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Everything posted by Clerkenwellian

  1. Yes - really quite good. Was a few days ago, so can't recall the details, but we had an excellent and unusual lamb's tongue starter, an immaculately cooked pork belly, some odd sounding but quite tasty fritters (like falafel with chunks of chorizo), an okay but somewhat bland sea bass and finished with some excellent coffee but a disappointing cheesecake. With a cocktail and glass of wine each, came to a touch under £70, including service, which I thought was fair.
  2. Unfortunately I can echo your comments about the general quality of Kosher food here. Six-13 has gone bust - the only "high end" Kosher restaurant in London is now Bevis Marks, where the food varies from mediocre to quite poor. Now it has no competition in the City, things can only get worse...
  3. I don't know any of those you are considering but have heard excellent reports of Red Snapper. Good luck. ← thank you!
  4. We are considering hiring one of the following caterers for a private event: Dewintons, Last Supper, Yes Please and Bubble Food. I wondered if anyone here had any experience - good or bad - of any of these guys (and please PM me if your experience was too bad to post in a public forum!) thanks
  5. Damn, why didn't Kaltenbrunner (inter alia...) think of that argument at Nuremberg? When the law defends the indefensible, one must step outside it. <godwin invoked> ← Ignoring Godwin for a moment, that argument has merit if the law cannot be changed through normal democractic means. But the ALF simply can't be arsed to persuade the public and organise politically, so instead they chuck bricks through peoples' windows.
  6. The tosspots are only there in the week - come the weekends, Smiths is populated in the mornings entirely by local media types and their well behaved, if oddly coiffed, children. And, if "brunch" includes something as simple as a cappucino and a pattiserie, then Comptoir Gascon a few doors away is excellent.
  7. Well, Haozhan on Gerrard Street sure looked like an interesting opening - been a good few months since a new place has had such unanimous acclaim. Chilli salt quail was good - good chilli kick, delicate batter, slightly pink inside and great gamey taste. Unfortunately it was downhill from there. The soft shell crab was not good. Under spiced, over-battered. Mains weren't much better. The tofu and scallop (raved about in a couple of the reviews) was drenched in a sweet gloopy orange sauce, so the tofu was reminiscent of a crème caramel. Szechuan vegetables suffered from the same sauce. Chicken in a hot-pot dish had the woolly texture of a high street takeaway. Service best described as perfunctory, if not actually rude. What was odd was that the starters and mains were served one after the other, with gaps of perhaps five minutes between each. The kitchen didn't seem that busy - we were eating at about 11pm. We wondered if the (ex-Hakkasan) chef that had wowed Mr Rayner & co had left the building - gone for an early night or perhaps gone for good.
  8. Had a disappointing cassoulet at Comptoir on Wednesday. Had previously been for brunch, and had high hopes. On the positive front, the coffee was outstanding. But the cassoulet looked, felt and tasted like it had been kept in the oven (or under a lamp) too long - sauce reduced down to nothing, slightly shrivelled beans, dry duck. Another oddity: the single slice of bacon was cut incredibly thin - actually transparent - and was on top of the cassoulet, rather than integral to it. Basic flavour was good, but this was not what I understand a cassoulet to be. Not quite sure why I didn't send it back. Has anyone else been recently? Could it just have been a one-off?
  9. You can make a delicious, pretty and unusual tart by caramelising red onions with a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar until they're really rich, soft and gooey, then putting in a blind-baked tart base, and then cooking ever so slightly until the top goes crisp.
  10. that is extremely cheeky - I was saying to an American friend just the other day that you can always get tap water in London restaurants.
  11. Has it improved since it opened a couple of years ago? Two early visits were marred by astonishingly slow service and I haven't been back...
  12. Had a wonderful meal at Sushi Yasuda on Monday. Wasn't surprised that it was incomparably better than anything I've had in London. Was surprised to discover that Yasuda speaks reasonable Hebrew...
  13. Pham on Whitecross Street is still good, particularly (as noted above) for the crunchy tuna and other "new style" rolls. For "traditional" sushi it's just average, though.
  14. Even if it isn't "true or fair comment - or both", the phenomenal costs involved in pursuing a libel suit, and the financial disparity between media corporations and small businesses should continue to ensure that restaurateurs remain one of the few communities about which one can publicly say whatever one likes. ←
  15. I finally got through - they're open throughout the holiday
  16. Does anyone know if Tayyabs is open on Christmas Day?
  17. Clerkenwellian


    Thank you all - very helpful. Shall pluck up the courage to try again, but with a much weaker brine.
  18. Clerkenwellian


    Had never brined before, but decided to experiment with brined pork belly from the St John cookbook. Had a complete disaster. Prepared a brine (400g sugar, 600g salt, 4l water, juniper, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves), brought to boil, cooled, put belly into the pot and then left in the fridge for three days. Took it out, rinsed under tap for a minute or so, patted dried, scored with knife and then roasted. Looked great, smelt great, texture was great - but was utterly, inedibly, salty. Didn't matter so much for the crackling, but I couldn't have served the meat to my worst enemy. What did I do wrong? Dodgy recipe? Did I miss a step? Insufficient rinsing? Or is it supposed to be this way? Advice appreciated...
  19. Are you looking for a house in a leafy lane, or an apartment nearer the centre?
  20. Sounds lovely - what's in that? ← i would say simply a robust risotto made with tomatoes and no cream, prob not cheese either, a marinara-type sauce, garlic, oregano......possibly no onion.......not sure about that last one.....but it tasted deliciously like the mezzogiorno, the south of italy......it was topped with a slice of very rare seared tuna. very nice. why don't you ring and ask for their recipe? they might share.....esp if you don't live in london...if you do, just pop down and have a taste and see what you think might be in it......i don't quite remember any more than that as was drinking quite of bit of champagne through the evening, and did taste a number of the risotti. if i were living in town i'd have a bowl and make a full report. but i'm out in hampshire..... marlena ← thank you!
  21. 250g self raising flour 60g butter 30g sugar palmful of currants and/or raisins quarter teaspoon of salt 150ml full fat milk buzz the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse briefly until has the texture of small breadcrumbs. Pour into bowl and add the currants and milk. Stir until comes together into a very soft pastry (do not use the food processor at this point). Put onto floured worksurface and push into an inch high round. Cut out into scones with 3 inch cutter, brush with milk and bake at 200C until they look right.
  22. The crispy pig's intestines are divine. Piggy gorgeousness.
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