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Everything posted by cheeekymunkey

  1. Weird. I think 'table' was meant to be 'tasty'.
  2. I also agree that Goodman is superior to Hawksmoor. Hawksmoor is consistently inconsistent when it comes to how you like it cooked. In my (several) experiences, what one orders does not always relate to what one receives. That said, when it's right, it is extremely table, but that's not a gamble I should need to take... ... especially when Goodman is nearby, which offers better consistency and variety.
  3. In general terms, they should be the ones worried about offending you, rather than vice versa! You could give them a quick ring as soon as you know for certain one way or the other and save the embarrassment of having an equivalent conversation at the table. That said, if I were you, I'd re-book for when your girlfriend is feeling better. If she's not well enough to eat food, I guess she's not going to enjoy sitting there watching you eat and it'd be a shame for her to miss out.
  4. I'm looking forward to enjoying myself at Alimentum... ...but only if I get a free glass of wine and a free dish like the others did!
  5. Looks and sounds ace. Will try to pop in 2 weeks on Saturday.
  6. It might be useful if someone could post the cancellation policy? Charging for late cancellations / no shows is one thing, charging someone who actually turns up and eats in the restaurant is another! We live in depressing times if making a reservation for a restaurant becomes yet another part of life where one is required to inspect the small print to check one is not being ripped off. Eating out should be easy and fun. This sort of cancellation policy, or at least the rigid implementation of it, is a quick way to make eating out unappealingly troublesome.
  7. Pretty much. Sorry, should have broken it down. Approximately... £180 - tasting menu £115 - cheaper wine tasting £20 - champagne The rest - service
  8. I didn't want to mix reviews with instructions on the booking thread and it seems we're due a 2011 thread to add to the annual sequence... There are so many blow-by-blow accounts of the FD menu on here and elsewhere that yet another one would add nothing. More than that, I wish they didn't exist at all. I would advise anyone thinking of going not to read them. Much of the magic of the Fat Duck is in being surprised by what arrives on the plate (and not on the plate), so it was a shame that I knew exactly what was coming and what it was going to look like. I had read about all the theatrical twists and it was a flatter experience for it. I purposefully didn't let my wife in on the secrets, and she loved it more as a result. But, at least the photos do not convey the flavours and there were surprises for me there. FWIW, my favourite dish was the Jelly of Quail, Crayfish Cream, Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast. It seemed to achieve everything it set out to. My wife loved the Roast Foie Gras, Barberry, Braised Konbu and Crab Biscuit. Least good of the bunch? For me, Sound of the Sea did what it was supposed to, but didn't actually taste very nice... To talk of value for money at £350/head is bonkers. It is an obscene amount of money to spend on food and it's difficult to recommend it for that reason alone. However, it is a wonderful experience and, if you've got £350 sitting around with nothing better to spend it on, you'll enjoy your 4 hours at the Fat Duck. P.S. Be ready for the ubiquitous champagne trolley. Fine if you want some, but I still struggle with the psychological challenge of turning it away after it has been wheeled up to the table. And, at £20 a glass for the NV stuff, it's not an insignificant addition to the bill.
  9. This sort of service deserves recognition with a third star! London riots: kitchen staff at Notting Hill restaurant The Ledbury protect diners with rolling pins Absolutely brilliant stuff. Sous vide the looters, I say.
  10. I switched to dialling from my mobile and got the expected engaged tone this time. After a few re-dials, I'm now through to the audiobook. Don't understand why the landline was ringing and the mobile was engaged.....
  11. Gah! Have followed all the instructions and been re-dialling for the past 30 mins, but without success. At what point does one give up?! No engaged tone BTW. Just ringing until the line goes dead.
  12. My experience of Pollen Street Social was closer to felixhirsch's, than nikkib's...
  13. Glad to see you stopped in at Master’s Super Fish - the finest F&C in London, in my view.
  14. So it seems Gauthier Soho has introduced a calorie count to its menus.
  15. As it happens, Moen's butcher in Clapham sells them, which is very convenient for me
  16. Thanks all. I'll try Harvey Nicks and Harrods later in the week.
  17. Hi there Does anyone know where one might be able to buy a tin of snails in London? Many thanks.
  18. Four of us had a rather disappointing meal at PSS last night. It started badly when we were shown to our table in the bar, so we missed out on the experience of seeing the dessert bar and the open kitchen. It would been nice to have been warned where we would be sitting at the time of confirming the reservation. The foie gras to start seemed to be slightly muted flavour-wise, while my quail was erring towards the raw side of rare, though the flavour was good. For mains, I had the pork dish, the meat elements of which were rather good, but I was less convinced by the hops, seeds and grains. I didn't enjoy their texture and thought the after-taste slightly overwhelming, to the detriment of the pork itself. I saw but did not taste the bream but it was described as very salty. The cote de boeuf was smaller than we expected but beautifully cooked with a deep char on the outside and medium on the inside, but didn't quite have the extreme beefiness of a Hawksmoor/Goodman equivalent. I don't know what this says about the meal overall, but my favourite bit was the salad that came with the cote de boeuf and comprised some of the tastiest, greenest, saladiest leaves I have ever had and somehow tasting dressed without appearing to have been so. We got the golden key - a gimmick which over-promises and under-delivers.
  19. Based on the number of people who seem to get the 'last' table, I wouldn't be surprised if they told everyone that to make them feel like 90mins spent on booking a table in a restaurant wasn't a tragic waste of time.
