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Everything posted by nickloman

  1. I adore crab linguine as a quick evening dish, but of course buying, cooking and picking a couple of live crabs turns it into much more of an exercise. So I must admit to picking up fresh, pasteurised crab in the "Seafood and Eat it" range (available at Watrose). The best thing about this range is you can buy either all white crab, all brown crab or half and half. I find one pack of white and one pack of half-half is perfect for crab linguine for 2. It's obviously not as good as spankingly fresh crab but it's more than acceptable.
  2. Went on Monday. Pitched up at 18:45 and was told 60-90 minutes wait. Gave our phone number and went round the corner for a drink. Was in at 8pm but still a bit of waiting, but excellent cocktails kept the spirits high. Ordered one lobster and one lobster roll. Both were excellent. Lobster roll had fantastic brioche bun which was more like a folded slice of toast, with very very good butter flavour. Lobster was well cooked, nice mayo and just the right amount of chives. Chips were good. Salad was unremarkable. Really buzzy atmosphere for a Monday, and really nice staff. I'd go again but I wouldn't want to wait that long if I was really hungry. Pitch up early I reckon. Here's a pic: can't be arsed to figure out how to upload it on the new eGullet system https://twitter.com/#!/smokeandumami/status/202347463804329985/photo/1
  3. Is "New Saffron" on Colemore Road any good - I am assuming it is related to the Oldbury place of the same name? I only went there once and wasn't blown away, although I didn't hate it - certainly didn't think it was in the same league as Lasan. I don't think there is a "best" balti in Birmingham ... many seem to hit the exact same standards of "quite good but not special". Although I did take a visitor to Al-Frash recently and he was blown away with the size of the large naan.
  4. Looks intriguing David, very clean and fresh appearance to those dishes. But did you have to stop off for a pasty on the way home?
  5. David, this place looks brilliant! If I'm ever in the area this looks like a must visit ... (unlikely, I suppose). I really like the presentation of the food. Simple rather than minimalist - and very appetising looking.
  6. David doesn't care about stuff like that - he drive >100 miles for dinner at Jyoti's on my recommendation once and didn't mind
  7. Do perservere, it's worth it. If you go for dinner, try and go early as they tend to sell out of a lot of popular items and service can slow down when they get busy. Friday better than Saturday as well for freshness of produce. Don't forget to order the soft shell crab
  8. No need to go all the way to London ... pop into Ebi Sushi in Derby! This place mainly caters for the management of the Toyota factory. It's very traditional and completely excellent.
  9. I've been to both and can say that in terms of enjoyment, Walnut Tree would get my vote every time. It's not fine dining there, it's good dining.
  10. No-one has mentioned the execrable John Lanchester yet .. Oops, I just did!
  11. I say this because in my experience I find it quite hard to really enjoy a meal if my other half is not eating properly for whatever reason (perhaps illness, or perhaps just general annoyance at being dragged along to yet another tasting menu).
  12. Tell them, I'm sure they will understand. Then rebook for a mutually convenient date which you can all enjoy!
  13. It's that ridiculous old canard that you have to be able to run a restaurant/be a chef to have an opinion about whether you enjoyed a restaurant.
  14. Cor, that was patronising! We were at Alimentum the other week too. We had a really enjoyable night, and special thanks to Kyle for letting us try a free glass of the Northamptonshire white wine. And not being upset that we didn't like it and recommending a cracking Domaine de L’Arlot instead I particularly enjoyed my wood pigeon starter which came with a superb liver pate. And the plate of English cheeses were perfect. Our fish mains (halibut and stone bass) were nicely cooked too. I have to say though I would have preferred not to have the live music, ideally (it was a Friday night) I'd definitely recommend to others if ever in Cambridge (unfortunately not much of a food town).
  15. Interesting Matthew. We had high expectations because of this level of sourcing. Which made certain decisions quite baffling when we tried it - for example the frisee lettuce served with the mackerel (see Prawncrackers' photos) could have been sourced at our local Tesco. And the fennel was tough as old boots. And how hard is it to cut a piece of salmon with a sharp knife? Sorry this sounds like I'm carping, we enjoyed our meal and plenty of the ingredients were absolutely great. But I don't think the case for Hedone as "best restaurant in London" is at all clear-cut.
  16. Thanks guys. I wasn't in Edinburgh for the market but that's an excellent tip. In the end I found young grouse at George Bower's for £9 a pop. I also found good seafood and smoked salmon at G. Armstrong's over the road. And Eddie's is a great market - no langoustine (bad weather) but great fish.
  17. Ah, welcome to my previously lonely thread! I think the seafood place is Eddie's, that's just off Marchmont Road. That's where I'm heading tomorrow, hoping for a langoustine haul!
  18. OK, well, I'll continue with the tradition of answering my own posts Eddie's Seafood Market - Edinburgh Macallams of Troon - Glasgow Allans (Hyndland) Butcher - Glasgow Ramsay of Carluke - http://www.ramsayofcarluke.co.uk/ - Carluke, outside Glasgow
  19. No-one? Well, I'll start by answering part of my own question. William Christie in Edinburgh can get grouse - think it should be ordered in advance.
  20. It's lamentable that much great Scottish produce is exported, particularly seafood. However I figure there must be some places that you can buy great Scottish produce actually in Scotland? I'm looking for places which are in or driving distance from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Anyone know a reliable source for: - a butcher for well aged Angus beef - or even better, some kind of rare-breed beef - fresh grouse and other game birds - seafood, particularly langoustines The irony is that I could find these things (reasonably) easily in the West Midlands but struggling to identify sources in Scotland! Cheers Nick
  21. And knowing one of the Critical Couple is a consultant in the banking industry with a cellar full of vintage wine, that didn't endear them to me either! But what annoys me most .. is the horrible stretched image at the top of the blog with that sweaty raw tomato. Not sure why.
  22. I'm not interested, and so I didn't read the article Actually I lied, I did. And it did annoy me!
  23. I agree with Felix - sped98 you should set your sights higher and I much prefer reading your blog to theirs!
  24. I don't disagree with the idea that the widest possible food experience is desirable in the making of a good or great food writer. And I also agree that many who write blogs - and journalists - fall short of this ideal. But I don't agree with the extreme position that one should not start writing until they have clocked up 20 years of eating experience (for example). However, striving for continued improvement seems a reasonable request. The Critical Couple don't seem to be improving, and remain massively tedious.
  25. I reckon it's perfectly possible to critique food without having been to the aforementioned 3* restaurants. Just like it would be perfectly possible to be a poor critic if you had been. My major issue with the Critical Couple is that they can't write particularly well, and they aren't very enjoyable to read. A broader culinary education probably wouldn't change that much.
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