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Jon Tseng

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  1. PS on reflection maybe Dabbous is this year's Hedone rather than Dinner. And Hedone of course was last year's Viajante. Again, you get the gist... ;-)
  2. I do find it hard to keep up with chef's nowadays - so James Knappett is no longer development chef and has gone to start up bubbledogs with his wife who used to work at Roganic with Ben Spalding who is now starting up a development kitchen... Anyway! Looks very interesting, bit confused though, is this going to be an eat-in type thing like they do at Sat Bains and L'Enclume? Or just an extension of the kitchen? Either way Ben's project sounds interesting Lol. So in short Dabbous is this year's Dinner, whereas Spalding will be next year's Dabbous. It also be argued that Dabbous is this year's Roganic, albeit much harder to book. Meanwhile Bubbledogs will be next year's Pitt Cue which is this year's Spuntino (equally you could say its next year's Burger & Lobster). Although alternately you could say the Bubbledogs will be to Big Frank and the Dogfather what Meatliquor is to Meatwagon, or what this year's Pitt Cue is to last year's Pitt Cue. And the Ledbury Development kitchen will be this year's Aulis which was last year's version of the Sat Bains Kitchen Workshop. Which, let us not forget, was Nottingham's version of El Bulli's laboratory. So long as to keep up with the latest trends dahling, it's all so simple! Everyone does the same thing everyone did last year just with a different name... ;-) ;-) J
  3. Heh. Well Texture is conveniently close to Selfridges, and Sketch is conveniently close to the Apple Store. Frocks or gadgets... Your choice. Also bother are pretty easy to get a booking at. J
  4. Hi, as ppl suggested you basically want the slightly more casual 1* (or slightly below) layer. Aside from Ledbury (and also Medlar, which I'd put into the same bracket) ones which would be a bit more fun/funky: Pollen St Social Dim Sum at Hakkasan Sketch lecture room Texture Personally I'd do the lunch deal at Sketch. The whole place is suitably bonkers to keep the children occupied. J
  5. Hmmm. Anyhow this is a promising sign! http://www.jackoshea.com/ ----------------- BUSINESS AS USUAL My Dear darling customers, We are absolutely humbled and in awe with your continued support over the fois gras incident, but that's history - it's turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We are also delighted to announce that we have found an incredible new shop in Central London from where we can continue to cater for all your meat requirements both wholesale and retail. In keeping with our high standards the site is fully EU certified. Work has also started on a brand new online shop which will enable us to deliver first class meat to the whole of the British Isles and the European mainland. In the meantime you can also send your orders to orders@jackoshea.com or feel free to speak directly to me or Les on the numbers below. My warmest regards, Jack O'Shea. Thiobraid Arainn Abu! ps. to my Brussels crew your support and well wishing have not gone unnoticed and I'll see you soon . Jack: 07795083010 (text is best!) Les: 07718 320 204
  6. Check what cream you're using. UK double cream has a much higher fat content than US heavy cream. J PS Why temper chocolate for ganache? Surely the process of melting it for the ganache will destroy whatever crystal structure the tempering has introduced?
  7. It's a very interested cultural phenomenon. For example I've been investigating some wedding reception pricing over the last few weeks. At a Chinese place they will do you a ten course traditional wedding banquet including lobster, turbot, suckling pig, abalone, sharks fin and other unmentionable goodies for under sixty quid a head (plus service and booze of course!) Try going to any western venue (even a completely mundane place) and ask them for a ten course degustation for a wedding function with the same ingredients, and you will receive very short shrift! I suspect sixty quid would barely get you goats cheese salad and a chicken supreme. Partly a function of supply and demand I guess, but partly a reflection of very different cultural expectations. J
  8. I agree too. Five years ago Tom Aikens was one of the few chefs in London where if you were given a plate of his food you'd know instantly who cooked it. Cassonades, weird Jackson Pollock presentations, deboned chicken wings and all that. Now while it looks like the execution is very good the style has been more subsumed. Maybe this is just part of the maturing process. I went to L'Enclume for the first time over xmas, but to be honest I thought the food they were doing a few years back during Rogan's "crazy times" looked much more interesting. Similarly Paul Kitching looked like he deliberately calmed down a bit when he moved to 21212. Shame though. J PS Welcome, Trencherman!
