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Everything posted by PhilD

  1. Rockpool isn't/wasn't closed. It is still operating at its original site and whilst the menu format has changed over the years it has remained a high quality restaurant - ALC, degustation etc. Neil Perry opened an Oyster Bar at the front for a period, but that is now the chefs table, they focussed on fish for a period but it is now a mixed menu again. He has opened a separate restaurant"Rockpool Bar & Grill" in another location in Sydney a year or so ago which is basically a steakhouse (with 80 day dry aged beef!).
  2. Interestingly the numbers for the HH are now available in the Guardian: ....it doesn't seem to be a massive money spinner.
  3. Although remember Holbeck is a Hotel, and not a cheap one, so lots of the costs are covered by that side of the operation. Holbeck is also in the the Lakes versus a pub in the home counties so obviously very different input costs (property, wages, ingredients etc). I would guess pubs don't make so much on the wine list i.e. most are low to mid priced lists when compared to mid to high in restaurants. So not really an apples to apples comparison.
  4. Pam do you really think so? I thought the Hinds Head prices were fairly average. OK a bit up on the "Brake Bros" mob but not out of line with the upper echelon of pubs. Remember it is HB's take on classic pub food and he is not trying to be a "restaurant" (after all he can show off at his other place). We used to pull off the M4 for lunch on the way into London as we found it far better value (price/quality) than anything on the motorway or waiting to get into town.
  5. If this is any help Giles Coren liked the Seahorse but hated the New Angel.
  6. If the voting system is the same this year then that is a good bet. It is likely that most critics etc headed there this year and it is less likely they would have returned to El Bulli/Fat Duck for yet another meal (or ADPA for that matter).
  7. We stayed in Roses as we were on a tight budget and skewed our spending towards food not beds. Lesliec's description of the town is close although it is a resort for Spanish tourists rather than lots of Northern Europeans so no hordes of drunks so not as bad as some of the Costa towns. The night before El Bulli we ate at "Rafa" in Roses which was very good and a complete contrast. Simple grilled seafood, there isn't a menu you simply go to the kitchen area and choose what you want, and that is what you get, no vegtables or fancy addition. You just a get plates of amazingly fresh, fantastically cooked seafood. The next day at El Bulli we had a dish with the same baby squid that we enjoyed at Rafa. Interestingly we felt the Rafa ones were better cooked and tasted a little better. I wouldn't make a special trip there, but if in the vicinity it is a must do, we had a very enjoyabe and memorable meal there.
  8. Although a previous winner Mat Follas did just that.
  9. Felix for one: http://felixhirsch.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/alain-ducasse-at-the-dorchester-iii-london/ Foodsnob a little: http://foodsnobblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/alain-ducasse-at-the-dorchester-london/
  10. Howard good points. Their web site does allow you to search by price, but it isn't that granular as >35€ is a pretty big category in London. It wouldn't be that difficult for them to refine this by adding more catagories, splitting lunch, dinner and ALC and allowing a sort by price. Value for money could be quite tricky though because it is subjective. How about £ per star, although that makes for odd reading: The Ledbury £23.50 per star D@D £25 per star RHR £30 per star The Harwood £35 per star Hibiscus £42.50 per star Sketch £100 per star Benares £122 per star Looks like after Brett, D@D is the bargain...! Methinks this only works if Michelin include the total price of an average meal because I suspect to won't get out of D@D for only £75 per head...! But it is quite an interesting perspective. Anyone fancy a curry in Berkley Square?
  11. There are lots of good ones: Frenchie, Yam'tcha, Le Chateaubriand, KGB, ZKG, Restaurant Claude Colliot, Thoumieux...... The problem is most book out in advance, a party for 8 this weekend is going to be tricky.
  12. It was also on the menu at El Bulli last year - with a couple of drops of vinegar and some very finely diced shallots on the leaf. It is a good fun dish and interesting to see how the dish is spreading.
  13. I agree with Andy's comment. I have been quite a few times (not post star) and whilst the service was fine it was pub service rather than restaurant standard, sometimes it was great other times a bit hit and miss, but never poor The worst was losing my reservation for ten people; but their recovery was great with Brett giving up his table for us, and we ended up having a fantastic time. Is it Clare/Charlotte (?) who is usually FOH, hopefully she hasn't left as she was always good, especially when looking after my 85 year old dad - so Harters if she stil there you should be fine
  14. Do many places in the current MPW restaurant empire appear in the guide? I haven't been tempted to head for any of them, and don't recall a lot of rave reviews. This couldn't have anything to do with his view could it? Legend may be an apt description i.e. a romanticized or popularized myth of modern times.
  15. I was pleased to see the net increase in the number of places with stars, and the net increase in two stars. I think that is always a good sign. It was nice to see some of the newer places in Paris earn theirs, and it was nice to see Sa.Qua.Na hit two. Overall a boost for modern style food. Darroze dropping a star isn't a surprise after our experience which was quite poor, some of the other drops of restaurants on the tourist trail are interesting.
  16. PhilD

