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Everything posted by grahamR

  1. grahamR


    I had the pleasure of a week’s holiday in New York last week. Of all the meals I had, Riingo is the one that was the most fun. The beer braised ribs were a terrific surprise, the meat taken from the bone and transformed into a delicious (what I can only describe as) “brownie”. The belly pork was a magnificent main course of the most yielding and delicate quality. The (complimentary) edame bean dip was a real revelation too. One of the reasons that Riingo will remain a favourite meal was the simple fact that I couldn’t work out the cooking process that had been used to create the food. I simply couldn’t fathom how the rib meat, for example, had been rendered as a moist coherent block while also keeping a light, beautifully crispy, texture. If anyone has seen recipes from Riingo, please do let me know! I’ve already ordered a copy of the Aquavit book in hopes of some insights.
  2. Thanks. I'll be giving it a whirl and the cauli one too.
  3. I can't google up a recipe for this intriguing combination. Got any to hand, ADT?
  4. My pleasure: Guardian Archive. Much to my suprise, when I compared Marcella Hazan's instructions with HB, it wasn't HB who was making a mention of amylopectin.
  5. <br /> <center> over-rated: caper berries <br/> under-rated: star anise </center>
  6. …It’s going to be great, with Sophie Sodium Alginate, Percy Pollen and Dolly Dry-Ice ahoy!... Seriously though: I find HB’s techniques interesting. Even if a lot of it isn’t the sort of thing you’re likely to do at home. Snail porridge is fabulously tasty, but it will be a sunny weekend in Dundee before I’d consider making it myself. The mention of Molecular Gastronomy is enough to get some people’s blood to exert one atmosphere of pressure. As I see it the case for MG gets as overstated as the case against. Classical cookery is full of “rules” which are merely rituals, or poor models of the process that is taking place. I’m not sure I know any professional chefs who put a matchstick into the pan with a boiled egg, but I’ve heard plenty talk about “sealing in the flavour of a steak”. Having a better model of the process gives you a more precise intellectual framework to manipulate the process. The results of that are producing different results to the couple of hundred years worth of trail, error and instinct of classical cookery. I am sure MG relies on a great deal of instinct too and perhaps the results are not always better, but they should be of interest to anyone with an interest in food: no mater your view on purist MG. HB has already published some of the recipes in the series. I’ve eaten the triple cooked chips at the Hind’s Head, they are top notch. I’ve followed his risotto rules from Family Food and prepared the cauliflower volute version from the recipe in The Guardian: it’s lovely, and grating raw cauli on the top is a superb idea. For the rest I will be interested to see what he has to say. I’ve never yet considered trying low temperature cookery – maybe the show will make it a tempting idea?
  7. I’ve only ever seen HB present on Full on Food. His slot always reminded me of the guests telling jokes from Countdown’s dictionary coroner. Whoever that guy with the scruffy hair and pyjama top shirts was he pretty much destroyed every item he was in by not knowing how to respond to his guests. Anyhoo, maybe HB with a director and a bit of editing might be not awful? I mean Ainsley Harriot has had how many shows?? Ooo! Ooo! AH & HB now there's a match made in TV heaven...
  8. Tried to drop in for Lunch. Was turned away as they were full. Although I couldn't see any occupied tables. Looking again at the menu, the prices are £5-£10 for starters and £18+ for mains. Which is a little bit more than my first impression. As they don't have a website, or apparently any listing in the phonebook, their number is: 020 7408 1440. The food is half-price until Saturday night (5th Nov).
  9. Looking for a london source of tomatillo. I seem to have purchased a bag of tamarillo. I'm not sure they will work in a salsa.
  10. Luciano’s (mentioned elsewhere as MPW’s newest venture) is open and probably deserves a thread of its own. The site in St James’s Street (SW1) is just across the street from L'Oranger. If memory serves, it was previously the Suntory restaurant and has been empty since they closed a few years ago. The secretive Suntory layout, sunken and hidden away behind bamboo screens, is long gone. The part of Luciano’s facing the street is a bar area and the white tablecloths of the restaurant proper are tucked away in a divided area towards the rear. I only had time to glance at the menu, which offers solid Italian. Prices looked pretty reasonable. I might have to try and dine there before they go up!
  11. A pleasant afternoon tea (usually with the place to yourself) is served at The Stafford. Dining alfresco, a good selection of goodies can be found at the restaurant at the back of Somerset House. For extravagance my choice would be The Waldorf.
