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Everything posted by Richard1

  1. Nipping off to lanzarote for a few days rnr, in a few days time!(Well apart from running and cycling up a couple of volcanos but thats a different story!!) Is there anywhere a decent meal can be had or recommended, on the south side of the island? Nothing poncy, pretentious or 'generic foods from everywhere restaurants', which Im sure there are plenty of, in the latter case. Simple and decent, be it a good steak etc, thats all, or am I asking for too much, never visited the island before. Cheers
  2. I would go by and drive to Fischers at Baslow, if thats the sort of meal you fancy. You will have a far better experience at around the same price. Been twice to Ridgeway and both times, very disappointing. Didn't enjoy Bramley trying to constantly up sale very expensive wine, over whatever else you chose, amongst other things. As for it having a star, top fifty etc, well god only knows. These never ending 'lists' are imo political nonsense anyway.
  3. I reckon Jay Rayner is pretty much on the money. Best of the lot. Speaking personally, following a review we had by him, we subsequently enjoyed a years worth of solid business from the article. This was about four years ago now and folk still sometimes mention it, only the other day a customer was saying just that. It was great, as good, if not better than any accolade we have won before or since. As for the rest of them, well Gill I don't ever bother reading, as the review seems to be always more about him and the 'blonde'. The other reviewer I can't abide is the silly so and so from the Telegraph...whats her name, Z.W'ams, useless, not a clue. Had a review from her once and it wasn't bad, just all over the place. She took a dislike to a carrot cappacino soup.....never made such a thing in my life and of course there was no right of reply. Very patronising style of writing to boot. At the end of the day most of em are just journos, with little clue of food etc but are there to sell papers. Happy new year everyone.
  4. Truffle, now theres another one. I know of a certain, very high regarded chef who swears by using frozen Chinese truffles. In his opinion may of his customers cannot tell the difference between truffle from truffle?!! In his defence I must say he doesn't, as far as Im aware, try to upsell them as a more exotic variety.
  5. I'll bet that Bream was of the farmed variety, which is about as dull as farmed bass. Loads of it comes to the UK via France and Greece. I have not once ever encountered wild Dourade from a supplier. Is it avaliable wild in the Med area itself??? As a cook, I really only deal in wild fish where at all possible(if theres nowt about, then I don't tend to bother)as the alternative is usually the afore mentioned stuff. On a personal note, I don't like to see round fish served without skin, unless its been poached, which again makes me think your fish wasn't wild. Im not totally convinced that all mackrel swim and party around 'kak' outlets!! Anyway, so this restaurant was listed number six on the Times, best of the best list?? Hmm.....interesting Im fibbing,its not really!!!
  6. Its a real difficultly, you dammed if you do, dammed if you don't have a cancellation policy. We have had more last minute cancellations/ no shows this year than any other time in the previous seven years of trading. Some of the excuses are just pathetic, I won't bore you! But from a restaurants point of view, what do you do? At the end of the day if a restaurant charges a credit card then the said customer can claim there has been an unauthorised payment taken. Its only the big boys that can really get away with such policies it seems. We on the other hand are a tiny, sixteen cover neighbourhood restaurant. Its absolutely killed us this year, ie week before last twenty two cancellations between two parties. Ok we secured small deposits etc but because one party cancelled so late for a Friday night, we ended shutting for the night. And folk wonder why chefs etc can get so pissed off with the bullshit, politics etc etc of trying to run a restaurant and ultimately make people happy. There have been times when you do think is it really worth it all...it is a constant test of resolve, which can be very distracting and distressing. I sometimes wonder just how more difficult will get to secure reservations for a night out at a restaurant, as unfortunately there is an ever increasing 'couldn't give a damm attitude' out there from customers.
  7. Whats ridiculous or patronising about sticking up for a chef who puts his heart and soul into his cooking, to then have some half arsed remark that his food tastes like toothpaste etc. I've never met Mark and don't owe him anything but some of this food blogging is out of line. Have people forgot to go out and actually enjoy themselves? Its got fuck all to do with cooking for a living.
