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Posts posted by felixhirsch

  1. Yep, he actually found the pigeon guy for the Louis XV! That tells you a lot. And then there is that famous story of him having his beef hanging at a butcher in Nice, which they used too. One day Franck Cerutti (long-time Louis XV chef) came in and asked the butcher why he couldn't get that kind of stuff...

  2. Hi there, I'm going to spend three weeks driving through Napa, Sonoma County, LA, SF and probably Santa Barbara County. What I'm looking for are places for:

    Great burgers

    simple food, with superb products


    If preferable, something that's open for lunch, as we want to keep dinners for more high-end places.

    THanks a lot!

  3. That is absolutely true. It's of course not only eating that "educates" you, reading cookbooks like the ones of Alain Ducasse's Grand Livre de Cuisine series, or Thoms Keller's certainly helps you understand certain things (e.g. that a proper sauce doesn't look like a sticky, shiny syrup) and the likes. Working in a very good restaurant for a few weeks or so also gives you a different perspective. But, you can't ask too much of the poor people!

    Sped, if you're aiming for standards as low as these, you have already surpassed them when it comes to the pictures. It's not the problem of their writing, or their liking of a restaurant or not. Its a problem of them making judgements that have no foundation. Furthermore, they write with a pretty authoritarian style, without knowing what they're saying. That's the problem.

    Anyways, your blog certainly does look very good, so keep it up! However, for planning trips to London, Andy Hayler certainly is a less biased source of information.

  4. unfortunately writing about food is perhaps a more complex topic than the British journalists make it out to be. No matter if they're good writers or not, we don't care. The problem is that they don't know much about food and have no culinary references that go much further than the borders of the UK. Its not necessarily a question of having food in a three star, what matters is that you can taste various types of cooking that are at the top of their game. OTherwise, you can't really judge someone. Of course, going to a lot of restaurants in various places would not necessarily make you a good critic, but it would certainly give you that reference base that makes it even possible to criticise others.

  5. I have to agree with Jon and Hermes in this case. Most of their experiences are limited to the UK. Not to say there aren't any good restaurants in England, but none can match a Louis XV, Ledoyen or Arpege (and many others on the continent). If you restrict yourself pretty much to one country (they have a few Spanish and ITalian places too) you simply don't look that serious. Especially, if you have no clue about cooking techniques or products. In the end its down to seeing what a superb asparagus, turbot, pigeon or turnip taste like. That's where the limits of eating in the UK are set (even if Mikael jonsson and Steve Harris are working on serving more serious stuff).

  6. The problem with Pollen Street is not the food, although it's far from being creative or exciting, but the service. Perhaps you were lucky, perhaps a lot of people I know weren't. It's a great place for a quick meal, efficient and pleasant, but hardly anything special. If you look at the other big opening of the year, which would be Dinner, the difference could not be bigger.

    I certainly would not go back to it. You can do much better in London.

  7. I would avoid Pollen Street at all costs. I went and had a terrible experience, where I felt deeply unwelcome and looked down upon by the staff. It's not only me, as a few managers of highly regarded, Michelin-starred restos told me the same.

    For Ramsay, of course RHR is the real deal. It's a very nice restaurant, especially for lunch when it is not so expensive, and you actually have only one sitting. Otherwise, Petrus is nice. Nothing to blow your socks off, but a very solid restaurant, a great sommelier and a beautiful room. The food I had was very safe and classical, but more than enjoyable.

    Wareing is a bit of a stiff experience, its a nice restaurant, but the food is too complicated and the atmosphere a bit dead.

    So, if it has to be Ramsay, it should be RHR or PEtrus!

  8. Totally agree with you Chef Hermes. The funny thing is that they simply can't accept that sometimes it is they who make mistakes, not the restaurants. To then criticise a chef for making something not right, whilst it is perfectly correct is a bit bizarre. But well, I've given up on them, that Gidleigh Park thing and the reply to Michael Caines tell you all you need to know.

    Nice quote from Jay btw ;)

  9. I second April's suggestion of Robuchon at Macau, it is certainly the very best Robuchon restaurant in the world, and quite impressive. Equally impressive as a whole is Amber. It is very bold, deliciouis food based on excellent products. Service seems to be an issue, but in my 4 visits there over the last 3 months, it never posed a problem. Wine lunch on the weekend is great value something like HKD700 for 6 courses, wines and coffee.