  20. Both branches of Hawksmoor and Goodman are so popular these days that eating a decent steak on a Thursday night is now something that needs to be planned a month ahead. At least that's the case if there are more than 4 of you in a group. Looking around for an alternative, I was reminded of Maze Grill - once the darling of the steak joints in London, if I remember correctly, but off the radar since the arrival of its newer rivals. I ordered an Aberdeen Angus ribeye. It was a tasty, high quality piece of beef, with good flavour, and cooked well to my order. However, if I’m going to spend nearly £30 on a piece of meat, I want it to be approximately the size of my head. I want to be eating it for so long that I feel borderline unwell. Goodman and Hawksmoor make me sick - in a good way, you understand. At Maze, I could have started all over again. The sides were amusingly bad value, as befits a London steak joint. One and half tablespoons of spinach, maybe two at a stretch, with some melted gruyere for £4? By any measure, that's outrageous. Three portabello mushrooms? Tomato salad? All four quid. My chips were poor too: blonde in colour, undercooked and accompanied by insipid aioli, which was borderline inedible. In short, the steak was good, but too small, and the sides were rubbish. I’d choose Hawksmoor or Goodman over Maze every time, but it looks like London has worked that out already...
  21. Castration of a french coq Trouble appears to be brewing in the kitchens at Gauthier Soho. One does have to question the decision to blog about it so publicly. It's got people talking, however, and maybe that is what it's really about...
  22. PRESS RELEASE 1st April 2010 Michelin-starred London restaurant Roussillon announced today that, following twelve years of successful collaboration, Alexis Gauthier has decided to move on to devote more time to his other projects. Roussillon's General Manager Michael Lear said; "We are enormously proud of our long and happy association with Alexis Gauthier, and wish him the best of luck in his new venture."Roussillon's trademark was an exquisite blend of French cuisine with the finest of British seasonal vegetables. Roussillon will announce developments at the restaurant following completion of the refurbishment plans taking place this week. The shareholders of Roussillon will continue to commit to developing young talent. Gauthier is due to launch his new London restaurant at Lindsay House in Soho with Roberto della Pietra and Gerard Virolle on 7th May 2010. Information and booking on 0207 494 3111 or www.lindsayhouse.net email: booking@lindsayhouse.net
  23. Interesting snippet from a later blog entry...
  24. Another wonderful meal at Roussillon last night, which continues to deliver well-balanced, high quality dishes without too much fanfare. It's a modest, classy location and atmosphere, which seems to fit its target market well. As usual, we went for the Autumn tasting menu: LIGHT VELOUTE OF CAULIFLOWER & TRUFFLE A warming, hearty start to the meal, comprising some perfectly cooked mini-florettes dressed with truffle oil (I think), then finished at the table with the cauliflower veloute - itself flecked with black truffle. ROASTED LANGOUSTINES, FENNEL INFUSED WITH LEMON GRASS, CRUSTACEAN JELLY Robust flavours here, including two very tasty langoustines - the delivery van from the 'live langoustine company' was outside the restaurant when we arrived, so there's no room to question the freshness! The shellfish reduction was perhaps a touch overpowering, but the jelly packed a punch while remaining light. A faint hint of lemongrass was complementary in its aroma. SOFT & CREAMY ARBORIO RICE RISOTTO, AUTUMN BLACK TRUFFLE & BROWN BUTTER Surely now Roussillon's signature dish, this risotto is so absurdly tasty and no matter how many times I try to recreate it at home, I fail. It is indulgent, creamy and rich with a generous shaving of truffle and a dark veal jus to give a meaty, umami hit. SLOWLY BRAISED CUT OF MONKFISH, SAUTEED CRUNCHY COS LETTUCE, SAGE & GARLIC SCENTED BROTH A slightly Asian aroma from this dish. Good flavour from the monkfish but maybe a slight underseasoning of the lettuce. The stroke of genius here was courtesy of Roberto (sommelier) who paired it with a lightly chilled Alsation red pinot noir. ROASTED ANJOU PIGEON, GLAZED MUSCAT GRAPES & CARAMELIZED CELERY, PIGEON JUS & VERJUS REDUCTION A simple, classic dish here but made special by its flawless execution. Wonderful pink pigeon breast was melt-in-your-mouth stuff, accompanied by a soft, braised (?) leg. SLICE OF PERFECTLY RIPE SAINT NECTAIRE FERMIER, AUTUMN LEAVES & MADEIRA JELLY Slight change of tasting menu strategy since I last went to Roussillon. At this point, it used to be free reign of the cheese board, but now it is a set Saint Nectaire Fermier - not that that's anything to complain about, because it was a wonderful cheese, perfectly ripe as promised. Madeira jelly was a little lacking in flavour on this occasion. CLASSIC PEAR SOUFFLE, PEAR SORBET & WARM VELOUTE Some top notch cooking from the kitchen for this course. An exquisite, small souffle was paired with a small ball of pear sorbet, which was almost creamy enough to be ice cream in my book. The veloute was delicious but probably superfluous. LE LOUIS XV - CRUNCHY PRALINE & DARK CHOCOLATE Another regular on the Roussillon menu that has been adequately described in previous posts / reviews. An unctious concentration of chocolate, perfectly sized on the tasting menu - not sure if I could ever eat a full sized a la carte portion. So, taking all into account, Roussillon remains amongst my top restaurants in London. Its tasting menus have always been a bit of a masterclass in balance. The portion sizes can seem a bit stingy at first glance but at the end of the meal, one feels nicely satisfied. Each course is not only well constructed in itself, but also in the context of the whole meal. Put simply, Roussillon is a class act. This is further compounded by the remarkable work of Roberto della Pietra in pairing wines with each course. I've said this before, but he too achieves a balance by choosing some classically complementary wines and other wines that extend the dish from what's on the plate to something more, often making choices that seem less-than-obvious. Of course there is the odd niggle - for example, some of the bread was cooked slightly over last night and, in my view, the canapes still lag the quality of everything else - but these are hardly sticking points, given everything else. Highly recommended.
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