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Everything posted by Clerkenwellian

  1. The legal position is as you'd imagine it to be: if a price is not explicitly agreed then a contract can only be valid if a term is implied into the contract that a reasonable sum be paid. This of course begs the question whether £800 was a reasonable sum: whilst it's arguable, in comparison with the cost of the meal and the cost of the initial bottle, it seems fairly clear to me that it wasn't. You would have been entitled to pay a reasonable amount and leave the restaurant, of course providing your name and address and inviting them to sue for the remainder. Given that you did pay the £800, you are strictly speaking entitled to sue to recover the "unreasonable" amount (I believe this would be a "quantum meriut" claim, although I am a little rusty).
  2. My ancient Moulinex blender is above to die on me and I'm looking for a replacement. I have Bamix immersion blender, but it never seems to get to quite as silky a blend as the worktop models can. So I'm undecided between a Waring (the stainless steel one half way down the page) and a Magimix. I'm up for spending £150 or so, but I'm not about to go crazy. Any suggestions?
  3. it's such a pity, as the room is lovely, the dim sum can be excellent and it's good value to boot. But the service is so poor I'm not sure I'd go there again.
  4. was the service the usual mixture of rudeness and ineptitude?
  5. Has anyone else been here lately? I have been there twice in the last six weeks or so, and really felt that the place has fallen off. The burger I had was overcooked (although I asked for medium rare), not at all moist, and tasted a lot like what one would get at a burger van albeit bigger and with great bbq sauce available. Similarly, I had a duck breast sandwich which was also really overcooked with a layer of fat/skin which had not been crisped so was inedibly chewy. Even the beef brisket, an old standy for me, was dry the last time I had it with no bits of fat to be seen. I used to enjoy Arkansas quite a bit although I never thought much of the bbq, preferring the grilled items. But Im not so sure anymore. Particularly with Bodeans available which is in a completely different league. Add to that the fact that Arkansas cafe is not particularly cheap (a beef brisket sandwich with no sides is in the range of 7 pounds; at Bodeans you can get a whole rack of ribs with multiple sides for a couple pounds more, and any sandwich for less than five (including, in reference to another thread, bbqed salt beef which is pretty tasty). Was my experience a fluke? related to summer holidays? I've always thought the burgers there were pretty poor: it's pork or bust.
  6. thank you all for the recommendation. A great place: smart but unpretentious, lovely service, great food, daft pricing.
  7. has anyone been here recently? Is it still as good? Any particular recommendations? cheers!
  8. had lunch at Amerigo Vespucci yesterday. Square Meal recommends it as "a ‘life-saver’ in an area dominated by chains". Was pretty woeful - overcooked scampi for the starter, overcooked sea bass for the main. Two people with starters and mains plus a glass of wine each came to £74 inc. service. If this is the best Canary Wharf has to offer then I'll stick to pret a manger.
  9. thanks - what proportion of custard to fruit would you use?
  10. anyone got a good ice cream recipe? Sorbet's easy, but when I've tried blackberry ice cream the texture and/or flavour's never quite right.
  11. Same here. Works every time. doesn't work with my double mesh one. Neither does the dishwasher: I just get bits of grit (from the other stuff in the dishwasher) stuck in the mesh.