    La Bigarrade

    ...and now the rumoured second star is confirmed in this years Michelin.
  17. One must do in Kent is The Sportsman in Seasalter. Local produce and exceptional cooking in a simple pub with a great host/chef. It is becoming the place of pilgrimage in Kent; if it had been open in Chaucer's day he may have forsook Thomas Becket's Tomb and continued on to the coast to enjoy Stephen Harris' degustation menu
  18. Sad news of Rose Grays death yesterday. I hope the River Cafe will continue, it is a fine testament to her legacy. In tribute I will be whipping up a "Pear, honey and polenta cake" from her "Green" book for tonight's dessert.
  19. Annie, one further point. I suggest you use the stars as guides but read up on the restaurants. The Yorke Arms post is a good example, it is a 1* pub, and there are a few in the UK. And as MalO says: He enjoyed it but we found it stuffy and a bit snotty; hushed tones in the dining room, forced to order in the lounge and taken to out table for entrees; condescending maitre'd etc. The food was OK but it wasn't a restaurant for us. On the other hand The Harwood Arms in London or The Sportsman in Seasalter also boast stars. But these are casual places with all the focus on the plate, and absolutely no pretensions. So whilst Michelin is good for food quality you do need to take care with style in the UK. The restaurant scene isn't that broad or mature and many places still have quite conservative service models and/or patrons who aren't that comfortable eating out i.e. the hushed reverence found in many UK dining rooms more akin to a church than a fun night out. It is better in London than the provinces and it is improving. Best advice is to use the stars but also read lots of reviews.
  20. Paul, I speak as a person with an allergy to some nuts (hospital, adrenalin the full works) and I would suggest you give up on the quest. If the person with the allergy has avoided restaurants for ten years then they are a touch paranoid and you are not going to find anything for them. I find restaurants very accommodating when I tell them about my allergy and they always work hard to avoid them. If you persist in the quest the best advice is to head for a top quality place where the chef is on hand to prep the food rather than anything mass market. The better (more expensive) the place the more care they take and the more certain you can be of a nut free meal. The kitchen won't be nut free, but he kitchen processes will be precise enough to ensure the dishes are. Cheaper options have a lot of bought in food, mass prepped food and/or poor chains of communication from FOH to kitchen which results in error and uncertainty.
  21. John, IIRC you enjoy Fraiche? If so I believe the FD will reward the investment. The food is good, but I think the theatre of the meal is better. Our visit for a significant birthday was memorable and it stands apart as a very special meal. I may have had better individual dishes elsewhere, but overall it was a great meal.
  22. From Catersearch London region Tom Kerridge, The Hand & Flowers, Marlow Anthony Demetre, Arbutus, London Tristan Welch, Lauceston Place, London Judge: Jason Atherton, Maze, London Central region Daniel Clifford, Midsummer House, Cambridge Will Holland, La Becasse, Shropshire Richard Bramble, Morston Hall, Norfolk Judge: Glynn Purnell, Purnell's, Birmingham NE region Kenny Atkinson, Rockliffe Hall, Darlington Lee Bennett, Le Pont de la Tour, London Tim Bilton, Butchers Arms Hepworth, Yorkshire Judge: Nigel Haworth, Northcote, Lancashire Scotland Alan Murchison, Paris House, Woburn Tony Singh, Oloroso, Edinburgh Michael Smith, The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye Judge: Jeremy Lee Wales James Sommerin, The Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire Aled Williams, Plas Bodegroes, Gwynedd Richard Davies, Bybrook Restaurant, Manor House Hotel, Wiltshire Judge: Stephen Terry, The Hardwick, Abergavenny NW Region Aiden Byrne, The Church Green, Lymm Lisa Allen, Northcote, Lancashire Johnnie Mountain, Mosaica Restaurant at the Factory, London Judge: Marcus Wareing, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London SW region Nathan Outlaw, Nathan Outlaw Seafood and Grill at St Enodoc Hotel in Rock Chef 2: TBC Chef 3: TBC Northern Ireland Sorry, once again, no info on this as yet!
  23. I don't understand, it sounded like you enjoyed both...?
  24. Alex he went to "Thoumieux" in rue St Dominique 7eme. The old place was taken over by the Costes Bros and he is heading up the kitchen. Brasserie at the moment but apparently a chefs table is going to open upstairs. Reviews are mixed at the moment: I suspect somewhat influenced by views on the Costes Bros.
  25. David, and also there is Ian Bates at the Old Spot in Wells. Good simple food and a bargain specials on the wine list.
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