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Everything posted by MartinGill

  1. Like PoppySeedBagel I too was traumatised by Morrisons in Leeds, especially when the Merrion Centre branch was my local supermarket in the 90's, shudder..... I certainly can't imagine a positive thread on egullet from those times. But this thread and a billboard on the way home from my sons swimming lesson made me try the revamped Huddersfield branch this afternoon. Now 3pm on a rainy Sunday afternoon with 2 small children isn't ideal browsing time, but I'll be back one evening next week after their bedtime for a proper look. Not sure if the water misting on the veg is a gimmick, but I loved the range of vegetables and herbs on offer. I'd always rated their fish and bread counters, but in the past the "market street" full of pre-packed veg and meat hadn't appealed, especially as it normally went off in a day or so. But they are now competing with my local Asian store for interesting ingredients but with easier parking, and the veg at the entrance is so enticing that I probably hunted out other ingredients that bit harder, whereas in the past I bought fish and bread and left as quickly as possible. Lots of interesting cuts in the meat counter which I'll explore in the future. I hope the range on offer lasts, I'll certainly be visiting a lot more often if it does.
  2. I'm really sorry that they left York. My wife is vegetarian and in their York incarnation they offered friendly, relaxed and high quality non meat food. In York the chef seemed to marry extremely high quality produce with enough twists to keep me interested, and there wasn't a lot to compete with them. It sounds a bit like they've overstretched themselves in London, lots of vacant premises around back up north these days if they fancy coming back. Green's in Didsbury is a bit far from us to give the wife something other than a wild mushroom risotto or a goats cheese tart when we manage to get a babysitter.
  3. Tampopo and Babette's feast, the latter is one of my perfect Christmas films (just avoid one of the dubbed versions)
  4. And from the advert in the Guardian today it looks like you can read even more about him in the forthcoming Observer Food Monthly. He is on the front cover, and seems to have forgotten his shirt again.
  5. Walking up from the station this morning I see that Sam's Chop House of Manchester fame is coming to Leeds. Opening in June in what used to be the Fat Cat on East Parade.
  6. With our first baby due in the next 3 weeks we went for what may be our last meal out for a while by re-visiting El Gato Negro on Saturday. I think Chris said that Bapi had been in for lunch that day, but despite my worries everything was still available on the menu Eating tapas with a vegetarian obviously means that the whole idea of sharing is a bit one way, and as a result I may have over-ordered on the meat and fish front, and did less well on the olives and the vegetables but as with our first visit we didn't have a poor dish between us. The serrano ham with celeriac remoulade was a lovely combination, although my wife polished off most of the remoulade, but the quantity of ham would have been fine for 3, not that it stopped me. The monkfish was beautifully cooked, although the pancetta was served with it rather than wrapping the fish as it was described. At this point I was glad I didn't have to share. Initially I thought the beans it was served with were too similar to baked beans, but the more I ate of the dish the more I liked the combination with the smokiness of the pancetta coming through the sauce. By the time a portion of two slices of fillet steak arrived, served perfectly rare, with mushrooms and caramelised shallots I was flagging. On the vegetable front my one forkfull of patatas bravas with aioli was delightful, but next time I looked up the dish was empty and I didn't get to try the mushrooms in sherry vinegar with garlic, which was the least favourite dish of the night more because we preferred everything else than anything being wrong with it. We finished with a selection of Spanish cheeses and depressingly couldn't make room for the puddings which we'd so enjoyed so much on our first visit. Suprisingly the highlight for me was the bread. It is quite a feat for a mouthful of toasted bread, served simply with tomato, olive oil and garlic to transport me from the cold, wet and windy Pennine night to a summers evening, and I could have eaten this all night. Both our visits have shown Simon's deft hand in the kitchen. The ingredients are first class and are allowed to speak for themselves with a simple presentation, yet other dishes are more complex and beautifully executed. The service, apart from a mini hiccup waiting for the cheese, was friendly and attentive. Chris greeted us as old friends, yet this was only our second visit. They're apparently up for 2 awards at the Northern hospitality awards soon, and on the standards of the two meals I've had there I hope they get something, hopefully Bapi can do some lobbying with Thom. Forgot to ask if they have a high chair!
  7. I can't knock all ready meals, as they can have beneficial side effects In the late 80's, my parents went on holiday whilst I revised for my A levels. To allow me more time to revise (ever the optimists) they gave me money to buy a weeks worth of ready meals from the local supermarket, Asda. Amazingly I lasted for a whole 3 days consuming the most inedible rubbish. I then headed off to the local shop for fresh ingredients and I cooked for myself for the rest of the week. I cooked for my parents when they arrived home, and have never looked back. And now I never buy meat unless it is from the local farm shop, or even better the local farmer. How times change.
  8. I fully agree with that. Choosing from the ALC at LCS took me an age, I just couldn't reject anything or plump for the obvious star dish as they all shouted eat me They also were wonderful in creating a special menu for my wife who is vegetarian, possibly the only meal we've eaten out in which she didn't feel a second class citizen. Must remind her of that so we can go again.....
  9. Missed the first half, but did I read this right on the channel 4 website? They served prawns and chocolate followed by chicken stuffed with banana yet they only lost £22,000 last year?
  10. When you manage to convince your wife she needs to throw out nearly all of her books to allow room for yet more of your cookbooks, all of which are essential.....
  11. In an attempt to get back from MPW to DEM... My copy of Essence arrived from Amazon at 8.30 last night, so I haven't had that long to digest it, but at a first glance it is a great book. My dinner parties are several levels below Mark's, but it is the first one that I've added to my collection in ages that I've just wanted to take straight into the kitchen. I'll see if I can add the French Laundry to my Christmas list. I have eaten at LCS and it was a faultless meal. My only criticism wasn't that fair, I love to eat out but one reason is to inspire my cooking at home. LCS was such a combination of tastes, textures and presentation that I felt quite inadequate. However David has managed to produce a cookbook that makes those same dishes appear within reach. Obviously after I've had a go I'll need to head back to Cheltenham to compare my versions
  12. After several false starts I finally managed a meal at the Leeds branch on Friday. We went for the vegetarian set meal to make up for a weekend in France when my veggie wife got a bit of a raw deal. We started out with an egg and tomato soup, instantly outshone by a vegetarian sour soup which was simply wonderful. Starters included the best spring rolls I've ever tasted, seaweed and a very refreshing green bean salad with sesame. We weren't entirely sure about the pastry and beansprout salad, almost gelatinous wide noodles that were tasty but an odd texture and slightly beyond our chopstick skill level. Mains were beancurd in oyster sauce which was very moreish and baby corn with pine kernels which didn't quite work for me. The highlight was sizzling aubergine in blackbean sauce. Poured into a hot dish at the table it was almost a health and safety hazard as it spat hot oil everywhere but tasted divine. Hardly anyone on egullet seems to have finished a meal at Red Chilli, and after the starters I was feeling good. But halfway through the mains we just hit a brick wall and so walked out with doggie bag. £48 inluding wine for 2 was great value. It was really busy, yet tables were turned around in seconds without nayone being rushed. Now has anyone made it to the dessert menu, what on earth is donkey rolled in mud?
  13. Not that I often eat healthily, but how about the Arts Cafe, their lunch plates used to be great value though I haven't been for a few months. There is also Roots and Fruits in the arcade near the Grand theatre. It is veggie and vegan, but certainly passed the healthy eating test when I took my wife at a similar stage in the pre wedding diet.
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