And on the same basis, the Latymer now that Wignall's been ensconced for a while. Not that I've seen a single mention of it on here. And outside (deserved) bet for the Devonshire Arms to get theirs' back. Been a couple of times since Steve Smith took over. THe food is considerably less fancy than it was under WIgnall, but IMHO, all the better for that (more country-hotel). Service is much improved, though still not top-notch. Smith has a great pedigree (GUellers, HOlbeck GHyll, Seaham Hall). Worth checking out should you have a spare £300 or so.
  18. On Abode, recent experience says food stil good to very-good, service still awful to appalling. Oh and the lunch set dishes are small. BUt then I'm not.
  19. HAve they got the rooms open yet.? There really is NOWHERE to stay in that area. We ended up in Driffield. Never again. THe food is very, very, Pern-like as you say. If you don't like The Star, you won't like the Pipe and Glass.
  20. The Endeavour at Staithes was wonderful when we went there a couple of years ago, just a short walk from Robin Hood's Bay in terms of what you're doing.
  21. Just to note...I know the Angel has got a mention a couple of times as Robert Owen-Brown is cooking there. Just thought its worth mentioning the food at the Marble up the road too. Had our xmas do there; as a relaxed pub, wasn't expecting much food-wise, happy with warming pies. But they were really rather good--the chef cooking for us had worked for the Carriage WOrks in Liverpool. It all seems a bit spit n'sawdust, but in the 'real pub' stakes, about as good as one can get. And the ginger beer is bloody marvellous. I know, there's a potential entendre there.
  22. So are you suggesting Gary was lying because of his friendship with the Flinns (based entirely on knowing them through their restaurants)? That he, actually, has hated everything he's eaten at the Piazza and is secretly on their payroll? The only comment I can see he addressed directly to you was about the bouncers. Given the proximity to xmas, and the state of Leeds city centre on Friday FightNights, its an entirely sensible move to employ them. I had a dreadful experience at The Waterside. It doesn't mean I refuse to accept other people have good experiences there.
  23. Or just buy a row of houses in Wigan and get a take-away.
  24. Bruno has been Trotskyised from the official HH website. No mention at all whereas previously it read like a partnership between him and Andrew. I even have suspicions the photographs have been doctored.
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