Jump to content

Stephen W

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Stephen W

  1. Yes (I've had lunch there several times), and yes, it's been great each time. Your partner must have been unlucky with the burger (or I must have been lucky) as mine was great (as were the chips) - I did have it rare though. I would be surprised if it was as consistently packed as it is if many people had the problems you experienced. Not sure if that makes you feel better or worse... sorry. Also, to be fair to them, the website does say that lunch is Monday to Friday and it's brunch on Saturday.
  2. Stephen W

    Jules Verne

    And yet the official Eiffel Tower site says "Chef Alain Ducasse took the helm of the Jules Verne Restaurant cuisine on January 1, 2007."
  3. In your opinion? The recent lunch I had there (my sixth visit in the last 12 months) was the best I have had. It's also very good value at £29. The scallop starter was particularly good, although there were only 3 and I couldn't swear that they were hand dived....
  4. I know L'Arnsbourg is in the middle of nowhere but isn't Buerehiesel in the middle of Strasbourg?
  5. After lunch, I would recommend sightseeing the leather sofas/couches in reception (about a 5 metre walk from the door of the restaurant), moving on to the bar if you feel in need of a digestif (although assuming you have the matching wine menu with the meal you may not want more alcohol). More seriously, I'd ask reception (at either hotel) to recommend something (they can take into account weather / opening times etc.).
  6. You're talking about Anthony's in Leeds I assume - isn't this covered on their website?
  7. Both are excellent - I had the pleasure of staying at Schlosshotel Lerbach in August and it was fantastic. Which you choose really depends on what you are looking for. Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg is on the top of the hill in Bensberg, so is in town and within walking distance (5 minutes up or down hill depending on whether you are going to / from hotel) of the tram/light rail stop of Bensberg. This will take you into Cologne quickly and easily (and cheaply). Schlosshotel Lerbach is more of a country-house / hunting lodge style, set in a park. You would need to use a taxi to get to either Bensberg tram station or Bergisch Gladbach rail station (both about 5/10 minutes by taxi and around €10). Of the two I would recommend Bensberg if you are looking to visit Cologne several times during your stay and Lerbach if you are looking for somewhere to chill out - or better still a couple of days at both to get the best of both worlds! I would also suggest looking at their "Arrangements" or packages as these offer some good deals, especially if you take advantage of the fact that most will allow you to take an extra night at a much reduced cost. You can also get a better room at a reduced rate as part of the package - if you do this check with the hotel as I believe that at Lerbach (and probably Bensberg) they include use of their chauffeur driven car in the rate for those in a suite. Meal-wise, I would strongly recommend taking lunch at Restaurant Dieter Müller and choosing the "Amuse Bouche" menu (19 small dishes served in 5 courses but only available at lunch), and perhaps dinner at Vendome (although not on the same day for obvious reasons ).
  8. Nice review from Marina O’Loughlin in today's Metro - four stars (two more than she gave to Gordon Ramsay). Unaccountably she doesn't seem to have gone off the deep end about the wording in the menu - she's not one of these strange people who think that food is the most important thing in a restaurant is she?
  9. Berlin (city still in transition and redefining itself as the capital, great museums including the Bode which I believe has recently reopened). Cologne (great beer, has always felt very relaxed / tolerant). Nuernberg (Nuremberg - I found it to be a beautiful city, well restored). As far as travelling goes, the trains are great, but look at flights as well. Air Berlin, Germanwings and Lufthansa among others do good domestic flights in Germany and if you book early they are cheap as well (and faster than the trains for some of the longer distances).
  10. It might be that the inspectors have been unlucky with their visits - certainly when I visited I was somewhat disappointed with the food - perhaps my expectations had been set too high but nothing I had was outstanding. I've had worse (a lot worse...) in places with a star but to be fair I've had better in places that haven't got a star. ...and when I went most of it seemed to be unavailable as well. Actually that's an exaggeration, but there were several beers and wines unavailable and it would have enhanced the dining experience if this had been pointed out when the lists were presented (I seemed to get the copy which had not been marked to indicate non-availability), rather than when the orders were taken.
