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marcusjames

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  1. I went to L'Enclume last week; was there pretty much a year ago to the day and what a difference. Not so much from the food (take that as a given mind-bending BTW), more the service. New open plan kitchen in the main restaurant, more staff and a real finesse about the floor, much of it thanks to the oft mentioned GM Sam, who is clearly coming into his own. OK, they've up'd the main degustation to £120 from £95, but at least you can see where your money's going and, by French standards, it's still a bargain - that's a single dish at L'Amboisie. The parade of nibbles at the start is so good it v
  2. Koya in Soho is perhaps the best value restaurant in London considering the food alone. Excellent Japanese soba noodles (handmade), although there are other options in the form of Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu, which are ramen specialists and also excellent, although all aren't the sort of place you'd want to linger. If I have any criticism it's that they've all fashioned themselves on that minimal NY style that's taken over in recent years. I'd also give a shout to Claude Bosi's relatively new gastro-pub in Fulham, The Malt House. Same produce as Hibiscus, albeit in pub style. Still has Michelin
  3. Look, I used to work in the industry and didn't want to be mean spirited, I merely said I didn't think it much of a surprise based on my experience there. I do sympathise with all the issues regarding livelyhood etc. I agree the Corn Exchange was a bigger venture and may have had more to do with pulling the overall house down from a business model point of view, but these sort of empires are built on flagships and Anthony's buzz and reputation died out way too soon. Had the fine dining gained a star, or his TV exposure continued, there's a strong arguement the CE may have ridden its coat tails
  4. I think the journalist from the Examiner's claim that, 'At just 33, he has already made a much bigger impact on the British restaurant industry than his peers Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay did in their early careers,' is the biggest load of bull$h!t journalism I've ever read. MPW got his 3rd star at 33, the youngest chef in the world (at that time) to ever to achieve the award. And Gordon wasn't far behind, I think RHR went 3 star when he 34. Whilst this is sad news I'm not surprised. I went to Anthony's once and thought it a crashing dissapointment. That basement dining room was horrid
  5. Not a milion miles away is the oft mentioned Indian Zing in Ravenscourt Park (or it's sisters, Zest in Sunbury and Zilla in Barnes). Zing is the flagship and has the slight edge though. The owner used to be the head chef for the sisters who own Chutney Mary, Amaya, Veeraswamay and Masalla Zone so he knows his onions. Staying in Ravenscourt I'm also a massive fan of Potli. Chef used to head up the curry division of M&S foods by way of the Oberoi group and recently went it alone. The 3 different types of chicken tikka and the banana pepper curry (side) are worth the price of admission alone,
  6. Popped in for lunch today and thought the food worthy of mention. It's more traditional at lunch. The set offers 2 dim sum and a main for £30. Add in pud and it's £35. I bolted an extra dim sum in and had three, the prawn/truffle Har Gau and Squid Balls with a phenomenal kaffir lime mayo standing out. Scallops main with peas and crisp rice were lovely. I especially liked the fact they served two king scallops whole; none of that slicing the buggers in half to make it look like they're going further which is starting to drive me nuts. A king scallop is one of the best ingredients on earth, let
  7. I think Andy Hayler's report and photos on GRRHR from a few weeks ago spoke volumes Putty Man. It appears to have more to do with Clare Smyth pushing things forward than any Ramsey heritage. Fair play to her. As AH highlights, the presentation really seems to have gone up a notch. I've never been excited about going there in the past, but I have a real yearning now...
  8. There was a debate on here last year about taking photos in restaurants focusing on those that allowed it and those that didn't. This debate is now becoming a slight extension of that considering blogging and social media is another form of possible promotion: ultimately, should chef's embrace it or not? I think the disclocate comes - and here's the gamble on their part - when these bloggers give negative reviews, in most cases they are people who haven't trained in the industry, know nothing of the processes involved and often expose their, albeit passionate, ignorance. I can see how that wou
  9. To provide a further piece of context, the word c$%t is frequently bandied around in the catering industry - high-end professional kitchens in particular - and doesn't hold the same level of taboo and insult as it does in the wider world. That being said, although Claude may have had a justified grievance, the use of the word did overstep the mark a tad and it would be nice to see some form of contrition from #chefsunite moving forward. Still, it proves the theory that anger and / or drinking don't mix with social media (which in itself is a sub-division of don't drink and dial). One can only
  10. I haven't been yet, but I'd love to know what the concept is here; it seems to fall somewhere between the Cornwall experience as a mix of what Nathan does in the Grill and the fine dining proper. I'm a little confused to be honest. I know the title hints at it being slanted toward the Grill, but the Duck / Monkfish combo' suggests otherwise. Actually, considering it's only a 25-30 cover room I'm not entirely sure why they didn't just go for the full blown fine dining experience; with the weight of the name and location I doubt it would have been that difficult to fill, in spite of the economic
  11. I popped in last week. The food's unbelievable considering the price and I wish them well, apparently they have a massive hill to climb each day; am sure I read somewhere they've got to turn every table three times before they cover costs. Still, at those prices, in that room and the typically strong Corbin & King service it deserves to succeed. I can't think of another London experience that delivers so much for so little money.
  12. Have you ever actually eaten there? I know the food splits opinion, pushes boundries and - for many - isn't the most enjoyable meal they'll ever eat; I couldn't get my sister back there if I paid her. However, the quality of ingredients, research and execution is, I think, beyond doubt. Every one is entitled to their opinion, but to say the FD isn't, or wasn't, a 3 star at the time of elevation is incredulous.
  13. Putty Man - the cooking at the Fat Duck isn't 3 star standard? Really? Whatever your views on molecular gastronomy, degustation menus or Michelin I don't think there's any doubt it's worthy of its rank. And from what I understand I think the influence on his cooking owes more to the work of Herve This than Ferran Adria, but I guess only he could really answer that.
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