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Everything posted by RDB

  1. Really good night here on Monday. Sat at bar and ate a selection of the usual tapas, caperberries, olives, maize kernals, Jamon, pata bravas, chorizo, syrian lentils etc etc. The bread is really something special. Some very good wines by the glass and not to mention the sherries. Was unaware, i.e. not told, that the main menu could be ordered from the bar, so had a squid and harissa dish, which was very good, and a calves liver and pomegranate dish, again very good. My daughter loved it, both food and service, and the atmosphere was amazing. Have not been to many places on a Monday night that has been so busy with such a good atmosphere.
  2. I would give it a go Harters, I was quite impressed As for Ribchester if I understood it right (after my poor attempts of being my own sommelier and advising myself that quantity is as important as quality) Chris Bell the chef is waiting to get out ASAP but the person that has bought it is not ready to move in, or something like that. However, I imagine once he is out of there "gastro" and bib gourmand will soon disappear in my opinion. I think Longridge is getting the chefs full attention and creativity at present.
  3. Had a good pre theatre here a few weeks ago. Country style pate, which was really rich and lots of depth, with golden raisins soaked in something I think. Others had a chilled veg soup, which was deemed interesting and good. Salt Cod Brandade, which was beautiful, satisfying and garlicky!!! Others had lamb breast crushed poatoes and veg, which again was liked by eveyone. A perfect Custard tart. Endless bread throughout. Found the servive very polished but extremely helpful and friendly. I think it came to about 17.00 for the three courses which is really, really good value. Still like the carafe idea, however always end up drinking more than I should.
  4. I need to curb my St John addiction!!!! Popped down again for Sunday lunch with my daughter, the self proclaimed kid critic. One thing about St John is the atmosphere is always vibrant and welcoming, which she immediatly commented on. Had a range of dishes, she had the bone marrow and then Foie Gras, which was in pate form, all deemed delicious. I had Cockles, Leek and Laver Bread, which was just divine. I then had quail and ailoi, which had a seriously high level of garlic, and quail ripped apart Henry the Eight style. All well received and enjoyed. I had the usual Eccles cake, which my mind was telling me I couldn't finish but my body was telling me I must, or was it the other way round? I would happily eat this every day if I could. The little one had Berry Ice cream which she hailed a great. Service as always very friendly and helpful, and this time child friendly.
  5. I had an excellent meal at Paul Heathcote's, The Longridge Restaurant a few Saturday's back, with Chris Bell, formerly of The White Bull in Ribchester, in charge of the kitchen. There is no doubt what he appears to be aiming for and from what I experienced I would not be surprised if he attained it. I have eaten at the White Bull a few times, and enjoyed the food there, albeit as a rustic Sunday lunch experience. The cooking here is far from that and appears more reflective of his experience prior to the White Bull, and some of the kitchens he has worked in. We had the tasting menu, which worked out at £60 per head, which for ingredients used and quantity was not bad. To begin we had a massive plate of Mediterranean style canapés, in the lounge, this consisted of crispy pig's ear and tartar sauce, a quails egg and salmon type pintxo, anchovies' wrapped in a ham, olives, grissini and a few other things, all delicious and very generous. Thereafter: A delicious Scallop, summer truffle and mushroom duxelle dish, which was well cooked and flavoursome. Crispy sweetbread, cured ham, quails egg, asparagus, sweetcorn puree: The sweet breads were delicious, and the sweet corn really lifted the whole dish. Crispy pork belly, beetroot, parsnip, 5 spice: The pork belly was just astounding, I would say the best I had ever tasted, the crackling was just pure crunch and melt. The accompaniments added a real balance of flavours. Lobster, white bean, oregano broth: Lovely big pieces of Lobster, however they were slightly over cooked. The flavour and texture of this dish was very pleasant, and reminded me of a dish I had recently in Sardinia. Goosnargh duck, parsnips, girolles, carmel, orange: This was the highlight of the evening, amazing flavouring, with a divine piece of duck. The advertised girolles did not appear, however there was an unadvertised piece of foie gras, so I didn't complain. A really well balanced dish, very impressed. Next was dessert, which was served before cheese, which is not really the way I like it. I am sure this could have been switched if I hadn't got into a debate with my better half over which should have came first. Sabayon of berries, pistachio, basil, framboise: a very refreshing and delightful dessert, for one who does not really 'do' desserts Cheese, some well kept varieties, which I cannot remember as at this point my short term memory was somewhat faltering, these came with a large amount/variety of cake, biscuits, chutneys etc. Coffee and petit fours, all very good. Service throughout the evening was very efficient, professional and friendly. Considering the restaurant was completely full and the newness of the operation, everything seemed to run smoothly. Wines by the glass were good and gave us a good chance to try and match some to the dishes. Also some excellent ports to choose from. I was quite impressed with my evening here, and feel Longridge may well return to it's glory days. In fact I found the food better and more polished, than when Longridge last had a star. I was impressed with the cooking as it is completely different from The White Bull, it was more balanced, stylish and innovative. Also I was glad to see it wasn't another chef cooking Heathcote classics. I learned from one of the waitresses, that they are still running The White Bull at the moment due to brewery red tape, which is quite impressive, if you can do this, and manage to throw out some serious food and service on a busy Saturday night.
