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Everything posted by sunbeam

  1. Glad to read he is coming back with his own restaurant in August. The bling bling room at 1880 was hard to love, but the food was great. I didnt think he'd want to stay at that golf club for ever, just long enough to get his handicap down perhaps! S
  2. Stuffy possibly not, but undeniably formal. Both are very expensive as well unless you go for lunch. ← I agree about the price, but I am unsure how you define formal. A place can be smartly turned out, correct and professional but still cheerful and friendly. A place can have staff in jeans and trainers and still be snotty. And dont you hate it when a waiter crouches down next to your table and introuduces himself/herself? Or even sits at a spare seat? I can do without that kind of lack of formality for sure. S
  3. Part of the problem at bacchus is the fluctuating menu. You may not find the mousse on. I would be wary of making the hike out there if it's going to be your 'big one' meal. By all means give it a go if you intend going to other places as well though. Otherwise putting all your eggs in their hoxton, sous vide, Mol/Gas basket may be a bit risky. S
  4. Shame to hear Joe's leaving, he really turned the mag around by realising chefs like being treated as rock stars and made it a sort of GQ magazine to flatter them. S
  5. Bacchus is indeed going in the same direction as FD, but the driver still has his P plates on and is inclined to wander across the white lines. Me I'd go Aitkens or Pied. Stuffy is not how I'd describe any of these places - service is professional, slick and assured (as it should be at these prices) but the staff are relaxed. knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I dont think age is an issue! S
  6. If it isn't off topic, why is it called Balzac? I dont recall any Balzac novels set in Dublin. I suppose it's more imaginative than calling it Finnegan's or Bloom's. Is it simply to make it clear to punters what kind of food it serves? And that it has this intriguing French tasting French wine you mention? I imagine the local wits will be calling it Balls Ache before long, if I know Dubliners at all (at all) S
  7. It certainly isn't good value in that respect. Fraction sized dishes at sample prices would be closer to the mark. However it is a way of trying a few things from places you may never get around to going to. There are the fairground attractions - JSP and Ramsay in the F word kitchen, Cucina Caldesi live cooking lessons etc etc. It's a bit of an industry jolly. I suspect those on free tickets may outnumber those who've paid. I would have thought you could have been among the former Mathew? Probably put the dishes down to exes too? Or am I wrong in thinking you're 'in the business'? Strange kind of Glastonbury feel to the whole thing - chefs dont arrive by helicopter but you think some of them would dearly like to! S
  8. Shame about the rain (and the unseasonal cold!) and janet street porter's adolescent swearing in her opening speech. I can't believe she's still trying to shock her parents, nor that commissioning editors still fall for it and think it's awfully daring and clever. I didn't pay to get in but if was a punter I'd be a bit miffed that the entry fee of £21 (?)doesnt actually get me any real food or drink. Another £20 is needed at least. And being chucked out at 4:30 and required to pay again if you want to come back at 6pm seems rather odd. I understand it's some kind of legal thing. Some nice nibbles. Gavroche's lobster bisque was just lobster flavoured double cream though. Biggest queues I saw were for Rhodes 24. Lovely scallops at 101. Galvin does a nice sea bream and Benares lamb chops as good as ever. It's a bit of a blur now to be honest. I guess I over did the wine tasting a bit. S
  9. Perhaps so, but we could level that accusation at more magazines/ supplements than just this one. It's not a genre known for ground-breaking ideas after all. Isn't there a saying about how dogs shouldn't eat dogs? And about living in glass houses? Let's give it a chance at least eh? One issue is a bit soon to judge. If the writing gets to the standard of the art direction it might surprise us yet. S
  10. I glanced through a borrowed copy of the first one. It's very well laid out that's for sure with far superior photography and art direction to Restaurant Mag. Restaurant mags success is a lot down to making chefs feel like rock stars. This one treats like them film stars. Interesting... S
