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Everything posted by RDB

  1. I think it is the name of the thread, "Great Pubs" , which is confusing. Without sounding pedantic it should be "Great food in Pubs". Strangely this thread tends to mention many not so "Great pubs", both as establishments selling food and as pubs??!! As someone whoi does drink alcohol, there are many bottled lagers which are proper beer!
  2. Definitely nothing like St John on any level. When I went to The Bridge in the past I had heard of "local" celebrity chef ROB, through various sources. After I had eaten there I thought (as did others that went with me)was that it? Was I missing something? Is there a secret area of the taste buds that I do not have that denied me from this guys food? Basically my experience was basic, ok food, the sort you could do as well or better at home. I do remember the chef smoozing amongst guests most of the evening, which made me realise the popularity this guy has. But after a similar experience at the Mark Addy, that is bland food, smoozing with guests, etc the only thing I can conclude is popularity and being friendly does not equate to good food. The worst soup I have tasted in a while, "White bean and wild garlic", a large bowl of insipid and vapid blandness. The type of soup that obviously requires those special taste buds. Sent it back, not charged, however the insistent waiter stated he had just had the soup and it was delicious. "Deep fried OX tongue and fiery mustard". A play on an ox tongue sandwich with mustard, which may have worked as such,however deep fried in oil that was slightly rancid made it bearly edible. Nothing fiery about the mustard. Duck egg, shrimps and what seemed like a barm cake, again quite bland, with the sauce being tepid and accompanied with a skin, egg was good. Incidentally if you like eggs go here, it has about ten dishes that feature eggs. Smoked duck salad, ok, salad well dressed however a parmesan wafer had the rancid oil taste. Coffee, double espresso served in a standard coffee cup. The pub itself is really drab and appears dank and dirty, it reminds me of something from the 70's. The view of the canal is good if you are fan of Ewan Macoll folk songs, however the flotsom and jetsom may put you off your food. The menu in general is quite boring and lacks anything that appealing. The majority of the dishes we chose were specials, which were not that special. Service over enthusiatic and at times passively aggressive. Now I am sure ROB is the soundest guy in the world and I am sure he will continue to be held in high esteem, in my experience this is not based upon his food, but more driven by having a "celebrity chef" in Manchester that the Manchester Evening News (and others) can eulogise over.
  3. My main dining partner for many years has been my eldest daughter who I have referred to time and time again as the "Kid Critic", who has been to dozens upon dozens of starred joints, L'Enclume, Sat Bains, Juniper, St John, Le Bristol, Commerc 24 etc etc. She has always received great praise on her behaviour which reinforces her behaviour, which recieves further praise, which makes me spend more, which reinforces praise etc etc. In fact quite a few take her in the kitchen and give her a go at cooking. In fact she was thinking of setting up a website based on her experiences called "The Kid Critic". Based on such good behaviour my youngest who has turned three has been to Juniper, Northcote, Stagg Inn, Arbutus, and just this weekend to the Box Tree. Again received good feedback on her behaviour, which encourages us further. I have never experienced any critiscism or negatively from staff or fellow diners, but then again both their parents are Psychologists with expertise in behaviour modification !!! Worried this is going to be getting into a competitive parents post :-)
  4. I would say Jay Rayner's piece is without doubt one of the best food related articles I have read in a long time. Food journalism taken to another level, and stepping outside of the almost "masonic" like restaurant critics unwritten code.
  5. Thom, wiil offal be a main theme in this venture, is it going to be a St John of the North? Which if it is, would be excellent.I am surprised the St Johnesque restaurants have not poped up more in the North, whereby Offal is not considered a fad ingredient. I am encouraged to pop in myself as I work across the road from the place every Friday. Nice one our KID(ney)
  6. Fair points, CJ. I take it back. BTW, any news on the new Marco Pierre White place down your way? I gather, from a post on another board, that the great man celebrated the opening of his new pub near Ormskirk by not putting in an appearance. Name over the door the extent of his involvement? Not the case at all!! Mpw is indeed hosting a night at his pub the swan inn on Thursday the 25th of Feb.
  7. ......oh almost forgot thanks Paul (K) for enabling us to see the list earlier than was planned
  8. Some fantastic additions, bet there will be some happy smiley people (and some not) out there now David I am really surprised regarding your prediction that Matt Follas of Masterchef fame would achieve a star, what do you think happened ???
  9. Well done to Paul Kitching at 21212, however no surprise. I wasn't surprised with Dickie Corrigan not getting a star, did not rate it when I went. Nor surprised about Abode or anything around Manchester (sorry). The White Bull lost its Bib due to chef Chris Bell leaving and taking over Longridge. Really surprised at Simon Radley as a rising 2, stayed in The Grosvenor over the summer and had the tasting at SR, found the room antiquated and staid, the servive snooty, the food boring ( infact left half way through the meal) and very top heavy on "fine" ingredients for the sake of. Mind you these are the things Michelin look for.
