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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by MobyP

  1. Caw wot a bunch of moaners. That looks like a right bargain. I'd pay twice as much.
  2. "You don't want a ... er... tight fisted... er... chunk of bread..." http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=C1SM73Qi1BQ&NR=1
  3. MobyP

    Dinner! 2008

    black truffle risotto
  4. I love my pentole pans - by far the hottest pans I own. Thermally they outstrip the copper and iron. But the design/build quality of the handles for the saute pans is just awful. Both the handles have come loose from their solder and dropped off. If anyone from pentole is reading this, I would appreciate a fix.
  5. Since Jay and Marina's early support of the Sportsman, it has grown into simply a terrific restaurant. People may not know the sheer scope of what Stephen does, despite goons like me going on about it. A recent dish of turbot characterises how amazing it can be - the fish landed within a couple of miles of the front door. Then braised in butter churned by Stephen from local aged raw cream. Seasoned by fleur de sel made by Stephen. A veloute (also with local cream) mounted with some avruga caviar. And the taste was more profound than any dish of turbot I've had in this country, and better than most in France. It was simply wonderful. I would take it in preference over the turbot at Les Ambassadeurs, at Michel Bras, at Arpege and the one at Jean Georges in a heart beat. Possibly the only comparison would be the turbot with shellfish juices and black truffles at Manresa, and even then, the quality of turbot was better at Stephen's, for my money. In the end, Stephen having a star is as meaningless to the quality of what he does as his not having one. It is only if it helps the restaurant economically that I hope he wins it.
  6. MobyP

    Pig Stomach

    One method is - for the tradional en vessie approach - salt it for a few days, then clean it out. Throw in a top class chicken with some herbs, a little brandy and truffle juice, tie it up and poach. (I wish my son would bring me home one of those)
  7. I tend to do the round trip from London. About an hour and a half each way for me. Or split it with someone. Wish I could eat like this once a week
  8. a fantastic lunch here yesterday - pictures here.
  9. I think the criticism is aimed more towards the corporate (meaning focused at the Ducasse institute in Paris) nature of menu creation and execution, rather than tired Bocuse-old accusation of hands on cooking. The albufera sauce made here will use exactly the same ingredients, sourced form the same location, in the same proportions as the Albufera sauce in Athenee, and probably within a few microns of the sauce that D learned under Chapel - it will be the (albeit extremely high) lowest common denominator of sauce creations that a corporation spread as wide as Ducasse can pull of with the staff available to it. The point is, it's still down to the individual to be exceptional. Piege and Cerutti could bring a vibrancy to this kind of thing that an untested chef can't. He's not talking about the general and by now accepted nature of brigade management.
  10. Sorry - here's a review. I won't upload the pics here because I find imagegullet a bit of a pain in the arse. But follow the link above for images. This was a meal I was really looking forward to, though I'm not entirely sure why. The gloss has gone off a lot of haute food for me. I'm not not entirely sure why that is either. I'm becoming a grumpy gourmand. I get really pissed off with any food that isn't entirely exceptional within its category. Still, I think once Degusto (as he's known on the boards - see Gastroville) had made his pronouncement about the quality of the ingredients (call me a faddish teenager, but I tend to listen to what the guy says when he calls a turnip a turnip), I guess the combination of such a high degree of obvious technical skill combined with that filled whatever shameless criterion I have left. I don't know that this was a religious experience. Or rather, I do know that this wasn't a religious experience. But there was enough really exceptional food, respect for ingredients, and interesting ideas executed cleanly, that I wouldn't hesitate to return. In this case, two dishes were superb, three were very good. The lobster, surprisingly, was a clear dud. To start, bread with bordier butter. It was fine, but I wonder if my palate isn't getting used to it. Had a pound of the stuff at Arpege. Half a pound at L'Ousteau. Some at Robuchon. More here. The TV dinner Platter - Chicken liver royale (Tendret/Chapel) with crayfish and foie foam (back left), carrot lemonade, onion cromequis, escargot chantilly, truffle bonbon. The glass at the back had a variation on the Chapel/Tendret chicken liver combo with chunks of crayfish. Delicious. The glass upfront was "Carrot lemonade." There was a herbal hint that I couldn't identify. Delicious. The croquette was onion. A perfectly thin shell burst in the mouth. Lovely. Didn't identify the tube as escargot, but it was tasty and the fragility of it was nice. The truffle butter 'bonbon' seemed a little superfluous after all of that bordier. Oeuf coque 'sans coque' - écrevisse au cerfeuil/trompettes The egg. This was really a masterpiece. I'm told that he suspends an egg yolk in a cool butter shell, which he then dips in bread crumbs and egg. This is fried. When you break into the sphere, the yolk is still runny. A superb dish. The shell was even throughout, and thin. But what really impressed me was how the dominant flavour was of the wonderful quality egg yolk. None of the other ingredients dominated it. In combination with the mushrooms and crayfish it was excellent. Definitely my choice for breakfast every day. Langoustine with Iranian Caviar (different guises) This was not underwhelming, but not as successful a dish as above. The thing that let it down for me was the caviar - it had a rather quiet flavour profile. Given the sheer quantity that you see in the picture, you would think it would dominate - it actually had a hard time coming through with those other flavours. Texture-wise it was almost invisible next to the langoustine, which was of good quality, but didn't shine for me as the Pacaud examples. The broth at the back was quite aggressive next to the quietness of the other flavours. Turbot, galette de Bretagne, coquillages au vert Some nice turbot, cooked properly, wrapped in (I think) whole wheat crepe, served with a shellfish sauce. This was very good, and the sauce showed a great amount of restraint. The shellfish juices perfuming the sauce, rather than overwhelming. Lobster, velouté de tétragone, This was a bust. The lobster had little flavour and was cooked unevenly. He had placed some awful disks of parmasan - I want to say - gum over each piece, which had then been melted. It was fairly unpleasant. The sauce was innocuous. riz croustillant, citron confit This was actually the more pleasant part of the dish. The crunchiness of the rice was fun, and the mitts were cooked perfectly. Lièvre de Sologne à la Royale, chestnut pasta with truffle This was a masterpiece (all thoughts of lobster fled when this came). Fantastic hare. The sauce was rich and scented without being overwhelming. The hare was perfectly moist. And he pulled off a magic trick. An accompaniment of chestnut pasta flavoured with browned garlic and black truffle was superb. He pastas were excellent (I really hadn't expected them to be). But you could take a bite of the hare, then a bite of the pasta, and all of the flavours came through. Nothing dominated anything else. 2 different sweetbreads with spaghetti carbonara Very very satisfying dish. The sweetbreads were of high quality. The two different preparations were both cooked sensitively. The quality of the pasta was I thought very good, and the inclusion of the custard in the center and the line of whatever that stuff is on the top, made it absolutely delicious. A fun plate of food. We had the Bernard Anthony cheeses. They were of good quality, the comté was excellent, although the portion was small. Then the parade of desserts. Oddly - and perhaps cleverly - they bring the mignardise before the main dessert. Probably a good idea, or we wouldn't have had the room. A chocolate dome which melted. I didn't get to taste this. Frais de bois with verbena ice cream and meringue cage. The best frais de bois I've ever tasted. Just extraordinary, and a great note to end on. The combination with the verbena was pitch perfect. So, a lovely meal. With 2 glasses of wine each, the meal came to a pretty substantial 800 euros, placing it in the upper price bracket. That lobster dish aside, I see no reason why this isn't a 3 star place.
  11. Our lunch wasn't from a lunch menu. As my bank manager, creditors, and the guy standing outside my house with a bat will all attest.
  12. Very enjoyable meal here on Saturday. Pics.
  13. If you want haute, go to Paris. Or if London, La Noisette.
  14. MobyP

