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tony h

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  1. Fancy a day in the kitchen with David & the team? Now you can try via the Mince Pie Project - bid through the auction here: http://www.themincepieproject.com/ Had some Thai Green Curry Sorbet there last Saturday - quite remarkable. The rest wasn't too bad either... ;-)
  2. The Guardian love affair continues today, and long may in continue, with LeCS recognized as a top 10 food destination http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/aug/30/destination-restaurants-britain-short-breaks
  3. Hi On their website VacMaster say they do not yet ship to the UK/EU zone. Looking at mharpo's picture above it looks suspiciously like SousVide Supreme Vacuum Chamber http://www.amazon.co.uk/SousVide-Supreme-Chamber-Vacuum-Sealer/dp/B009YYFJGI/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1376302139&sr=1-1&keywords=vacuum+chamber+sealer Can anyone confirm that these are the same? Thanks Tony btw - that’s one seriously ugly piece of kit
  4. DEM is on Hairy Bikers and on Saturday Kitchen next week (6th & 9th March). yup - he'll be doing the omelette challenge! ;-)
  5. v excited- Essence II has just turned up - simply stunning i know what i'll be doing this weekend (probably staring at the page thinking wtf...)
  6. Friday 9th August - 1 space available for lunch today
  7. Cava @ Portsmouth - July 2012 This is a small plate tapas Influenced restaurant in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Why tapas influenced? Well - no tapas I've ever had has been this good. Chefs Gregg & Michael preside over the establishment supported by excellent kitchen and front of house house staff. It has an open kitchen and 4 seats which overlook the kitchen make it the chefs table - ask for those you won't be disappointed. With a short stop over in Portsmouth it was so good we came back the following night. Here's a first for me - a wine list with two prices - retail prices of the wine and restaurant price of the wine. With a typical mark up around $10 these guys are saints and shames pretty much every other restaurant i can think of (byob excepted). First night we went for the tasting menu which at $29 (yes, twenty nine dollars) is easily the bargain of the holiday. Even with eight courses they didn't pass off with the cheapest dishes. First up was sweetcorn & tomato gazpacho - kept as distinct soups in the glass but when mixed they complemented each other wonderfully - great peppery aftertaste Next was pork belly with apricot purée & chanterelle - so good and beautifully presented. This was followed by scallops with fennel & salsify chips & salsify purée - just fabulous. Beef sirloin with watermelon several ways w roast nuts - the beef was great but the watermelon was just a little on the bland side. Patatas bravas - with harissa and garlic aioli - best PB I think I've ever had. The only downside was that this is a side dish and not necessarily one I'd serve on its own. Experimental dish of foie gras with chocolate, raspberry and pistachio. My part er loved it but i found it a little too off-the-wall perhaps but full marks for trying. (this was an extra dish that we ordered) Pineapple cubes with pomegranate molasses and lime - wonderful palate cleanser and great combination A final dessert was also served but I have no notes Second night - we made our own tasting menu. Rather sweetly Michael had prepared an off menu dish for us to start with. Tomato bisque wrapped in cheese casing pan fried with tomatoes and mexican cheese (didn't catch cheese name). When you cut into the fried block the liquid tomato centre poured out a wonderfully. The tomato bisque is set with gelatine before being encased with cheese. The heat seals the casing but melts the tomato. Impressive Carpaccio of beef served on a block of Himalayan salt. Came with raw and fried cauliflower with carrot slices. Wow! Potato and prama croquette with chilli strands, garlic aioli and tomato/harissa base - so flavoursome & so light. Dates stuffed w manchego wrapped in param and then baked - superb combination of sweet salt and savoury Scallops ceviche with raddish chilli & avacado puree. A bit disappointing if only because the other dishes were so good and because we had the wonderful roast scallop dish the previous night Squid and pork belly served with tomato & harrissa sauce - stunning and visually breathtaking Flank steak with roast corn, colita cheese, lemon rind and micro basil. I cannot truly describe just how refreshing and flavoursome this dish was - simply magical. Hummus w lamb, pomegranate molasses & lemon. A good dish but ruined by coming at the end of the meal rather than rear the beginning. We finished with some churros - wed didn't need as we were so stuffed at this stage - but kept seeing them being cooked all night & couldn't resist. Unexpectedly - night 2 was actually a few dollars cheaper than the first night. A great find - come see for yourself.
