Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by naebody

  1. Occasionally you find places that opt to pretty much leave the meat off and give the side vegetables to the vegetarians (Tom Aikens did this, as I recall)

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. I believe that the company chairman, Mr. Hawksley, not sure of the spelling, but available at companies house, is a fully qualified accountant and an ex Pricewaterhouse partner. If someone dug they might find that he has had other companies go bust.  The point is, as an accountant he is a professional.

    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.

  4. I wonder how Ramsay is feeling at the moment.

    probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration

    Just in case anyone's losing sleep:

    A spokeswoman said: "Gordon Ramsay Holdings would like to clarify that the company moved all of its corporate banking from Kauphing Singer Friedlander to the Royal Bank of Scotland 10 weeks ago."


    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.

  5. haven't confirmed it bu ti was told that the Nobu restaurant Ubon in Canary Wharf has shut in the last few days...

    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.

  6. 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.)

  7. Please don't wish people to lose their jobs - well not that many people. (can't be good karma) :smile:

    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.)

  8. 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.

  9. could you serve it in a greasy spoon and get a star, in a night club with hard house thumping all around, in a strip club?

    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.

  10. It's going to be in .. are you ready for this? ...Bethnal Green.

    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?


  11. Has any London breakfast chef ever dared to break with tradition and prepare beans from scratch as opposed to going to all the trouble of opening a No. 10 can?

    Loads of places have. The assorted Rivingtons and Canteens for a start.

    I recall Jonathan Meades reviewing McDonald's a few years ago, one of the great pieces of restaurant writing.

    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.

    Did McDonald's establish their first British branch (in Woolwich) because they understood that the quality of life in such places is straitened, that they are infected by a banal desperation, that expectations are low? Did they realise, too, that they were establishing the first in a nationwide chain of de facto drop-in centres?

    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:

    No amount of preserved fruits in fancy bottles can compensate for a spreadsheet of a menu which delivers a selection of cynical faux Italianerie, all of which tastes like wallpaper paste.
  12. Monmouth at Monmouth St WC2 or Borough Market does it for me every time,

    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.

  • Create New...