    Dinner! 2007

    No - we don't get good enough corn in the UK. It's a vermouth buerre blanc with brunoise. The ceps were very nice - French.
  15. MobyP

    Dinner! 2007

    A couple of courses from a lunch the other day Otoro tartar with salmon roe Lobster with ceps
  16. (Salmagundy salad - pic by Culinary Bear) An absolute brilliant meal from Stephen Harris, this Sunday. We knew he made his own bread, churned his own butter, made his own fleur de sel and sel gris, raised his own pigs, cured his own hams, had sheep and eggs from across the road... well now he's started growing his own vegetables as well. After a recent visit to Bras, he thought to do his own version of the gargilliou with a traditional English salad called a salmagundy - with a slow poached duck egg, warm ham (his own of course, as well as the product of his garden. The fish there is always incredibly fresh - we had a huge turbot to share between us, served two ways, a tartar with soy foam, and big tranches served with fresh crab. Everything was a winner - a great carrot soup with green peppercorns to start... and excellent desserts made with local fruit and herbs. Possibly my favourite place in England right now. Pics here.
  17. Expensive, but one of the most pleasurable meals that I've had in London for a while. pics here
  18. MobyP

    Dinner! 2007

    Short horn rib of beef
  19. That would be 'debone', surely? ← not if you're the pig.
  20. A few excellent meals here. Stephen Harris has a way, especially with seafood. This is the sort of place you would go to weekly if you could. As Fi says, his crab risotto can be spectacular (among the best of any risotto I've had). His turbot with cockles or thornback ray in brown butter were excellent. He deals with the immediacy of local ingredients - usually within half a mile of the pub. He was talking about serving some local lobsters with fresh cepes that a local had brought to his door that morning. Can't recommend highly enough. Pictures here
  21. With a small amount of research you would have discovered that Ramsay was doing this dish before Fergus came on the scene. It's a straight swipe of Pierre Koffman's stuffed pig's trotter with chicken mousseline and morels, except served as you say rather than just poached.
  22. Yes, but only because the macarons are inedible. They could have doubled for marbles. They were *hard.* Is that the problem you had with them? ← I found them beyond sickly sweet.
  23. Well, you don't want french, so the above may not be suitable. The River Cafe is a great restaurant for sitting by the river. Excellent ingredients, cooked simply. Quite expensive though. You'll probably find St John's of interest. If you want loud and noisy, Anchor and Hope. Chinese - Haakasan is worth going to for lunch, and you can keep the bill down by ordering some of the excellent dim sum. Sushi Hiro in Ealing for superb, inexpensive sushi or more probably Sushi Ikeda near New Bond Street - some of the best sushi in London, more expensive, with excellent cooked food too. I'll think of some more.
  24. MobyP

    Dinner! 2007

    aw man, are you looking to adopt? That looks really great.
  25. MobyP

    Dinner! 2007

    Thanks Shaya. I do use potato. I think with the right kind of potato you can reduce the flour. One chef here has it down to about 85g per 500g of flour (standard of Batali et al has it at closer to 150g per 500g). I also bake the potatoes rather than boil. Puree, let cool. Add two egg yolks. blend lightly and roll into snakes and cut. Then either roll gently against a paddle or fork. (BTW, I tried doing this in America with Idahos and had the most perfect gnocchi dough - which dissolved to nothing when I put the bloody things in water!) The endive foam was just as you say. I braised them first with wine and stock.
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