  8. Bloody toothpaste? Must be a good brand! Mark don't worry too much about some of comments you read on here. You are dealing with very opinionated, self important folk who wouldn't have clue how to run a restaurant on any level. As they say talk is cheap! David is one of the more genuine good eggs on here.
  9. I think where David is coming from on the pub Michelin star level thing is absolutely right. As a chef and restaurant owner it has bugged me for ages, just what a pub can get away with and be described as Michelin starred. Being very good in its cat is all well and good and many of you on here completely understand this. The other 99.9 percent of the dining out crowd, without a doubt, do not. A michelin star is a michelin star in their eyes. I've heard it so many times, its untrue,ie 'how is it that x n y pub has a star and you don't?' If can muster the energy to answer, I'll say, its because x n y pub are classed a very good.......etc etc. Usual answer in return, 'Thats ridiculous' and the same can be said for a bib gourmand, no idea most of the time.Pubs and restaurants have a completely different playing field but in general terms, as I said, a star is a star. In my view the problem lies with michelin at the one star level. The lines of distiction have become far too blurred.
  10. Blooming heck is there any wonder!!!! Its like been tried by a kangroo court on here at times!! Right best get back to work.
  11. How many of the people who have commented about this pop up have actually been to the real restaurants?? Yes of course it is expensive but thats not my point. To compare, the prices are not a million miles away, which has been suggested here. My point is go here and save yourselves a fortune on travel, if your a Keller fan. So then, on to the menu prices at the FL and Per Se. There are also some hefty supps that bump the price up further. I certainly don't agree with that but when you are actually there, the way the menu is composed etc, it gets you by the short and curlies, you are almost swayed into spending more. Make of it what you will.(At Per Se especially there were alot of extra freebies etc) Anyway, what I recall about the FL is not so much the food. To be brutally honest I was just has happy dining at Bouchon, down the road. Best french onion soup I have ever had in my life. My abiding memory is the way in which we were treated. We stayed in Yountville to celebrate our honeymoon at the FL and at the end of the meal, we were taken to the kitchen where all of the staff were lined up in guard of honour, congratulating us! Unless they were fucking good actors, they were so geninue. One of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. Right, so now I've explained, you can all now stop fucking telling me what I did or didn't or should have spent.
  12. What are you on about? I know this probably will not stand for much on the all so knowing UK egullet but I was at Per se a month ago. It cost without wine £224 something pence per person. Several years ago I visted the FL. That cost just over £200 per person without wine. So in my very humble opinion there really isn't a HUGE difference.
  13. Steer clear of Thomas Keller....what? How snobby is that? The bloke is top of his game, a real food pro.If you can afford it, then go. If its anything like the FL or Bouchon, it will be class. What better opportunity to see what he is all about, without having to travel to the states and then spend more or less the same as he charging over here.
  14. What a class act the Ledbury is. Been visiting from day one and its always a real treat. Brett Graham is not only a fantastic chef but a very generous spirit and it really shows. I don't think his food has ever been about being photo pretty, its the serious content. We have been treated to some great meals here over the years and without sounding too tossey, have become decent mates along the way. Had the best birthday ever there last year. Won't harp on about it but it was special. I still reckon we looking at a future three star chef, just so long as he stays healthy. The bloke worked himself into the ground and ended up suffering fairly badly as a result. He says he learnt and only works about eighty odd hours a week now!! Hope you all have a great time, wish I was going too!
  15. Evening/ Morning David Looks like you've done it this time!! I would not like to be served lamb or pork in the fashion you were. I rarely complain when I dine out, instead I simply would never return or recommend. That would definately be the case here, I would suspect. I respect the 'pro' comments on here with regards to rare pork but Im not sold on it one bit. Your food looked simply awful. I would have gone out business long ago if I cooked for customers in such a style. At the end of the day I just think you have to remember where you are and who your cooking for. Your review shows avante guard cooking at its worst.