  12. I've had no luck at my three local Sainsbury's, but thanks to for the link to the Kai Kitchen website. My credit card is about to go into shock, there's so much nice stuff on there. Wonderful website, thanks Helen.
  13. Most wise and beloved of eGullet: Is there anywhere in London that stocks verjus? (It seems I can't look at a book at the moment without seeing a reference to it! I'm sure you know how that goes...)
  14. Morfudd's ice-cream van makes The Times. egullet ref: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=74395 direct link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,632-1783762,00.html
  15. I was a student at Newcastle. Our restaurant of choice was called Mamma Mia's : if you enter the Big Market from the top of the hill, it's down a side street on the right. The calamari piazza was £2.59 during happy hour. It may have gone up a bit since I was last there in 1988. Okay, it's a million to one shot, but it just might be there (and any good).
  16. A PX ice-cream sounds fantastic. Sounds like excuse enough to visit Upper Street. My only successful ice-cream invention is a deconstructed pesto. It’s really just Joyce Molyneux’s Basil Ice-Cream (from the wonderful Carved Angel book) with a nut brittle made with pine nuts. The basil ice-cream on its own is interesting but I found I didn’t want more than a spoon or two. The smashed up and sprinkled brittle makes it quite yummy. Years ago when the gourmet pizza company was just getting going (and used to be good! ) they used to make a terrific lemon meringue pie ice-cream. I’ve always lusted after that recipe, but never tracked it down.
  17. Masterchef goes large: I have my own theory about why the criteria for selection seems so random. Unfortunately I don’t have the cash to fight a lengthy libel case.
  18. We were the only diners, although I’m not sure if that explains anything. I was surprised how young the staff were (everyone in their very early 20’s) and I did note they were recruiting. I shall just have to go back and try again, which is really not going to be any hardship!
  19. I have just returned from a much anticipated lunch at l'Enclume. The lunch menu options are either a three course table d'hote selection or the introductory taste and texture menu, as advertised on their website. We were there (of course!) for the taste and texture menu. The strong point of the experience was the food. It's clear that there's an immense amount of skill and understanding behind what appears on the plate. The style and intention has obvious connections to the work of Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck. The tasting menu at The Fat Duck is a grand affair: a succession of brilliant set-pieces, some connected by theme, but all delivered with a well polished script which explains the idea behind what youre about to receive. Lunch at l'Enclume has a much more familiar form. This is partly a result of a smaller number of dishes, but also the courses of the taste and texture menu make their point more harmoniously than the Fat Duck. They build towards the larger show piece of choice: either the loin of lamb with grains of paradise or the chicken with liquorice. The lamb was a lot more interesting than the chicken. The John Dory -- as a number of people have reported -- was replaced by monkfish. The bergamot accents worked very nicely but the scallop course nearly stole the show from the lamb (which should be interpreted as a compliment). The only item in the two and a half hours of wonderful eating that left me flat was the "lip smacking pizza", which was more "tortilla chip with sundried tomato stuff". The broth served with it, however, was blissful. My experience at l'Enclume would have been improved by two things: a better prepared staff and some wine recommendations matched for the meal. Service was well intentioned but unskilled and verging on stand-offish. Courses appeared without explanation and information was only solicited with considerable coaxing. In the absence of the sommelier (who wasn't around for the first half hour), our first waiter offered to help us choose a wine but turned out to only know one and we didn't like the sound of it! There were no wine suggestions matched for the menu. When the sommelier arrived, we negotiated a modest, lightly fruity, South African sauvignon blanc. It didn't clash with anything, but who knows what a really great match could do with really great food. Was it worth a special trip? Yes. Would I go again? Yes. Could it be improved? Yes.
  20. On an Indian theme: I'd second the food at Chowki, although service can be slow. Masala Zone is a nice budget option, the food is reliable and is worth trying once to see if you like their style. For about £22 a head you can have a vegetarian set meal at Rasa Samudra (5 Charlotte Street). We had a great time and some splendid food there last Sunday night.
  21. A little article in the Guardian on much the same subject. http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,...1389552,00.html A mini update for UK readers, there's a nice stall in Borough Market selling a range of lovely pepper corns as well as pink Peruvian salt.
  22. I'll third that. The anticipation factor goes up another few notches. (Buenos!)
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