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Mrs Foodie

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  1. I have a friend coming over who loves curry and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a really good curry in the Richmond area?
  2. This seems to be a very old topic which has been rejuventated! My money is on either the Bingham in Richmond, which has just won its first Michelin star and I had a fab lunch there the other day - very reasonable and surprisingly busy for this time of year (but the newly acquired star will have helped!) The other one we like is Brula in St Margaret's - it has retained a bib gourmand for many years and is, I believe a sister restaurant to La Buvette (which is also excellent - had a really good girls night there only last week).
  3. Has anyone been to Bingham in Richmond? I've heard good things about it - the chef used to work with John Campbell and was most recently at the Endsleigh in Devon
  4. I think it is boil food (for that read oats) and place in a drawer. Then, when the oats are dried, cut a cube to take with you for your breakfast or lunch. Of course this is pre the famous "get food, dip it in batter and deep fry and serve with chips (French fries) and ketchup" which is the Scots ethos today!
  5. I have been to dinner with a friend in Twickenham who bought a lobe of fresh foie gras from their local fish and game merchant - Sandys I think it is called. It was delicious, she gave me some to take home and cook - I served it with a few slices of fresh mango which cut through the richness really well and was an interesting mix of textures and temperatures.
  6. Very late reply to your post about pubs near Chichester Nikkib, but have you tried the Earl of March in Levant? It is run by the ex executive chef of the Ritz Hotel and by all accounts the food is pretty good. I've not had a full meal there but had one course in the bar and it was excellent. (pigeon breast salad). I tasted my companion's venison casserole and that was pretty good as well. They specialise in seafood and game (according to season). We called by en route home after a sailing trip from Chichester so it is pretty handy as on the main route to Midhurst. I think the owners have got another pub up the road as well now. Would be interested to hear anyone else's reports on anything else good in the area.
  7. Anyone been to Ambassade de l'Ile recently? I'm thinking of going there for dinner next week.
  8. Thanks for that - do you rate Clivia or not any more? I remember Los Farolles from long ago!
  9. Has nobody on the forum been to Majorca since last year??? We are off to Pollensa next month and I haven't been for many years. I recall Clivia being good and from other websites it still seems to be holding its own. Not planning to travel too far on this trip but any advice on any other good eateries in the general Pollensa, Alcudia area would be much appreciated!
  10. I totally agree. I took a group of clients to the Fat Duck some years ago and it was a big mistake. They weren't foodies and of course had heard of the place and were desperate to go. The food wasn't enjoyed that much by most of them, which spoilt my enjoyment. I do feel sorry for Heston - and agree that he is handling it extremely well. He said on Breakfast TV today that he would personally phone all the customers and I believe him! That said, I have also spoken to a few chefs who feel that some of the strange cooking methods are an accident waiting to happen.
  11. I do think it would be so much better if we were told the type of place they worked. Tonight's programme seemed rather unbalanced to say the least (but Greg did get his word in first on at least one occasion - rest of the time echoed M Roux's comments). They seem to have picked some quite cocky ones and I wish there were more girls - the one last night didn't do the female sex much good in the kitchen stakes. How many more times are we going to hear them say "I want to have my own restaurant, with a Michelin star", as if it is some kind of magic wand! I hope they do Iles Flotantes......
  12. I think it would be wonderful to bring back the old, original Roux Brothers series. They are so funny together and it would be a good preamble to a new series altogether - maybe using two generations of Roux's - after all, Alain and Michel junior hold five Michelin stars between them, don't they, and I think their respective fathers are still pretty involved in the respective restaurants. I think there is another generation waiting in the wings too, Michel junior has a teenage daughter who has been seen helping out at Taste of London on the Gavroche stand.
  13. Forgive me, but I assumed that most of the competitors, while chefs, weren't necessarily cooking in restaurants. I thought that was the whole point of the programme? There are lots of other places which need to have catering but the guests/inmates/students/patients can vary, as does the quality of the food.
  14. You don't say if this is your first visit to London - if it is, you might consider some with spectacular views or those in amazing buildings as well, of course, as serving good food. Galvin at Windows, for example, has stunning views of Hyde Park, and the Mandarin Oriental is in such a spectacular setting, especially with the views of the Park.
