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    Bristol, UK
  1. To be honest they were actually quite good, they had a consistency like jam (jelly for the US), they were fruity, vibrant and bright and if i hadn't known there were ants inside I would never have guessed. As far as I recall, they were just at room temperature, not chilled and i'm pretty sure they dead (at least I hope they were) and blended but unsure if the filling was pure ant or was mixed with another ingredient. I was a little squeamish about the concept of eating insects but put it out my mind and it tasted good!
  2. Hi FrogPrincesse, I'm not a huge beetroot fan so this wasn't one of my favourites. The dish was quite sweet courtesy of the beetroot which was very fresh. We found that vegetables seem to be cooked a little firmer in Denmark (Noma & other restaurants) than we are used to, so the soft beets and firm potatoes gave a nice contrast of textures. The dish was finished off with some quite bitter flowers so the dish was very nicely balanced when you had all three components together in one mouthful, but the components didn't work in isolation.
  3. The Noma lunch menu from August 8th 2013 Frozen gooseberry and elderflower "Nordic Coconut" - Kohlrabi filled with liquid kolhrabi drunk through through the straw Fried Reindeer moss, cep powder with creme fraiche Danish flatbread with grilled roses Peas, pine and chamomile blackcurrant, berry and roses caramelised milk crisp and cod liver Cheese crisp and chive Pickled, smoked quail egg æbleskive (traditional danish christmas doughnut) filled with greens & fermented crickets Grilled leek and cod roe The bread, Noma's butter and pork fat with apple schnapps Berries and grilled vegetables Shrimps and rhubarb roots in leaves onion and fermented pear Beets and plums cauliflower and pine with cream and fresh horseradish potato and bleak fish roe roasted turbot, celeriac, bitter greens and nasturtium ants in leaves (used because of their lemony taste as lemons aren't native to Denmark) Blueberry toasts potato, plum compote and whipped centre of plum (which tastes like almond) sourdough, roasted yeast and seaweed danish pastry Pork scratching, chocolate, berries A treat for later - A beer specially brewed for Noma by Copenhagen craft beer brewer Mikeller
  4. It was a reputable place so i'm sure i got the real thing, though this rating scale for beef is new on me - will have to look that up. It was soft, very soft though i don't recall a huge amount of marbling and it was practically raw. I think i've had beef at least as good if not better and i probably wouldn't pay that kind of premium again for it. But, you have to try these things! I'm intrigued on the classical music also, I hope someone has done the appropriate research and there's not just a lot of cows trying to put their hooves in their ears at yet more Beethoven.
  5. It would be more useful if the inspections were in the last 18 months, also would be nice if displaying the score in the doorway was mandatory! I spent a little time reading all the places in my city with zero stars so i can stay away!
  6. I was recently in Amsterdam and a tasting menu offered an upgrade to include wagyu beef, as I've never tasted it before i'd thought i'd take the opportunity. This is the cow that is apparently predisposed to being fatty and marbley, listens to classical music, is massaged and drinks beer. Although, it was a great piece of meat, it just wasn't anything super special as you'd expect from the hype (and the price tag). Has anyone else been disappointed?
  7. Polpo is worth checking out, they do italian style small sharing plates - they've adopted the "we're too cool for reservations" policy so expect a wait at weekends. There's a few dotted around London and you can buy their cookbook too if you like the place.
  8. iainpb

    Smoking with tea

    I wasn't planning to cure it, I was intending to cold smoke it then leave it a day to rest before hot cooking, probably oven cooking. Curing is something i plan to get into at some point. I think mixing it with wood is probably the best way for the first attempt to ensure it doesn't just turn into a fire and to reduce the amount of tea I need. I guess the only thing to do is to give it a go and see what happens! That video gives some nice tips and i quite fancy mixing in some star anise and orange peel with the smoking mix. Thanks for the replies!
  9. This film is also available on Netflix in the UK, you can start a free trial for a month and watch it for nothing!
  10. I've just bought a cold smoker (a ProQ cold smoker http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005OHSKAQ/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) I once tried tea smoked duck and fancied trying to reproduce it. Has anyone tried filling one of these with tea? Do you think filling one of these with tea would work, or i would just end up with a small tea fire?
  11. I'm off to Copenhagen in August and looking for suggestions of places to eat. My list currently runs as Noma (obviously) Geist Salt Does anyone have any opinions on these places? Are they worth visiting? Is Noma really worth its enormous price tag? Any suggestions appreciated!
  12. I use Heston Blumenthal's technique - give it a try, it's worked well for me http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/heston-blumenthal/poached-eggs-recipe
  13. iainpb

    Did I buy saffron?

    It does not look like the safflower in that picture, it looks absolutely identical to real saffron, there are a few small yellow strands in there too. In terms of aroma, if you sniff the bag as a whole it does have a vague presence of saffron, but no where near as strong as my tube of known saffron - smaller amounts smell of virtually nothing. i have cut through a few strands and it's the same colour throughout, so it doesn't seem to be just dyed on the outside. Also, the stamens feel thicker and drier than my known good saffron. I'm concerned about using it as i'm not even sure it's safe for consumption.
  14. I recently visited Marrakech where I took part in a Moroccan cooking course, on the way back from the communal bread oven I was led into a spice shop by someone from the restaurant. I wanted to buy spice to take home anyway and thought this would be a good place as the cookery school has a good reputation as a restaurant and i had already read stories of fake saffron so i tough this would be a good place. I watched the shopkeeper run through his little play of spraying a strand with water and watching it turn yellow and played the normal haggling game. when i got my saffron home I tested it compared to my saffron from a reputable store here in the UK. It turns red in water rather than yellow and will disintegrate if rubbed which doesn't happen with my other stuff. It does have a vaguely saffron taste but no strong aroma. What have I bought? Is it poor quality saffrron? Safflower? or have I just bought some expensive dyed dry grass?
  15. After visiting I can happily recommend Francouzska Restaurace and La Degustation as a welcome relief from the traditional Czech pub fare (which is worth trying, particularly Kolkovna). Francouzka is a nice French restaurant in an opulent dining room with live pianist and mainly french dishes but international also, a decent and not overpriced wine list and friendly (English speaking) staff. La Degustation is certainly worth a visit, tasteful relaxing dining room, great staff and excellent food. Their Bohemian tasting menu is modern takes on classic Czech cuisine including carp and a clean delicate version of the meat, cream sauce and dumpling using beef tongue and semolina dumplings. The wine flight consisting of mainly Czech wine has was excellent and has opened my eyes to Czech wines. If you have one fine dining meal in Prague, go here!
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