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balex

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  1. Other than Bar Shu, the best Sichuan places are Chilli Cool in Bloomsbury Angeles in Kilburn (I think this is very good)
  2. Arpege: 2006-present

    They have a menu at the moment which is a 25th anniversary menu. Some of the highlights were: langoustine carpaccio with caviar sauce, celeriac with white truffles turbot with a vin jaune sabayon, and a smoked potato. roast chicken in hay plus of course many of the other classic dishes -- the egg, the cous cous with vegetables. Slightly too much food overall, but very good indeed. Not the best meal I have had there though.
  3. The trotter here is good -- but a shadow of how it was at La Tante Claire, or even at MPWs establishments. When I had it, it was not as neatly done as in the photos above, and the farce was different -- much plainer, I don't think there were any morels or sweetbreads, could just have been a plain chicken mousse. Still good, and let the trotter shine out more.
  4. Viajante

    I went here a few months ago, and I though it was terrible. Very few dishes that worked at all and quite a few that were actively unpleasant -- and I consider myself an adventurous eater. Quite a heavy Japanese influence, but too much use of slippery textures. Only one dish was actually delicious which was a quite classic pork dish.
  5. That just takes the piss. I don't know of anywhere else that doesn't include tax with the menu prices. So glad I cancelled. ← You are legally obliged to quote prices with VAT on in restaurants. "2.2.7 All price indications you give to private consumers, by whatever means, should include VAT."
  6. I went last night with a few fellow food-obsessives. The food is quite traditional; the plating is good, but conventional: nothing had a wow factor (but I don't care about that). A couple of service errors that were handled well (to be expected I guess in a new restaurant). We ate a la carte; I had langoustines with a truffled parmentier jus. Good quality langoustine, cooked all the way through, not just seized. Good truffle flavour. Scallops with ponzu sauce; misconceived overly fruity sauce, nothing to do with ponzu; 3 large, high quality scallops, good crust on the top, again cooked properly. Disappointing. Chicken breast with Albufera sauce plus some stellar white truffles over the top. Mine was good; the other two people at my table having this dish sent it back as it was slightly overcooked. Some better replacements came back rapidly. Some poached vegetables and little quenelles; the sauce had a very good foie gras flavour, but the chicken was a bit overpowered. It was basically just there for the sauce to rest on. Really good truffles, but a mean portion (they are v expensive this year). Baba with rhum; delicious, great presentation. But it would be better if it had time to soak in the rum rather than having it poured over at the last minute. A good, overpriced French wine list; we had some good wines, though we weren't massively impressed with the sommelier's expertise. So probably 1.5-star food with 3-star trimmings; I had a great time, but from a pure food point of view it needs some work. Definitely don't go if you value innovation and snazzy presentation very highly, or if you are very budget conscious as it is overpriced, I felt, relative to other fancy French places in London. But there aren't that many places serving this sort of more traditional haute cuisine with very complex sauces in London, so I will probably go back; but not very soon. I agree with Mr Monkey above; I don't think the food is going to change much. They should ditch the scallop dish or change the sauce; maybe use a Bresse chicken in the Albufera sauce dish.
  7. ← Thanks, Andy, I think I missed that. I am going on Thursday...
  8. Has anyone here been yet? Or is everyone bailing out on the basis of the reviews?
  9. I just spoke to someone at the Dorch who said the opening date has not yet been confirmed. Does anyone have any better info?
  10. I like Pieropan's wines a lot -- I have not la Rocca, but the other single vineyard Soave, Calvarino, in my cellar. (plus a bunch of his regular bottling which is a great QPR). Nespole aren't apricots but something else -- pedantic discussion here The River Cafe aren't that good at Italian though --( mazzancolle are langoustine apparently?) so they might have been apricots.
  11. Sounds horrible. I nearly went there last week: it seems like I had a lucky escape.
  12. None whatsoever, of course. Nevertheless, relatively speaking, it is far more surprising that new London operations are cited as best restaurants of the year than it is surprising that someone should have had a meal of the year in an iconic three star such as Bocuse. Indeed, it's only not surprising if one factors in the 'buzz' of novelty, which at any rate is strictly superficial, hence the 'fashionable' comment. ← I think this is a fair point: it's like those "100 greatest pop songs ever" which inevitably consist of mostly songs released in the past year. This could be of course because pop music is just getting better and better every year, or it could be because of the "recency effect".
  13. Post. been there twice since and actually prefer it to the bjorn-again noisette - think hes toned down his cuisine too much since then and is still hamstrung by the room. plus GH has a wine list that could double as a prop in Lethal Weapon - its on the website: look, but don't touch! J ← This is getting off topic but that is a very good wine list -- and there is some value there -- some Spanish rarities at close to a wholesale price, though the famous French stuff is, ahem, fully priced.
  14. Clarke's

    I think your first point is a fair one: I wouldn't say that the food there is particularly homey, but it certainly avoids a lot of the tropes of restaurant cooking -- in particularly, except for the puddings, I found it quite light and not as high fat as most London restaurants. I am not a huge fan of this restaurant, but I generally think the food in London is very poor, and so by suitably adjusted standards this is quite good. In particularly in this part of London there is Kensington Place, the Ark, the Ledbury a bit further north, Assaggi, and a bunch of good Chinese restaurants on Queensway. So this fills a local niche. I certainly would not travel from Montreal to go to this place I have no idea where all of this snobby dinner party stuff came from.
  15. Clarke's

    I have never met her and I don't care whether she is a nice person, any more than I care whether Gordon Ramsay is a nice person. I get the feeling you are trying to be insulting here, but it is a little vague.. are you saying that upper class Kensington types don't cook, therefore they don't know anything about food, therefore they like the "shitty" food at Clarke's?
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