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Everything posted by sunbeam

  1. well el bulli for you, but you can't argue that its an ideal location unless you live in one of those curious flats in the area. I'd go a lot more if it was more central. S
  2. Pack a brolley, its effing tipping it down here in france just about everywhere. Worst august ever! S
  3. I'm writing this from my bolthole in france, where places like Bacchus seem very far away indeed. Simple seems often best from this perspective. Picasso learnt how to draw before he experimented. Sometimes, to me at least, places like Bacchus have gone straight to abstraction without first mastering the fundamentals. But by all means try. I quite liked Bacchus as a one off night out but would not make it a regular stop. But that begs the wider question of what is a restaurant's true role S
  4. I think dogs can normally look after themselves when their owners stop feeding them, forming packs to hunt down rats and cats etc and, I am afraid to say, doggies are not averse to munching on corpses. They probably ate better than their owners! s
  5. Of course these days the new locals kill the bloody swans! S
  6. Hi sunbeam, hope i did not sound too aggressive, but you see I have a problem with the Italian restaurants in the UK, above all with their perceptions: it is mostly the fault of countless anonymous places, so that as you mentioned above it seems almost impossible to have "fine dining" and "Italian" go together. But even here in London it can be done, thankfully it is done in some places, but still I have the feeling that many restaurant critics do have a problem with chefs venturing beyond carbonara (ok, I am exaggerating a bit here), and are all to happy for them to stick to grilled sausage as "authentic" italian fare (which, frankly, it ain't). You see, I have been living in London for about 15 years, and being not too bad in the kitchen myself, I always refused point blank to go to Italian restaurants: "why pay such ridiculous amounts when I can do as well at home?" was my thinking. Then I was dragged to Latium, and it all changed: the flair, the lightness of touch, the creativeness. To give you an idea, he served us a buffalo ricotta mousse with candied artichokes: sublime! well, I am so glad you like Latium, too, I am so utterly fond of what the chef can do and how the all operation works. ok, I guess enough of advertising, too ← Fish ravioli. mmmmmmmmmm s
  7. uhu sunbeam, you really risk to get me going I could not disagree more, though I admit that on average Italian restaurants here (in the UK I mean) lack that bit more adventurousness that one can find in italian restaurants in Italy: it seems to me that expecially restaurant critics tend to have an idea of Italian food which is definitely not up to date, but has the unfortunate effect of conditionaing chefs... enough of my personal gripe! But as for good food, in the St. James area I can suggest two places to eat well (and no, I would not recommend Franco's either), Semplice and a little further east Latium. I find Via Condotti also reasonable. ← Oh I didn't mean to include Italian restaurants in Italy in my generalisation, sorry. Quite different, of course. I like Latium very much, but still find little to fault with Franco's given the specified area, with its consequent high rates and demographic clientele's preferences. S
  8. According to my mother they fed the pets to the humans, at least that's what happened to her rabbit. Eeeeh and kids today think they have it tough!
  9. Well you're obviously doing all right! Wish I could afford something around Northcote Rd! Yes I think it's safe to say it's better than Enfield but you'd best get a really big 4x4 if you don't want your new neighbours to sneer at you. Tooting Bec to Tooting Boadway road is jam packed with superb Asian/ethnic shops etc. This is sort of where I live. Sadly. S
  10. I was referring to the original newspaper review which, as I recall, seemed to take inordinate pleasure from putting the boot in, sneering cheaply at the maitre d's name etc. It is perhaps a brutal business but that doesn't mean we can't try and be gentlemen. Good writing need not be sadistic writing, even if many readers do take pleasure in seeing the odd Christian get mauled by a starved lion. Hyperbole, irony even the, ah, subtle art of rhetoric can be usefully employed to make honest points in criticism. At least that's what I prefer reading anyway. S
  11. He was a good chef but you didn't need to be Ramsay, Mystic Meg or an economist to see that incoming would not match outgoing, especially not that far out even if it is a wealthy area. I think that the criticism levelled at him and at the restaurant from some quarters was unnecessarily spiteful and can't have helped matters. The truth hurts of course, but there was no need to twist the knife. S
  12. You could always go upmarket Indian at Tamarind. In St James I have always enjoyed the Italian restaurant Franco's but I may have been lucky as some people have griped. But then an Italian restaurant no matter how 'posh' is never really 'fine dining' but more like 'fun dining' and has to be approached in that spirit. S
  13. What's that then? As in 'that's a cracker. It's the way I tell 'em. Frank Carson etc' ? Is it the done thing in Dublin to write reviews in the present tense? It confuses the hell out of at least one reader but then I've just had lunch. S
  14. I'd second Esarn. I went there for the first time last night and really liked it. Very authentic. Thai must be the most abused cuisine in the UK - so many cheap restaurants/pubs serving watered down stodgy pap and calling it Thai food. ← Indeed, too many add chilli, lemon grass and coconut milk to bog standard chinese. My mate has a thai bride and her meals are the real deal, altho she piles in more chillis than any westerner can safely eat! S
  15. Is it still any good? Customer reviews on restaurant websites say it's awful. Now you may sneer at the people who post on such websites, but they can't all be wrong can they? Not just about the food, but the service and the seating policy too, all of which get a big slagging. I like szechuan peppers, a friend brought me a bag direct from source, but I don't want to be disappointed at this place. Has anyone been recently? S
  16. The reason why kids play unsupervised is because no one's going to be stupid enough to try anything on with them. Not unless they want to get shanked by a feral 12 year old. You make it sound like some bucolic paradise. S
  17. Actually I've lived in Sarf London most of my life, difference is we don't have trustafarian fine diners offering themselves up for our sport by mincing down our streets. Apart from that silly short-tempered bird on Metro who tried to eat in a housing estate last week and got, quite rightly, scared away within minutes. We don't need her sort around. Innit. Seriously, that part of Hoxton where Bacchus is located made me well nervous and I live in Brixton . We look positively home counties down here by comparison. Mind you we aren't so posh that we've started mistakenly calling our evening meal our 'supper' yet. I'd wear trainers not stilettos meself, far easier to leg it. S
  18. Because they probably called for entries a year ago S
  19. Well a map of London doesnt quite show the reality here. Your cool friends are living in a newly fashionable area which until relatively recently was pretty damn grim and not even considered part of London proper. Pockets of that grimness remain. Bacchus is on the fringe of trendy Hoxton and the surrounding area is rough - shops resembling fortresses, low rent, hi rise housing and dodgy people shuffling about with their hoods up. Bacchus itself is heavily fortified when not in use. I would not walk to get there, certainly not in the dark, get a cab there and back and don't hang about in the open with your best jewellery on display! Of course for some people this is all part of the fun - eating on the edge etc. A frisson for the middle-classes. S
  20. T ← 'weaves them into a magical culinary story of ancient and modern styles' heh that kind of writing would even get one sacked from londonlight and God knows they aren't fussy! S
  21. Really? I live in sunny Streatham so this could be just what I want S
  22. Oh. I'm not quite sure whether that's a good or bad thing then I bet the sommelier sneers when you hand him your bottle of plonk, unless it's a £100+ job! S
  23. Mildly. S ← Very mildly ← Going off topic here did you see the slagging he gave restaurant critics the other week, I think it may have been in a Sunday magazine? He had some brass neck that's for sure, given his own attempts. S
  24. Do they really? You're kidding surely? S
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