  8. More on the new book: http://www.absolutepress.co.uk/books/beyond-essence-further-recipes-from-le-champignon-sauvage/
  9. I take it someone didn’t get their bran that morning and to be honest to say something like “perhaps if you employed staff who were easily understood” frankly sounds like something only a bigot would say. Not liking food is one thing but your comments make it personal. poor show. We’ve always found David & Helen’s “little helpers” to be nothing but warm and friendly. And we are very naughty because we try & make them laugh when they trying the damnedest to stay professional. I’ve been coming regularly 2 or 3 times a year for something like 8 or 9 years – I’d come more often but I live in London. During that time his cooking has constantly evolved (I still vividly remember basil mojito sorbet from a couple of years ago - wow) and a recent visit earlier this month was nothing short of spectacular. On Friday & Saturday LeCS now offer a tasting menu. For those of us who’ve become jaded by tasting menu’s I truly recommend trying this one to remind you just how wonderful a tasting menu can be. However, you are right about one thing – the food here is no longer 2*- it’s 3*! Anyway – enough of this nonsense. Let’s celebrate the fact that the follow-up to Essence, appropriately named Essence II, will be in the shops in time for xmas. Can’t wait!
  10. Hi - I've done something stupid. I accidentally gave away one of the little secrets to the meal - eating from the flower arrangement. I really hope I haven't ruined it for anyone. Crossed fingers that noma'll forgive me too. Unfortunately its now too late to change the post. humbly...
  11. Hi - Relae 7 Noma both last weekend - Aug 19 & 20
  12. Rather lovely little busy local restaurant with good feel opened by former Noma chef. It’s a fair trek from the centre ‘though. Two fixed menus – one with meat & fish and one purely vegetarian. Optional pre-started which we had to have. This was poached leek served cold but still had a little and was covered in breadcrumbs and mustard. The feathery roots were left hanging out giving it a slightly otherworldly look but it tasted quite delicious. First up was mackerel with pickled cucumber and deep green lovage sauce, and a lot of it too. On their own it they were just OK but together they were quite wonderful. You could even say there was a lot of lovage on that plate. Roasted celeriac with dark olive sauce and seaweed was not the prettiest dish – however – it was truly remarkable and enjoyable. I’ve not idea how to describe the seaweed preparation but it left it slightly transparent. Very moreish. Butterflied leg of lamb cooked sous vide (4 hours) was a joy – it came with some samphire (which it feeds on) and covered by a bed of sliced turnips. The turnips let it down a little – slightly pedestrian/boring taste. But overall pretty good. Dessert was blueberry and coconut with black pepper ice cream and some mint. It was just plain strange. The initial taste was fairly rounded but after a couple of minutes the pepper oil just took over and dominated everything and covering the inside of your mouth. Extremely unpleasant and not quite ruined an otherwise lovely meal – but it came pretty close. The food was moderate at sub-400 kr mark but we were slaughtered by wine costs. In fact, the meal was half the price on Noma (for less than a 10th the experience) which we were going to the following evening. Clearly the next time in Copenhagen I’ll just have to go to Noma twice ;-)
  13. Disconcertingly good start to the evening - the MD arrives and explains how the evening will unfold then slowly moves the table flowers to the centre saying that the we should to start with something from the arrangement. The trick of course is to unnerve and delight in equal measures. Are they really serious about us eating the display (upper left)? Yes they are - hidden amongst the flowers are a couple of "twigs" that are actually bread doused in pollen - a creamy dip appears to accompany them. So we're off on a 25 course extravaganza starting with some 12 starters over the next 45 min period. Photos were taken on an iPhone – first time I’ve captured a meal in this way – apologies for the sometimes rubbishy shots. Also, I didn’t take notes so some of the