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Everything posted by oedipus

  1. He accommodated mine but far better to convince her of the error of her ways so she can enjoy the full experience
  2. Forget baltis, try Saffron on the Wolverhampton Road or Madras Currys [sic]
  3. Full list of awards here http://www.michelin.co.uk/michelinuk/en/mo...3153/24305.html And Brum's got two new stars - Turners and Purnells!!!!!
  4. MB - worth visiting but not if the choice is between that and Arzak or that and Mugaritz. MB's farmer's egg was brilliant and his greatest hits menu (which was 140E in 2007) delights both the eye and the palate even if the narrative of the meal is undermined by having to accommodate so many signature dishes. Mugaritz was more memorable - it was possible to delineate an arc to the meal and the setting (starting outside, dining inside and concluding in the open once more) added to the theatricality of the experience. Hoping to visit later this year after such a wonderful meal in 2007. I'm surprised at the less positive noises regarding the Guggenheim - the remit of the restaurant seems to be more constrained than the big hitters mentioned in this thread yet on both of my visits the food seemed to be conspiring with Gehry's structure to further eclipse the actual contents of the building. The roasted roseval potato with raw bean juice is one of the finest dishes I've eaten
  5. Ku de Ta - Rodney Bay: nice take on a bloody mary "Thai Mary", Tom Yum soup that was not clear and had a composite taste rather than one allowing all the various ingredients to make their presence known. Green Curry good if lacking in heat considering its three chilli designation and the chicken was less good than hoped for. Good service and pleasant dining room. Rainforest Hideaway - Marigot Bay: dining on a pontoon is romantic though a bit more light would be appreciated to actually discern the food. Intersting, inexpensive cocktails, good presentation and unfussy service. The white wine tasted odd (both bottles, from different countries and grapes had the taste of a green wine despite being 2006 vintage). Free boat ferry from the marina Chateau Mygo - Marigot Bay: Fulsome sushi plate for 50EC$ ($20 US). The permanent happy hour does not seem to make the drinks noticeably cheaper but you do get two for every one you order which can actually be a problem! Doolittle's - Marigot Bay - Chicken Roti OK but you pay for the location rather than the food Hurricane Hole (Discovery Resort) - Marigot Bay - OK but Mygo a better bet Mango Tree - Soufriere. Accra fishcakes excellent and deep fried squid and baby octupus pleasing
  6. Just how much of the pap does one have to read before reaching this understanding?
  7. The awards satisfy the needs of the sponsors, provide a jolly for the organisers and participants and create a momentary amount of noise, as per every award scheme ever invented. And like every award scheme ever invented it's as flawed as hell; those who are recognised will assist in giving it credibility, those who are not will be indifferent if not derogatory. But ask yourself, what exactly does it mean to say you are the fourteenth or twenty-seventh best restaurant in the world? It's a bit of fun and it certainly made me laugh.
  8. The restaurant in the Guggenheim is a must visit. We did it about 10 days ago (72€) and for my money it exhibits both the assurance of Martin Berasategui and the cleanliness of flavour of Mugaritz. Cracked Roseval potatoes with raw bean juice has been on both menus we've had here and is one of the finest things you'll encounter (the taste is one thing but the smell lifts it even further). A useful restaurant site that covers a dozen countries intermittently but is particularly strong on Spain (but no Arzak) is http://www.lomejordelagastronomia.com/ENG/restaurantes.asp . There's a number of recipes and the review of El Bulli seems to have been written in a state of gastronomic nirvana!
  9. I think The Independent has realised that knocking out these lists and thereby providing otherwise quite modest establishments the opportunity to declare on all their promotional literature "one of the 100 best restaurants in the UK as chosen by The Independent" does no harm in getting the name of The Independent in front to a lot of eyeballs for a lot less than paying for ad space. I think it's a practice with diminishing returns - the lack of rigor (no year is attached to the list so each time the exercise is carried out a few more establishments can swell the ranks of the "100 best" to the point where ultimately every restaurant in the country will be a celebrated centurion of excellence) and the bizarre list of categories mean that it can't be regarded as anything other than at best a bit of fun.
  10. Fair enough. I prefer 'passionate' to 'a bit touchy' (and who knows, such attention to semantics may one day earn me a Reporter's Edition of Harden's ). As to the BP forum, one poster behaved in an appalling manner and he was first advised to desist and then his wholly unwarranted attack removed and reprimanded. It is not behaviour I (as Admin) either condone or encourage and doesn't reflect well on the forum or make the best use of my limited time. I believe I apologised to you at the time and am happy to do so again. No wish to clash swords with anyone here or elsewhere but if I took umbrage against a slight peceived or otherwise it is simply indicative of the regard in which I held the now departed restaurant. I have a lot of time for the concept of Harden's (it is hardly dissimilar to that of BP, though in a different medium) but I do take issue with its execution.