  6. Very poor indeed. Describing scallops as "plump" and sitting "regally", is in my opinion very cliched and lazy. And come on anyone who has even watched Great British Menu knows what Crubeen's are. I think to get 'foodie' and 'comedian' from a critic/food writer is indeed a rarity, and the only ones who achieve this consistently are Dos Hermanos.
  7. Me too, but preferred Sat Bains liquorice and salmon combo, and I do not like liquorice, especially in midget gems.
  8. Michael Winner, perhaps? ← And surely AA Gill.
  9. It is called Cowmans, they do some good sausages. Also Wellgate Fisheries good for fish, coffee exchange good for coffee etc. Clitheroe (and surrounding area) has always been great for food, and one of my favourite food destination. LIttered with places to pop into once you come of the M6 and travel to Clitheroe itself. As mentioned Byrnes is amzing for price, quality and originality. Saying that I feel the Three Fishes has went down hill the last few times I visited on both service and food.
  10. Those dishes look like something put forward in the early stages of Masterchef
  11. Had a great Sunday lunch last weekend. " Peas in the pod "which I just had to order for no other reason than childish delight. " Snails in Oakleaf " simple yet delicious. " Heart, beetroot and horseradish", really good piece of heart and the horseradish mindblowing-literally. Usual " Lancs and Eccles". Really good atmosphere on a Sunday. Notice today bone marrow not on the menu?? Spent late Sunday evening having a few drinks with the workers in Smithfield.
  12. Excellent news, especially with Chris and Kath Bell at the helm. I reckon it will be a great success and wish them all the best.
  13. Hear, hear. It is offical HB is taking over the Foliage site. A sad day for London dining!! ← It is the whole site: foliage, the park restaurant next door and the terrace behind. I agree that, in its time, Foliage was a great restaurant, but as an expression of its chefs rather than in and of itself: first Hywel Jones and lattery Chris Staines. He has now gone - a move he had planned separate to this annoucment (as I understand it) for the past year. Obviously I am a fan - and friend - of Heston's, but the chance to eat food overseen by him and cooked by his right hand man, closer to where I live strikes me as thrilling. ← Surely a sad day when one gets thrilled by the prospect of eating food " overseen " by a chef
  14. I really enjoyed a recent visit to Benares, had the 'grazing menu' and wine pairings. The food whether authentic or not, was very good indeed, and all the wines matched perfectly, especially with some complex spicing going on. Really good atmosphere in the restaurant and service was friendly and jovial.
  15. Visited Abode a few weeks back and food still the best you will probably get in Manchester at the moment. I also found the service has vastly improved, seemed organised and much more attentive and slick.
  16. My goodness and there was me thinking I was top sychophant to all things Paul K related, and low and behold a whole pack appear. Splendid!!! Whether Wishart, Kitchin et al are worried is neither here nor there, Edinburgh is one hell of a food destination, compared to poor old Manchester which has lost its excitement since Juniper closed. As I have mentioned before about Paul's beef and (usually) egg custard tart combo, it is no different from the trad Italian pairing of beef/venison and crema fritta. Not really that strange.
  17. ... and possibly said footballer may have had better knowledge of food as well.
  18. Looking at the menu it is still reads very Juniperesque (albeit slightly tamer), similar ingredients and combinations, interesting to see if it eats the same. That is in no way a wacky intro for Paul, and I have had a few of his dishes whereby french fries do come in twos. I wish them all the best.
  19. Great review in the sense that Sat's cooking and restaurant truly deserve all the praise they get ( I have mentioned this a few times before). However, the actual way the review is written is terrible. It is just full of tired cliches, "This might be Robin Hood country but you won't feel robbed", " Every mouthful reveals another layer of flavour", "When I'm reviewing, I eat first. Footballers warm up by kicking balls; I limber up by eating." etc etc Not to mention this blunder " How it only has one Michelin star when Hélène Darroze's hidebound Connaught extravagance has two says more about French bias than Bains". No it actually says more about lazy journalism than anything else. All followed up with an ending which is based upon cliche and the above blunder, " Michelin men, even more than foodies navigating back roads in a Nottinghamshire industrial estate, are going up a blind alley".
  20. Hearno I think what Marcus stated on video has a little more cred than something from the Daily Mail, as a journalist you should know that
  21. Yeah I was expecting her to be a real 'bitch', however she seemed quite pleasant, and was very positive with her feedback , and receptive towards Dickie Corrigan's opinions on the Crubeens. She seems very meticulous and precise in her style. Her accent is just bizarre though nothing like Danny Millar's 'Norn Iron' brogue. Often wondered why Michael Deane never opted to be a contestant??
  22. At the same London is not of the beaten track, but only has three entries. St John, The Fat Duck and Ramsey @RHR I presume are probably the most famous Uk restaurants globally, so obviously will be a place people outside of the UK will want to try. Which may explain why the Fat Duck and St John are on, that is, they are still great restaurants, whereas Ramsay's place which may have been visited by many, is really not that great. I still cannot work out the rationale behind Hakkasan though, not just as a great restaurant, but as a popular destination???
  23. It may be punching above its weight food wise compared to the other entries, but as a restaurant (which I believe is what it is being judged on) I certainly think it is in the top 50. Again as mentioned it is a chef's favourite and I believe chefs know a thing or two about a good restaurant experience
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