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Everything posted by jimbob

  1. Off topic but whats that German place where they feed you in the Dark? Or was it in the US with a German Chef? Or did I dream it?
  2. I wont comment on your political views as I don't think this is the place, but: As a long term corn flake eater I can assure you there is! Give me a blind tasting and I will get it right 100% I bet. Years of studentdom soon teach you the quality difference between own brand goods and the 'real thing'
  3. Could anyone give a comparison of Le Manoir compared with similar but French exaples (such as Marc Meneau and Troisgros). I always fancied it but frequent trips to France make mw wonder if it is worth it?
  4. Hi, Not sure I know what you mean, can you expand a little?
  5. Thanks for the reply conor, I suspected as much, makes you think how Petrus manage to sell by the glass (albeit at £90 a glass)
  6. Conor, Have you ever considered a 'high end' wine matched menu. As at Troisgros a while back and it was amazing to see Dom P 1996 and Coche Dury paired by the glass with food. I don't mean to say you do not serve good wine but I would love to see world class pairings. I guess the concern is having too many half full bottles going to vinegar.
  7. Not meaning to answer your question but I have often thought about buying a bottle and taking an unfinished half home - Not sure if licencing laws allow? Seems a good idea if 1/2 bottles are limited
  8. How did you find wine prices? I usually avoid Conran but on a trip to Pont de la Tour I thought them absurd. 2000 Leflaive Borgone Blanc for £70 (I pay £16 at retail)
  9. Looks ambitious, and expensive, thats more the Gordon Ramsay RHR. In fact this is French Laundry money! Am I alone in finding: tomato here one second, gone the next and then mixed with a bit of now ridiculous? Not saying the food is not great, I'm sure it is but.... Gourmand Lakeland slate, five contrasts to get you going * Butternut squash and tangerine soup, Jabugo ham, crunchy bergamot * Peppered parmesan 'French Fries', Pineapple, thyme * Cubism in Foie Gras, two cold one hot, quince, bitter chocolate, pickled onion Turkish * Brushed tuna, smokey flavour, lovage squirt, apple wash in plastic * Half soft and scrambled eggs, smoked eel hyssop froth * A 'tuberous affair' cooked in clay, juices of the black diamond * Berni's crab, warm jelly hint of woodruff, sweet pistachio fudge * Pan fried langoustine, sour grapefruit drops, tomato here one second, gone the next * Diver-caught sea scallop, good king henry, ginger and green tea foam * Cubes from Land and Sea, eucalyptus hollandaise style * Poached brill, English mace, wild tree spinach, pickle from then mixed with a bit of now * Roasted bass, calamint flavours, nutty nougatine, swish * Bottled aromas, sweet cicely, passion pipette * White truffle custard 'Chinese style' * Fennel 'Irish Coffee' cumin rice crackling 'Challans' duck, painted lady, coffee bon bon, sour cherry juices, celery leaf or Mr Little's beef fillet, cepe Madeleine St Zita would be proud of, leaf of galiad * Monsieur Rabaud's cheeses from the trolley * Surrealist 'Slammer' Perilla financier, wild angelica syrup, juniper ice cream. Burnt cream pots, wild mountain sorrel, pimento, verbena, saffron honey. Upside down coconut soufflé, test tube. Hot chocolate mousse, spices, lapsang, yet another celebral application. £95.00
  10. I agree Eat are really good, soups especially, but there are hidden gems amongst the small independent shops, and I have found that the great ones look exactly the same as the bad ones you describe so well Hallie. I guess I am trying to get everyone to share their good finds, we all know about Eat etc...
  11. If you do find it lacklustre I will be amazed, and very interested to hear what you found wasn'y up to scratch, please post your reports and have a great week!
  12. Hi, Not sure if anything like this has been done on here before, couldn't find anything by searching. Thought it would be good to share rec's for good sandwich shops in London, (and beyond) I don't mean the ham and eggs at Pret (although it is good) I am talking about small independent places that would be easy to miss. I'll start the ball rolling: Pavarottis - Next to the Royal Exchange in the City - Does a great Chicken Escalope bap (The granary bap being better than the ciabatta) £3.90 get extra Tobasco! Kossoff - Near Peticoat Lane on Middlesex Street on the edge of the city - (ironically near the Gherkin) - Does a great salt beef roll with pickles. But only when they carve direct from the large piece of beef, less good when reheated. £2.75 Lets improve lunch quality! Very intrested in recs near Mayfair as I am moving there for work soon.