  12. went to Baltic for the first time last night. The bar was impossibly packed with slightly sloaney late 20 somethings, and it took us a while to realise we had to fight our way through the braying hordes to reach the restaurant. The impression of chaos was added to when we reached the entrance to the restaurant and had to hang around awkwardly waiting for one of the blonde-and-beige staff to notice us. Instead, a profously sweating bloke in a tatty shirt bounded up and said hello. Took me a while to realise this wasn't an over-friendly drunken stranger but one of the staff (the proprietor?). Things got a lot calmer when we reached the table, with bread offered almost immediately (great black bread, but irritatingly no side plate to put it on). The menu is huge: 20 or so starters, half a dozen blinis, 12 mains and 10 different sides. It's a strange combination of the traditional (beetroot soup with cream and pasztecik (polish tortellini)), the ordinary (seared swordfish with chilli, garlic and rocket salad), the interesting (polish black pudding with pear puree and picked cabbage) and the contrived (seared scallops with pickle white cabbage and cherry pepper jam). The menu also appeared to have been capitalised by Someone Who Writes American Newspaper Headlines. To start I had a selection of bilinis: salmon "caviar", smoked salmon, marinated herring, aubergine and mushroom mousse (actually two different mousses rather than one concoction). This was kinda okay: blinis were a bit too doughy and the toppings were dull, with the exception of the herring which was excellent. My dining companion had the roast beetroot with mild spices, carrot crisps and fromage frais, which was really good, although I couldn't taste any spices and I'd have preferred it if the beetroot had been roasted for rather longer. It also looked far prettier than beetroot has any right to look. Followed with the Moldavian salted cod with tomato, capers, parmesan and olives. The cod was excellent, although I'm never wild about the combination of fish and cheese. Serves me right for ordering it. My friend had the koloiik - spiced lamb and beef meatballs with plum sauce. The meatballs were pretty much what you'd expect and the plum sauce didn't really work: but again you couldn't really expect it to. I normally expect appalling service when the staff have clearly been hired for prettiness but it was actually rather charming. Damage: £72 for two, including an entirely acceptable montepulciano. Shall go again, as I can't help but feel there's better stuff elsewhere in the menu if you're more discriminating than we were.
  13. So far the machine's produced highly colourful slush (which then turns to ice if I put it in the freezer) but nothing you'd call ice cream. I suspect my freezer's not cold enough to properly chill the bowl - it doesn't get below -12C (not unusual for a combined fridge/freezer). May bite the bullet and buy an ice cream maker with built in freezer: does anyone have any recommendations here? The most widely available ones in the UK seem to be the Gaggia and the Magimix.
  14. When did you put the insert in the freezer? I don't have the same brand of freezer you do, but most of them say you need to freeze the insert for a full 24 hours before use. I've tried popping them in in the morning and making dessert in the evening, and that is not enough time. Better luck on your next attempt! thanks - was in for 12 hours so perhaps this was not enough
  15. thank you all for the suggestions. Unfortunately my first attempt at using the thing was a dismal failure: instead of strawberry icecream I ended up with cold strawberry milkshake. I suspect the freezer isn't cold enough, but have stuck a thermometer in and will check later. Has anyone else had any difficulties using the Magimix Glacier thingy?
  16. some lovely person just gave me a Magimix Le Glacier ice cream maker (the 1.5l version) - would be really grateful for recipes or tips anyone might have. (and apologies if there's previously been a thread on this - my meagre searching skills may have missed it)
  17. was that the one with a slightly bizarre collection of clocks covering the whole of one wall? Fond memories...
  18. thanks, that's a really useful link: shall try Bleu Bistro Moderne (and report back) and shall do my best to avoid "Captin Americas".
  19. Hi, Am spending a few days in Dublin next week, have never been before and am loathe to trust guidebooks: would be really grateful for any casual dining recommendations. What's the Dublin restaurant scene like? Are there places comparable in terms of atmosphere, quality and value for money with the likes of Moro, Real Greek Mezzewhatever, New Tayyab, Royal China etc? thanks!
  20. thanks! Sounds a tad pricier than the Michelin two stars (which hover around £30 for three courses and one amuse) but on that showing shall have to give it a try
  21. great review, but the $64,000 question is of course whether it cost $64,000. Dare I ask what the damage was?
  22. looks lovely, but "Separate the tails and claws from the four live 1.5-pound lobsters." shouldn't you kill the things first? How do you do this, without dropping them head first in boiling water?
  23. agree middle bit is unbearably noisy on Thursday and Friday evenings, but it's quiet enough Monday to Wednesday and rather good value I was talking bollucks. Went there last night and the noise levels were perfectly fine. The food, on the other hand, was crap.
  24. thanks... don't suppose anyone knows if the softener accessory is available in the UK?
  25. one final question: living in London, the water's pretty hard. Am I better off using bottled water of some kind or just descaling the thing every few months?
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