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Gary Marshall

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Everything posted by Gary Marshall

  1. along with michelin, they've had a visit from Jay too.... http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/21/pipe-glass-inn-restaurant-review my next visit is next sunday, the last meal of the condemmed man heading to work in london!
  2. and the casino place isn't open at lunchtime, is it thom?!
  3. Liverpool, over the river to fraiche, £10 -15 taxi from town centre. worth it, modern cusine Leeds, anthony's (modern) , no 3 york place (bistro moderne), la grillade (french brasserie), piazza by anthony (casual, all day english 'brasserie', red chilli (szechuan chinese), akbars/aagrah (indian). all central plenty of threads on here for all of them / their web sites
  4. Apologies. Bapi was designated writer-upper of the evening, he had the menu and his own 'Mr Ishi' to take him home so he has no excuse for not slaving away over a hot keypad, wheras Thom and I had only our animal cunning and thom's encylopedic knowledge of late night manc to ensure i got home to my luxury hotel, aka the cheapest room in the britannia (but it had a window, that's an upgrade)and back safely-ish to the right side of the Pennines, though possibly the dodgiest looking kebab shop at who knows what time AM, looked very likely to derail those plans, that may have been before matt and phreds or after, it was one of those nights. But before all that frivolity there was a light touch of red chilli to line 'us stomachs, absolultely no prizes for guessing what (ok, for those not paying attention, dumplings, lamb hot pot , rice, ,no onion bread - that would have been greedy. Then onwards to Thom's office aka Piccolino's. So pleased to see us were they, and foolishly assuming we'd be in need of mid-afternoon sustenance, provided us with a plate of ham, pecorino and crostini. They would have been offended if we hadn't eaten it all. Eventually Bapi arrived after 'erroneously' reading the train timetable, he told us this via text, i'm all for using 'proper' english rather than txt spk, but really, has anyone in the world other than thom and I received a text with the word erroneous in it? This became our buzz word for the evening, shoehorning it into every context, trust me it was hilarious. no, really, it was. Given the way the afternoon was shaping up i thought it wise we headed to HN early to get settled in, so we did, via Sam's chop house. I manfully persuaded Bapi that a bottle of wine probably wasn't the best idea after a wine list perusing pint, but i was over-ruled, perhaps fortunately our choice of an unusual musar white was out of stock. We took that as our cue to leave. Winding our way to HN we marvelled at the sights, manchester even has an Ugg shop. Through the lift to HN resto we were warmly greeted, well thom was, as tends to happen in manchester. To the bar for a cocktail, not my idea, i'm frequently accused of many frasier-esque crimes against manliness but cocktails is not a vice i currently have, to my mind they're to be drunk on a beach, but I'm happy to go with the flow when the occasion suggests. Oddly my suggestion of a strawberry daquirie was not taken well. Whilst bapi eulogised over his dirty martini, thom and I had old fashioned's , very nice they were too, but they did take - and this is no exaggeration, about 4 weeks to make. So the pleasure/weight equation was not balanced. We then took our seats in the room, a very pleasant, dimly lit space full of the beau-monde of manchester, we had a good corner table and waited expectantly. Now this is where the wheels will fall off as i only have mobile photo's to jog my memory and marc's cooking is one of finesse and detail, which we are relying on bapi to fill in, but here's some thoughts.... smoked grapes very nice, interesting amuse and followed by a trio of further amuses including a most mushroomy pipette. some excellent bread a scallop dish, perfectly cooked scallops, and rolls of the best i'm sure we were told parma ham , but given marc's spanish connections perhaps spanish, either way top stuff. next foie gras with some very precisely julliened apple. proper grown up food. finally a quail with the melt in the mouth legs. desserts became a little of a blur at this point, we had supplemented the matched wines with a couple of bottles of 05 taupernot - merme (?) auxey - duresses which was superb, after deciding that the champagne wasn't really our market, at about £60 for the cheapest bottle. Service all evening was attentive and spot on, in what must have been a stressful evening for gemma and her team. so apologies for the lack of descriptions, marc's food remains worth a trip from anywhere in the UK and this just whetted our appetites for a return visit to the wirral. (if only bapi can overcome his fear of a night out afterwards in liverpool with thom and I - we both went to university there, we know where to go, he's scared, very scared.) And it was good to meet you Emma!