  11. True, but I'd venture to suggest that the audience for The F Word is wider / more diverse / different to that for Hugh's book, and in that respect the message was worth including. I have to admit I preferred the first series - I'm not sure the "guest brigades" idea added much - if the idea was to prove how easy it was to cook the dishes I think it: a. almost proved the opposite. b. wasn't very realistic anyway - how many of us need to cook for 50 people at home? I agree with kutsu that his campaign to get families to eat together is worthy of our support, and I'm not sure that improving meals in schools is any more worthy than improving family cohesion and cooking skills - after all we all eat far more meals at home than we ever do at school. The cook-off against the guest has lost its appeal now that GR's started winning them. Given his "anti celebrity chef's cookbooks" campaign I'd like to see him have the balls to invite those chefs on to compete against him (respect is due BTW to those who sent his own books to him for shredding...) Finally, I also never thought I'd miss Giles Coren, but he was so much better than Janet Screech Porter - whilst her issues were worthy of highlighting she's just so damn annoying as a presenter.
  12. I suspect he might think his job is to cook it (and THAT'S supposed to be his passion BTW), not traipsing round the countryside looking for it. If that's not what he's good at, or enjoys then as long as the end product meets whatever quality criteria he sets for his supplies what's wrong with him getting somebody else to do the legwork for him?
  13. 9th September would always be a problem (it's a Saturday and GR RHR is only open Monday - Friday). There's a similar thread here which might help.
  14. According to the message on their reservation line it is now closed until 5th September 2006.
  15. Tom Aikens. In addition to "selected" seafood options he offers a vegetarian menu - which in March was five dishes any of which could be taken as a starter or a main course. I'm pretty sure they'd offer it as a tasting menu as well, but it would be worth checking this with them when booking.
  16. When? Various places (such as Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road) are due to be closed at times over the summer for refurbishment so timing will affect suggestions.
  17. Went Friday (Lunch session: 12pm - 4pm) Queuing opened about 30 minutes before noon. VIP ticketholder queue let in first, then the rest. The layout is a large rectangle, with restaurant stalls round the outside and exhibitors in the middle. Show guides and menu cards (both including a map) were handed out whilst we queued, which was helpful as it kept you occupied and allowed you to choose where to go when the gates opened. To order food at each "restaurant" you simply go up to the counter, order, and had over your "crowns" in exchange for the food (which appears within about a minute at most). I started at Tom Aikens with: Braised pork belly with chick peas & paprika squid This was excellent - anybody who has been to his restaurant will know how good he is with meat, getting the texture just right and extracting the maximum flavour. Followed by (again Tom Aikens): Beef shin braised in Guinness with pommes puree & roasted parsnips Probably my favourite dish of the day - the pommes puree being exceptional. It would have been rude not to have his dessert as well... Mango rice with mango parfait & mango mousse - delightful. Other dishes I tried were: Crab Cocktail (Marcus Wareing at The Savoy Grill) - superb quality crab. Pressed tomato mosaic, black olive tapenade, balsamic vinegar (Angela Hartnett at The Connaught) King Prawn tortellini, fennel puree, herb vinaigrette (Angela Hartnett at The Connaught) Chicken Tikka with Naan bread and mint raita (Benares) - didn't live up to the hype. Pumpkin and ginger soup with ginger & toasted pumpkin seeds (Pied à Terre) - a chilled soup, which should have been nice on a hot day but was not to my taste. Finally a couple of shots of the show itself: Note that there's not much seating in front of each "restaurant" (usually one table for 4 to sit at and a couple of small standing tables) although turnover is quick so I could generally find a space when I wanted one. Highlights for me: anything by Tom Aikens, the number of chefs in evidence (Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Marcus Wareing, Michel Roux Jr.), the weather, the cheese awards marquee (lots of samples to try - note that if you try the Gruyère start with the youngest!) Things they could improve for next year: more seating, easier to find toilets. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable experience and well worth the entrance fee.
  18. I've just seen that Tom Aikens is planning to open a second restaurant (round the corner from the first) to open late September / early October (about the time that his cookbook is due to be published). According to the press blurb the site will include a 90 seat brasserie (serving "Modern British" food), bar and games room (pool table, table football) and space for his food and wine classes. It will be open for breakfast through lunch and dinner. Head Chef is to be Ollie Couillaud (ex Grill Room at The Dorchester and La Trompette in Chiswick) so another plus is that Michael Winner is unlikely to visit!
  19. The Lavender House - best restaurant in Norfolk and about 15 miles from Wroxham (but well worth the journey). Agree that Adlards is another good choice. In Cromer I also rate Jacque - excellent food, friendly service.
