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Everything posted by Siharris28

  1. Don't know I'm afraid. It's a different part of the byzantine structure of the Obs/Guardian/Unlimited structure. I don't do reviews but it strikes me that the poor buggers that do are on a hiding to nothing. Everybody outside of London hates them for being metropolitan elitists, a self-selecting group of pro/am restaurant appreciators online feel that critics opinions are not as relevant as their own (they're right, of course). If I was looking for a rec for a restaurant I'd ask someone who's opinion I personally rate and who knows what I like... that's about half a dozen people on and offline (a couple of whom, to be fair, happen to be restaurant critics) but if I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who happily pay for a paper and go to restaurants occasionally, I'd be happier to read an entertaining review by a good writer than one which would be accurate enough to pass the online Star Chamber. A restaurant review is so much more than a forensic description of the food and a rating of value for money - Christ, if that's what you want, read Time Out - and the personality of the reviewer is surely part of the picture. Amongst non-reviewing foodwriters I love Steingarten, MFK, Elizabeth David... would I be interested in reading them if they expunged their personalities from their work? Giles Coren, for example (who, BTW, I think is good) might not be Jim Harrison but he's not writing for 'Which' either. AA Gill is one of the most consistently funny writers operating regularly in the UK today. He's erudite and doesn't dumb down. Coren might not be there yet but he's good and he's improving all the time. Jay is witty and as fair as he is brutal. Marina is hysterical. Frankly I'm glad they're writing about food and raising the game. Christ they could be writing about cars or fashion and then where would we be? We be left with Michael Winner and Fay Maschler. A review written by someone we'd all acknowledge as a knowing more than us about every aspect of food wine and service, which covered each dish fairly, which measured each restaurant against a rigorously fair scoring system and contained no aspect of the writer's personality would be wrist slashingly dull.... ...and we'd still bitch about it. Sure, things would be fairer if they were all anonymous anal-retentive inspector/hacks but that's what Michelin is for - besides which, reviewing restaurants in a country as small as this doesn't pay anyone enough to feed their family. You can have reviewers who appear on telly or you can have reviewers who don't need to get paid... if you want that sort of reviewer read Tatler. I sometimes despair of the online food community. If we don't want entertaining people writing about food what the fuck do we want? ← Agree with most of that. Pure objectivity is fecking boring.
  2. Anchor & Hope if you dare cross the river and don't mind hanging around in a decent boozer, otherwise Great Queen Street for similar food but bookable.
  3. Thanks for the responses. Can probably live with the rooms being unspectacular. Agree that Lords of the Manor is a ridiculous name for a hotel, although it does look nice!
  4. Looking to book a weekend in the Cotswolds. Bibury Court Hotel looks nice, but the restaurant is not listed in Good Food Guide or Hardens, although it has won some local award. Anyone eaten there? Keen to stay somewhere with decent food. Or alternative options in the Cotswolds? Lords of the Manor looks too expensive...
  5. Siharris28


    We spent a week in Corsica recently - a truly beautiful island. Food-wise, we thought A Pasturella in the Balagne village of Monticello was very good. Hearty portions of straightforward but delicious food very nicely cooked. Best find was U Fanale in Calvi - bit off the beaten track, but well worth it as the food was beautifully prepared, great flavours and some ambition shown (too much in one case when the jus was served in a test tube - but it wasn't proto-molecular at all apart from that). Good prices as well - ate extremely well there for 110 euros for 2. Visited a couple of vineyards, some really good wine being made there, best was CLos Culombu. Looking forward to going back.
  6. Liking the list, GQS and Galvin two of my favourites of the year and enjoyed Le Cafe Anglais as well.
  7. Think Latium and Locatelli are both excellent. The latter is more expensive but a bit more refined.
  8. Can't recommend The Ledbury highly enough - Michelin place but very unpretentious. It's on Ledbury Road.
  9. Went today, superb. Great value, delicious food, thought the portions were generous as well given the price. Decent wine with it as well. Only slight complaint was the £30 for a kir royale and house champagne, which I thought was a bit steep. Will definitely be back to do that again.
  10. Difficult to say. From chatting yesterday, I know a number of front of house are going to another venture in Sloane Square. I agree, Racine is great. I just hope that the 'new' Racine will be as good. Cheers, H ← There is every reason to think the new Racine will indeed be just as good as the old, and better than it's most recent incarnation. Why? Because the new boss is, er, the old one. Henry Harris has departed his full time role with Soho House (though will doubtless continue to be involved) and now has his old restaurant back. Expect a relaunch later in the summer/ early Autumn. but for anyone who loves London restaurants this has to be good news. ← Ah, good, that sounds promising. Was he only on a short-term contract with Soho House then? Look forward to trying the new place.
  11. WHat's all that about? Used to really like Racine - presume this is for the worst?
  12. Absolutly no chance, i would be very interested to know where you have found they are a very good company to work for? i have only heard not very good things They are attracting and employing some good chefs, but they pay silly salaries, probably more than you would imagine!!! how much do you think a head chef should get paid for a 100 cover restaurant and small deli type thing? ← So they are bad to work for but they pay very good salaries?
  13. Was in T5 and had a look today. Wasn't hungry, menu looked OK, but there were feck all people in there, albeit at 6pm.
