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Everything posted by naebody

  1. "Arrived at 12.05 for luch and had to wait until 12.15 as menus had not been printed yet." A-ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA! [/unlurk]
  2. I'm surprised you recall this. He offers a solely vegetarian a la carte, and has on several occasions put together a veg tasting menu that's kept my missus entertained for several hours (which is more than I've ever managed). Otherwise, I can fully endorse your sentiments regarding high-end places. Mildred's is not for vegetarians, incidentally. It's for people who hate food. Morgan M, meanwhile, tends to be enjoyed by vegetarians and reviewed by people who hate food.
  3. Such a pity the Guardian doesn't have a website on which such flags can be planted. 7/4 -The "fettucini" one 3/1 - The "health food" one 5/1 - The "leftovers" one 15/2 - The "seating" one 16/1 - The "satire" one
  4. Meanwhile: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5303398.ece It's no surprise to find that the places doing well are individualistic, like the bursary-funded Midsummer House and Heston's Disneyland for Sexless Fortysomethings. Likewise, the queues continue to snake around Wagamama. It's the centre that cannot hold.
  5. Saw it on a plane once. I'd rather gouge my eyes out with sharpened cutlery than repeat the experience. Vote one for Meaning of Life.
  6. Had a decent corporate at One Lombard last week. It's not the type of place to win over the napkin sniffers on here, but it does the job.
  7. While we're here, it's worth noting that the company's not in "liquidation" or bankrupt. Neither would it appear to be a phoenix corporation (which is actually quite difficult to arrange, particularly when your name is above the door). The company was put into administration then immediately bought out by the management team with cash from telecoms £260millonaire Peter Dubens. Speaking generally: an independent administrator gets appointed post a sale to determine whether an appropriate sale price was achieved, and that no assets were transferred out before administration was called. If a business fails either of those tests the law will get involved. If it doesn't, the administrator would look at ways for the business to pay the debts. This bloodletting by suppliers is understandable, but not particularly helpful. It's unfortunate that creditors are likely to end up on the wrong end of a CVA and get, say, 50p for every £1 owed. But they need to remember the alternative is that there was no rescue investment and the business collapsed, leaving them with 0p for every £1 owed. In months to come, once scenario two becomes a daily occurence, you'll be welcoming scenario one like sunshine.
  8. Careful. I can only guess you mean the PWC partner John Hawksley, who has spent most of his post-dismal working life on charity committees and state quangos for industry and education (Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, The Academy of Youth, The Coal Authority, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that kind of thing). As far as I know, his only involvement in a failed venture was Amelca, a grandiose dairy farmer co-operative scheme set up following the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis. It went bust inside three months after the bank withdrew credit. I have no idea what part Mr Hawksley plays in the Aikens business, if any.
  9. Apologies if this is a silly question, but why on earth don't suppliers take out credit insurance?
  10. Bravo. I applaud whichever comment ends up being directly above this one. (My recurring nightmare involves getting stuck in a lift with the type of person who thinks AA should be telling us about the food.)
  11. probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration ← Just in case anyone's losing sleep: Link ETA: I'd be interested to hear from anyone who can clarify whether "all its corporate banking" means all the debt or just an account and a bridging loan (see Ramsaywatch passim). ETAA: To answer my earlier question, am told all debt lines were transferred to RBS so there was no Kaupthing exposure.
  12. True, but planned. You can form your own opinions about whether they will come through with the plan to open branch No.3 in central London. I won't bore you with the details, but there's a couple of interesting rumblings in the economic data right now. Mortgage payments are up c.40% for the many folk who can't find a new deal once their bonus rate resets, for example, while the proportion of savings to income has started to tick higher. Historically, when people have accepted the inevitable and stopped spending more than they earn, that's the time to nail up the windows.
  13. Sorry - there should be a clear method to mark hyperbole on messageboards. I didn't mean to suggest (or rather, I didn't mean to be taken literally that) anywhere needing a website deal to fill seats is going to go under. There are plenty of special situations on that list. However ... I'm also of the opinion that we've not even started to see the effects of the economic recession on the real economy. And I'm afraid the restaurant industry is a mere champagne cork that's about to be launched into this particular ocean. In short, I'd fear for any business that couldn't service debt on half its current turnover. I'd fear for any business that's already felt it necessary to put prices up substantially, or to take them down. I'd fear for anywhere that's spawned a branch within the last 18 months. And, needless to say, I'd fear for any business run by an absentee-landlord that has expanded into Zone Two hotels using finance from an Icelandic bank and a backstop loan from a Scottish one. (Phil, you are right to observe that a posh hotel in High Holburn requires a place like Pearl. My concern centres on how long Marriott will require a posh hotel in High Holburn.)
  14. Oh spare me. The dead pool isn't to wish ill on a place, just as you would be an asshole to want Abe Vigoda dead but unwise to exclude his name in your celeb reaperlist. (... which isn't to suggest there's absolutely no malice involved. I'd guess that, for the first time in a decade or so, there will be more London restaurants close this year than open. This is a necessary cull. And while I extend my sympathy for all those six-thumbed Polish waitresses and recovering alcoholic plongeurs who will have to find other employment, the bankers going into hock for the reflected kudos of owning a nonsense like Kyashii and Helene Darroze deserve everything they're about to get.)
  15. At the risk of stating the obvious, restaurants close all the time. Most of them close because they're shite. Natural selection will accelerate as punters grow fewer in number and thinner in wallet, but I doubt the process will make extinct anywhere you'd eat twice by choice. Anyone want to start a dead pool? Without much thought at all, my ten would be: Texture, Bel Canto, Kyashii, Just St James's, Brian Turner, Shed, Cocoon, Shanghai Blues, Mint Leaf Lounge and Cape Town Fish Market. Edit: damn. I forgot Dans Le Noir. And L Restaurant. And Edera. And ... well, all of these basically.
  16. I once, in the course of duty, had dinner at Stringfellows. It was better than at several Mich-recognised places I could mention (and will: Mirabelle, Rhodes 24, One Lombard Street). Also, while the staff looked very similar to those in Hakkasan, they were much friendlier.
  17. It's Camden. You'll have to be more specific.
  18. Yeah, the final proposals had a bar and restaurant included. Of course, there's a fair old margin of error these days between getting the grandiose plans signed off and getting your hotel refurb completed, as a certain bollockfaced chap recently discovered in NW1.
  19. That wouldn't be 1 Old Ford Road, would it? Where Tower Hamlets council has just granted planning permission for Mastelle (the Singapore owner of knock-your-secretary emporia in Bishopsgate and Farringdon) to carve one of the East End's more interesting buildings into yet another City apartment block/conference centre/glass-fronted foodshovel? Hm.
  20. Loads of places have. The assorted Rivingtons and Canteens for a start. Just dragged it out of the archive, and it's not really about McDonalds at all. Like the majority of Meades' reviews, it barely mentions the food and focuses on how he's disgusted by the suburban proles. As for good reviews, AA's column this week was glorious, not least because for the first time in about three years there was enough happening on the plate to hold his interest for more than a par. Was also taken by a recent throwaway aside from Marina, who offered this concise skewering of Prezzo:
  21. I'm sure I'm on my own here, but is Monmouth (the Borough branch) a bit rubbish? I must have been about a dozen times as people keep telling me it's the best, and I simply don't get it. Meanwhile, there are a couple of kiwis who run a stall in the doorway of the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street every weekday morning, and do some sterling work.
  22. Popeseye. Steaks, 'til you can't steaks no more.
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