  20. I note with amusement that the Chairperson of the "France" panel is credited on the "World's 50 Best Restaurants" website with being the author of many publications including: I wonder if that says everything you need to know about the people compiling this list. More seriously though, I find this list to be a bit of light amusement - useful for stimulating debate and conversation but no more definitive as a list of the top restaurants in the world than my personal top 50 (and certainly less relevant to me!). We all judge restaurants by different criteria - for most of us food and service are the most important but others find "atmosphere" and furnishing to be important to their enjoyment of the experience whereas for me these are minor issues that I tend to pay less attention to. For some price or at least value for money is key, whereas for others if the food and wine are of the right quality almost any price is justified. Personally I would have a problem choosing a restaurant I have almost no chance of getting a reservation at as the "World's Best" - for others that wouldn't matter - indeed the exclusivity might make it even more appealing. That's why I'm a member of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters - it's home to such a diverse range of opinions and tastes that you can always find members who look for the same things in a restaurant you do and whose recommendations you can follow. Others whose tastes you don't share you can ignore. Vive la difference.
  21. Most of the top chefs seem to have at least one book - a quick trawl of Amazon.de shows books for Harald Wohlfahrt, Dieter Müller, Heinz Winkler, Christian Bau and Jean-Claude Bourgueil (5 of the 7 chefs with 3 Michelin stars). "The-Best-Chefs.com" has a publications section on each Chef's page listing some of their books.
  22. Two things I've picked up on recently (whilst sitting in the UK dreaming of my next visit to Cologne or Nuremberg or Munich or Berlin or....): Concerns in Germany regarding the amount of cooking going on "in the home" (or more precisely the lack thereof), particularly as articulated by Johann Lafer (someone who definitely fits into the category of celebrity chef!). He seemed particularly depressed by shows of hands he has done with audiences after filming which indicate how few people prepare fresh food regularly, and surveys seem to back him up. A fascinating article in the online English edition of Spiegel (5/4/2006) which was moaning about poor customer service in Germany. Both of these interested me as I thought these were issues which we suffered from in the UK but I hadn't seen any signs of in Germany. In particular I couldn't reconcile the article about poor service with any of the experiences I've had in Germany (and I've been visiting for about 25 years now). I don't think I'm more tolerant in a foreign country but would be interested to know if those based in Germany think this is a problem. As far as celebrity chefs go, other than Johann Lafer I would suggest Tim Mälzer is the other "main" one (he's a friend of the UK Celeb chef Jamie Oliver). Most of the other chefs seem to appear mostly on TV in their particular region - Vincent Klink of the Michelin starred Restaurant Wielandshöhe near Stuttgart is a regular although I did see Harald Wohlfahrt of the Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn on the other night (as he managed to cut himself rather than the lamb he was trying to carve he might be thinking of sticking to his day job - at which he's rather good!). edited to correct spelling
  23. Haube - crust perhaps? Also does Langoustino signify jumbo prawn / shrimp rather than Langoustine?
  24. My parents menu was €130 - I believe it was also available minus a couple of courses (the soup and the sorbet / brie I think) for €105. I have seen the Amuse Bouche menu listed at €98 on another website. As for reaching them by train, in my opinion Vendôme is easier - use the tram (number 1) from Koln Deutz-Messe to Bensberg - "CityPlus Ticket 2b" - about €3 each way I think. Restaurant is about 500m from the tram stop. I believe that Restaurant Dieter Müller is about 3-4km from Bergisch Gladbach station, although you could get a taxi of course.
  25. Not first-hand experience but my parents recently visited Dieter Müller's and had: Canapes *** Amuse Bouche (3) *** Terrine and mousse of Foie Gras, Chervil confit, truffle jus and sweet wood jelly *** Roulade of Sole and Atlantic Lobster with crustaceans fumet on sprout and soya beans *** Soup of spiced pumpkin with baked scallop *** Sauteed wild duck breast in cardamom fragrance with sauce Bigarde, duck strudel, chestnut polenta and white cabbage roulade *** Champagne cream sorbet "Moet & Chandon" or Brie de Meaux with white Alba Truffle and fig-walnut-confit *** Tartlets of Jivara chocolate, cinnamon flower and plum cinnamon ice cream, creme brulee of plum wine *** Assorted Patisserie Apologies that I haven't got detailed tasting notes or photos (parents... ) but they did say it was all excellent and the service was superb. I'm hoping to visit Dieter Müller's in March / April and am aiming to go for lunch when the restaurant does an "Amuse Bouche" menu - 19 small dishes (as the name suggests I suppose) served in 5 courses - that's innovative enough for me! There's a bit more information on cooking philosophy etc. (in German) on Dieter Müller's own website.
  • Create New...