  16. I couldn't careless how the Spanish consume their pig, Im not Spanish. To me, it doesn't look right. Im all for pink pork but that is too rare. I reckon most folk on here, if they are being honest, would not enjoy being served meat in that fashion. Certain meats do not benefit being seved so bloody rare and pork is one of them, regardless of any health issuses. I suspect 99 percent of the UK dining out public would feel the same. But if that sort of thing makes you drool then you go for it pal.
  17. This just takes the piss. Is this a reflection of starred cooking? I mean really? Who in their right mind would want to eat and pay good money for this sort of kak? Im glad you went David and not me. That really is 'boil in the bag' at its very worst. Tell me whats the point in rare f..king pork. Its pretention at is best in my book. Im absolutely stunned at just what some chefs and restaurants can get away with and be lauded at the same time. Me thinks something in this industry is totally f.u.b.a.r. Jesus Christ.......!!
  18. Who are the critical couple then? Pretentious fuckwits by the sounds of it. Seems anyone with a pc and digital camera can now lay claim to being 'food experts', or so they think. They may end up being critical if they carry on writing such kak!
  19. Some interesting points there David. I do think lunch time trade in these sort of venues, anywhere outside London is very, very difficult. Folk just don't want it. They see these places as get dressed up, Saturday night destination restaurants. Its a real shame but thats the over riding attitude that prevails in the UK. The only real exceptions are the gastro pubs, which folk seem to feel more at ease with on a lunch time, which for me sums it up. PS I may have to start employing you as our food photographer, some sharp images there!!
  20. I must have misread Kutsus above report then. Silly me. I was sure it mentioned Sat Bains, along with Purnells. Its a little like texting, this online thing, sometimes doesn't read how its meant, know what I mean?
  21. Reads like you had a grand lunch. Can't understand why folk knock the place. Food doesn't have to be a constant challenge, in fact I do find it tiring at times! It shouldn't be pitted against the likes of Sat Bains, as the cooking is competely different. As for Purnells, I've always thought it to be very overated and overhyped. Would visit Fischers any day of the week over the likes of Purnells.
  22. Listen, there is no magic formula in creating a successful restaurant,other than extemely hard graft and grit. Thats unless you stem from a very high profile background, such as many of the places and chefs who get raved about on sites like this. This doesn't apply to 99% of us, so it is the hard work route. Be true to yourselves and believe in what you do. Thats the bottom line. Whatever you do don't go down the gimmick route. Believe me, it takes time to build a restaurant and frankly at the moment most restaurants out there are finding the going tough. You could possibly approach a food focused pr agency but again don't expect overnight wonders. Just keep doing what you do and keep striving to improve. Sooner or later, the food folks of this world will start to take notice. Then you'll have a whole new lot of worries to deal with!!!
  23. Or another option for you David is to ignore the same old usual gastro pub thing and swing by a little, orginal, individual and best of all unpretentious restaurant, which was also rated by Jay Rayner, Top UK 100 blah blah, just off the M62, forty five minutes from Leeds. It doesn't hold a michelin star for whatever reason but is currently the GFG restaurant of the year 2011, which by the way was based on feed back from over 800 nominations and not just one persons opinion! You won't find food to shock, challenge or confuse but passion and flavour. Believe me theres more to Yorkshire than dining pubs.
  24. I do admire your eating capacity David! The lunch menu looks cracking value. Good to see the old classics like Eaton mess on the menu, which can at times be a total mess. A nice looking take on the fruit salad too. What are the portion sizes like nowadays? My over riding memory of Maze was whilst the food was very tasty, some of the dishes were so small, they made me laugh out loud to the poor waiter! Will definately visit when ever we next down sarf. PS Did you manage to get his autograph this time David?? haha! Sorry David!
  25. Nothing more to add on this thread surely? Boring, move on.
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