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Everything posted by balex

  1. I had a truffled capon at Christmas last year which I ordered from the Fish shop (next to Kensington Place). It was stellar. French I think. You could give them a call -- Address: 201 Kensington Church Street, London , W8 7LX Telephone: 020 7243 6626
  2. I went about a month ago. I found the service rather annoying since they clearly have no clue about the food at all. The more exotic stuff was poor -- the waiter talked us into a venison curry: the sauce was good but the meat was way overcooked. I hadn't been for a year or so. It was a last minute decision and they weren't very busy. I hadn't been very impressed on my previous visits, but I had a really nice meal. They are trying to do something interesting with the food, with some good ingredients, and some good ideas. I felt they were slightly let down by the seasoning in some of the food, whcih wasn't properky balanced. But go -- it's not earth shakingly good, but where is? And choose the stuff that sounds more boring.
  3. balex

    L'Ami Louis

    Thanks for interjecting some facts into this discussion. There are lots of good restaurants in the world that are unadventurous and make a living out of serving very good, traditional, reliable unchanging food. A few that come to mind are Le Caprice and Wiltons in London, and say Dal Bolognese and Da Nino in Rome. I am sure that other people could come up with their own examples. All of these restaurants are very expensive, and have large local and tourist clienteles, and serve quite simple food, but of very high quality. So what's the disagreement about? To me the only point at issue is service: all of these restaurants have excellent service whereas L'ami Louis allegedly has rather poor service. But maybe I have an overly Anglo-Saxon view of good service. As they say in France Parisien, tete de chien, Parigo, tete de veau One should be prepared to adapt to other cultures when one travels.
  4. Aunty used 4 cups all purpose flour. Enough hot water was added to make a stiff dough. Then she poured 5.5 cups warm water over the dough. We kept working and squeezing the dough until all the gluten was extracted. This took about 15 minutes of squeezing to get the wheat starch. She then strained and discarded the left over mass. We used a deep frying pan for the "steaming", and 8" teflon cake pans. The pans were floating on about 1" of boiling water in the frying pan. One soup ladle of "gluten milk was poured into the pan and the filling sprinkled in. The frying pan was covered and cheung fun steamed for 2 minutes. The pans were then floated on cold water. The cheung fun was rolled and lifted out for devouring! itch22, the cloth tied tight over a steaming pot was how my sister used to do it . . . double thickness of cheese cloth. The water has to be really boiling so that the thin batter will set immediately. I think I'll continue to buy! ← I am confused. When you make a dough and wash it, the starch dissolves into the water making it milky and the gluten is the spongey stuff left behind that is used in a number of dishes. Here do you use the starch or the gluten? Or am I hopelessly confused?
  5. Quick two questions: I live about 100m from Royal China on Queensway so they have a home team advantage : is Golden Palace worth the trip? What is the quality difference? You describe cheung fun as "gluten" ? Is this right? Is the starch washed off or is it just ground rice and water? Nice pics too.
  6. To watch THE cricket? Don't expect any posts for at least 24 hours. (edit: I am still recovering from watching it on TV. England won by 2 runs. The most exciting test match I have ever watched.)
  7. Jamie, could you explain the source of the list and what it means? Presumable things are on there for different reasons -- imported shrimp are presumably on the list not because shrimp are in danger of being extinct but because of ecological concerns about intensive farming in Vietnam?
  8. Thanks for all the tips. As always happens I wasn't able to pick all of the restaurants I went to but I ate pretty well. Cafe Zola: some tasty scallops with nori, and a roast chicken. I was really jet lagged and I needed some confort food. Very nice, though the lemon sauce on the chicken was a bit too sharp. I can see why people like this place. Sabor Latino: I found this a bit ho-hum : and NO ALCOHOL. Guys, what were you thinking? Sending an Englishman to a Mexican restaurant that doesn't serve beer is just plain cruel. This happened another time actually. Luckily I am very resilient person otherwise I could have become quite demoralised. Nice salsa, but it was all a bit soggy. But this might just reflect my low level of education about Mexican food. I went to a restaurant called the Earle (not my choice) with a large group. Very impressive wine list, with some very good value at the high end. We had a nice Gigondas from the low end. Food was ok, good panzanella, rather greasy scallopine. Sushi place called Totoro or something, cheap, food ok for the price point, NO ALCOHOL. A few ok but rushed sandwiches at lunch. A good breakfast at a place callled Frank's. Nice eggs, really good hash browns and excellent french toast. This guy is a real artist. Lunch before catching the plane, at Pacific Rim -- originally Korean, now fusion. I had crabcakes with taro chips, and some steak with kimchi and then extra kimchi. I liked this. Very quiet and friendly. Drank a half bottle of pinot noir, shot pool for an hour at the Michigan Union and then back to England. I kind of wanted to go to the Chop house but it was closed when I wanted to go there. Has anyone eaten there? It looked like a serious steak house.
  9. That's great. Sorry for the new thread but the other one seemed more devoted to high end stuff. Any Vietnamese in Ann Arbor itself? I am not sure that I will be very mobile.
  10. Hi, I am spending a few days in Ann Arbor, and I'd like some recommendations for good food. I am not interested in high end food but more in good ethnic food -- I'd especially like info on good Korean or Vietnamese food which are lacking where I live (london). Also, I am particularly fond of BBQ so any hints there would be great.
  11. Well for England it is about 10% -- 43.50 food and non-alcoholic drink out of a weekly household expenditure of 418. But you must add in restaurants and hotels (34.90) and of course booze and fags (11.70). So that makes .. sucks pencil .. carry one .. mmm... say 20%, but taking out fags and hotels (theres a joke in there somewhere -- get those fags out of my goddam hotel ...) it is probably about 15%. 40% sounds implausibly high though. Link: stats a go go
  12. In west London you can get them at Lidgates the butcher on Holland Park Avenue or the Fish shop next to Kensington Place restaurant on Kensington Church street. About £3.50 each. Also at Horrids. I am not a big fan myself.
  13. Where is a good veal butcher in London? I want things like breast of veal, various bits of offal , and someone that can cut escalopes properly.
  14. There is a very nice Roman soup with a broth of skate with broccoli and borken up spaghetti. It's quite spicy and delicious. I can post a recipe if you want. Alex
  15. balex


