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  1. Popped into Arbutus today, had grouse with wild blueberries or bilberries, same fruit I think? Not too gamey but still a cracking bird, toast with added foie gras and Armagnac, modern and classic at the same time, really stunning and a bargain under £20.
  2. Dean St is a great spot for the Burger & Lobster site, didn't think that Bistro du Vin would stay the course. Opposite the townhouse was always gonna be tricky. Soho has to be the top destination to eat these days, Dean & Frith must be London's coolest streets.
  3. I also wasn't aware that Claud had handed the reins over to Marcus. Phil is coming across rather unsavoury, he hasn't embraced modern cuisine at all. Nothing wrong with that, but don't knock what you don't know. He looks far too old for this show, he's missed the boat massively. This years brief is all about innovation and wow factor, can't see Phil progressing.
  4. No third star this year again, it does seem bizarre that they didn't get it. I do wonder if it's because of all the hype surrounding the place. Twitter has gone mad......
  5. I used to visit here frequently when it was Sushi Hiro, so was very disappointed to hear that it was very quietly taken over and became Atari-ya, but a recent visit was fantastic, hasn't really changed at all. Couldn't agree more with your comments, best value sushi in town. Perfectly made, right temperature (which is crucial) and super quality fish. The Unagi Nigiri is an absolute must for first timers. No bookings, credit cards or cheques, also opening times are very short. Check it out.
  6. Finally managed to have dinner here last week, infiltrated a pals table. Like the room in the same way I like L'Astrance, minimal, stylish & comfortable. Food was very, very good, I would go as far as saying that it's 2* quality. I've read many posts on here and found that IMHO, that those who understand the simplicity and almost perfection that can be found at L'Arpege, L'Ambroisie and indeed L'Astrance will get this place immediately. It's very mature French cooking at it's best, yes there were quibbles, seasoning could have been a tad better, but that's a personal thing. The wine list could have been a bit more friendly towards my wallet, the sommelier will run away into big Burgundy's if allowed. Aurelie was fantastic and is a fabulous Maitre d', but she needs to be given the floor. These are minor matters that in time will resolve themselves. This has to be the most exciting new opening in recent times, one of the few places that I'll return.
  7. My comments aren't directed at Simon Rogan's establishments, and I applaud his 'British' identity. What strikes me is the fact that too many young British cooks do see Noma as the holy grail, but that aside. I'm at a loss to understand how someone like TA, who let's not forget was considered a bit of a maverick when he first burst onto the scene at Pied à terre after the much lauded Richard Neat in 96. He was seen by many as a culinary natural, I for one enjoyed breathtaking originality. Now it seems he's ran out of ideas, and hopped over to Copenhagen. Now that's a real shame.
  8. Anyone been yet? Cracking review by the Masch.
  9. I see that you're easily influenced by this Nordic nonsense practised by Brits, all the restaurants that you mention veer towards that particular style, the only exception being Texture, who indeed pays homage to his homeland. I find these imitators shallow and soulless, completely preoccupied with Noma. I personally found Noma very pleasant and hugely interesting, but that cannot be transferred here. It will be very interesting to see what direction these lost sheep will follow when Alinea gets top spot in the ludicrous worlds top 50 this year.
  10. Jonathan Meades has always been hugely sceptical about the Red Guide, his comments in the Telegraph recently are out of touch with today's guide. Michelin are bang up to date these days, especially I believe at 1 star level, yes you could argue about the H&F 2 stars, but 10 yrs ago places like Arbutus, H&F, St.John & The Sportsman would've never got stars. Skye Gyngell's recently quoted in an Australian daily " Receiving the star has been a curse" I'm so confused because she also commented on the fact that the restaurant has been rammed since they got it. I'm not in the restaurant game but ain't that a good thing, isn't that the best piece of free publicity one could hope for? I'm sure that her backers have a different view on things. Greg Malouf is a big draw for them, he's a great replacement, I'm sure that he's got a different view on the star.
  11. Isn't it incredible that young British cooks can't have their own identity. First we had the wave of Ferran Adria imitators - some are still practicing his methods . Now we have the Nordic copycats; Tom Aikens, Dabbous & Young Turks. All very good indigenous talent, but it does amaze me how they come to see this as the holy grail. How long will it be before Ferran's disciples jump ship?
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