detail escapes me. Moss comes next dusted with mushroom powder (upper middle) - can't remember if it was deep fried, liquid nitro’d or merely dehydrated as I was still a little giddy from actually "being here". I recall from foodsnob’s blog that it took him a couple of courses to calm down – I know how he feels. Anyway, whilst staring and caressing the delicate moss a couple of lovely nasturtiums arrived with their stamens replaced by snails – delicious (upper right). On a plate of muscle shells were two unopened muscles (lower left) - discard the top but eat the rest we were told - the bottom shell was edible and made of biscuit/pastry coloured with squid ink. big grin. Sea buckthorn leather arrived with some pickled rose petals (lower middle) – delicious, delicate and perfumed. In fact, that’s one the key characteristics of Noma’s food – predominance of aromatic, herby and perfumed notes instead of more traditional meaty and savoury smells and flavours. The juice was set with pectin rather than some other mol-gast chemical but surprisingly the rose petals had been pickled for a year – I am amazed they stayed in one piece rather than become a sludgy mess. The leeks bases and roots were deep fried with a little black butter (of what I can't remember) - very enjoyable and fun (lower right) Savoury speck cookies with blackcurrant and vinegar powder were served in a fun retro tin (upper left). The chicken skin with rye bread and smoked cheese was incredibly moreish (upper middle). Next up was the unnerving plant pot of carrot and radish in edible soil (upper right). Beneath the soil crust was strikingly bright green sauce - satisfyingly sharp and a good contrast to the veg. Ham tartlets (lower left) were next followed with apple buns threaded with smoked fish (lower middle). Poor photo (lower middle) above of a rather beautiful dish – tart apple ball at the centre played against the saltiness of the fish. The last of the starters was layers of a creation made from duck skin and herbs (lower right) - a wow finish. It’s certainly worth noting that during all of this the dishes were served by the chefs themselves – some 15 or so that night. Incredibly generous with their time whilst describing the dishes and answering questions and never once did I get the feeling that they were anxious to get back to the hectic kitchen – somewhat surprising given the enormity of the evening’s endeavours. The other thing I noticed was the sheer harmony of the group – everyone working together as a single team. It was also pure theatre particularly when the 8-table was being served – the huddle in the kitchen to ensure the dishes are plated perfectly (visible through glass wall) plus a mass of chefs arriving in unison to serve the food. One chef talked about previous restaurants where the separation of kitchen and front of house lead to both sides essentially hating each other. He said that it will be almost impossible to go back to the more traditional environment. The bread arrived wrapped in its lovely fabric cradle accompanied with lard infused with kirsch (fab) and goats butter (less good). The bread is made 3 times each day to ensure its freshness. I overheard one guest asking if they could buy some to take home. Of course, the downfall of any tasting menu is the bread as it fills you up and more so when it’s this good. I struggled a lot with that bit. It was only at this point that the MD came and spoke of menus of which there are two: 7 courses and 12 courses. How could we not choose 12? Good he said - we've organised a special menu avoiding eggs for you - this was very thoughtful as I mentioned my dislike of egg as I when confirming the reservation. First up was gooseberry and green strawberries (upper middle). Essence of summer packed into one little dish – wow. Crab came with two jelly's (upper right) – one was made from mustard leaf unfortunately the other escapes me – it was soo delicious. The razor clam wrapped in parsley sheet/gel came with horseradish ice and dill sauce (lower left). One of the standout dishes amongst a lot of other stand out dishes. Dried scallops with beech nut, watercress and grains was very interesting (lower middle). It provided one of the contrasting textures of the evening in that the grains were presented in little mounds