  11. Well obviously I do, as stated in my last post. The following line, stating that a prospective occupier is in the wings, may or may not have hastened the decision to close - that and the imminent re-opening of Epicurean may both be contributory factors - neither of them clouded in mystery but we just reported on Mr McDonald's comments. Speculate (with a whiff of schadenfreude?) away, but to first suggest that it closed because it was rubbish and then, in the face of correspondents who challenged this, imply that there was something 'mysterious' about the closure does little to dispel the suspicion that you have some dislike of the place or its owner.
  12. To clarify, 'mysterious' only to the author. A number of outlets, including our own have given the reasons as offered by the owner for the closure (see news item) and though one might speculate 'what is The Real Story?' (actually it's the first part of five in Stephen Donaldson's excellent Gap Series, sci-fi as unwashed and gnarly as it gets, but I digress) I'm happy to accept it and move on. New incumbents Signature Restaurants seem to be planning a Strada for the space but I don't think anything is confirmed as yet. On the issue of Harden's producing two versions of their guide, what are they playing at? As my good lady pointed out elsewhere, they proudly proclaim at the head of the page explaining their rating system that "We see little point in traditional rating systems", should that be followed with the qualification "for the rest of you"? God knows the book that us mere mortals are offered could do with a bit of rigour in terms of its delineation of restaurants and effectively providing a rating system as Andy outlines would be a big step in this direction. The failure to include it in the plebian version leads me to speculate that it either undermines the value placed on the reader reports or acknowledges that the stars and black cross method coupled with a rag-bag of pull quotes is a bit lacking in terms of evaluating a restaurant. I would have thought reporters had highly developed skills in the art of discerning meaning from an assemblage of comments and therefore be less likely to require what is in effect an enhanced version of the guide.
  13. What's one of those? I'm sitting with Harden's 2006 by my side (we are very close) and can find nothing to suggest their rating scheme is changed from X Disappointing (The Paris rating) * Very Good ** Exceptional with some not getting a rating and by implication at least being OK
  14. Just posted an article on the refurbished LCS complete with 18 pictures on Birmingham Plus
  15. There is another Thistle Hotel on the Hagley Road that I think the poster is referring to: Thistle Birmingham Edgbaston 225 Hagley Road Birmingham, England B16 9RY Its 3 stars and very close to Jessica's
  16. Just stumbled on this thread and as I've just started reading Shopped I thought I'd add my two'penneth before I spend it down the local supermarket. Tescos,Sainsburys et al are as big as they are because they are good at what they do - purchasing, distributing and selling goods (and increasingly services) to as many people as possible. The food element can be criticised in parts for being low-grade stuff but they stock it because it sells - none of them are inherently low-rent outlets and if there was a public clamour for GM-free/seasonal/locally-produced/organic (delete as appropriate) food above all else then they would bring their experience and marketing abilities to bear on ensuring that the public got it. I don't think they have to be answerable for the actual or perceived quality of the food they sell - if there are standards then they should be applied across the board (ie by legislation). If there were to be legislation concerning supermarkets then one of the primary areas that I think needs to be addressed is that of planning permission - such is the buying power of these organisations that they seem to situate themselves wherever they please, sweetening the deal with councils with the offer of providing the facilities - low cost housing, sports centre, whatever - that the council is not able to fund themselves. The effect they have on an area is profound - not just aesthetically or environmentally but in terms of the displacement of exisiting traders (food and non-food) whose land is CPO'd for peanuts, replacing skilled workers from a range of trades with low-level till operators and warehouse pickers. Where I am in Birmingham our closest supermarket, Safeway's, after briefly flirting with a Morrison's re-brand, has now closed and, because its agglomeration of services stifled and killed off competition, the area is now in decline - card shops and charity shops to the exclusion of all else do not constitute a thriving retail environment. We have all (individuals, local and national government) encouraged and perhaps benefitted from the rise of the supermarket and pocketed a bit of cash as a consequence. The darker consequences of such encouragement are increasingly evident and as with other issues that have evolved unchecked we have to decide whether we shrug and just regard it as the way the world is today or else determine ways to halt if not rollback the impact of supermarkets on our society.
  17. That definition - "what you feel like eating at any given time of the year" is open season for Martini cuisine - any time, any place, any where - no problems with that, but seasonality has no part to play in it. Unless I am much mistaken (and it has happened) seasonality is inescapably linked to geographical specificity rather than the predelictions of diners. I'm an agnostic in the debate but I think those who talk the seasonality schtick should be casting around their immediate suppliers rather than scouring the globe.
  18. I'm sure they'd like you to dine there, but a rather tasteful choice for that neck of the woods would be the rooms at Simpsons, a short walk down the Hagley Road from Jessica's - Simpsons - starts at £140 a room so not in the bargain end of the end of the market. Have to re-iterate postcode's point about Broad Street - big, but far removed from clever. Living in Brum I don't 'stay' in Brum, but Hotel du Vin gets good feedback on the pillow front and you should be able to get something less expensive even factoring in the cab fare
  19. Interesting debate. Are there examples of national food critics being recruited from regional rags rather than moving across from other areas within the same newspaper? If not, and assuming that writing for a national paper is regarded as a step up, there seems little motivation for regional critics to raise their game.
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