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Everything posted by RDB

  1. I was not overly impressed with Corrigans, think I was expecting a down to earth vibe in the place, bearing in mind Richards 'philosophy', however it was quite stuffy and pompous at times. Food wise, thought it was ok, I had Octopus Carpaccio, Baby Squid, Chorozo & Feta which was just that. Foie gras and heritage apples, which again was just that albeit it did come with two grapes. A terrible pigeon dish which seen pieces of breast pink in parts overcooked in others, served with highly vinegared endive, hard tortellini, and a horrid tasting, sauce, which I swore was cheese, but was apparently foie gras. Service very snooty and atmosphere dull.
  2. I think the perfect menu for the homecoming banquet for members of the British Forces returning from Afghanistan would be as follows: Starter – ham, egg and peas Fish course – whole poached wild salmon and duck egg dressing with wheaten bread and country butter Main course – rabbit and crayfish stargazy pie Dessert – perry jelly and summer fruits with elderflower ice cream I also think that some of the dishes seen on the current GBM (and no doubt to come) would have been better suited for the GBM 2007 at the British Embassy in Paris.
  3. I think the concept of 're-inventing' or 'deconstructing' British dishes is running out of ideas. It will reach the stage whereby a proper ploughmans or a simple steak and kidney will be served and everyone will hail it as post ironic cooking wth a hint of irony.
  4. I visited St John last week for the first time, and I found the whole event one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. I know I am a little late eulogising about the place as it has been documented for years, but it really is a unique special place. I suppose it started by meeting Fergus outside whilst he was having a fag and chatting to him about various things e.g. “ I think Michelin have changed not us” . I know it’s a cliché but he really is such an interesting and down to earth person. I think when he assured me that I would enjoy my lunch, I was primed. The bar area I found really cool, with a real nice buzz going on, not to mention the selection of beers and ales. I love Meantime beers, but have never had them on tap, they have an excellent selection, as well as a few guest beers. I would say this has to be the best selection of brews on tap I have seen on offer in any restaurant in a while. I really loved the restaurant space, the whiteness just seemed so, erm, natural? I find it hard to explain!! Again the place had a real buzz about it, the staff young and hip, and really enjoying themselves and appearing to have fun. I think it kind of reminded me of places I have visited in Barcelona, around the market areas, it had that buzz to it. Bread is excellent, best bread I have had in a while, fresh, soft and chewy. I had Nettle soup, which was delicious. Then Octopus, fennel and Aioli, which was beyond words, nothing overly technical, just a really delicious dish. Then went for Pigeon and beetroot, which was as earthy and natural as could be. Astounding. Nearly every other table was ordering the bone marrow and parsley salad dish, I may try this the next time. I skipped dessert, I am sure they are divine, however when you have a good savoury taste in your mouth , sometimes sweetness is best avoided. Went back to the bar to sample some more great ales and have another chat with the staff and locals. I am almost trying to work out what made this place so amazing, and I think it is genuinely that it is just happy doing what it is doing., which of course made me feel quite happy being there. It also had a very local feel to it, the kind of feel you get from your local pub. The whole environment just bubbles over with a real attitude of eat, drink and enjoy. To be honest I was going through a period of being uninspired by food, and bored with restaurants, but St John has awoken that joy again. I have just been thinking of the place constantly, I am sure you can relate to that experience, where you can’t get a restaurant out of your mind. Almost like being in love….. I just wish I had a restaurant like this were I live, in fact, I am thinking of giving up my life in the North to live in the Clerkenwell area, just based on this experience. I think Fergus is right Michelin has changed, as this is just so unlike any starred restaurant I have eaten in, and so much the better for it. After St John went to the fabulous Jerusalem Tavern. People of Clerkenwell you really have it all on your doorstep!!!!
  5. Went to Maze last night and to keep a long story short found the food very good. The whole vibe of the restaurant was very much like a nightclub which was quite bizarre, not what I expected on a Tuesday night. A very diverse crowd for what I suppose is one of London's more 'experimental' menus. Service was very much plate put down and plate taken away.
  6. Bloody hell Bapi you can get where water doesn't
  7. Nice to here service has improved somewhat, as I have often found it a little slow and the staff uninformed. I went for Sunday lunch a while back and they did a whole roast chicken with all the trimmings, which I remember being quite good.
  8. What? He wins Masterchef and gets offered a job from the man behind the rival show The Restaurant. It's reality food TV gone mad I tell you I am sure a stint at Brasserie Blanc should bring him a little bit closer to that predicted star.
