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  1. Pleased to say the two seat for auction went for a total of £2150. Very pleased. Will feed lots of mouths at Manna Society. Next dinner will be Simon Rogan in July
  2. We also need a rec for somewhere open on a Sunday please eek
  3. Hi John, We are heading to Venice next week. We are booked into Osteria alle Testiere I am assuming this is the same place. I need a rec for one more restaurant for 6 people four of whom are not adventurous and one of those is quite picky (aka no meat or dairy). Any thoughts? Much appreciated. Nicole
  4. We are back, that is for sure. As are our Chefs@CriticalCouple dinners. Hope to see some of you there. Nicole & David
  5. Just had a look at Sat Bains site. You are correct, they call it the Kitchen Table. Sorry we didn't know about it when we went. Next time
  6. @Harters It just opened. I believe we were the third table to eat in there. Regards, N
  7. Aulis is something special, unique in fact, for Simon Rogan has thrown open the doors of L'enclume's test kitchen to members of the public who want to get even closer to the food. We jumped at the opportunity therefore to have a 'light lunch' at Aulis and the result was one of the most memorable meals of our life. Aulis is new this year with the test kitchen only recently modified to seat up to six people along the bar where you can watch your meal prepared in front of you. But don't mistake this for the chef tables you get in London restaurants for it is a significantly more personal experience. For a start, Aulis is a physically separate building to the main L'enclume restaurant/kitchen and your chef and host for the event, Dan Cox, is cooking exclusively for you. The menu too is exclusively for you with bespoke dishes that are not featured on the L'enclume menu either. But what really distinguishes the experience from all others is the level of interaction you have with the chefs. Dan is assisted by Kevin Tickle, long standing sous chef at L'enclume and that's it; there are no waiters here to serve food or wine, it's just you and two chefs. Talk of course mostly centres on the food (at least it did with us) and Dan's open about all aspects of what they do. In our view, Dan is absolutely perfect in the role: relaxed, engaging and really willing to share, nothing is held back from you, nothing is 'top secret'. And then there's the food. Those familiar with L'enclume will know what style of food to expect though we were still caught a little by surprise. Having been told that we were booked in for 'a light lunch', we forgot that in L'enclume-speak, that would mean a lot of food and the menu today consisted of four 'snacks' to start and six main menu courses! While the mise en place has been done before you arrive at Aulis, the cooking and plate assembly is performed in front of you after which Dan simply passes the finished dish across the counter for you to tuck in. So that you can see what actually takes placel. With Dan and Kevin exposed to the watchful eye of the dining guests at Aulis, there's little room for mistakes here, but it doesn't matter for there are none and all the food presented is perfect. Crispy chicken skin the way it is supposed to be, tripe with beef strands that is intense, and a duck liver parfait and duck fat that shames the best foie gras. And as always with a meal from the Rogan stable, there's surprise ingredients aplenty with the main talking point today cod tongue - Twitter confirming that most are unaware that cod even have tongues. They are in fact like mini cod fillets: one tongue contains two of them, separated by cartilage with skin around them, served with this removed of course. It is from start to finish a stunning display of understanding (of ingredients), genius (of composition) and excellence (in cooking). Since discovering L'enclume last year, we have constantly urged foodies who have not been to go and eat there believing it to be the best restaurant in the UK, for it really is. Aulis however is not a restaurant, it's a test kitchen that allows you to be as close to the food production process as you are in your own kitchen. What's more, Dan makes you feel so welcome you'll feel as comfortable as you do at home in your own kitchen also. Chances are however, that's where the similarities with your own kitchen will end, and you can now sit back, relax and let Dan and Kevin cook up a world of surprises and treats. This wasn't just a memorable meal, it was a deeply memorable and unique experience, and on that basis trumps almost everything else we've written up on for the enjoyment we took from it. In fact, we believe Aulis is the most exciting thing in the UK's restaurant scene right now. For those that want to read more, view pictures and watch video you can take a look at our blog
  8. We just got back from Noma yesterday. We loved our evening at Noma: loved the surprises, loved the food, loved the service. We’re sure too that if we went back three months from now, the menu will have changed up sufficiently to allow us a whole new dining experience all over again. If El Bulli spawned a whole copycat industry of molecular gastronomy, it will be interesting if Noma’s influence takes the food scene back in the other direction; a third way is probably the most likely outcome. Whatever the outcome though, it’s fantastic that Noma’s doing what it’s doing and it was undoubtedly one of the most exciting dining experiences of our lives.
  9. Actually, that is not true. I think we would have moved on
  10. Never. We would have before his phone call but not now.
  11. I must apologise for not following up as I had said I would. The media picked up on this and we did not want to further stoke the fire. We posted our last review about MW because we felt it honest to do so. I posted the information about the call because I was angry. I thought it would be of interest to other foodies but naively I never thought it would be of interest to the press. If Marcus had engaged with us on the phone in a conversation rather than a one way shouting match then this would not have happened. I trust both parties have learned from this. I know I have.
  12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/nov/05/food-and-drink1
  13. I am in the middle of prep for a charity event we are hosting so I have to be brief. Marcus in no way sounded drunk. He sounded angry but in no way under the influence. I will reply to the other comments ASAP. Thanks
  14. Hi Mike, I think that is a very interesting comment. I have had many comments and conversations that have been most thought provoking. I want to talk about these in further detail once I have our commitments this weekend out of the way and I can properly put pen to paper. In the meantime, I will quickly clarify your pending questions: We have been to MW 7 times in around 11 months. On our first visit, Marcus was incredibly generous with his time and chatted with us table side and showed me around the kitchen. The second time, I was taken into the kitchen and had a brief chat. After that Marcus was not present or available. He was kind of enough to leave us a personal note after we were married and returned to the restaurant after our honeymoon. In all fairness, our relationship was with his restaurant manager who is currently in the process of working out his notice and was not present on the evening in question, who always made us feel most welcome. Every time we have been there we have paid 100% of our bill. We have never enjoyed complimentary courses or drinks. It has been a 100% commercial relationship. In this day and age, I hope you will forgive my familiarity by referring to him as Marcus. It was born out of custom rather than the desire to imply a friendship of any kind. For example, I never called my previous bosses by their surname. This incident and the subsequent feedback and chats has given me much to reflect on. What do we expect from a 2 or 3 star restaurant? What responsibilities do we have as bloggers to both our readers, ourselves and the relationships we may build with restaurateurs? What responsibility do chefs/restaurateurs have to acknowledge and take on board the implied impact of bloggers and other social media on their business? Do we relinquish being a customer once we start blogging? Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester recently invited a group of bloggers for a complimentary tasting menu with wines and all of the bloggers have so far slated it. Is Alain currently looking for their numbers? I am not saying I have the answers. I don't. This incident upset me on many levels. I want to explore the issues I have raised along with any others that come up along the way.
  15. I love this place. I think it is obscene they only have 1 star. The dishes are so intricate and are executed perfectly IMO.
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