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Peter H

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  1. I've missed most of the series until this week but have been impressed with Paul's efforts to get into the theme. However, I don't get the overall idea (why didn't they go for a royal wedding street party?) and the confrontational tone of the commentary and 'dark looks' across the kitchen annoy me more than the greengrocer on Masterchef counting down the minutes!
  2. As the title implies really. Has anyone got any good sources for fresh wild rabbit in London? For me, preferably in central or north/north east London? Also, is it seasonal? I don't think that there is a restriction on when they can be killed. Peter
  3. I had a wonderful lunch at the Sportsman last week, with a menu slightly different to that of felixhirsch. Great cooking and flavour/texture combinations. The 'set piece courses' - e.g. the turbot, lamb and lemon tart dishes - were exemplary! I was hoping to see the crab risotto but, although I didn't, I wasn't disappointed with the food! Pics here If there's a suggestion of a forum outing, I'd be in!
  4. I had a lovely meal at Hereford Road back in February. Because the menu changes daily, I didn't see all the dishes I'd seen in reviews, but there were plenty of choices that appealed! Some photos here
  5. I think it's very hard to misinterpret your indignation that people wearing jeans, ordering beers, were seated without reservations. but each to their own. ← If that's the interpretation you choose to put on what I wrote, then I can't really argue with it, but in no way does it reflect what I felt either then or now.
  6. I didn't say that the restaurant was 'casual', so I don't see any contradiction in what I posted. And if you believe that I thought the late arrivals should have been turned away for any reason, then you misunderstood what I wrote.
  7. Untrue. I was at Deane's 3 weeks ago, and it's still as fine dining as ever. Upstairs is a private dining space, but the downstairs restaurant is in tact; not certainly no casual. it's also very good. Classical with a few modern flourishes. ← Casual maybe a pejorative term in this situation. I said 'relaxed'. When I was there last week, the tables on either side had a group of four Japanese business men in suits and an older/younger women pair. Other tables had a mixture of couples (usually youngish) or groups. There didn't appear to be a 'typical' diner. I mentioned Michelin style - for example: when diners went to the bathroom, a server refolded their napkins for them. Wine and water bottles (or decanters) were kept in one place, so diners couldn't top their own glasses up but this didn't seem to be a problem. My recommended glass of wine for my main course arrived about 5 mins after the food though. The casual aspect could have been demonstrated when two men arrived late in the service (without reservations) dressed in jeans and tee shirts and were seated and then served their choices along with their beers.
  8. Just visited Deanes few weeks ago. It was just a casual dinner, nothing impressive. Good meal and not expensive all. Here are the photos FYI: Fine Dining Explorer / Rest of UK ← I was there last week for the first time and go along with your description. Quite relaxed, but with definitely some Michelin 'style' to the service. The restaurant was busy on a damp Monday. Apologies for the poor mobile phone photos I had the same pork belly starter, but with a different presentation. Main course was hay cooked beef with green beans, bone marrow, triple cooked chips and Bearnaise (off the menu this week). Eating off a piece of slate felt a little bit like the Great British Menu Last course was cheese which didn't have a lot of Irish representation, but was well described and presented all the same. The wine list is a bit expensive so, as I was alone, I opted for the wine suggestions (at £20) and the the wines presented were well chosen. Notably, there are options close at hand. Deanes Deli, James Street South and Roscoff Brasserie are within two or three minutes walk - and Cayenne not much further. I can't comment on the current cooking at those places though - I did go to JSS not long after it opened and was very impressed. The following evening I went to Deanes at Queens, which was ok. I've also been to Molly's Yard and Beatrice Kennedy in the same area (close to the University) as part of a group and both were ok as well.
  9. Is it the turkish bread with the really open texture? We used to buy this a lot in Sydney and it is really good for toast or griddled for bruscetta as it crisps up really well. I wouild love to find some more. ← Yes it is quite an open texture. The loaves are oval shaped - a bit like a naan, but slightly bigger. There are at least two bakeries within 200 or 300m of each other and as well as selling over the counter, they presumably supply some of the many local Turkish restaurants. I can get some and post photos if you'd like
  10. I'm not sure how rustic you'd call it, but there are several Turkish bakeries on Stoke Newington High St making something like this. It's about 2cm thick though.
  11. Peter H

    Cooking with tarragon

    I do a variation of this as a saute. Season the chicken pieces with S&P and brown in butter with a little olive oil - I usually use thighs and/or legs. I like the skin, so I make sure it is well browned and crispy Reduce the heat, add some tarragon (the stalks are good here) and cover to cook the chicken through, skin side up. When the chicken is cooked, remove and keep warm. Discard the tarragon and pour off any excess oil. Deglaze with white wine/vermouth and add some chopped tarragon leaves. Reduce and add creme fraiche (or regular cream, finishing with a squeeze of lemon) and return the chicken to the pan. It's based on a Nigel Slater recipe and is both simple and delicious!
  12. Actually, I don't think the fact that its a formal competition makes any difference at all. I've seen an exactly similar attitude in restaurant kitchens around the world. It's certainly not being exhibited by Haworth. It comes down to the difference between calm self assurance and unwarranted arrogance and more importantly the gap between having the technical ability required to acquit yourself at the highest levels in a professional kitchen and the next step which is being a bloody good cook. ← Like Corinna said, remember that what we are viewing is an edit made by the production company to suit their aims (and the BBC's). Thank goodness Jennie Bond isn't wandering around the kitchen in this series, but the voiceover is still trying to suggest antagonism between the two chefs. This week makes it even clearer to me, at least, that it's more about what makes 'good' television than being a real competition. This is like a high jumper against a javelin thrower. Both are trying the hardest they can, but who is to say which performance is 'best'? Any chef at this stage is going to have a certain level of self belief (otherwise they wouldn't have got to where they are), but it shows in different ways. Tomorrow will be interesting, because it will be obvious to the 'judges' who has prepared each dish. Even then, they will be trying to guess what the diners at the Gerkin will prefer, not what they like the best.
  13. adey73, the two linked sites above show almost identical temperatures - 109 C and 228 F - this could be a good place to start. There are several variables that affect the quality of the coffee and the temp is just one of them. Because the PID allows you to control the temperature accurately, it means you can adjust it to consistently get the coffee that you like the best. I was looking around a while ago for an espresso machine and there was a lot of support for the Silvia in that price range (even without a PID).
  14. The PID modification reduces temperature variations in the water that comes out of the Silvia. According to one of the links in the original post, the standard thermostat can allow variations in water temperature of up to 20 degrees C, the addition of a PID could be reduce this to 1 degree C. The result is means more consistent shots and the ability to fine tune the water temp.
  15. The French AOC thing is largely about where the grapes are grown. I suppose you could make Champagne anywhere providing the grapes came from in the right place!
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