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Everything posted by leecotton

  1. Mmmm, sushi. Sushi places always seem to be divided between the high-class, smart surroundings restaurants, and the cheaper, low-rent places. Personally, I prefer the latter where sushi is concerned. Centrepoint Sushi is very good, fairly cheap, and also does a good selection of other dishes. Sushi-Hiro in Ealing is sadly no more, but has been taken over by Atari-ya, who are doing quite a good job. Just along the road from them is Kirasu, who are also good. My personal current favourite is Makoto in Chiswick. Definately at the low end of the market, only about 10 covers, but good sushi. At the higher end, I've tried Chisou, which is a nice restaurant, and produces very dainty elegant sushi, but is pricey for what you get. Oh, and avoid the chain "Wasabi" like the plague. Worst tasting sushi ever. What do others recommend?
  2. Bill's Cafe is quite nice. http://www.bills-website.co.uk/
  3. I ate here on Saturday and found it to be very nice indeed. We ate in the Pub part as opposed to the smarter "room", but it's still quite nicely furnished with tablecloths, etc. Starters were a lovely bowl of mussels in a pernod and cream sauce (delicious), and a rabbit meat scotch egg (also very tasty, but a bit small as it was only using a quails egg). Mains were a lamb belly with champ, which went down very well on a cold winters day, and a Muntjac and Hazelnut burger. The burger was disappointing as muntjac is a very lean meat, and no extra fat was added to the burger mix, making it dry and crumbly. Still, the accompanying chips and mayo went down a treat. For dessert we had the warm chocolate tart (perfectly done) with Guinness and blackcurrent ice-cream, which seemed like a bad idea at first, but in the end went extremely well with the chocolate. Service was friendly, and prices not bad. I will certainly go back to try the fine dining side of it sometime. It's a bit out of the way, but worth a detour in my opinion.
  4. Here in the UK, eggs are sold unrefridgerated, but as mentioned elsewhere, most fridges are sold with an egg tray. Personally speaking, I keep chickens for their eggs, and also occasionally buy eggs when the hens are producing less. Neither batches of eggs go in the freezer, and are perfectly good for 2-3 weeks after purchase/laying. I don't believe it's necessary to keep them in the fridge at all In fact, eggs keep so well at room temperature that a fertilized egg can be kept for 2 weeks before starting incubation, and still produce a live chick. Of course, on top of this there's the whole question as to why American eggs are white, whereas British eggs are brown, but that's another story!
  5. Thanks for posting these, keep them coming! I was lucky enough to go to El Bulli last year, and it's interesting to see that many of your dishes are an evolution of some that I had, e.g. I had a coconut & curry frozen sphere rather than gorgonzola. It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts on these dishes as well!
  6. I think the place in Shropshire that you're thinking of may be Wenlock Edge Farm. Very nice Chorizo amongst other things. http://www.wenlockedgefarm.org/
  7. Carnevale was nice when I went, but that was a few years ago, so I can't give a recent comment. Have you considered Saf? Not only is it vegetarian, it's (shudder) vegan, although the food looks quite pretty avant garde for the mung bean crowd. http://www.safrestaurant.co.uk/
  8. The Goose in Britwell Salome is only 9 miles away, and was very nice the last time I went there. It's also just regained it's Michelin star after changing chefs, so they must be still doing something right!
  9. Reads restaurant in Faversham (www.reads.com) is only a short drive from the Sportsman, and The Whitstable Oyster fishery Company (www.oysterfishery.co.uk) is even nearer! Reads is a fine dining 1 star place, very civilised the last time I went. The Oyster fishery company is good too, a wealth of seafood as you'd expect, although not cheap for it's spit and sawdust style surroundings. Lee
  10. No-one mentioned Ludlow yet? I know it's not quite the food mecca it used to be, but it does still have 2 1* restaurants, and plenty of other great ones in the area. There's also so much good local produce around, plus the annual food+drink festival. Not a great deal in authentic asian food though, plus it's nowhere near the sea, but you can't have it all!
  11. Sounds like L'autre Pied will fit the bill. Just got it's first star, and does a 3 course lunch for £21. http://www.lautrepied.co.uk
  12. I went to Dansfield house a few months back. Nice big old country manor, although the building sure was draughty in the November chill. This wasn't helped by the fact that pretty much all courses came with a sorbet or ice cream. Some of which were fun (Lager & Lime sorbet as an amuse bouche), others were pointless (Scallops with a Cauliflower ice cream?). The non-frozen food was good, but I wouldn't say Michelin starred. They also have that annoying practice of showing you a huge selection of chocolates for petit fours, and then ask you to select some, not giving any indication as to how many one should take without appearing like a glutton. Does anyone know what the magic number is?!? Lee
  13. Congratulations on your success. Can you share your email strategy with us? What did you write? Thanks ← We got our confirmation email on Dec 15th for a table in September. It looks like the confirmation are sent out in chronological order of bookings. As they're open until December of next year, they may well still be sending them! As for strategy, we just asked for a table for any day at all possible during the open season, it seemed to be the best option! Lee
  14. Did you only just receive this confirmation, or did you get it a while ago? I received my rejection email log ago, but my partner has yet to receive any response, so I'm hoping they just haven't got round to sending the confirmation to her! Lee
  15. leecotton