  15. Michel Roux junior looks pretty scary when he wanders round - I'd be terrified if I was cooking in front of him. The comment about him always giving his opinion first is very interesting - maybe Greg feels intimidated by him and he doesn't by John T? From the two episodes we've had so far it has been pretty easily to determine who is going to win - hopefully that will change and add some excitement. I think Roux junior is good, he scoffs the food in a far more delicate way than Greg, who generally makes you feel quite ill with all his chop licking and lip smacking. I think the programme shows lots of potential and is far more classy than it was before - it is just a shame that they still use those dreadful cliches.
  16. Your best bet is to check out your nearest Farmer's market. That's where we buy all our eggs and they are fabulous - you usually get to meet the farmer too!
  17. I've been sent some info about a forthcoming dinner at the Westbury and I believe they have a new exec chef - has anyone been to their restaurant recently?
  18. I see the earlier comments about PR - yet I seem to have read a lot about Ambassade de l'Ile and it has had some pretty good reviews. It seems to me that the general consensus is that the food is fabulous, but the prices are also correspondingly high. The decor seems to have had an inordinate amount of coverage - maybe that was also a good PR ploy?
  19. We had a superb lunch at the Waterside Inn this week. We hadn't been for a few years but it is still one of the best in the business. The canapes were excellent - especially the steak tartare. We had the lobster with ginger which was up to its usual standard. Foie gras and chicken terrine was well executed and the duck we had to follow was superb. I think the staff issue must have been a one off blip as we didn't witness anything like that. Alain Roux came round to speak to everyone, and he seemed a lot less shy than he did the last time we were there. Re the Duchy Originals, I agree that it is good that a French restaurant is proud to serve a good British biscuit. In fact, the only negative on the whole meal was a rather odious man at the next table who insisted on talking loudly to the people near the window. Once he found out that they were in the film business, he insisted on buying them a bottle of champagne and proceeded to move in on them - they were too polite to tell him where to go. That isn't anything to do with the restaurant though!
  20. There seem to be quite a few openings in the pipeline - I would check out Square Meal and visit some of the newest ones to open.
  21. I think this year quite a lot of the old stalwarts have given it a miss. I have spoken to a couple of companies who can't justify the high prices charged to exhibit as their return on investment just doesn't warrant it. Also, they need to staff it for the four days too. I went on Thursday evening, luckily on a freebie ticket. I know that quite a few exhibitors at the London and other Taste festivals have been complaining that the organisers are becoming very mean with the free ticket allocations for exhibitors. This is so silly - when a company invests in the stand it wants to invite its local customers to come along - it should be encouraged to do this. Like the BBC Good Food show, the organisers have become very greedy. To say that the food should be cheaper would not help the situation at all.
  22. I was horrified to see his kids making cakes on this week's programme, which were to be sold in the farmer's market - it all seemed very slap dash and it wasn't clear whether they were selling or just sampling . Chocolate in mushroom risotto??? The end result looked like something his labrador had thrown up!
  23. We went to Drake's in Ripley about two weeks ago and had one of the best meals I have eaten for ages. I think they have really upped their game and we had the tasting menu with the sommelier's choice of wine and I couldn't fault it. I think the decor is gradually being done but I think it is probably a listed building. The decor is subjective - it has a really lovely garden for pre dinner drinks or after lunch coffee in better weather. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it - we love it and have eaten at some pretty good places in our time and I believe that it is Surrey's only Michelin starred restaurant.
  24. Matthew, I've found almost everything I've cooked on my smoker to be fab - with mine, which is a Lil Tex, you can vary the wood pellets too to add different flavours to the meat. Vegetables are good too - particularly, surprisingly, asparagus - it really picks up the smoke. With mine I get a pink smoke layer on the meat - the other secret is the marinades, as you mention - I'm told that a bottle of Newman's Own Italian salad dressing makes a good marinade - in true Delia style! Our favourites are lamb shoulder which isn't at all fatty as all the fat has broken down and gone into the fat container (I will try your idea of an Indian style marinade) and a four rib of beef. But turkey too is excellent - and equally delicious cold - it retains the smoke flavour and has a lovely pink edge of smoke. Happy BBQing!
  25. What's all the fuss about? If you buy yourself a wood pellet smoker BBQ (I noticed the other day that they are on sale at the mo at www.americanbbq.co..uk) you can do your own all summer! I do shoulder of lamb for about 4 hours, ribs of beef and chicken - a veritable Bodean's in my own garden. BBQ this way isn't cheap but it is something so good it is worth the investment - and the booze is cheaper at home! And your local decent butcher will get Jacobs ladder for you - our famer's market chap can do them to order.
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