  9. Yes, the Canary Wharf branch does what it says on the label. It's very nice in the summer though, when you can sit outside by the water. J
  10. Yes. Interesting the style has reinvented itself along the current nome-esque trend for "warm composed salads". My beef here is that the dishes basically become interchangeable. The formula is roughly: 1) Take minute quantities of sous vide posh protein + granite or ice + random crunchy snow/soil/crumb + unusual foraged green + foam or emulsion. 2) Arrange apparently nonchalently (but actually very carefully on plate). 3) Serve. Repeat ten times. Call it an avant garde tasting menu. This isn't particularly about TA per se. But you can get pretty much the same dish at Viajante, or North Road, or Dabbous, or Texture, Roganic, or Tom Aikens nowadays. What variation there is tends to be in the provenance of the ingredients (North Road/Texture: Scandi. Viajante: More southern. Roganic: British). Essentially what these all are are what are called "composed salads" (salades composees) in classical French cuisine. Basically a bunch of complementary tastes and textures mushed togther on a plate. Nothing wrong with that per se, and in the hands of someone like Nuno the results can be delicious. But it does all get a bit samey nowadays. J PS But on the subjects of Tom Aikens I do wonder if rather than spending all that money renovating his restaurant, he might have considered keeping the decor the same and using the money to make good the suppliers he screwed over. It would have been the decent thing...
  11. nickrey - lol Yes I suspect malouf coming here is a bigger deal than people think. I think he has a much higher profile in Oz than over here. Worth keeping an eye on. J
  12. Two other thoughts. Aside from the rarified perfect fish/perfect rice/hand dipped by virgins/added wasabi not required school of sushi I do have a soft spot for the trashier sort. And by this I don't mean Itsu! I mean fat brutish slightly westernised rolls, slathered in piquant mayonnaise, sprinkled with various fish eggs or crispy bits or tempura crumbs or other random bits. A bit of crab or fish poking out from underneath the heap. Basically downmarket Nobu. A great place for this used to be Kobe Jones down Tottn Ct Road back in the day. Nowadays I can thoroughly recommend Sushi Hiroba just down from Holborn. Trashy, run by Koreans and sort of addictive. Alternately the Scallop grilled with masago and creamy spicy sauce at Tsunami really hits the spot. Sort of the antithesis of what Sushi of Shiori would be doing. But fun. The second point - I've heard of some kind of super secret place down Maddox Street where the Japanese business crowd go to (dunno if secret... or just all in Japanese). Presumably it would be good, though never been able to find it... J
  13. Really? Michelin guide is outdated and out of touch? What perceptiveness. I've never seen that story written up before. Definitely not. Definitely definitely not. Nah. I mean Mr Meades must be some remarkably incisive genius to spot that. I feel privileged to stand pygmy like in his shadow. J PS Errr, slow news week then Jonathan?
  14. I think with the modishly fashionable place it does not harm to wait. Always good to give a restaurant time to bed in, I think. Plenty of other fish in the sea. Let them get into their stride and settle in. Although Fay Maschler rarely extends the courtesy. J
  15. I think for many people his choice to go for a pre-pack bankruptcy and screw over many loyal suppliers leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Greater love hath no man than he may lay down his friends for his life, and all that. I for one have no interested in lending such a person my custom. I urge people to do likewise. J
  16. But this is whats been confusing me... I completely agree with you but it seems increasing numbers of internet users beg to differ! So strange...
  17. lol I sort of agree. Yes its a very democratic process. I do wonder though if its a bit too Easyjet to me. Easyjet you play lower prices (normally) and get treated like cattle. It's part of the trade off. But then again you could also say its the lowest common denominator... You treat people like sh*t because they're willing to pay less and be happy. Which often I guess the 25-30 demographic is happy to do. And if you don't like it you don't have to go. Fair for everyone. I guess in some ways you can't argue about that. In other ways though I feel its a bit gratuitous. I thought the comments on the recent Torygraph review of Meatliquor were fair http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/9064568/Meat-Liquor-London-W1-restaurant-review.html - yes there's a queue. And yes people are willing to join it. So what's the problem? Well simply that there doesn't have to be a queue. As anyone who's gone to royal china on a Sunday knows its perfectly easy to take people's names, stick them on a list and give them an idea of how long the wait will be. The chaps are Meatliquor aren't stupid. They will know this, but they choose not to do it. That's why when Pitt Cue say on their website "We are not trying to be cool but sadly there are only 30 seats and we just can't think of a fairer and better system than first come, first served", I think they are being disingenuous. They do not mention that there are better ways to do it apart from a stupid queue, but they have chosen not to. And they do not mention that of course the stupid queue as well as being fair to everyone is the best option for the vendor as it means minimum use of staff time and maximum utilisation. And look you can't blame someone for running a business like a business. Just like you can't blame Easyjet for treating their customers like cattle. But don't you think a place you really love... Should be something more? J PS And the last time I went to Meatliquor I enjoyed the burger but I didn't leave a tip. Yes I'm sure the waitstaff are underpaid, but the bill said "PLEASE TIP IF YOU LIKED THE SERVICE". I don't think being processed is the same thing as being served.