  11. Does all depend on whether the locals to the restaurant are Independent readers, or attach any weight to its culinary opinions. Some might see it as a negative. I do see that '100 best restaurants in the UK as chosen by the Daily Sport' might not be a better advert for a place either, though. To be serious, 100 best of anything is always a joke. Fills a bit of space though and gets a few names and addresses for the mailing data base. etc S
  12. I hope this menu works for them. My own experience eating there was that they were not concentrating on getting a set of dishes 'right' but were chopping and changing the menu to hit the bullseye. This is the culinary equivalent of 'chasing the error' in target shooting - moving and adjusting the sights, instead of concentrating on getting a tight, overlapping, group of holes anywhere on the target (which means one is shooting consistently well) and only then adjusting the sights to come onto the bull. Not an analogy many people will make I suppose. Sorry about that but it makes sense to me as both a reasonable critic and a middling marksman ! S
  13. Or has Classic Acts (what?) and Winning Wines and Fabulous Fish and Annoying Alliteration. Are you sure this is the Independent and not something Ainsley Harriot is doing on daytime TV? S
  14. ' smart casual' - think Alan Partridge and you should be okay S
  15. Actually as I have got older I have put more store on things like dress. Considering I was a full on sixteen year old punk in 1976 it's rather ironic. I dont think it's elitist to impose a dress code, not unless its to do with expensive labels only, or throwing out anyone not wearing a rolex. I think it is bad manners if you ignore or flaunt a dress code even if that dress code is implicit rather than explicit. Places like the Gavroche have a reason for having a dress code, even clubs for young people do " no trainers" for example. It's a filter basically. Seems fair enough to me and if I was going to the gavroche I would dress well as part of the enjoyment. I know my wife would for sure. We'd both be pissed off if someone was there who clearly had made no effort and yes, it would spoil my meal. Looks like my days of singing "Anarchy in the UK" are behind me eh? S
  16. It's always easy to be iconoclastic and turn up to a posh restaurant in jeans and trainers, very rock and roll etc. I think as one gets older a sense that this is very brattish comes to the fore. Yes your money is as good as anyone elses but its really rather pointless and bad mannered towards the other diners. I would hope a 'good'restaurant wouldnt care how rich you were I always hate it at fancy dress parties if someone turns up who is not in fancy dress. God knows I dont like wearing fancy dress but I expect everyone else to wear it too. And one would not go to a church or even a registry office wedding dressed badly, it would insult the family. You dont have to wear a morning suit, or even a bloody kilt, but a suit is surely not too much to ask? Everyone can afford a suit of some kind. Jacket and tie, or just smart. Make a bit of an effort. Manners maketh man. S
  17. I was being a bit facetious of course but I do think that if the restaurant is expensive, and one can assume that other diners are having a bit of a special night out, its not fair to turn up looking rough as it spoils the atmos. I do remember the days of some restaurants having a selection of awful ties to give to those arriving without. Sort of name and shame policy. A dress policy works as a pre filter on diners. If someone doesnt like it, they dont have to dine there which probably is best for all concerned S
  18. Gentlemen should always wear a jacket unless dining in a kebab shop. I'm glad the gavroche is enforcing basic manners, the sad thing is that today's customers need to be told how to behave properly. In hot weather one wears a good quality linen jacket, there is no need to overheat. S
  19. Ainsley Harriot - I know he mugs for the cameras, but he's not as stupid as he likes to make out he is. He just knows every TV chef needs an 'angle' S
  20. Weber One touch (one touch is supposed to mean easy clean, but that's wishful thinking) The boss of Bodean's recommended me to a Weber and he was right, only small drawback is you must use briquettes as wood bits will fall through the grill Have roasted a many a chicken in mine. Often when its below freezing outside. Pay about £99 in homebase - the lookalikes arent worth the money saved, they are not armour plated like the weber and will rust BTW gas/charcoal, does not affect the flavours, its what you put on the coals S
  21. Guys, guys, you dont have to quote the entire original message! It's funny when all you actually add is a few words, but otherwise it's a bit of a bore S
  22. Anyone read Yes Chef magazine yet? Less adverts in the back, but lavishly produced S
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