  5. looking forward to it marc and especially so seeing bapi has kindly paid for me
  6. I first heard of van zeller on a daily business email, the angle being chef tom van zeller returning to his roots after working in many starred places with backing from david moore of pied a terre and raymond blanc telly show fame. it's based in harrogate and though not a million miles away from chez marshall, not somewhere i'd pass through without reason, and with prompting from the harrogate post i decided i had a reason to visit, and tried lunch today. I'm not usually one for the set deals but £10 for 3 courses that on the website seemed quite interesting and i thought it worth a punt, and accompanied by some pub owning mates we hit the bright lights of genteel harrogate. restaurant is a very nice space, mixture of banquettes and tables , holding 34, we had a nice corner spot with a good view of proceedings, and it was pleasing to see that their offer was being taken up by the good people of harrogate with about 12 in on a wet, miserable wednesday. the waiter didn't seem too fazed by our request of both choices of each course from the set menu, ie 6 courses for £20, seemed a bargain tasting menu to me! first course was a warm pheasant salad, a possibly confitted pheasant breast nicely cooked with a good layer of fat to lubricate it and crispy skin. it sat on some sauteed potatoes and some piquantly dressed salad leaves. good start. next up was a beetroot and creme fraiche soup, it was a superb soup, lovely texture and depth of flavour and a shiny bright red colour, very good indeed. first main was some seared sea bream with a ragout of chard, a good sized well cooked fillet of bream arrived with some batons of chard and a little beurre blanc-esque sauce. confit gressingham duck leg was next on a bed of pomme puree with a red wine reduction. this was a decent size portion and like the pheasant, exhibited the same good cooking technique, again very good. cheese was offered at a supplement but in keeping with our bargainous state, and satiated appetites we just had the 2 desserts! first was an iced mango parfait, good texture and flavour and a good refresher after our quite heavy lunch. last course was an apricot clafoutis again decent, well cooked, with a quenelle of cream. with a beer, a bottle of £19 NZ pinot and 2 large espressos the bill was £90 for 3! tom came out to say hello and see if we wanted anything else, he retired to the kitchen happy that everything to us was spot on and they had beaten us on the food front! the set meal offer is on quite a lot including early evenings so there's plenty of opportunity to try it and at those prices it really is a steal. the a la carte looks interesting and is seriously priced with mains around £20 -£25 but given the skills on show in the set lunch, it would seem a good bet to me that they would deliver the requisite bang for the bucks asked. The wine list is another good piece of work, wines are from enotria and there's a decent selection including some wines very much off the beaten path and wines by the glass are offered in 125, 175, and 250 which as i was driving today i thought was a good touch. The room was efficiently run by the FOH staff and my only quibble was that the espresso seemed a bit watery, i think it was a shot topped up with water, not 2 shots, a minor fault in an otherwise faultless meal regardless of price, and a bloody bargain at £10 (or £20 if you're greedy) certainly blows abode's set lunch out of the water.
  7. i thought about it and i am, will report back later....
  8. very pleased for the pipe and glass i thought they were ready for it now, whites in beverley got a bib too. heard that black swan were throwing chefs at the job to get a star so hopefully it pays off for them, one of my old boys is cooking there.
  9. Just coppering up for some fuel for the jet ! Looking forward to your event marc , and the full english bapi will be cooking me the next day! Also hoping to arrange another trip to the wirral, best start checking the sofa for change, aviation fuel is sooo expensive these days! Heading to that london today for a lunch at petit maison so i'm in training!
  10. refurb and other interesting things planned for Anthony's this year now the piazza is up and running and firing on all cylinders.
  11. Very pleasant lunch recently, tried to book a table at 10.00 am but phone rang out, so pitched up at 1pm as a walk in. I was expecting to easily get a table, but found we'd got the last table on a wet wednesday lunchtime, that's how busy it has become. In the end we had a pint beforehand and eventually settled in for lunch later on, to start a braised beef risotto with a horseradish foam providing a nice contrast, my veggie companion was probably happy with something goats cheese and colleage had some good looking mussels. Mains were two sirloins with bearnaise, chips, onion rings and breaded mushroom, the latter(s) coming as standard with the mains, i must saw given the numbers they were doing i was half expecting a steak disaster but no, they came very well cooked. I requested med/rare which seems to give a better than average chance of what i want-nice crust on the outside, rare in the middle, can't be doing with sous-vide-esque-uncaramelised meat nowadays. I noticed they also have little flags in the dishes to denote the cuisson also. Bearnaise was spot on , chips pretty good and onion rings home made and freshly battered , mushroom with a good garlic breadcrumb hit. Much more finesse that expected given the price £13.50 for the steak plus £1.50 sauce £3 chips in a town centre. veggie had good looking gnocchi dish. didn't really need dessert but in for a penny.... jam roly poly, proper suet based dish, proper custard with visible vaniila seeds (and not ant eggs as someone once accussed us of having in a creme brulee at the pub)very good, can't remember the others, blame the ill advised strawberry beer i moved onto in norman's across the way. some unremarkable aussy chardonnay and NZ pinot to wash it down. will be nicely busy if anyone wants a pre-christmas meal, and can get in!
  12. the audley on the corner of south audley street and mount street. it's just a boozer but it is in walking distance of maze, and unlike maze it's not £6 for a bottle of peroni, so if you're thirsty types you might want a few pre-lunch liveners there.
  13. so who was the bird then mate? congratulations to el gato, looked great.
  14. great piece, i particularly like his views on water baths and even more so cooking pigeon in them.
