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Everything posted by Clerkenwellian

  1. I always recommend Mr Kong for its interesting menus (particularly the "Chef's Specials"), reliable cooking and friendly and knowledgable service (at least from the manager). Plus it's open until at least 2am (I've never seen it shut). But don't, under any circumstances, get a table in a basement.
  2. The restaurant is in a beautiful space but the food is very ordinary indeed. Good winelist, though.
  3. If you're willing to splash out, Galvin at Windows might fit the bill (see reviews here, here, here and here
  4. What was Portal like? It's looked empty whenever I've walked past.
  5. I love Moro, but am I alone in finding it impossibly loud for a group of more than four?
  6. Finsbury was one of the old London boroughs, abolished in the 1960s, and included most of Islington south of the Angel (i.e. what's now the wards of Bunhill and Clerkenwell), the upper part of the City (from Charterhouse Square down to Moorgate) and the parts of Hackney around Old Street.
  7. Thank you, Carlsbad and wyf4lyf, for the great answers.
  8. Forgive me if this is an often-asked question: we've a 24 hour trip to Paris in a couple of weeks' time and I'm trying to pick a restaurant for a Saturday evening meal. I'm looking for somewhere romantic and typically "Paris" (or at least, an experience we couldn't have in London) but, whilst I dine out quite a lot in London, I've no experience at all of the Paris restaurant scene. We're staying near Place Charles de Gaulle, but location not that important. Budget perhaps EUR250 all in. Would be really grateful for any recommendations...
  9. The awards seem a bit random to me, although I guess that's in the nature of "readers' awards". Oddest is awarding St John Bread & Wine "best for cheap eats". STB&W is one of my favourite restaurants, and perfect in many ways - but it's hardly "cheap".
  10. Any of the supermarkets in Chinatown should stock it. I buy mine at the place on Gerrard Street that has a small ground floor selling sweets etc, and a larger shop selling savouries in the basement. Don't know the name, though.
  11. I thought the main reason to oil a chopping board (or a cricket bat) was to stop it drying out and splitting/cracking.
  12. I had a pretty decent meal at the original branch on St John Street soon after it opened. Went again recently and had a similar experience to yours. I should have been warned off by the menu, which is an awful chain-restaurant effort, with cartoon-style pictures of the food. Is this greedy over-expansion by the people who bought the rights to the Souvlaki outlets? Has anybody been to the mothership on Hoxton Market recently? The Mezedopolio used to be great for reasonably priced grazing, although the service was always a bit erratic.
  13. It has already received a rare bad review from Square Meal and a stinker of a review from Marina O'Loughlin in the Standard. Oh, and a complete puff piece in the Guardian. Toby Young's review is now on-line, and fairly bad.
  14. Pleased you liked it. I should have warned you: Mon Plaisir does classic French dishes really well, but their attempt at modern stuff is often a bit random.
  15. Mon Plaisir is very reliable, and has a £15 three course set menu for pre and post theatre.
  16. I've been wondering about getting a deep fryer. The Waring fryer doesn't seem to be sold in the UK and I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. The Magimix model here looks good, and apparently 3.2KW (an advantage of 240V vs 120V?). Any thoughts?
  17. I *assumed* they'd bought F&W to exploit the brand. Wrong! Isn't there some trade association of independent whole food retailers who can prevent them adopting a generic term as a trade marked brand in the UK? Bring back Biba, I say. And shoplifting. ← They probably couldn't trademark "Whole Foods" in the UK for that reason - any registration would probably be denied by the trade mark office - but they could trademark their logo.
  18. You're not familiar with Fresh & Wild?Standard practise among American corporations entering the UK market is to identify the main players ('benchmarking') and to position themselves in direct competition. The strategy is to divert existing customers by offering a superior product/service, cheaper, and thereby to undermine the established rival business (which may be complacent or unprepared for a direct commercial challenge). An example of this practise is the strategy adopted by Blockbuster video, which opened its first UK store in Walworth Road, a dozen doors down from Star Video, which was one of, if not the very first video lending library in the UK. Star responded with hand lettered signs saying "we've got more movies and we're cheaper than that big shop down the road" and has survived the onslaught, whereas most independently owned video rental operations in the UK have not. ← Doesn't Whole Foods own Fresh & Wild?
  19. Maison Novelli closed down some time ago and has been replaced by somewhere called "The Green", which I know nothing about (except that the building's lovely)
  20. The place gets a pretty poor review in yesterday's Standard.
  21. I had a decent but unexceptional bowl of noodles in Pho a few days back, but I have to make allowance for the fact that the restaurant was new and I was somewhat worse for wear. Will certainly go again.
  22. ...it opened up a couple of weeks ago on the old Cafe Lazeez site. The website says it's a "French restaurant with strong Portuguese and Mediterranean influences". The menu looks not dissimilar to the Zetter over the road. I haven't seen any reviews - has anybody been?
  23. Does anybody know which Zojirushi model the one at the bottom of this page is? It seems to be the only model available in the UK. At £114 (over $200) it better be good!
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