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Matthew Grant

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Everything posted by Matthew Grant

  1. Excellent meal here last night, I got to try a few things inculding excellent sweetbreads with pinenuts and raisins, I didn't notice this on the menu so I'm not sure if it is going to be available soon, if not it should be. Country Style terrine was very good, good texture and a suitable temperature. Nice fruit chutney and toast alongside. The smoked eel with horseradish was as good as ever. I was intrigued to note a risotto of smoked eel and horseradish cream on the pre/post theatre menu which is excellent value at £17.50. Choices yesterday were Market vegetable soup or Pork "porchetta" with pecorino. Followed by The risotto or Lamb breast with Puy lentils. Warm Orange cake or Morbier to follow. The Caillettes were as good as ever. Star of the show was possibly the Creme caramel though the Custard tart with Orange marmalade looked like it might run it a close second. Excellent service and not a blip on the food front even with AD down at Wild Honey Alan Christie more than holds his own.
  2. I must admit, I don't read it like that at all? It seems to me that they have been sold back to the hotel. Ramsay will consult on menus?
  3. It was Saturday. Not sure where the strawberries were from but I imagine they are easily ready if imported(?).
  4. I wish I could add the Trusted Servant in Minstead to the list of great dining pubs, unfortunately its lovely location was let down by poor food. A homemade steak, ale and mushroom pie wasn't actually a pie, It was steak and ale (I couldn't find any mushrooms) and a seperately baked undercooked puff pastry lid (not homemade and certainly not made with butter) which was balanced on top for serving. Good chinky chips though. The same chunky chips were served with the Fish and chips. The bar staff weren't sure whether it was haddock or cod but it was "definitely one or the other". I'm still not sure what it was even after trying it. The batter was heavy and once again undercooked, the fish was more than likely frozen.
  5. Had a quick main course here yesterday for Lunch. Slow cooked Pork Belly came with honey roast vegetables and creamed potato. The potato which was pretty awful, it had a strange and very pronounced flavour which I wondered was caused by some rancid butter or cream but the waiter told me it may have been the truffle oil. It certainly wasn't truffle oil, maybe they picked up the vinegar by mistake? The pork and veg were very satisfactory. A Roast Chicken dinner was also very nice indeed, good potatoes and a very good chicken. Recommended for a reasonably priced lunch!
  6. This restaurant seems to fly below the radar despite having held a Michelin star for something like 13 years. Following our excellent meal at the Montagu arms we headed down to Emsworth where we found a charming little restaurant with rooms just yards from the sea. "36" (take that Jamie with your little "15") seems to fly below the radar despite having held a Michelin star for something like 13 years. It’s a lovely little town thankfully having avoided the usual seaside tat can dominates coastal towns in the UK. In fact the main thing here seems to be yachts and pubs, and very nice pubs at that with decent ales and some nice looking (though untested) food. An amuse of Pumpkin and orange soup with hazelnut oil was wolfed down while it was probably too hot to really do it it justice. To start I had an exemplary fillet of Brill on caramelised fennel with confited tomatoes, fennel dust, foam, and a roast chicken sauce. I’m not sure I remember the dust but that wasn’t a problem, the fish was beautifully cooked, it really shone, the fennel foam may have been an unnecessary addition to the dish (I’ll come back to this point) but the roast chicken sauce was a delight. Another starter of Sea Bass, cauliflower risotto with a peashoot a crisp potato salad with a curry dressing was again a little busy but the main components worked well with a lovely light curry dressing. For a main course 3 or 4 wood pigeon breast were served with braised red cabbage, wild mushrooms with baby onions, some small cubes of gratin potatoes and some unadvertised foie gras which was served just as I like it, really crisp on the outside, melting in the middle and topped with a little slat. Overall this was excellent, breasts cooked medium rare with good accompaniments. Duck Breast was honey roasted and spiced. It came with a lovely confit duck cake (more like a croquette) and a shallot 4 ways, creamed, tempura, tatin and caramelised. Due to a small problem with our room (which was dealt with superbly) I was comped an excellent selection, I think it was the whole board, of British cheese, the majority were in very good nick, presumably there is a high turnover of cheese here and rightly so. Desserts kept up the high standard, a hot lemon soufflé was possibly technically more of a soft meringue than a soufflé but suffered little because of that, accompanied by a wild strawberry parfait, crisp poppy seeds biscuits and a fresh strawberry confit. I was so caught up in my own dessert that I didn’t get to try the “36’s speciality dessert” which was a selection of miniature chocolate and orange desserts. Overall this was an excellent meal, if I had any faults it would be that perhaps the food was a little over complex and sometimes had a couple of elements too many, however in this location this may be what is required to give people what they perceive as good value for money, coming from London I wonder if I feel a little differently? Once again well worth a trip, a good tie in with the Montagu arms about 40 minutes away.