    Confit Eating

    Does anyone out there who uses duck/goose far for making confit know how many times you can reuse fat? I often make duck leg confit, and have used the same fat each time, straining it through muslin each time. It's quite "ducky" smelling now, and I'm wondering if it's still OK to continue using it! Any thoughts? Lee
  16. My other half swears by HR Higgins on Duke Street (off Oxford St). They mainly sell coffee (and tea), but also have a coffe shop downstairs. Certainly not trendy, but probably one of the finest selections of coffee you'll find. Lee
  17. It was about 90% full when I went, which isn't bad for a Wednesday. Certainly wasn't deathly quiet, in fact quite jolly. The staff were friendly and chatty, keen to get feedback on the dishes. Lee
  18. Having just come back from the "Underground" dinner at L'Enclume, I can say that it's definately worth it. 22 courses, took 4 1/2 hours, Superb food and excellent service. The expense for it is about the same as the Fat Duck, which probably makes it my 1st or 2nd most expensive meal, but I would say that the expericence compares admirably. Lee
  19. Out of interest, where did you get the Alinea book from? Amazon (both US and UK) have it listed for an October release date? Lee
  20. I guess you could use it as a base cooking ingredient, or for potentially making up your own percentage of milk chocolate, but I agree it's basically inedible. It was fun watching him cooking all these dishes, and insisting that some chocolate had to go into them. The people on his plantation looked exasperated at times as he got his grater out and started chucking chocolate into absolutely everything. Also, what is it with these double-barrelled name types and theire entreprenurial exploits? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal, John Burton-Race? If I change my name to a double-barrelled surname, will I suddenly gain the braggadacio to start some high-risk food venture, and drag a TV company along for the show? Lee
  21. Another thumbs up from me. Went on Saturday and had the Fish tasting menu. All dishes were superbly tasty and well presented. Service was impeccable as well. Only small criticism is the tables (for two) are too small for all the glassware and frippery. Yes, you can say that it's pretentious, but hey, some of us like that all that pretention. I certainly hope to see them in the Michelin star ratings this year. Lee
  22. Went there a week ago. Found it slightly disappointing. The menu is offal heavy, as you would expect from a St. John acolyte. The main problem was that dishes come exacltly as they are described, e.g. Foie Gras with Turnips is exactly that, and nothing else. There's also no side dishes to be had, so the food seems really spartan. The Foie & turnip was sadly nothing special, and not a good pairing. The Onglet for the main was kind of tough, but I think that's Onglet for you. My parter faired better with lambs brains with tartare sauce, which were melt in the mouth, and Ox tongue, which tastes like spam, but in a good way! Service was friendly, decor is OK, but like the dishes, a bit spartan. Don't think I'd go back. Lee
  23. Hibiscus gets a 6 out of 6 in Timeout this week: http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/reviews/10730.html I don't think I've ever seen them give 6 stars before?!? Lee
  24. Ate here last night and it gets a thumbs up from me. Had the Foie Gras ice cream to start with the Brioche emulsion. Tasted wonderful but was all a bit samey texture-wise. No Uni with the suckling pig this time, but mussels instead. The sausage roll is to die for. The cinnamon millefuille desert was lacking in excitement, but the apple tart with lentil & ginger ice cream worked a real treat. Service was impeccable, and very friendly. Staff were keen to get feedback on the whole experience. Lee
  25. Well, the roasted bone marrow with parsley salad is kind of a signature dish, and well worth trying. For me, the best thing I had there was Ox heart & chips, so if that's on the menu, go for it! Lee
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