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Everything posted by dipardoo

  1. I thought James Sommerin came across as a real gent! Nice guy votes must count for something, surely? He helped out Tristan when he was in a fix and he immediately called two of the winning dishes. The others' heads seemed a bit clouded with nerves and envy and general weirdness when they were tasting but he just got stuck in. That said, I'm not sure that the green ravioli will win for the simple reason that the show takes this effing annoying 'taste of home' so boringly literally and that may have rubbed off on viewers. Personally I'm hoping for a Kenny - Glynn - Nigel - Tristan finish.
  2. There's something in that. Seeing amazing chefs create dishes that are misconceived, ill thought out or just plain odd is interesting in itself. They don't get it right first, second or even third time round. It's also been interesting to see how unwilling most are to listen to advice from the returning chef...
  3. Shocked by what i'm seeing coming out of Mark's kitchen: the cow pat of broccoli purée, the squirt of goat's cheese, the dover sole dildoes. Maybe it all tastes amazing.
  4. Aiden Byrne's asparagus mayo and mousse affair is about the ugliest dish i've ever seen. I'm not averse to tinkering with asparagus but I have to wonder what world Byrne and Wareing live in if they think 'the troops' really want to eat fayn-dayning mousses like that. I haven't eaten AB's food but from what i hear it's absolutely incredible. I don't doubt that, but I still wonder whether a chilled veg mousse - however amazing - is really what anyone right-thinking could want to put in their mush.
  5. Sorry to disappoint, next weeks chefs, James Sommerin Ex Marco Man Stephen Terry Guest chef Bryn Williams Welsh Rarebit v Chicken & Pea ravioli, Caws Mynydd Du cheese Oh boy-yo ← Devastating. I will have to wait for Tristan. Am pleased for Shaun R but hope to see Nathan O back on the telly again. I thought he was a find.
  6. I'm really enjoying this show. I know that marks me out as a total tool but I am hooked. (I fast forward through much of it, mind...) Am excited about results tonight. I'm assuming Prue and Oliver's sneers ("A disgrace!") were directed at Shaun's shellfish cocktail so looks like Nathan's in with a good chance. That said, I ate at Bohemia about a year ago and it was superb. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Shaun pulled it out of the bag last minute. "his flavours are great" as they say. The week's highlight for me was Nathan's daughter: "I like chicken arms" Go Nathan! and for next week, Go Tristan!
  7. I'm with nikkib on BBR. Not enough to choose from and too expensive. Dull, overpriced wine list (not that you'd be going there for wines) Scallops first course and halibut main (fish of the day) both overcooked. Lovely pudd - prune and armagnac jelly with cream. Looked like a little Guinness in its glass dish. Very nice indeed. Partner's burger was £12.50 not including fries which are £3.50. Ouch. The Wolseley/Automat comparison sounds about right to me although BBR is not in the league of either. Am sure it will do well - the opening hours are certainly in its favour. I would probably give it a whirl at brekkie or afternoon tea but wouldn't go back for lunch/dinner.
  8. I had a press release from Bentley's, another Corrigan gaff, for a 'credit crunch lunch' deal. The deal was pretty poxy, in the high teens for some soup and shepherd's pie (possibly a slight exaggeration but not much of one). Add the 12.5% service charge and another £1.50 and it's not just an average deal, it's a crap deal. Once you start whacking an extra quid on your bill here and there for cover charges, overpriced coffees, mineral water and all that shite, you might just as well have gone to Gavroche with a £50 note. at least you know exactly what you're going to get. Re the Wolseley. Gary's right. It doesn't charge a cover at breakfast.
  9. I'm a little perplexed by this sea urchin business. I've had it several times and always found it if not exactly blah then nothing special...shoot me shoot me. I've had good stuff but it's still left me thinking yes it's fine but not my favourite luxury foodstuff. by the way, i like durian
  10. Adey, well done, you made it. It looks great - i want that starter and that main (and the AWOL pigeon now i come to think of it) There was some discussion of going to C&B on Saturday and Sunday chez Dipardoo but alas the £9.99 for two courses at San Marco in Much Hoole won (not my choice i hasten to add) £1.5million refurbishment for a 1970s tratt menu. not sure i get it. still, i enjoyed my funghi ripieni and hawaiian pizza...
  11. Info coming through now about where some of competitors work - at least some of the more successful ones Derek (finalist) works at MacDonald Crutherland House Hotel in Glasgow South and Simon (out in the semis) is at Le Deuxieme in Covent Garden.
  12. Michel Roux jnr is marvellous, that's all there is to it. I feel a lunch at Le Gav coming on. What was interesting about last night's winner for me was that he was the first one to mention reading about food and cooking. It seems clear from the show that catering college plus work alone (be that in a restaurant, school, hospital or wherever) aren't enough. You have to put a little bit extra in. Not so surprising really.