    Caprice is also great, lovely view, very good service and solid classical cooking. Compared to Robuchon and Amber perhaps a tad less interesting in terms of food. However, what makes Caprice stand out are the cheeses and the desserts. The former are perhaps the best there are in the world (not only me thinking that!) and the latte delicious.

    Petrus is a perfectly decent restaurant, but simply not on the same level. THe menu reads like that of the LOuis XV in Monte Carlo, but doesn't deliver on product quality or flavour.

    There you have it, if you can do two: Robuchon and Amber!

  10. For the big meal, go to the Ledbury, it is without doubt the best restaurant in London overall. Otherwise, the newly opened Hedone will be well worth the money. That will probably be the best two meals in London.

    Wareing, Ramsay, etc are all very nice, but not overly inspiring. You can do much better.

    For cheaper meals, try the Harwood Arms, the burgers at Hawksmoor, the pizza at Franco Manca, some dim sum at Royal China or Pearl Liang and perhaps a meal at Andrew Edmunds (if you're into wine).

    There's much more, but those are essential to a visit to London.

    For Indian, the best in town, according to Andy Hayler at least, is the Brilliant, although it isn't really in central London. For some great sushi, you should give Sushi of Shiori a go. They do a great job and are priced very fairly!

  11. My friend recently went to Bareiss in Baiersbronn, here is what he thought.

    The tiny village of Baiersbronn is, alongside Bergisch Gladbach, what you could call Germany's culinary heart. For they are the only places in the Federal Republic in which not only one, but two three-star restaurants are located

    In contrast to the style of the chefs in the more Northern village, Joachim Wissler and Nils Henkel, the cooking in the Black Forest is more traditional. The classical French kitchen of the Bareiss is lead by chef Claus-Peter Lumpp who spent some time as an apprentice in this very restaurant (then still called Kurhotel Mitteltal). After his apprenticeship he embarked on a tour of Europe to perfect his skills, working with great chefs such as Joachim Wissler, Heinz Winkler and Alain Ducasse to name but a few. In 1992 he returned to the Bareiss, and eventually became the head chef, bringing the restaurant Bareiss its third Michelin star in 2007.

    Don't come here to count calories, but to enjoy a tasty, classical meal

    Lumpp's cooking is not only classical, but also very generous. His dishes tend to serve a product in more than one form, giving the diner a highly interesting perspective of what can be done with any given ingredient. This foie gras starter is one of his signature dishes, and is indeed impressive. The main ingredients are beetroot and caramel, which both work really well with the liver. The quality of the foie gras is excellent, which can also be said of the cooking. A real treat! However, to make this clear, Lumpp really is a generous man, who's cooking reflects this. Don't come here to count calories, but to enjoy a tasty, classical meal.

    The same goes for the lamb, which consists of a braised lamb with a crispy crust and a strong stew with a hearty and concentrated jus. This is another beautiful example of the intensely-flavoured cooking of Lumpp. The meat comes from a Black Forest lamb and is accompanied by a concentrated jus and chanterelles (or Pfifferlinge as they say in Germany). It is a dish that is both strong and earthy, and pretty rich.

    The restaurant Bareiss is a solid three star restaurant with strong flavoured classic kitchen were you will certainly not leave with an empty stomach. The chef's generosity both in terms of the portions and style of cooking are most welcome in days where the trend calls for ever more minuscule arrangements on massive plates.

  12. Pierre Gagnaire is a brilliant chef, there's no doubt about it. His cooking is of the highest order and unlike anything else. With his restaurant Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental he has created a superb embassy for his style. As with most HK restaurants of this standard, the service here is very good, far better than most of what you have in London for instance. The food is certainly not cheap, both starters and mains are around the HKD 500-700 mark. However, you get some three to four dishes with everything you order. I went for a starter from the lunch menu and the rest from the normal a la carte.

    Foie Gras soup with citrus sorbet was tasty, moreish and quite simple. The flavours went more than well together and created a pretty refreshing version of a foie gras based dish.

    SOle with langoustines and girolles was a masterpiece. Served in three different ways, you were presented with the roast fillets and mushroom salad, a little bowl of girolle and langoustine fricassee and a few dices of fillets with lemon caviar and roast langoustine. The fish was of high quality, very firm and full of flavour, the balance in every serving superb and generally speaking I really adored this dish, IMpressive stuff!

    Dessert was a wild strawberry millefeuille with a strawberry composition on the side. Both were perfectly executed and absolutely delicious.

    So, the 2* are more than earned in this case, as the food here is not only of a very high standard, but everything around it is so too. Very much recommended!

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