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minichef

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    dublin, ireland
  1. we are going with a group of friends on Thursday! Can't wait! I am hoping its not a toned up version of the Gueleton... where standards seem to have slipped recently, friends of mine went on my reccommendation and waited 20m for menus and water, 40m for their wine, and an hour and a half for their food, because the manager forgot to put their order in. Of course they were comped everything, but still.... I think Lockes is going to be great!
  2. Occasion Restaurants One Pico Chapter One Thorntons L'Ecrivain Mint Guildbauds Shanaghans Frere Jacques Saturday Night Restaurants Town Bar & Grill The Mermaid L'Gueleton* Locks (When it opens) Bang Mackerel* La Mere Zou Pearl Eden Browns Midweek Restaurants The Chameleon Saba Enoteca Della Langhe* Bar Italia* Odessa The Winding Stair The Elephant & Castle* Il Bacharro Something To Eat Gruel Café Bar Deli The Good World The Temple Bar Market on Sat Aya Blazing Salads Café Irie Soup Dragon Panem Something To Eat & Drink La Cave Ely Market Bar Grogans The South William This is my personal list and mental categorisation of Dublin's restaurants. It is by no means exhaustive and there are many places that fit into several catogories, and I am sure I have left loads of beloved places out. The asterisk denotes a place that could also fit into the categoryafter it. I think most people categorise restaurants by function and atmosphere combined with price, and really a star rating system only works to differentiate the good from the very good, and the excellent, rather than in Dublins case, where you have several layers of restaurant categories. One method I saw of rating restaurants in one of these threads was to use the homework grading system, A, B+, B- etc, which I thought worked really well, because it gave an indication of the quality of the restaurant and didn't compare price points. It show that the restaurant has achieved what it set out to do, whether that be PG, with exclusive haut cuisine, or blazing salads... they could both get A's and deserve them equally.
  3. minichef

    Berlin Restaurants

    anyone elso got any input for berlin? I am going on Sunday and on quite a tight budget. Will check out Ka De We and possibly Lutter & Wegner, any other mid-low budget secret gems?
  4. I ate in Chapter One a couple of weeks ago. It was Friday the 13th, and my birthday, and I had no reservation. So I crossed my fingers, and tried my luck, and it was in, and voila, birthday dinner a deux. I was bowled over by the great service, to say nothing of the food, which was as always, very good, and reasonably priced, although several things stuck in my mind. 1) When i was coming back from the loo, I heard a fairly loud and irate voice saying; '...and that ould blond bag on table four won't fecking stop moaning... mouwldy ould bitch...' It was the manager, talking to one of the waiters, who had the grace to smile in my direction. To be honest I thought this was hilarious, I work in a high end Dublin restaurant and the language and comments that go on there far outweigh the comment overheard here. It did'nt stop the service being absolutely and utterly charming, including when.... 2) as the beautiful and very professional waitress was making Irish coffees from a gueridon for the next table, we nipped out for a cigarette. Monents later the guy from the next table appears out with a face like thunder... 'jaysus,' he said, 'it's smokier in there than it is out here.... that eejit waitress is after setting the place alight'. We were rather shocked at how mean he was being about, and sure enough, when we went back in the lovely waitress was beginning her Irish coffees once more, caramelising the sugar, flambeeing the whisky, and looking very crestfallen. I thought it was all rather amusing, having done far worse things during service myself, and anyway, she had been perfectly sweet to us, and nothing less than utterly professional. Anyone can make a mistake, even in Chapter One. Having said all that, please don't let any of what I said put you off... customers will invariably get bitched about if they set foot in any restaurant, and what do we know... the ould bag probably deserved that comment and worse! (Hee hee) (edit: typo)
  5. minichef

    Hangover Rescue Recipes

    There is no such thing as a hangover cure- only hangover survival. Here is my 10 step guide to living through one. 1. Before going to bed there arm yourself with necessary equipment, ie bottles of water, pain-killers, sick bucket, etc. 2. One of the most effective, tried and tested ways to ease hangover painis sex. (But then you have to think about that when you wake up in the morning. Morning sex does not work.) 3. Do not get out of bed until you are forced to by your bladder. 4. Drink large amounts of flat coca-cola. 5. Shower. Brush teeth. Comb hair. You may feel like an absolute wino but you don't need to look like one. 6. Resist temptation to smoke for as long as possible. Cigarettes triple or quadruple hangover pain. 7. Eat cold pork pies. 8. Eat fruit, lots of it. 9. Eat mashed potatoes, gravy, shepard's pie, cottage pie, fish pie, or any variation on the theme. Must be hot, include mash, and not need chewing. 10. Read and watch TV but do not attempt to go outside unless it is to the pub.
  6. minichef

    Someone is stealing tips......

    i think the only way am going to deal with it is by waiting until it happens again and then simply asking, 'did you make a mistake? How come there was €40 on that table but only €20 marked in on the tip sheet?' And I suspect that will be enough to rattle them a little, at least enough to stop them doing it on my watch.
  7. minichef

    Student's Corner

    I think Ive got a couple of years ahead of me before I reach that level......
  8. minichef

    Absurdly simple wine questions...

