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Everything posted by Simon_S

  1. I certainly wouldn't do anything as drastic as skipping lunch!
  2. I never buy guides to my home country because for the most part they're pointless. It sounds arrogant, but I generally feel like I know more than the person writing the guide, and anywhere that's not on my radar will get there soon enough by listening to friends and reading tweets of people in the business. Maybe it's because Ireland is a small place, but this method hasn't failed me yet. When going abroad I occasionally buy the Michelin Guide for that country, but as time goes on I don't really see that point of that either. Certainly it was vaguely useful to have the French guide on a trip there last year, and we referred to it once or twice in the course of the holiday, but the internet is generally more useful. I can't see me bothering to buy a physical Michelin guide again any time soon.
  3. Best approach for dealing with a slow eater is to finish your own food first and then start eating from their plate.
  4. I'm going to try not to get embroiled in the facile anti-tourist mud-slinging, and instead ask a simple question: Do servers pay income tax on all of their tip earnings? (I'm not talking about the official line here, I mean in reality.)
  5. Simon_S

    Reboiling water

    I'm pretty sure I read an entire discussion about this in one of those New Scientist Last Word books, but I can't seem to find it online. The premise there was that tea made with twice-boiled water tastes differently, and people attempted to explain why. In truth, I don't notice the difference myself and I drink a fair bit of tea. It still doesn't stop me boiling a fresh kettle every time.
  6. Thank you Ptipois. I don't doubt that some foie gras producers treat their ducks horrifically, but as you pointed out, that doesn't mean foie gras production is cruel per se. I don't know for sure that the production *isn't* cruel, but I'm confident that the reasons such bans go through is because that vast majority of people don't know anything about duck and goose physiology. As mentioned above, lots of people have never eaten foie gras and know very little about it, so it's easy to tag it as an expensive, cruel food (with snooty French associations) that only rich assholes eat. I'm not surprised that popular opinion favours a ban without questioning what's going on. If foie gras is banned because production is proved to cause the intense suffering that some believe it does, then that's one thing. If foie gras is banned because of sheer ignorance coupled with a sense of reverse snobbishness, that's something else entirely. I must admit, the first time I plucked and drew a wild mallard and came face-to-face with a full crop, it was a bit of a revelation.
  7. I don't know. I don't live in the UK. (To answer your question, I can't say never, but it's certainly very rare.)
  8. Which, for the record, I certainly wasn't suggesting. I'm merely making the point that attitudes to meat are changing, and changing rapidly. It's my opinion that when you put a few of these changing attitudes together, a wider push towards vegetarianism is a not unlikely outcome.
  9. I think there's a cultural thing here. I know that taking home leftovers is common in the US, but in Ireland it would be considered seriously crass to ask for a doggie bag. That might be gradually changing (mainly as people/portions become influenced by US travel) but my experience is that diners of my parents age for example are still vaguely horrified when they see it done. Certainly, I've never asked for it myself, but then again I only ever order as much as I want, and portion sizes here aren't designed for multiple meals!
  10. I know this is off-topic, but just to be clear, I don't think we'll get to the point where meat is outlawed or anything of the sort, but I think a gradual process is already well underway. For example, I see a huge swing towards the idea that meat shouldn't be consumed every day. I think there is a huge swing towards the idea that eating meat isn't that healthy. I think there is a growing sense that eating huge amounts of meat isn't good for the environment. In short, I think that in a few short years, certain parts of society are already moving away from meat for a variety of reasons. Now, this effect isn't really across all social classes yet, and maybe it never will be, but I personally know lots of people who are moving gradually towards vegetarianism. Lest we need any further proof at how such ideas take hold, we only need to look to our very own Fat Guy. Of course, this kind of thinking will probably never permeate the entire world, but I think it's growing. Of course, I have no problem with anyone choosing vegetarianism, but I certainly see the slippery slope for societal norms.
  11. Obese-Wan, I completely agree with you. I've said in the past that I think eating meat will be widely socially unacceptable within my lifetime, much like smoking is now. That may sound ridiculous, but I can see it happening. So many people seem to have developed a vague acceptance that meat is somehow morally wrong, even if they continue to eat it and love it, that I think we're only a couple of generations away from vegetarianism being "the norm" in the first world. Very few people actually think critically about this, very few really examine their own views, and PETA and their ilk know that constantly hammering away with the "meat is murder" mantra gets in on people after a while. Anyway, I have yet to be even convinced that foie gras production is actually cruel, so you can imagine where I fall on this. Oh, and I truly believe that animals should be treated properly and humanely, I'm not an unthinking carnivore.