    Cooking is all about altering the experience -- by cooking, by adding herbs, and so on. Accompanying wines is just one more element. Bear in mind also that wine is such an integral part of European haute cuisine that most chefs will implictly factor into their dishes the fact that they will be eaten with wine.
  16. I am afriad that the inexorable economic reality is that cheap food is always going to be mass produced crap. Lots of people are poor and/or don't care about food, so will always buy the cheapest food. The best we can hope for is that the bottom end is not positively harmful; some of which has been dealt with by food adulteration laws that go back quite some time, and some of which may be dealt with by new legislation. And with the best will in the world I don't believe this claim that if you factor in the true costs (externalities like environmental damage, hidden subsidies etc.) that everybody will be eating organic turnips six months of the year. I live in London and have a choice between cheap crap, and expensive high quality goods. (actually I can also find expensive crap quite easily but that's another story). I certainly wouldn't want either of those two choices taken away, and it must be difficult to live in an area where the choice is between two (or one) big supermarket.
  17. I went to Mestizo on Sunday. Worth the trip. Slightly clueless but friendly service, and I had a brief chat with the friendly owner who seemed to be pleased to be bringing enlightenment to the masses. They have a large selection of tapa type things, which we ordered since I was with a slightly picky eater. We had some tacos and some queso fritto whcih had a very good tomatillo salsa but was a bit heavy. Also some flautas which are crisp fried tortillas rolled up with chicken inside. Lots of other tempting things on the menu. Overall I was pretty impressed -- very good value by London standards, quite a nice cool room. I have never been to Mexico so I can't vouch for its authenticity, but it compared pretty well with stuff in Santa Fe. (a not very helpful website here )
  18. Panino con milza -- street food in Palermo. You get a sesame seed bun (I think this is actually the origin of the sesame seed bun for fast food, but I digress) with a stew of pancreas and lung, served with two sorts of cheese (ricotta and caciocavallo), squeeze of lemon, bit of salt. Sometimes it has some crunchy bits that are a bit like toenail cilippings. Best just to spit them out without looking too closely. Fabulicious.
  19. We are spending a few days in Bath, Bristol and environs. I had a look in the GFG but there was nothing very inspiring. Any good tips for places to eat? At any level as long as the food is good. We will have a car so stuff in the countryside would also be accessible.
  20. The cool chile company will be opening a taqueria very near where I live! It is on the site of that African restaurant on Westbourne grove near the junction with Chepstow Road. Just next to Alastair little's shop Tavola. There are builders there now. I will keep an eye on it.
  21. God, I hate these sorts of articles. What's the best olive oil in the world? What's the best wine in the world? It's just pure intellectual laziness that makes people lap this stuff up. This restaurant is the best restaurant in the world so I know I am having a good time. It's like those assholes who only drink 100 point Parker wine. Grrr. Deep breath. As wiser people upthread have said, it's an easy way for journalists to sell copies. But that doesn't mean that we have to take it seriously. We are endowed with capabilities of higher reason and analysis. Or at least Moby is. I left mine in the pub last night.
  22. Naples is very rough at the moment. The daughter of a friend is leaving the University there and moving north because of the Camorra activity at the moment. So I would understand leaving it out. It depends what you are interested in, but Florence is absolutely central to a large chunk of western art. Plus they have great food. And it isn't too far away, which on eGullet means: You can leave after lunch and arrive in time for dinner.
  23. Criminal -- but this is quite common in Rome with the more upmarket places -- they lose that simplicity which is so important. I know my opinion on Gusto is a minority one, and I haven't been for a couple of years so .. Their brunch used to be quite fun but it was a terrible scrum to get a table. I kind of agree it is more fun for Italians and expats, because we get bored with the completely straight food. So for visitors it isn't a must see. Dittirambo is quite good and has an excellent wine list, and serves recognisably Roman cooking. Has anyone been to Al Moro recently?
  24. Agretti or barba di san giuseppe (beard -- becuase it hangs down your chin when you eat it). It is a sort of samphire. (edited to add: thanks for the great pictures;)
  25. I would put in a caution about Gusto. The food is pretty patchy and it is very much not a Roman restaurant. It feels much more like a restaurant in New York and London. The people watching is good, and it's cool but don't spend one of your preciious 5 meals there. Pizzeria Remo is good. There are lots of other good restaurants in Rome. Go to one of the Florentine steak places, since you won't be going to Tuscany. My current fave is the one on Via Sicilia by the Via Veneto. Just have the big anipasto and then a huge steak. They have a good wine list too.
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