    Q- How long will a wine keep for once opened? I know about the detrimental effects of O2 on wines, but realistically how long do you keep a wine in your fridge door without it going bad? I have been putting opened reds in the fridge and taking them out before I wasnt to drink them. It seems to work fine. Are there any hard and fast rules? Or does it depend on the individual properities of the wine?
  9. minichef

    Mint: Uses & Storage

    for me a hard and fast rule with herbs is the more woody a herb is, the earlier I add it into cooking. Herbs like mint, dill, basil, and chives dont stand up to long cooking as their structure breaks down and the volatile aromas are lost. the exception to this rule seems to be parsley (curly, not so much flat leaf) which stands a long cook and weaves its falvours through the dish. mmmmm
  10. minichef

    Student's Corner

    I think those aspect of the course; of region and geography are going to be important for me. I have always been interested in that area, so it's like an extension to my schooldays geography course. I realise that the WSET approach is not infallible, and its a good idea to keep your mind open to possible flaws in the teaching methods, just like with any other course of learning. But, in Ireland, it is the only academically recognised option. Learning about the similarities or differences of a wine from a particular are for me at this stage, invaluable, as I am still trying to get a handle on varietal characteristics. I think the comment about chardonnay was made RE commercial level wine and the wine-making style... if that makes a difference. I should reiterate that this course is part of my culinary arts degree and isnt actually WSET certified. I would still have to do the advanced cert if I wanted to go on and do the diploma. It is equivalent, and the methods are the same, and our school is working on integrating with WSET, but I think WSET view this as economically unfeasible or somesuch. Thanks for the great responses!
  11. minichef

    Someone is stealing tips......

    yes, that would definitly work if it was my restaurant; this is a place where I am a lowly newbie (although Ive known the people I work with socially for years...) which makes it difficult to do anything about the status quo. The owners are all for cracking down on pilferage of alchohol, etc, but as tips dont concern them, its almost the perfect scam.
  12. I work in a restaurant where the (duty) manager is stealing the tips. I know this because we have pooled tips which go into the till and come out at the end of the night and are divided. There is a tip sheet where the tip from each table is marked down, and I took a €60 tip from one table, and as the manager was doing the tips out (in front of me), I could see on the sheet that s/he had only marked down €30. I had suspected this for a while but now know for sure. I won't say anything, as I make a great wage, and go there to work, and do not want to get involved in the already horribly complex politics of the place, or ostracise myself. Has anyone had a similar experience? How would you handle this tricky situation? Thoughts?
  13. I think comments about the Porthouse's inconsistency are spot on; when we were there we had the squid which was more like hot squid jerky, also the olives (with a glass of fino for me); the whitebait-mmmmm; croquetas; the cheese platter (which we didn't need with everything else); the bravas- I wish they would ask what sauce we wanted as it comes with a couple; a couple of things more i cant remember; and two bottles of the Protos Reserva. We rolled out of there.
  14. minichef

    Student's Corner

    thanks for the encouragement! Well we went to our first trade tasting today, held in Dublin Castle, a Californian tasting, pretty interesting in light of the Gallo brothers stuff in the news. I must say I felt intimidating walking into that huge room, and seeing row upon row of bottles, sitting there waiting for me. It was a very well organised tasting, with plenty of room, plenty of table water crackers and plenty of spitoons. The first thing I realised was that I really had no idea how to approach the whole thing (apart from starting with whites, of course). I decided that I would go around the room tasting chardonnays, as I tend not to order Californian chardonnays when eating out; and felt I could use some practice at eking out all the grape's styles. (Then, after maybe 20 chards, I remembered our teacher's word of warning; many Californian wines tend to be similar.... I'll probably be shot for saying that, but it turned out not to be untrue!). I tried to ask the more friendly stall holders what they reccommended, other than the chards, and got to taste some lovely unusual (?) things like an Artesa Carneros Estate albarino 2005, a great Delicato Clay Station viognier 2005, an Eos late harvest moscato 'tears of dew' 2005, and so on. Then it came to the reds, and to be honest by this time i was feeling a little jaded, not only on the palate, but by the crowd, the other students acting silly (grrr), and by the wine hogs talking to the stall people and taking up their attention so i could only stand there grinning wanly and feeling sheepish until, five or six minutes later, it was finally my turn, and the stall holder asks my opinion and all I can manage is a squeaked... 'nice?' So I tasted a good few more then decided to call it a day. Any way, it was a great experience, and I would love to go to another one, I just think I need a little more direction next time...For example our teacher was only tasting pinot noirs, which i thought was reasonable, but I wanted to pack more in to my tasting experience, and besides, she knows her stuff. I imagine it would be easier if you are in the trade, and have an idea what you're looking for, for a winelist or a whatever, and have certain criteria to meet. So, bottom line, has any one got any advice for a systematic approach to tastings?
  15. minichef

    Wine in a Tetra Pak?

    Coincidentally, I tasted four different varietals from Tetra Paks today, from California, and to be honest they were fine. The guy at the stand also mentioned that they came in 1L packs, but seemed to use this a justification for a €12.99 price tag (aprx). I think they are gimmicky, and if i was served one in a bar I would be hesitant about the quality, but really the ones I tasted are MUCH better than many 1/4 bottles I have had in bars and pubs. I think its a very interesting marketing approach and will be fascinating to see what demographic they appeal to when they come on to Irish shelves. This is very new in Ireland (where people are only just getting used to the sight of screw tops)
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