  12. Historically in catholic Ireland fish was consumed on Fridays (because that was considered fasting) so fish had an associated sense of penance. I think that's a factor in some circles. Apart from that I agree it's a question of smell, and whatever the variety of fish and seafood flavour, that classic fishy smell seems common to most species.
  13. I don't know what Ranch dressing is, or at least I didn't until that pizza thread, and speaking as an innocent bystander, it all seems very bizarre. Of course, I don't like mayo and I can't understand its ubiquity either, so I assume this is something along the same lines?
  14. Actually I think you might find yourself welcome in lots of fancier restaurants at the earlier stage of the spectrum (6pm or thereabouts), so I wouldn't rule them out completely. If there's anywhere you fancy, I'd just call in advance. In any case, I'd say you'd certainly be welcome in pubs (not that there are many true gastropubs in Ireland) and less formal restaurants, but be aware that by law, children must leave pubs by 9pm (10pm during the summer, which I think ends on September 30th for the purposes of this). I don't think that's going to hamper you anyway. Hope you enjoy the trip!
  15. On the Irish side of the coin, I'd really like to see a star for Gregan's Castle. It would be thoroughly deserved for the quality of food on offer, and if Michelin really *are* giving stars for food only, this should be a shoo-in. I have heard talk of a first star for a Dublin restaurant I have yet to eat in, so things might be a little more interesting this year for those of us on this side of the Irish Sea. Oh, and it's surely time Alexis got its long-deserved bib.
  16. I'd choose Thornton's for food and Chapter One for atmosphere, but you can't really go wrong with either. I like the Guilbaud's experience, but I'm not always blown away by the food either, so I know what you mean there. Along with Patrick's list I might throw in Pearl Brasserie, but I'd prefer Dax. Neither are cutting-edge high-end, but I find Dax consistently enjoyable. You could consider Bon Appetit in Malahide (you could take the Dart if you're so inclined), although I've never been myself so I can't comment. I really must give Residence a go at some point myself.
  17. How very strange. Did they at least find anywhere good? (I'd be unsurprised if the answer to that is "no"!)
  18. We were there earlier in the summer and the highlight in Beaulieu was Le 35, which I believe is relatively new. We really enjoyed the food and service there. We also ate at Le Panorama in the Royal Riviera Hotel, we enjoyed it very much, but found it to be a little too expensive for what we got. Still, it's always nice to sit outside overlooking the pool and sea. We weren't dining at the Michelin-starred level much on that leg of the trip, so I can't comment on the high end. In fact, our one starred experience in the area was at l'Univers par Christian Plumail in Nice (we arrived in Nice without a booking anywhere, and couldn't get in anywhere we wanted to). I found dinner at that restaurant to be quite a strange experience. Food wasn't up to my much, combinations of ingredients were odd without being enlightening, service wasn't up to much, room wasn't up to much. I didn't find it actively unpleasant, but I couldn't really say I'd recommend it. FWIW, worst meal of the trip was in The African Queen down by the marina. It was one of the busiest along the strip of restaurants there so it seemed a reasonable choice. Service was appalling, just dire, and the food was not good at all. There seemed to be a regular clientele there so maybe we just had a bad night. Still, there's no way I'd go back. Ever. Enjoy the trip.
  19. But perhaps a little too close to goiter for comfort, though? Maybe that's just me... Croquer means "to crunch" which might be nice for a salad and sandwich kind of place, and it also links nicely to croque-monsieur in my mind. Very much depends on the kind of place, though.
  20. Not so suited to this time of the year, but in winter I love a good fish pie. (Pie in this case means "topped with creamy mash" rather than "encased in pastry"). Jamie's version is meant to be very easy, but I can't comment on it directly.
  21. I nearly forgot about this thread, sorry about that! I can't really help with most of the non-Dublin locations you mentioned. I used to like Nimmo's in Galway (linky) many moons ago, but I haven't been there in so long I probably shouldn't recommend it. Still, I suspect it's still pretty good. As regards Dublin, I'm going to be completely lazy and send you to an earlier thread. My recommendations haven't changed much if at all. I'd definitely recommend taking the Dart south the Dun Laoghaire and eating in Alexis, preferably for dinner but lunch is great too. Mr. Kim will be made very welcome I'm sure! Sorry I can't help with the other places. Hope he enjoys his trip.
  22. Timely that this has popped up, because I experienced a new low yesterday that I wanted to share. I fancied a breakfast sandwich at my desk yesterday morning, and I'd spotted that a local cafe/sandwich bar was advertising them for a reasonably competitive €3.50. I ordered, and wasn't surprised to see pre-cooked sausage and bacon put in a microwave for reheating. I was, however, quite surprised to see a pre-fried egg taken from a plastic container and also reheated in the microwave. How lazy is that?
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