  7. Having only had the opportunity to eat Matt Tomkinsons food at The Goose once before he left we felt compelled to head to The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu where he was recently awarded a Michelin star. A recent review from the Telegraph was glowing in terms of the foods and a little less complimentary about the décor. On the whole I would agree with the review on that score, the dining room has plenty of potential with its pleasant outlook over the small garden but could do with a bit of un update. Matt put together a menu for us so we got a decent taste of the but would still need to eat here again to really do it justice. We started well, an organic butternut squash risotto with new forest blue cheese, hazelnuts and truffle, good risotto with a nice saltiness from the blue cheese that did well not to overpower. The Truffle finished this off well, they still smell lovely. A Boudin of Poached red mullet with baby leeks, crispy oyster beignet and oyster dressing appeared a little more technical, the boudin suffered a touch form being a little cold but overall this dish worked well, a low temperature cooked “sausage” of mullet served cold along side the crispy oyster beignet and dressing along with a little parfait of baby leeks. It had nice contrasts of texture and a nice acidity from the oyster dressing. The 'Lasagne' of braised oxtail with celeriac puree, baby spinach and horseradish cream is destined to become a signature dish IMO. The Lasagne sheets being thin discs of celeriac sitting on the rich oxtail. A pleasant sweetness combining really well with slight heat of the horseradish cream. A really lovely dish. We followed this with a grilled escalope of line caught seabass with organic Jerusalem artichoke puree, braised roscoff onions, saute potatoes and smoked bacon sauce. Again another lovely dish, though perhaps we would have been better having this before the oxtail. Good crisp skin on the seabass and good accompaniments, again a delicate hand with the smoked bacon sauce allowing the fish to stand out. Lovely onions as well. I’m afraid I forget the cheeses we ate but they were in good condition. A Caramelised lemon tart with blackcurrant sauce was a good test for the pastry chef and he passed with flying colours, a great filling and thin pastry. The final dish didn’t quite work for me. A warm blackberry sponge cake with blackberry yoghurt puree, dark chocolate and liquorice ice cream, whilst the ice cream and yoghurt puree were nice I found the sponge a little dense. Speaking to Matt afterwards there are some exciting plans ahead (I’m not sure whether I am allowed to mention them here) which will make a return visit a must. Overall a very good meal, well worth its Michelin star and well worth a stop or even a special trip to the New Forest.
  8. I've not tried any of the other "grills" but Upstairs at the Grill was pretty decent and had surprisingly good steaks when I went last year.
  9. I now know of several people suffering the same symptoms, not one of them ate at the Fat Duck
  10. Around the same time that it became very important that you could write a decent passion statement
  11. Wasn't he in the paper the other day saying he had abandoned plans to open a restaurant for the time being? So he is going to open up a restaurant on the back of his win in Masterchef but not do the cooking?
  12. A pretty grim meal at Noura Belgravia at short notice on Friday following the late night opening at the Natural History museum. Starters were a mixed bunch: Warakenab Vine Leaves, Hoummos Beiruty, were merely OK, too vinegary IMO. Sojok was decent enough and Lahm bi Ajine was not very good at all having a strange sweet taste (from the base?), an overly crisp base and a surprisingly flavourless topping. The grilled lamb chops were nicely cooked but nothing special. The mixed grill was a tired, overcooked and overpriced plate consisiting of Shish taouk, apparently marinated chicken, I guess it was marinated in plain oil. A Kafta that felt decidedly like it had been cooked days earlier and reheated and a Lamb skewer, again overcooked, dry and tasteless, possibly reheated. 3 skewers, £15!!!!! Overall, I wouldn't go back.
  13. When you say none of the Michelin places are cheap I think that is a little unfair, there are plenty of one stars at what I would consider a reasonable price.
  14. How? Have they removed all the alcohol?
  15. And here's your afternoons viewing: Vegetables and Salads 1 Vegetables and Salads 2 Vegetables and Salads 3
  16. How about seperating the hotel inspectors from the food inspectors? Jack of all trades, master of none?
  17. Is it my imagination or has this thread created less interest than in previous years? Have we all learned to put up with Michelins idiosyncracies or don't we care any more?
  18. What shocked me was that scrambled eggs taking 3 minutes was apparently too long!!!!! What sort of man expects a chef (notice he described Heston as a Celebrity chef ? ) to produce a meal without giving him a financial figure to work from? I'm not sure who the women was but she looked disgusted at everything they were served when Heston fed the management team. HB's invitation to dinner at the Fat Duck for £250 a head was great "....eat dinner and then i'll explain to you why we can't serve that for £3.50 a head..."
  19. Here is my report of Tapas in San Sebastian: San Sebastian tapas If were you I wouldn't push the Tapas too much in Barcelona, Tapac 24 and Pacao Meralgo are fine but others suffer in comparison to the Tapas places in San Sebastian. In BCN I'd add Dos Pallilos to your list (replace one of the tapas places with it).
  20. Here's the new stars One stars Michael Wignall at The Latymer The Terrace (at Montagu Arms) Fraiche Purnell’s Turners The Burlington (at The Devonshire Arms Country House) Lords of the Manor Casamia Manor House H. and Golf Club The Neptune La Bécasse The Nut Tree Auberge du Lac The Hambrough SCOTLAND Plumed Horse Sangster’s The Albannach Boath House LONDON Chapter One St John Ambassade de L’lle Hénène Darroze at The Connaught Murano Kai Semplice L’Autre Pied 2 stars The Dining Room (at Whatley Manor) LONDON Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (rising 3 star) Hibiscus L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Deletions ENGLAND Juniper The Goose Gravetye Manor The Abbey Tean LONDON 1 Lombard Street (Restaurant) La Noisette Mirabelle Tamarind L’Escargot SCOTLAND Glenapp Castle WALES Pwllheli Gwynedd Plas Bodegroes
  21. Anybody else think that Chapter one could get its star back? L'escargot to lose its star?
  22. Actually, Matt's is easy to predict having eaten his food at the Goose before he moved.
  23. Really, where's that? I reckon St John will get one as well, if past form is anything to go by Anthony's will miss out again.
  24. I bet Matt Tomkinson gets one at The Montague arms as well.
  25. You won't be laughing when those results come out and I'm right!
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