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Everything posted by rjs1

  1. Don't think JAson Atherton would inflict anything as frightful-sounding as foie gras soup on us.
  2. Raymond blanc over 20 years,still hasn't got his 3rd* ...maybe he should relocate?? ← To Tokyo?
  3. Two bottles of wine a head?
  4. Don't they do a ready-made meal selection at Waitrose? That might be an economic way of checking them out.
  5. For lunch, definately Foliage - took a three year old there for lunch a year or so ago and they couldn't have been nicer or more accomodating (mind you, since we were the only lunchers for the first hour we were there, it was sensible of them to treat us well). It's excellent value for lunch and the view of Hyde Park, including horses, may help to keep your child entertained. Alternatively and also for lunch, what about Le Gavroche? Great value, and since the service is so note perfect there I'm sure they'd spoil your daughter rotten.
  6. Warren Geraghty. He was our head chef at Neat in Cannes from 1999 to 2001, then went to Aurora at the Great Eastern Hotel. Talented chef. Don't know what he's doing now. How about Pearl? Should it have a star? Texture should be a contender, I think, but maybe it opened too late to be fully inspected?
  7. Have to say Van de Groot must have the best PR in London. How the Greyhound and Rosendale have curried so much favour escapes me. there's nothing wrong with either, but not so much truly exemplary either. and the wine list is, erm, highly overrated. and overpriced ←
  8. To be fair, obviously there are degrees of nut allergy. My three year old is allergic to nuts (and egg), and there was an occasion recently when I ate some cashews then absent-mindedly kissed her without having wiped my mouth first; she developed a rash within five minutes. Luckliy she's pretty sensible about her allergies and in any case we never go anywhere without an epi-pen so that we can inject her if anything happens. However, just being near nuts doesn't harm her, and certainly I wouldn't be worried about nuts on a plane (unless they were trying to blow it up...) On the other hand, I know another child who is so much more severely nut-intolerant that simply being in a room with nuts will make his throat start to swell, and if he ingests even a piece of one he would probably die. Not sure that an epi-pen would help much unless he could be got to hospital quickly as well. It seems reasonable to me (and does actually happen) that when he flys somewhere the other passengers should have the position explained to them be asked to be understanding about not be served nuts on that flight. I think that this would be a more reasonable approach than a blanket ban on nuts on planes. As parents of a child with food allergies, it's obviously our responsibility to check on ingredients when we go out, and we tend to avoid any "bought in" food unless we can see the packaging to check the ingredients. I have to say that everywhere we eat out both FoH staff and chefs are incredibly helpful about the issue.
  9. Any chance of him going back there once the refurbishment is finished? I mean, Italian? At the Connaught? My dear, the very thought....
  10. Uh? Sheepdrove chicken is not a "supermarket bird" or a "battery hen" - pretty much the polar opposite of a battery hen, in fact, and superior in quality (and cost) to any supermarket bird I've tried, even organic free range examples. I expect to pay about £12 for a Sheepdrove chicken (about £7 a kilo), cut it in half, have one half as a roast for two and get two meals for the kids out of the other half, plus make some great stock. Not dirt cheap, but worth paying the extra imho.
  11. Queens Park on Sundays (10 - 2, jsut up Salusbury Road from Queens Park tube).
  12. Bibendum Wines represent Bodega Catena Zapata, and their top end stuff (e.g. the Catena Alta Chardonnay and Malbec) is ace.
  13. How can you have a blue cheese sorbet? If it contains dairy products, surely it would be blue cheese ice cream?
  14. Ok, finally got to try Texture at lunch today with a couple of former Upper Glas colleagues, both Swedish. They thought that the cuisine was "new Nordic" in all but name, and was in tune with the principles of the New Nordic cuisine manifesto. We started in the bar with drinks and assorted, very crumbly crisps (including cod skin - not convinced by this one) with two dips (wasabi, completely lacking the expected heat, and yogurt). Drinks, a Virgin Mary and a cocktail of gin, ginger syrup and basil, were both spot on. In the restaurant there was a choice of four breads, served with unsalted butter, Ligurian olive oil and a very smooth black olive tapenade. Amuse bouche was an octagonal shotglass of raw pumpkin, chestnut cream and stilton. This was both distinctive and good, but I think that pumpkin needs at least some cooking to give it character. I then had three dishes, in grazing portions: Smoked tuna with Japanese flavours: This was the highlight of the meal. The dish was brought under a cloche which was lifted to release an intense smokey aroma. The tuna was very rare and very fresh, with a melange of Japanese flavourings. Salmon, scrambled eggs and cucumber: This dish was less than the sum of its parts. Salmon and cucumber are a great pairing; so is salmon and scrambled egg; cucumber and scrambled egg are a marriage made in hell. Icelandic cod branade, chorizio, squid and peppers: A good but rather busy dish, with the peppers hardly detectable. The squid and the branade were wonderful, and the chorizio came as (yet more) crisps. My friends had, inter alia: the Jerusalem artichoke selection (wonderful flavours, but the "tea" in a test tube was a bit of pretentious presentation) Icelandic lamb (very tender) Cornish skate Belly pork (utterly wonderful, and went beautifully with Liberty beer). Two of us shared a plate of different coconut preparations for pudding; we loved it, but it was rather rich after what had gone before and one plate was quite enough for two. We drank an organic Alsace wine, Ostertag Vielles Vignes Sylvaner (£27.50), and an Austrian Brundlemayer Steinmassel Riesling, which I thought was a bit of a bargain at £38 (list price ex-VAT is £14.48, so at a 70% GP + VAT you'd expect it to be about £56.70 - at £38 including VAT it was the bargain of the list). Generally I though the wine list was very fine and not greedily priced. Bill overall (with two beers, two cocktails and two bottles of wine, three coffees and one bottle of water) was £206 including service for three. Not a cheap lunch, but well worth it. I liked the straightforward pricing - all dishes £8.50, no supplements. I think that two people could lunch well there for just under £100. Service was charming and enthusiastic, and a severe shellfish allergy was well handled. Only slightly bum note was that the chef kept coming into the dining room looking self-important but not making any effort to interact with the diners.
  15. Not sure about this, but is the "a" actually superfluous? If it read "with red wine and caramelised shallot sauce", that would be different; it would be with a) red wine and b) caramelised shallot sauce. Personally I prefer them to use "&"; "plaice with red wine & caramelised shallot sauce" is unambiguous and more elegant. I need to get out more....
  16. Sullen barman on my one visit to Arbutus. And it wasn't too clean. Maybe it was just an off-day. If you're in Smithfield, how about Vinoteca at the end of St John street? They're friendly, chatty, really passionate about their wine and match it by the glass to the food.
  17. Like Metternich's fabled musing on hearing that the arch-plotter Talleyrand had died: "I wonder what he meant by that...."
  18. A first according to today's Caterer & Hotelkeeper.
  19. The nul points tend to be Chinese or Indian, with a peculiarly high proportion in Upper Street, Islington. ← When I click on the Upper Street link, why do l get transferred to the Amazon website?
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