  13. well i love the capital too but that doesn't stop me being partial to a bit of boxwood. i went some time last grouse season and was v impressed. love the room, love the service, thought it was ace. i went late at night, mind - i really can't imagine the room working quite so well at lunch but look forward to hearing the verdict.
  14. Was at the Three Fishes on Saturday. Lovely lunch, cheese pie and fish and chips all round. There seem to be some great specials and new dishes on the menu but i have now got to the stage that all i want there is the calorie-laden horror that is the cheese pie. Didn't have a starter in order to save space for the ace summer pudding with clotted cream that we all had, rather unorginally. The Clog and Billycock is set to open in Pleasington at the end of the month. Looking forward to trying the cheese pie there.
  15. For generous helpings, i can recommend theo randall at the intercontinental. i think it's about £25 for three courses plus bread, bruschetta and truffles. some of the dishes are from the a la carte. This is a good option if you want to stuff yourself on the courses themselves rather than fill up on pfs etc. Just my opinion, but i hate the post set-lunch feeling - stuffed on bread, sugar and chocolate yet having had just a sliver of mackerel and a chicken wing for the 'meal'. i think i might be over 'posh' set lunches. i still like the capital, mind. And i also enjoyed lunch at galvin at windows about a year ago. they do (did?) a similar deal to le Gav ie £45 or so including coffee, wine, water. i know the place is a bit tacky but the views are great and it has a real sense of occasion. i went to pied a terre for lunch shortly before they opened l'autre pied. at the time they were trial-running dishes for l'autre pied on pied's set lunch. the atmos was a bit flat - i was the only female in the room. the rest were men in suits on expense accounts. a bit dull in that respect.
  16. oh yes, now you mention it, JC at RHR asked me and my friend (we're both ladies fyi) who was the host. he did it in a rather charming way since it was perfectly obvious we were two tight wads who'd saved ten years just for the set lunch and were deffo going dutch. i got the menu with the prices and the wine list, for the record. probably easier with two pals - no power struggles to reckon with.
  17. let's not forget his warm sake at dinings a few months ago.
  18. Forgive me if i'm really behind the times here, but anybody know how Atul Kochhar's Dublin plans are going?
  19. boo hoo, my table for next sunday lunch has just been cancelled. 'small fire' in the kitchen last night - they hope to reopen again very soon. reopening info will be posted on the website.
  20. ahhhhh, beautiful doggies. what a handsome pair. the rooms at whitewell can't be beat which reminds me, my sister stayed at the white bull a couple of months ago and was very impressed. only £60 a night and the rooms have been nicely done up. just mentioning it should anyone need a recommendation in the lower-than-whitewell/northcote price bracket. memories of staying in a vile room at a pre-makeover northcote are coming flooding back. shudder. any recent longridge restaurant experiences? i went last may and was really impressed. my only previous visit - a sunday lunch a few years ago - was a dog. no disrespect to eric and lionel...
  21. RDB, agreed re constructive criticism at the 3 fishes/highwayman. i commented to nigel haworth ages ago that the portions were a bit overwhelming and his answer was that he'd have more complaints on his hands if the portions were any smaller. he didn't appreciate the comment. annoying really because when you look at adey73's pics of white bull and three fishes food plates it makes lancashire look like flippin' texas. some of us like balanced meals. ah well, fighting a losing battle on that one. anyone been to spread eagle at sawley recently?
  22. i don't know if sparling and stanley house are related. it's the touch of naffness they share that makes me wonder. i had hoped that warrick had realised what a clip joint cassis was and had upped and left to start a really cool pub that would see him claim his title of lancs most talented. but, alas, seemingly not. anyway what of white bull?
  23. ahhh...bukhara. i have a new favourite starter there - paneer. and i rarely enjoy that anywhere. am a big bukhara fan - i like the slightly canteeny feel it has; it's always heaving, service is always excellent and such a bargain. i quite like going booze-free there - love the jugs of mango lassi, lime juice etc as for sparling, i haven't been but am keen to try it out. think warrick d is well talented but he was getting a bit poncey at cassis if you ask me - though the pics from last year look pretty good. my family went to sparling the other weekend - their guess was it was stanley house folk trying to 'do' a 3 fishes. is that the case do you know? my gran got scampi stacked up on a square plate at sparling. she wasn't impressed just as she wasn't impressed when the carrot with her roast lamb came puréed at cassis. i know the thoughts of a 90 year old woman probably don't interest you but sometimes she talks sense
  24. i'm a northcote fan. the menus always read really well and sometimes sound quite 'out there' but when you get what you order, they're always pretty straight down the line which is fine. i always love to see what ingredients NH will get into next. that's the strength of northcote for me. the only thing i'm not so set on at northcote is that grim lounge for pre-dinner drinks. so stilted and awkward - a bit of piped muzak might do the trick (!) or maybe they should rearrange some of the furniture just to break up the space a bit. i'm in moan mode today...
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