almost risotto-like but the grains left nut hard. The dried scallops were quite fragrant but slightly overpowered by the herbs. I think that’s squid ink in the middle. Loved it. Beef tartare (lower right). Well, what can I say - it’s clearly one of the signature dishes but, being honest, it was good rather than great. Surprisingly, it was a little on the dry side. My reckoning is that it’s been on the menu for a long time and has reached a certain level of perfection making it untouchable. But maybe the inventiveness, fragrance and sparkle of the other newer dishes have sort of left it behind. A couple of excellent vegetable dishes came next. A piece of cauliflower roasted on one side for 25 min served with herby sauce (upper left) - I really liked the apparent simplicity of the dish (have since tried this technique at home - anything but simple). Really wish I’d taken notes at this stage. But next were some onions (upper middle) - wow. Roasted on a barby until black then sous vide for 19min. Served with (I think) smoked butter sauce it was simply wonderful. Fresh water pike perch (upper right) wrapped in cabbage and barbecued came with different cabbages, stalks and a verbena sauce – loved it (that’s my finger mark on the plate - made before the photo was taken). This was followed by sweetbreads, tiny girolles and foraged greens (bottom left). This was the only dish of the evening not to my liking - beautifully made and the veal sweetbreads was delicious but the foraged greens, accompanying sauces and (raw?) mushrooms just didn’t work for me. My partner loved it 'though. When clearing the plates the waiter was more than a little concerned and offered an alternative dish. Although I refused it was v sweet of them. Desserts could easily have fitted into the starters side of a meal rather than end due to use of herbs and vegetables. To me this was great as often in restaurants I have regretted not ordering another starter instead of a dessert. Elderflower panna cotta with cucumber ice and dill oil came first (lower middle). Fresh and zingy. Next was hay infused parfait (lower right) - interesting but not a particularly pronounced flavourful. Last was a dessert of carrots, raw and poached, with liquid nitro'd cream/foam (left). I thought it would sink me but it was unbelievably light and moreish. A couple of sweeties came next - potato chip covered in chocolate (middle) was fun and caramel (right) made from smoked marrow served in the bone hit the spot. Very big thank you to Sam Miller (ex-Le Champignon Sauvage). He ran the kitchen that night and must have been dropping with fatigue but still found time and energy to shown us around kitchen & upstairs spaces. Everyone was charming and friendly and made you very welcome. Indeed it felt like you arrived as a stranger but left as a friend. Not an easy trick to pull off. A very special place indeed.
  14. Thanks all yes, would love to have those knife skills
  15. Help. I am looking for a special type of mandoline – not the usual ones that slice veg in small discrete slices or the Japanese ones which create long spirals – but one which creates very long slices by turning a cylindrically shaped vegetable on its axis and shaving off long thin pieces to create sheets. I can’t find using google as I don’t know its name. Any ideas? Thanks in advance Tony
  16. Note to self: next time tell people about JL bargains - buy one first... (now out of stock) ;-)
  17. In the UK John Lewis now stocking the SVS for GBP349 compared to GBP499 at the SVS website. Big difference. I have also been looking for a decent vacuum sealer & came across the La.va machines. Are these ok? Do you have another suggestion? Thanks Tony