  18. Afternoon all. I thought I'd resurrect this topic. ---------------------- What prompted this is that I've come back more regularly to eG after a while out and noticed postings are way down. A few years back using the Recent Active Content function was unusable as there were just too many new posts every day. Now there tends to be maybe two pages every day of new posts. It seemed clear to me numbers are way down. That's sort of surprised me given that in the past there has always been a steady stream of new users. I'm sure internet usage has continued to rise over the last few years, even though its perhaps reaching some level of saturation. Certainly it hasn't dropped. So the questions which has been puzzling me is "where have all the foodies gone". I wondered if they have simply gone to other food boards but I can't really see anywhere else which has massively ramped in presence in the last few years (Chowhound I guess remains popular but its very hard to follow). Perhaps people have gone to regional fora. The conclusion I'm reaching I think whats happened is peoples behaviour is changing and they are getting their internet foodie fix much more from blogs now and presumably from Twitter. I simply can't see where everyone could have gone otherwise. Hence my thinking about this issue which I raised a couple of years back. I suspect my original conclusions are coming true, although more dramatically than I expected at the time: ---------------------- So I thought I'd throw in some more random thoughts into the discussion. I'd be interested in hearing what people think. *** This may be a natural outcome from the democratisation of online foodie-ism: We used to be all very nichey and specialised. If I think back to what fine dining was like before the interweb came along, I think it would have been much more exclusive (this is my conjecture). Now blogs and twitter make it much more accessible. This changes the target market and the nature of the industry. Perhaps the shift from food fora to blogs and twitter reflects this. Much like video gaming has moved away from the hardcore PS3 generation to casual angry birds gamers on their mobile phones. *** I think there is less utility in new online foodie-ism: This expands on a point I made two years ago. A blog is more passive, its much less interactive than a food forum. Similarly on Twitter theres a very hard limit on how much content you can get in there. Surely the experience is less richer? But then again it seems to be more popular. *** New online foodie-ism is more accessible: Perhaps this is why reason why its more popular. Clearly Twitter has an immediacy that online food forums don't have. Similarly blogs are more functionally limited but more accessible - no need to register and lurk and be scared you'll be flamed and pluck up the courage to post. Less rough and tumble in this work. *** Whither Facebook? Facebook seems to have had limited intrusion into this world at the moment. This seems slightly strange as its pretty ubiquitous and there is ample ability to create Facebook pages and discussion groups. Sure people post pics of meals and stuff but often its more linking to their blog. I'm curious why Facebook hasn't gotten a bigger part of the online discussion. Then again maybe it has? *** Bad news for online food forums: I worry that the communities like this one increasingly feel like web 1.0 dinosaurs, no longer leading the online debate. Becoming a diminishing talking shop. At least on the UK boards I normally freqeuent there are a handful of regular posters. Out of what 6 million people in London? 60 million in the UK? Something feels very wrong about this. There are dozens of Londoners willing to take the time and effort to set up their own food blogs, but only a handful willing to participate in online forums. Strange. *** Fragmentation? I guess my conclusion a couple of years ago was that we have significant fragmentation in the online community. I guess thats sort of true (people aren't using online hubs like eGullet) but also not true (people are more closely networked twittering and retweeting, but the network is less tight and controlled). *** Fora have not adjusted well to the shift: Looking at the original discussions on this thread there was some chat about harnessing the power of blogs, but I don't think much has come of it. And bear in mind I don't think thats a fault specifically of eG - I guess no one from forum land strikes me as having adjusted well. The point of interaction with a blog is still the naked "heres my write up of xyz... see this post on my blog for more details). I don't see a point of interaction with Twitter. Maybe there are practical reasons for this (being locked into proprietary Invision software makes it harder to change quickly?) In summary a bunch of thoughts. Not all of them pleasant reading for us. But the times have been a changing and will continue to change. What do people think??? J