  14. I think it was on the ALC if I remember rightly. I was a tad disappointed it wasn't on the tasting menu...
  15. Tasting menu at The Ledbury last night, and bloody good it was too. Thought the decor of the place was a bit bland, but not a major problem, there was a nice buzz about the place. Very friendly welcome. Filo pastry with foie gras was a tasty pre-meal snack, nice pepperiness offsetting the rich foie. We were then given a palate-cleansing glass of champagne on the house. Which was nice. Amuse bouche was a chilled courgette and basil soup. Very refreshing, the courgette flavour came through strongly, which impressed me given that courgette is not the strongest tasting vegetable. Next up was a salad of various roots and flowers, with a pheasant egg and white truffle. Light and crisp, the flavours and textures melded perfectly. A Gaillac to accompany was really unusual, almost a grassy flavour, reminiscent of some olive oils. Went very well with the salad. The following course was possibly the best for me. Seared mackerel with pureed avocado and shiso, very tasty, but the best bit was mackerel tartare encased in cucumber jelly - the textures worked really well together and the mackerel flavour sang through. A nice mineral Greek white to accompany. Foie gras terrine with mango salsa and poilane was accompanied by a sweetish Riesling which had a long finish which offset the sweetness somewhat. Cut through the richness of the foie very well. A fairly straightforward dish but delicious and one of my favourites of the night. Cod next, served simply seared and accompanied by various spring vegetables, meaty morels and a nice reduction. Very tasty but lacked the wow factor of some of the other dishes. Interestingly paired with an Italian pinot noir, very complex and worked well with the fish. We moved onto slices of lamb, accompanied with a delicious aubergine dauphinois-type construction and some other veg - best vegetable of the night. Again, a fairly simple dish but the saucing was spot on, we savoured the flavours. A bold South African syrah was again a good match. Getting quite full now, we progressed onto blue cheese pannacotta with pear ice. Really intense pear flavour. Think the pannacotta had vanilla in it as well. Great combination, although the panacotta was very rich for a pre-dessert and neither of us finished it. Last but by no means least, a full size passion fruit souffle. Absolutely superb, again right up there with the best of the night, so light but bursting with flavour. A glass of Moscato de Pantelleria was delicious, we remembered it well from our trip to Sicily last year. Finished off with tea and petits fours, which were great, three hours had passed and we absolutely loved it. Great, unpretentious food, really interesting wine selections, nice ambience and friendly staff. Will have to be done again.
  16. For the record, the ones at Bentleys the other day were the best I have tried (in a pretty limited range of experience, admittedly). They were relatively firm and certainly not overly salty, little "metalicity" to speak of although not a great deal of sweetness either. Generally very pleasing and quite hard to describe!
  17. Ha ha! My lexicon is admittedly weak, but I think describing the taste of an oyster is not easy; "crisp" or "clean" is about the best I can come up with. I challenge you to come up with an appropriate oyster-specific adjective chefmatt! This article is pretty good: http://www.chow.com/stories/10713
  18. Went to Bentley's for the second time last night. Love the atmosphere in this place. Sat up at the bar, which is great 'cos you can watch the chief shucker in full flow. Jersey oysters were zingingly fresh. Followed up with thai-style monkfish, very tasty with huge prawns in the mix. Finished up with delicious vanilla ice cream (always a good test of a place I think), and dessert wine on the house. OK, the food is straightforward, but that is fine as it is so well done. You always get some real characters in there as well - great for people watching.
  19. Had a few prix-fixe pre-theatres at L'Escargot, used to be very good, but service on the last visit was appalling and has put me off returning.
  20. Good question, would be interested to get others' views. I am a member and have found it to be very good. However, I don't go in for the really high end stuff, so can't really comment on that.
  21. My wife's birthday and a long awaited trip to Wild Honey to celebrate. Being strong advocates of Arbutus, we were expecting good things from its sister restaurant. We were not disappointed. The food is very Arbutus-esque - indeed, some dishes make the leap between the restaurants pretty much intact - the pigs head makes an appearance, as does the Bouillabaisse. I liked the room, nicely done out in dark wood, a little warmer and, dare I say, classier than Arbutus. The tables are the same though and they certainly pack in the punters; difficult to ignore conversations at neighbouring tables at times, and hence not the most romantic destination in town. However, the main reason we went was for the food, and they certainly delivered on that front. I wanted something light to start, so went for ewe's milk ricotta with sprouting broccoli, hazlenuts and broccoli sauce. Lovely tangy cheese offsetting the broccoli nicely. My other half had a salad option, simple but fresh. I then opted for saddle of rabbit, accompanied by lacquered shoulder. Delicious, crisp-skinned shoulder and flavoursome saddle, enhanced with liver. Gnocchi, tomato and olive accompaniment a tad spartan but very tasty nonetheless. The wife went for confit of salmon, deliciously light in her words, poached in olive oil it melted in the mouth. Wild Honey ice cream to finish was excellent, plus some great cheeses from La Fromagerie. Our wine selection was also excellent, a flavoursome dry Pinot Gris from Alsace. All in all, excellent from a culinary perspective, and good value on that front as well. Service friendly and inobtrusive. To my mind the dining room is a little cramped, and that is the only thing which puts me off the place, but I am sure we will return again for the food experience.
  22. Yes, indeed, the writers on this board, who spend all their time bitching at each other (like I am now in fact) about who has superior knowledge, have a greater right to comment on food-related matters than an admittedly interesting washed up posh pop star who makes cheese, but seems genuinely enthused by it, and in my view transmits that enthusiasm well on the page. Bet he doesn't know what Elvers are though. Bastard.
  23. Mr Durack comments... http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fo...who-815857.html
  24. We ate at the Cavendish restaurant, part of Dukes Hotel, in Bath, a couple of weeks ago. Thought the food was bloody good actually, not very adventurous, but really well cooked. Service was a tad hit & miss, the waiter knew nothing about the wine for example, but the food was very enjoyable.
  25. Sounds fairly promising, will probably give it a shot, cheers.
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