  18. Lunch – May 2010 I didn’t really catch any of the descriptions of the food - my increasingly poor hearing vs too much background noise is not a good combination. They also don’t provide a menu which coupled with the wonderful off-the-wallness of the food makes it just that more difficult to fathom what exactly it is you are about to put in your mouth. Amuse – crisp pastry rectangle with alternating dots of green & black olive puree (tapenade?) - with slices of large green olive. Stunning. A tasting of aubergine: small cup of aubergine cream, aub’ jelly and aub’ caviar – topped with little crisp sandwich of aub’ pate(?). Quite wonderful.Chick skin sandwich – skin crisped and filled with chicken pieces bound with quail egg mayo – v interesting. Single long and delicate baguette with whipped butter doused in purple powder – presumably beetroot. Only time bread appeared which was of the very few bad points – need bread to soak up wonderful sauces. Unconvinced that this works as a course. Squid tartare with sliced radish/veg/greens and squid ink granite – unbelievably refreshing A taste of beetroot followed – beets down in many different ways – boiled, pickled, raw, jellied. I really liked the earthiness of this dish Celeriac also prepared many differ ways ‘though I do not recall anything raw – but covered with stunning onion and tapioca gravy. I know - sounds awful - but this was the knock out dish of the day. Enough to make me want to come back almost immediately. Fish dish was lemon sole and gnocchi – slightly ruined by too much and too thin sauce (fish poaching liquor?) – bread sorely missed here Couple of pork pieces covered in spice with anchovy sauce – a very green dipping sauce (rocket? not sure) and some cabbage leaves. Lovely. Thai basil and lemon sorbet was great (although not quite in the same league as le Champignon Sauvage’s basil tulip sorbet) Chocolate dessert – sorbet, granite, jelly – was fine but not really to my taste Over all – a fabulous meal. The fish dish was the only real disappointment – just didn’t work or couldn’t really compete with the fireworks elsewhere. I really love to see a chef take the simple ingredients and make them sing – my kind of food. Wine list needs some work ‘though – needs a few more wines at the lower end for those of us who come for the food. Also if reserving – try and go for a table in the front room as the kitchen it is fully open - not even a glass partition between you & them. Another particularly fine touch is that the chefs themselves do some of the serving.
  19. tony h


    L’Astrance vs Passage 53 – May 2010 Trip to Paris last week allowed visit to L’Astrance and Passage 53. But v excited by L’Astrance as I’ve never managed to get a reservation before. Passage 53 was a bit of a gamble – it was also one of the few places open that I wanted to visit (although if i had known Pierre Gagnaire was going to be closed that weekend I’d have rebooked the holiday...) L’Astrance – located in 16e near the seine in a not too attractive street. It was also covered in scaffolding which didn’t help perceptions. It’s a small minimalist sombre room on two levels. To start - small lemon brioches and a tiny croustade disk sandwich of almond and apple. I thought the brioche somewhat dry and lacking in flavour but the almond & apple thing was staggeringly good – the apples seemed to have gone though that sous vide process which compresses the ingredient in a pleasing way. Next was cauliflower cream with cumin foam. The cauliflower was a delight but couldn’t detect much from the foam. Something of a signature dish I guess was the mushroom slivers interlaced with some foie gras slices accompanied with some lemon confit and hazelnut oil. I really tried to like this – tried to convince myself that it was getting better with each mouthful – but to me it was little more than a dry plate of slice mushroom and suffocated FG. perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what is actually good about this dish (oh - just read food snob's description - still sounds a bit emperors new clothes...). Thankfully the lobster with soya bisque was a triumph – if I am being picky the lobster was just a bit overdone & chewy – but the flavours was just wonderful. Next was an interesting white & green asparagus dish – two huge stalks with a lovely lemon sauce (claimed to have some tonic water in it but I couldn’t detect). Perfectly cooked. Turbo with squid and crab salad was pretty interesting in that there were a few scary bits to the crab salad – small star-like things with very sharp edges. V unpleasant and a bit alarming. The waiter shrugged and claim they were crab cartridge. Not good. Mackerel dish was downright odd – placed centrally on a plate with a few green leaves & served separately was rocket puree and anchovy cream. Mackerel was beautifully cooked but I did not much like the flavour