  10. Hi Marc, I will be enjoying the rare commodity of a childless evening with the other half, however if she begins to get bored of me I may well join you in the kitchen!!! Will Mr Radley be stepping in as your sous chef for the evening?
  11. I am going albeit dining alone in the corner looking enviously at the high table occupied by TV star Bapi and the high priest of all Mancunia :-(
  12. This sounds better than koffman at selfridges!! Oh Marc tell us all when, egullet day out???
  13. Just thought you had been through hair, make up and wadrobe you looked so well. Bapi do they still do music on a Sunday? or am I imagining that?
  14. Good result. Looks like you have lost a bit of weight Bapi, and the make up suited you !!!
  15. Or could it be that Ramsey got it right and Thom and Infrasonic got it wrong ????
  16. I had another terrible meal at The Three Fishes a few weeks ago, not sure why I keep going back?? I had a bowl of mussels with apple and shallot. The mussels were ok but the raw tarty apples and raw shallot ruined it. Burger and chips (kids) dry beef with a distinct sour taste. Fish and chips, flacid and soggy batter. Sent this back and was informed this happens to batter. Sent out another one which was as soggy. Bizarre. Maybe they need a trip to the Golden Hind or Magpie Cafe to see how good batter can stay crisp after 10 seconds. Platter of seafood was good. As always the way they deal with any complaint here is: A) Get defensive; B) Try and convince you that you wouldn't understand the complexities of cooking C) Take the approach that you don't know what your taking about. Maybe I have been unlucky on my last three visits.
  17. I have been to the Wolseley more times than I care to remember, however always for breakfast or drinking in the bar. Sounds like I am missing a treat trying it at other times. I don't find it that pricey for breakfast at least, considering service, quality and experience
  18. I am due to go this Saturday but may well cancel, as I was planning to go up and down in the day. However looking at the train times it will be a round trip of 7 1/2 hours plus numerous changes, not sure what is going on with the railways this weekend. With that I think I will fly over to Paris instead, in less the time.
  19. That is because quantity detracts from quality It will end up being Red Chilli
  20. Never mind that, say your guest has the norovirus or is an environmantal health officer
  21. Went for lunch the other day and found it did not have that nightclub feel, much more subdued, but still with a good atmosphere. Thought the food this time was pretty outstanding, not that the dishes were different per se, maybe I wasn't as distracted this time or maybe because Mr Atherton was in the kitchen. I had a few dishes of the tasting, whilst the kid critic went for the set lunch. The set lunch which is three courses at £22 is quite good, and interestingly the portions are much bigger than the tasting dishes. She had a beetroot Sairass cheese and pine nuts starter, which sounds boring, but was very tasty, and well composed. Then a pig cheek, broad bean and mashed potato dish, which she heralded as the best thing she has ever had to eat. It was very good, rich and deep, and the mashed potato was fantastic. Then 'Artic Roll' and strawberry Jelly, which was more Artic and less Roll, which was good, a nice dish. I had the Chilled English pea velouté, pea and lobster salad, parmesan parfait, which although small, was really a beautiful dish. The veloute divine and the parfait melting. Then a confit of salmon with pickled veg, and not sure what else, this was well flavoured and balanced. Slow-cooked organic Shetland cod with baked clam, smoked prawn butter and samphire, beautiful piece of cod cooked sous vide I presume, and a lovely smokey kick of the butter. I really liked this. I enjoy my experience here much more that the first time. The food though is not as left field as I presumed, it has the wacky titles, but it really is quite classical in many ways. It was on the day very, very tasty. Service was also a million times better than my last experience, staff very helpful, informative and on the ball. Spoke to Jason afterwards at the request of my daughter and he seems to really enjoy what he does, without any pretense or ego. A very laid back chap.
  22. Yes Matthew it is the same soup. I must admit the idea of cold veg soup did not grab me, however after tasting it I was really impressed, one of those dishes that brings an element of surprise.
  23. I am not a big fan of fish and chips, but this place totally converted me. This was fish and chips on another level, well probably the level it should be, but never is, which is why I have never been a big fan. My Mother however who is a Fish and Chip snob, could not find fault and infact hailed it as some of the best she has ever had. Absolutely top class in all ways, chips unbelievable, batter perfect and fish fresh as fresh fish. Mushy peas I thought were the best I have ever tasted, and this was the opinion of four born and bread Lancashire lasses. Greek pickles good. I love the BYO policy, albeit the traditionalists would not budge from tea. Maybe some celebrity chef should be campaigning to help the untrained like myself into the joy of real fish and chips.
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