  15. was at can roca last week, very enjoyable meal, good priced wines and i loved the setting. can see how it's got 3* but thought at the time was decent 2* , my mate was less generous. extebarri worthy of a star certainly.
  16. I thought the menu had gone downhill a bit from jay's outing when we went, it was obviously a menu designed to hit a GP target so it was all cheap ingredients, which is fair enough but it wasn't when it opened and got all the fuss. So we went ALC, sure we wrote it up on here, maybe on manchester thread? Was ok, wouldn't rush back. eta, here you go bapi's thoughts...
  17. 1) walsh always uses the term 'bonne bouche' - i hate it 2) last time i was in LCS david said allium was a place they visited on their days off. make up your own mind to paraphrase a previous post, i haven't been, but i would.
  18. Post pheasant pint at the star yesterday, had a drink with Andrew, they are very relieved to be open again, they employ over 100 people so with no money coming in, that's a lot to shoulder, and in pound notes, it's a very significant sum that would have closed weaker businesses. Given the star's pulling power it also hit helmsley too as they lost star diners overnight stays, all in all very bad for the local economy. They weren't alone being hit with the virus locally and given the fact that with weddings and restaurant they are doing 1500 covers a week it's easy to see how these things can be transmitted in such a small place, they feel a bit bruised to be singled out but accept they're a better story than the local school being closed for the same thing.
  19. Very pleasant afternoon out yesterday, the high point being lunch at the newly renovated pheasant hotel in harome, sister hotel to my old favourite the star inn. Although there is obviously a link to the star the pheasant does appear to be running as a seperate entity with chef peter neville (ex star, ex hibiscus) also a shareholder and cooking his own food, it is not a diffusion of andrew pern's food. Many of the star's defining characteristics are present though such as the 'posh rustic' decor and informal but spot on service. We started in front of the large fire in the bar area with a decent pint of Golden Pippin, the menu is completely different to the star, in london stylee, it's listed under principal ingredient, plaice, sirloin, duck etc with a simple description alongside. On yesterday were 4 choices per course. To start i had a chicken and foie gras terrine with quince puree, a very nice plate with micro herbs etc on it and a healthy amount of foie, a good start. Mrs M's mushroom ravioli though was the pick, one large plump ravioli with finely sliced radishes on the top, very good dish. A shelled moules marinere also looked good. Mains were roast sirloin and yorkshire pudding with carrot puree for me, and plaice with butter cornichons and capers for the others. As expected beef was very good, with an almost smoked aftertaste, the fish came on the bone and was declared a success. Moving onto desserts the carrott cake with earl grey ice cream was calling, and didn't disappoint, a very smooth ice cream and a nice iced carrott cake. Menu was £27.50 for 3 courses. There's two dining rooms, a conservatory and the dining room, we were in the dining room and that's my preferred space, a bit more formal and grown up with very comfortable arm chairs, it's a very relaxing experience. Others have told me that it's a comparable experience to Frances Atkin's Yorke Arms and it's certainly in that vein, the chef certainly seems to have his own style and freedom to write his own menus so it certainly appears on first glimpse to stand alone, and up to the cooking of it's more established sibling round the corner. We felt it would be rude not to pop up to the star after that for a pint ......
  20. better than tayyabs, high praise indeed, Jay will be booking his train out there shortly
  21. the article, well, if you will insist on anonimity..... http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/food/article.html?Restaurant_fails_to_clear_the_bar_at_Hix&in_article_id=771652&in_page_id=26
  22. He sets up for service at anthonys then heads to the piazza bakery, does evening service at anthonys then often back to the piazza! And now working 7 days a week until xmas, more energy than most, that's for sure!
  23. pleased to report the star has reopened.
  24. The drop in temperature this week meant red chilli has gone right up the list of places i fancy eating in at the moment, and friday lunchtime provided an excuse for a trip. I went with two RC virgins and had warmed them up for my recommended dishes (no prizes for guessing) beforehand and they were happy for me to order, though proving that they can't be trusted, the minute my back was turned i came back to the table to discover prawn crackers had been ordered, no, no, no, all stomach capacity would be required! First up beijing dumplings and crack dipping sauce, i could eat these all day long, also guotie dumplings which this time seemed to have a slightly different filling to the beijing and a different sauce, in york they're virtually identical. (there's definitely variations between branches on many subtle things). Made the mistake of saying to bring all the mains when ready and that meant they were arriving as we were scoffing the starters but no great issue. pork and beans were declared the number one dish, quite chilli hot , nicely oily, a great winter dish. Second favourite was the hot pot, though i notice it is now billed as mutton, not lamb, and this one was lacking in the 'maggot' chillis entirely, whether this was them thinking we couldn't handle the truth - i mean the chilli or a change of style i don't know, but it was a shadow of its hottest self but still hot enough to be interesting and was declared a success. Final dish the more mainstream crispy shredded fillet beef, which was in third place, the proper RC dishes were clear favourites! rice and spring onion bread completed, and with a few beers and tea £20 a head. another couple of converts
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