profile of the dish - the rocket & anchovy thing was positively offensive Pigeon with peas wild asparagus – fine but nothing to write home about Desserts started with a vanilla ice cream and white cheese & potato foam. Ice cream – fine, perfectly executed – foam odd but not unpleasant - slightly grainy from the potato. Chilli & lemongrass sorbet – perfectly acceptable sorbet Three desserts to finish: rhubarb thing, a raspberry thing and a mango & ginger ice cream thing. All forgettable. An odd thing happened at the end of the meal. At the beginning we were asked for our dislikes& I mentioned my fear of all things egg (poached, boiled, fried) but that I have no problem if they are incorporated into a dish. The last thing they served was a plate for fresh fruit, some madeleine’s (we renamed them joan d’arc’s as they were so burnt) and a egg shell, top removed and filled with egg nog. This was served to my other half – i was ignored - we just thought was so odd - not even a little something to compensate. Also – a plate of fresh fruit! – you have got to be kidding - just did the chef add value to that.... more home cooking than 3*. Also found that the FOH became increasingly disengaged and inattentive towards the end – almost as if they just couldn’t be arsed anymore. Another odd thing - the toilet seat was horrible cheap nasty plastic affair? OK – only went for a pee – but w.t.f...? this is supposed to be cool chic paris, isn't it? Overall – very very disappointed with l’astrance – so looking forward to it and was hoping for some quite off the wall cooking – instead I found that although most of the food was beautifully cooked there was a distinct lack of fireworks and innovation - instantly forgettable. Not 3* by any stretch. Went to Passage 53 the following night – not in the prettiest area of paris – but it is situated in an old shopping arcade which had bags of character. Room small – 20 covers – minimally decorated but thankfully they kept the superb original floor tiles. First up – small fingers of bread/brioche things – not sure what they were but they were not very good. However, the pea soup with pea ice cream was simply stunning – spring/summer distilled into a mouthful. They also served a biscuit with anchovy butter which was quite satisfying. First plate was a couple of baby artichokes with a thin tempura batter served on diced oysters. A lovely dish - oysters were a perfect foil for the subdued artichokes. Squid and cauliflower – one of the most sticking and beautiful dishes I’ve ever seen – sautéed squid covered by large sliced “flakes” of cauliflower – resembled a dish of huge sliced snowflakes. Just wonderful. Next was a large white asparagus – diced & served with morels. Seriously good cooking going on here Sole with a warm salad was a bit disappointing and a bit pedestrian compared to the rest of the meal – not terrible – just a bit forgettable However, the foie gras with strawberries and “rhubarb soup” was sensational – when they poured the rhubarb soup we insisted they left was left in the jug (they even brought us seconds which was very sweet of them) Guinea fowl was served with a poached egg – aaaah! – but somehow managed to hold it together Pigeon came with a lovely warm salad of broad beans, wild asparagus and other stuff – v good. We were then pummelled by 6 desserts including - strawberry ice cream, chocolate tart, passion fruit foam with lycee panna cotta, something with rubarb, and something else (forget). All enjoyable – the lycee panna cotta was particularly good. So – surprisingly – Passage 53 was far far better than L’Astrance in terms food and experience. The one thing – and big thing at that – was the difference in the wine lists. Hats off to L’Astrance for having a really good number of wines at the lower end. It was really hard to find much in Passage 53 below 100 euro, let alone the 50 euro mark. I would strongly urge them to revisit their wine list and have some wines for those of us who are only really interested in the food. What was so wrong with L’Astrance? I was expecting so much more, I guess. The food was very well cooked – but nothing memorable – no fireworks – nothing to make want to come. Passage 53 was a riot by comparison – wonderfully friendly FOH who also managed to remain distant.