  13. Id also be interested in what other wines were matched with the food if you can recall....
  14. I am surprised here, but bow to your greater knowledge of the situation. It seems fairly unique here, there are a large number of rare wines (le Pin, Petrus, Kongsgaard, Kistler, SQN etc) and these all sell in London for (for recent vintages at least) at a similar price to the cost of buying direct from the winery (or negotiant for Bordeaux). Why would only Coche-Dury demand this massive mark up? Not saying it isn't true, just want to understand the situation
  15. Had a sublime 24-hour stay at Troisgros last week, thanks for the recs from guys on here. We arrived after a sprint around Burgundy (to be written up elsewhere later), with a visit to Jean Thevenet at Domaine de la Bongrain earlier in that day we were already in great spirits but what was to come was to only consolidate this. It was our first wedding anniversary and we were already staying in France for a week, but decided on Troisgros for the 'big event' of the trip. After a decent drive through the surprisingly picturesque regions of Beaujolais, we arrived in the overall unremarkable town of Rouanne. Found the hotel before being whisked away by the one-way system, an hour later arriving in the underground car park, from this point on for 24 hours we barely had to lift a finger. The room was exceptional, large (by London standards, very large) with a separate seating area and large shower / bath room. The decor was perfectly to our tastes, more colourful than the Schrager places we have visited in the last months, no expense spared from the linen to toiletries (Hermes). Waiting were 3 pastries each, the first sigh of the excellent things to come. Strawberry shortcake of incredible flavour, sublime miniature chocolate éclairs and meringues so light they almost floated away! - Easily the best patisserie of the trip. Had a little walk around Roanne, the indoor market was interesting and worth a trip, as I'm told are the museums but we were not in the mood. On returning I spent almost an hour perusing the wine list, burgundy is the real area of speciality here but it was great across the board. Mark ups were very variable (400% for some Rully, but a negative mark up (a mark down?) elsewhere - more of this later). There is also a great little library area with a good selection of food and wine literature (a decent amount is in English). So to the food, the dining room is split into two main rooms, we were seated in the part overlooking the gardens, tables very widely spaced with serving tables next to nearly every one for the sommeliers and waiters to do their job. We went for the degustation, course were: (this is from memory, not the actual menu descriptions) 3 Amuses - Lobster with a light vegetable sauce - Fois Gras with Beetroot - Acidity of tomato, with an anchovy wafer Frogs legs with satay sauce Semolina with caviar in a light meat consommé Lobster with a verbena infused sauce Sesame crusted Marlin with artichoke and orange water sauce Veal Liver with beetroot (my wife took a substitute of filet of local beef) Cheese Poached Apricot 4 miniature deserts (wild strawberries with a strawberry sorbet, strawberries with violet crème, raspberries with chocolate millefuelle, one other I forget) I am not a food critic and will not give detailed reviews of individual elements, but the whole meal was cooked with amazing lightness, even cream based sauces had an element of acidity than prevented getting bogged down despite the huge amount of food. The cheese board was as good as I have ever seen, and a request for the waiter to pick for me to match the remaining wine was perfectly executed. Service was perfect throughout, we enquired what Verbena was (only seen it in chocolates before) and a little plate of the fresh leaves appeared within 2 minutes. The table service was excellent, fascinating to watch the waiters carve at the tables, I was begging for someone to order the whole duckling to see how they carved it! The wines were excellent; a 1/2 bottle of the house rose champagne was missing a little bit of depth that I like in rose, but great value. The main success for the wines was Coche-Dury, I read elsewhere on here that Mr Coche visits each year to bring the allocation across and this must be why these are such great values. Went for a 1995 Mersault les Rougeots, which had power and depth I have never encountered in a white wine before, it was stunning. And amazingly the price was less than I see this at retail for the 2000 and 2001 vintages. Both Coche Dury and Raveneau are amazing bargains here. A half of Pommard was a great match for the later courses, and the Austrian vin de Paille great with the fruit based deserts. A sublime meal, I think it has the edge on Marc Meneau's degustation we had a year earlier, and although very different to Gordon Ramsay is a more rounded and interesting gastronomic experience (I benchmark to these as they are the only 3 stars I have been to before) A tour of the cave with the sommelier the next morning and a taste of some new wines they had in from the Loire rounded off a great trip. I recommend this to anyone visiting France, and even go as far as to say it is worth a detour from London (so easy via Eurostar and TGV). Of course, this is not cheap, but QPR - Unbeatable
  16. It is not the place to go if you want a lot of space and modern decor, it is the place to go if you want good Thai (Laotian actually) food.