  9. You mean the FD is *** (three asterisks) not **??
  10. Bizarre? Naive? Come on lighten up. Who are you to judge a fairly light hearted comment with such venom Everyone on this forum is entitled to an opinion. Its clear I'm not on your xmas card list,but please lets not get personal! ← It is nothing personal to you David, it is the concept that I find bizarre and naive, which I have through my previous point tried to substaniate. Of course you are absolutely right everyone on this forum has an opinion, that is what makes it a good arena for food related discussion. Just to make it up I will happily send you a card next xmas
  11. It has nothing to do with 'sticking up for underdog', it's the bizarre and may I say naive statement that this guy could achieve a possible Michelin star. Firstly let me give you an analogy, every weekend I do some amazing cooking for my family and friends, some innovative dishes, which receive great feedback. It may be deemed that some of these dishes may be Michelin level *. Now does that mean if I decided to open a restaurant I would achieve a star, would it hell, I would fall flat on my face, because a few dishes cooked for a few people a star does not make or keep a restaurant afloat for that matter. Secondly, this guy may have no intention of aiming for a star and may know his limits, however I find it impressive that you can predict the possibility of this occuring. Unless you have been to this imaginary restaurant tasted the potential food and deemed it to be of Michelin level, then I am not sure what criteria you can judge his cooking or ability to run a kitchen. Unless of course your conclusion is based upon watching an edited television programme, which to my knowledge is not Michelin criteria. Thirdly if Anthony Flinn has not achieved a star with his skill, background and ability, then this guy certainly won't. I wish him all the best, but come on if we are going to play the Michelin guessing game and its rising stars, lets look towards the young people who have slogged through the kitchens to learn their art. Or if you want a decent competition to follow and spot some excellent chefs check out the Roux scholarship (see Corinna's post), which has actually produced some real starred chefs. * Obviously I am being slightly delusional
  12. This is an excellent post and one I have often made, since when has the only route to becoming a chef been via TV. From St Jamie giving the disadvantaged a chance to get into the exclusive world of being a chef, to The Restaurant, Masterchef etc etc, it is this idea that TV is the only route. Funnily in all these programmes no one has become a top level chef, however many have benefited from being on food related TV. Anyone serious about being at the top of their game as a chef knows what route to take, which doesn't involve feedback from a veg seller etc etc. In respect to expecting 'big things' from this guy based on what he does on Masterchef is a million miles from keeping a restaurant going never mind getting a star.
  13. That is a real shame Salty, hope you get to go again. Think I heard Heston is personally contacting all cancellations himself, could be wrong.
  14. I actually experienced quite a bad bout of food poisioning recently from a (then) starred 'high end' restaurant. Has to be the most expensive bout of vomiting and diarrhea I ever had.
  15. I can only presume the derogatory use of the word 'blarney' would imply that you are in fact mixing up Shaun Rankin with Paul Rankin.
  16. I took my daughter to Yo Sushi in Selfidges today, excellent meal, top quality soft shell crab and authentic hairy prawns. Think I saw Neil Sowerby sitting a few seats down, would recommend it if you ever come to Manchester
  17. Sounds good Nikki, but is it a sign of current times that restaurants are charging in dollars
  18. Strangely I have always pronounced it ' do-chairs'
  19. A few points on the above. 1. A lot of people pay a great deal of money to be swore at by a Chef, so consider it a compliment. 2. Nice to see a French man adopting good old English vulgar slang. 3. He is a Chef not Kofi Annan. 4. Sometimes words like these can be used in many other ways other than offence. 5. Why post the response on here?
  20. At the same time, the Maestro Paul Kitching has revealed the name of his new place, wait for it........... 21212. Reason being the menu will be two starter, a soup course, two mains, one cheese and two desserts Apparently it will comprise a 38-seat main dining room on the ground floor featuring a floor to ceiling transparent partition to the kitchen , as well as a 10-seat private dining room and lounge on the second floor and up to four bedrooms on the third.
  21. Exactly Gary, I was one of the unlucky ones!!!
  22. If it is true, I am not surprised. I think less to do with fine dining in Manchester, but more to do with a chef who is not up to producing fine dining, in erm, Manchester, or Penzance for that matter.
  23. For "beautiful traditional " I would recommend Trattoria da Maria Vico Testadoro 14r, Genoa. We were recommended it by a local food trader in the city, who told us it was traditional Genoa food. It was amazing a real buzz to the place and diverse mixture of clientele, all local. Food traditional and amazing. If you google there is a NY times review of the place. Also pick up some curzetti stampae pasta, it is amazing with homemade Pesto.
  24. Thom only has a feminine side! Cocktails and good meal? Either Harvey Nic's or The Modern. Both are up high, do good cocktails ( so I am told by any female I have been there with) and food is consistent. Or you could do both as they are in close prox, one for cocktails and one for food.
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