  20. Hi I've seen something called pistachio compound mentioned in a few places but I do not not know what it is. Can someone explain? I think it the thing I've been looking - concentrate of pistachio that could be used to to flavour ice cream - but I'm not entirely sure. Thanks Tony
  21. Claridges - well, at least gordon's got kitchen nightmares to help out there...
  22. hmm... i would have thought outlaw deserves no stars
  23. Nibbles were: small cubes of parmesan mousse covered in powdered chorizo, warm rice balls (fab); and, a whipped goats cheese dip with some delicious crackers – i recall paprika being mentioned but could be mistaken. Amuse was celeriac mousse with horseradish and fine dice of vegetables. Quite lovely. Celeriac pronounced but not in a cloying way that celeriac can sometimes have. Good clear flavours – meant to ask but i presume the celeriac was cooked sous vide and dispensed using creamer. Pigeon: tartare, pate (ok, better than “mere” pate – more like rillettes) and some sliced cured breast. This came with a sprightly salad. I had a duck version of this about a year ago – but prefer the pigeon version - certainly more flavourful. Scallops, as always, were a triumph – served with carpaccio of pigs head (thin and mosaic-like on which everything else sat) and some pickled pear puree. Pig’s head is not something I would necessarily jump at when seeing on a menu but the combination was masterful. It came decorated with the thinnest & crunchiest piece of pork I’ve ever had which I presume was the pig’s head rolled, sliced then crisped. Zander with smoked eel, cauliflower purée & cauliflower pieces with a hibiscus reduction. That reduction was quite outstanding with the sweetness being balanced beautifully by a bitter herb (sorry – didn’t get the name – one of david’s weird herbs!). Venison – loin plus pieces of shank accompanied with something I can only describe as venison “faggot”. These were great – truly wonderful – but complete outshone by the calvo nero puree. Words cannot fully get over the depth of colour and flavour held in this little deep green sauce. Kid – this was not unlike the venison dish in concept having different preparations including lion, shoulder and another cut (sorry – no notes) but what striking was the astonishing different lightness this had over the venison due in part to the almost throwaway red wine reduction (“red wine and a little bit of effort” as Helen described it) and, to my surprise, the succulence of kid. Just perfect. Pre-dessert was lemon verbena brûlée with popping sugar and – how do i describe this one – sorbet made from berries found in hedges by the seaside. I am not even going to guess the name. Big smiles all round. David’s having fun – evident from the last dish (the table next to us got run-off-the-mill greengage sorbet!) – and the next dessert was even more off-the-wall. Rice pudding with lotus seed ice cream. Wow. I hate rice pudding – loath even – but i ate this and loved it. Thinking back, there might have been coconut in the rice pudding – makes sense now thinking about it with the lotus seed. Staggeringly good ice cream. Where did you come up with that one, i asked? We just went to a Chinese supermarket and bought a load of things we’d never seen or cooked with before. Toasting the seeds brought out the flavour which we turned into ice cream. Wonder if we could talk david & waitrose into franchising his ice creams... (I told him of my recent attempt at croissant ice cream from his book – but instead of croissants i used donuts – it was pretty awful. Learn from mistake & stick to his recipes). Picking up the rear was a triumphal lemon meringue from his book - accompanied with sorrel ice cream. Well, can’t really follow that. Just keeps getting better.
  24. La Sagra Great little place opened up on north end of Bayham St - only open a few weeks but have been a couple of times. Italian bistro which has a really good feel to it high ceilings & very friendly staff. Food quite delicious I was particularly impressed with the lettuce risotto incredible freshness to it. Pizza was exquisite & thats not something you can often say about pizza. Pasta with smoked chicken had wonderful depth of, well, smokiness. Portions on the whole also very generous. Other dishes of note mussels in wine, bake sea bass, steak with pecorino, and the salads. Only down side is that the accompanying veg can need a little refinement. Far far better than Caponata on Delancy which looks a little too much like a school gym and also a little expensive for what you get. Shame this place will suffer from poor location.
  25. book for two then the day before or that morning phone & say your guest has swine flu/broken leg/broken heart and can't make it & ask if its still ok to come - be prepared to cry if necessary "but heston is my life/life won't be complete without etc etc" sort of thing or try booking with a celeb name saying you're incognito or that you ferran adria's young/older/long lost brother etc. or just book for two & have both meals if you really want in - i'm sure you'll find a way (if only el bulli was this easy...)
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