  17. Certainly is, and is still great, new wine list too (with things you would actually want to drink). Best Thai food I have had in london
  18. Sounds good, only went to Box Tree once, on a Times cheap lunch in around 2000, was ok, limited by the £15 menu. The room was hideous though, like an old ladies house, full of chintz!
  19. Went for Dinner on Saturday. Overall very impressed, perhaps moreso than on last 2 visits (When it was still Guellers I think) Dont get up to Leeds very often but was looking forwards to meal here, after a long (successful) day at the races. was only around 60% full when we arrived at 9pm, and I don't think more than one party came after us, I find this surprising, was expecting it to be more busy. Found the amuse (tomato gaspatchp) a little acidic, perhaps too much vinegar (white wine I think), this was the only disappointment. Excellent bread, I find it much better to only have an option of two breads and have them excecuted very well, than 5-6 of lesser quality. With the luck day at Haydock, decided to go for the 1997 Engel Grand Echeaux. This was at a pretty good 100% mark up on retail, and overall I thought the wine well priced, although some mark ups were higher than others. Took Denis' advice here, I was torn between this and the Vougout, but was not disappointed. Excellent wine, served in good stems (rare to have suitable glasses for a Grand Cru Burg). Starter I took the egg ravioli, was very good, I assume the egg is poached first? Didn't ask, the potato and asparagus were good, only disappointment was the pasta which I found slightly thick, parhaps needed due to the egg inside? Or maybe comparisons with the pasta on the lobester ravioli at Gordon Ramsay RHR are not fair. My wife took the scallops with pork belly, a huge portion, three great juicy scallops sat on a big chunk of tender belly. I had to help out with 1/3rd of it! oh well! Mains again large portions, I went for the trio or Pork. Remember the stuffed trotters from last time, but a much smaller porton (being one of the trio)worked well, as I find the skin heavy going after a while, but worked well, with very good black pudding. The belly and loin also perfectly cooked, despite the lack of veg (a little mash under the belly, and savoy cabbage under the loin) the quantity and richness almost stopped me finishing. The wifes steak was perfectly cooked (it isnt very often that a rare steak somes out still good and pink in the centre, the way it does in France). The fois gras 'ball' worked well and was neither too rich or overpowering. Couldnt manage desert, this is an absolute first for me, but thought the port and desert wine tastings were a great idea!. Long chat with Denis at the end about our impending trip to Burgundy was very informative, he is an absolute asset to the place. One complaint is the table spacing, although the room shape may demand it, and I have been to places with lots less room, the tables meant that we could overhear every word of the couple next to us. It seems Hell's Kitchen has given people a new vocabulary of food complaints that are applied completly arbitrarily! The couple complained throughout (baby carrots are salty! there were only 3 tiny (0.3mm thick carrots). Everyone wants to play at being GR! Overall a great meal, will go back
  20. Last minute trip to Leeds on Saturday, on the cancellations list but not holding our breath. Last couple of times have been to the Room but although good is not mind blowing, any other recs if Anthony's doesnt come through? Or any secret ways of getting in (Late is not a problem, wont be in Leeds until 8 anyway!)
  21. Hi, 1st post but went to Bodeans last night, not for the 1st time (more like the 6th). Was good again BUT: Bloody Ceasar came without celery Ribs were a little on the cold side and the great beans that came free with ribs arent provided anymore, have to order them separatly, but we didnt realise this until the ribs came and were in a rush so missed out! Still the best place for this kind of food in london, but hopefully the slide will stop!
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