  19. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24036268-sacked-selfridges-butcher-who-sold-foie-gras-under-the-counter.do Went in there yesterday and sure enough the entire butchery area boarded up. Completely bonkers decision by Selfridges. This was the best place to get meat in town by a long shot. Complete pillocks to close it down. Fantastic beef, the only place I know to get reliable supplies of iberico pork, chicken carcasses, canard or sang, bresse chickens. What wasn't to like (apart from the fact they didn't sell foie gras... OK we have Wyndhams Poultry for that). Some vague pretext about "risks of cross-contamination between raw and cooked meat," and issues surrounding temperature control, sell-by dates and "lack of proven traceability". If there really was an issue (which I doubt) well fix it. Cutting off your nose lips and eyebrows to spite your face really doesn't help anyone. J
  20. Amusingly I walked past this place the other day without knowing its provenance. I had a bit of a chuckle about the (enormous) carte which seemed to be doing its outside best to name-check every conceivable gastronomic fad. Retro prawn cocktail and steak tartare... Check. Crispy pork (I bet its belly)... Check. Salt baked root veg (errrr, Arpege or Ledbury anyone?)... Check. Jamon Iberico... Check. Parilla... Check. Hamburger with foie gras... Check. Wagyu beef... Check. USDA prime beef... Check. But then again I guess that's why the Ivy is so popular! J
  21. I kind of agree with PhilD about eureka moments. Really good sushi is something that's hard to describe, but you know when you get it. The closest I've probably come to it would have been the old sushi-hiro in ealing (so long as you remembered to bring cash!). Nowadays sometimes Atari-ya, Dinings or Soho Japan on a good day. Not Sushi of Shiori (at least on my visit - others will disagree) nor Cafe Japan nor Sushi-Say. But with reference to sunbeam I do think that for us initiated, at the top end there are diminishing returns. Particularly for traditional sushi joints where you're not going to get a radically different dish or technique, just the same thing done better with better ingredients. Imagine if all three star restaurants served perfectly roast chicken and a lemon tart. You'd probably get a better chicken and lemon tart at say L'Ambroisie... but would it be that much better? J PS Yashin was pleasant when I went, but didn't blow me away. I didn't think the slightl avant-garde Yashin was anything I couldn't have gotten at Dinings for less. (having said that be careful about criticising them for going at £4 a pop... if you get to the Masa's or Urasawa's of this world across the pond you'd be paying a damn sight more!)
  22. Look, like all the "in things" (claggy fontina truffle toast and iberica and "wheres the" foie gras burgers I'm looking at you...), its tasty but not as good as everyone raves about. I had the pulled pork, pork ribs and beef ribs and its nice but the ribs were a bit tough and nowhere near as good was the ones I had at Barbecoa. To put it into perspective it's worth comparing it to Bodeans, which started off in a very similar venue just round the corner. It's probably better than Bodeans is now but not as good as it was then. And to be honest pretty much repeating what someone did ten years ago but with more queues doesn't particularly float my boat. J
  23. Yes I had it with the dish of lettuce too. Noticed there was a yummy slightly sweet dressing. Did make a lot of difference (nicest bowl of rabbit food I've had for a while). Hullo Scott!
  24. Oh funny. I finally got round to trying for lunch today. Ham croquetas - best in class. Paper thin crispy balls and oozy inside. I've always been slightly underwhelmed by the croquetas as Jose (not as good as the ones served at El Faro back in the day), but these were excellent. Quail with romanesco sauce - meaty and salty but a bit pale and under done on the outside. Lamb tongue on toast - a bolshy meaty pile of lambs tongues on toast with onion gravy. Lamb rump (I think) on lentils. A really excellent dish. Showed really great balance and control of flavour with a delicious of sweetness on the outside of the lamb (also the accompanying salad). Overall I was favourably impressed, particularly with the last lamb dish. There is some smart stuff going on in the kithen. Not as good as El Faros (those rose tinted spectacles eh) but better than Jose. J
  25. A warm welcome, Mr MiT! Pres d'Eugenie gosh that's a name I haven't heard for a long time. One of the provincial ***s like Georges Blanc which just seems to always be there... J
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