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Matthew Grant

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  1. Just looking at the other awards Petersham nurseries has won: * Time Out Award for Best Alfesco Dining (2005) * The BMW 1 Series Good Food Ride for ‘The most wonderful lunchtime bowl of soup’ (2006) * Tatler Award for Most Original Restaurant (2006) * Observer Food Monthly Awards, runner up for best Sunday lunch (2006) * Garden Retail Awards for best catering (2007) * Observer Food Monthly Awards for runner-up best Sunday lunch (2008) * The Hedonist guide to EAT LONDON (2008-2009) * Number 1 restaurant “Worth the schlep Hmmm....BMW, Tatler, The Hedonist guide I can well imagine that coupled with the prices there is a certain expectation for levels of service and surroundings Of course it's Michelins fault
  2. I imagine that the "wrong crowd" attracted to Petersham nurseries "ad hoc cafe" might have been due to the prices and location rather than the star. £13.50 for Buratta with grilled Polenta, £16.50 for spinach and ricotta ravioli, how about the £29 for Wild seabass with braised fennel and ginger? Its hardly going to attract a casual dining crowd stopping for a bite to eat while shopping for daffodil bulbs is it?
  3. Have another read of Wikipedia, the constant in Sushi is the rice and vinegar (not fermented fish), raw fish on its own is Sashimi.
  4. LOL, I meant that the bar is relatively high if you aren't sat on a stall so its difficult for them to reach across in an elegant way.
  5. THe "open kitchen" concept there isn't as clear cut as a lot of places, a lot of the food is prepped out back and assembled in front. Service at the bar was/is difficult due to the height of the bar in comparison to the servers and it sometimes can be a little clumsy due to the design.
  6. I once saw it described as MacRobuchon by a former poster here which is a great description. I was lucky enough to be in the Parisian branch just after it opened when the great man himself was there, great meal with even better people watching, one American foodie pronouncing the morels as the most generous plate of truffles she had ever eaten The London branch was never on the same level as my visit to the Parisian branch but it is/was predictably comforting if you want to taste Robuchons (and a host of other chefs who he pays homage or rips off depending on how you want to look at it). I've also tried the Hong Kong branch and once again it is solid if a little uninspiring but you know what your going to get and that isn't always a bad thing. L'Atelier 1 L'atelier 2
  7. I've never noticed the tossers, too busy looking at the lovely waiting staff
  8. The other half thinks I'm being generous to the prices, she thinks a lot of the cocktails are in the £15 - £16 range!
  9. I've not seen an drinks list online but from memory be prepared to pay £12 - £13 per cocktail which is at the high end of the cocktail scale especially compared to places like the Experimental Cocktail Club, London cocktail club or the Player, all places that are serving good drinks at close to half the price. I'm not sure why the bar is so cool, its not particularly big, its always crowded, its likely to be hard to get a seat, the barman are hidden out back, the drinks are expensive, but for some reason it works.
  10. The bar is located next to Dinner but it isn't part of the restaurant, I am only guessing but I would imagine that a 19:00 table a Dinner is going to get turned so they may allow you to sit a little later but will probably still want the table back around 21:00. The drinks are good (if a little expensive), be prepared to wait a while service can be a little slow especially if its busy. One thing I don't like about the bar is that the drinks are made out of sight of drinkers.
  11. Remember that 1 star is "in its category", subsequently it is probably being judged as a luxury dining venue not necessarily against a 1 star pub. Having said that the food does look nice, I vaguely remember it having a star a few years back.
  12. There seems to be a trend developing with Mugaritz.
  13. Remembering that Black cabs don't increase their fares, they just add a £4 surcharge on Christmas day and Boxing day so the price evens out quite a bit. According to the site below between £40 & £70, traffic should be relatively light so you might be at the lower end of the scale. ComCabs
  14. Not really for the UK board but Mugaritz was very disappointing this year, not a patch on my previous visit. The misses outweighed the hits and the wine train had gone right downhill. Sauces and consommes weren't even close to the quality they had been first time round. I hope they can get back on track.
  15. I'm certainly not an expert but I've thought about similar options in the past. I think (though I may be wrong) that what you are looking at is a fridge rather than a storage unit. The dual temperatures are linked to the serving temperature of the wine, for storage I'm pretty sure red and white can be kept at the same temperature, as far as I can tell there isn't any humidity control. Can anybody else confirm that what I'm saying is correct? If I'm wrong that seems like a decent priced option!
  16. Pedigree is an interesting point, probably best discussed in its own thread but since you've mentioned it here I'll post quickly. This is obviously not referring to Dominic Jack at Castle Terrace who seems to have numerous years at some of the establishments. How many times do you read that a chef has cooked at this one star, that two star and a three star in a France only to eat there and be disappointed? On the face of it the restaurants they have cooked at are great but, in my experience, a lot of chefs seem to shove a restaurant on their CV as long as they've done a couple of stages there. I know of a couple of starred chefs who have complained when a new restaurants PR have started mentioning their names as a way of demonstrating the chefs talent. The fact is it's pretty easy to get a stage in a restaurant and the way I look at this is similar to the warning on investments, past experience is no guarantee to future performance
  17. To put that last post in perspective so that we're not left thinking that the restaurant ripped anybody off (and to save anybody else having to click through to another blogger who can't be bothered to post their meal on EG)
  18. Fantastic meal on Saturday night, we had the 7 course tasting menu with 4 substitutions to avoid eating dishes I had already tried A lovely piece of Lovely Cod with Jerusalem artichoke, the crab with cauliflower and lemon grass cream is excellent though a touch cold. If I have one criticism, and it's one that Mikael acknowledges but its the way he likes to serve it, its that the steamed fish dished could do with a touch of salt. The onion is still delightfully simple. The Seabass was not quite at its usual level but this is still a level above anywhere else in London. The next couple of courses really did hit another level completely. The Sika Deer Royale was wonderful and surprisingly traditional in style. The foie gras was really good quality, the fatty richness complemented by the incredible sauce. Slight acidity from a touch of vinegar was relatively easy to determine but the texture and richness of it left us to think that it had been thickened with blood or the offal. I was amazed to find out that it was nothing more than the gelatine from the bones, the sauce took 3 days to make which might give you some idea what I was referring to when I said some of the dishes appear to be simple but are a bit more involved than you might realise. As we have come to expect the deer itself was one of the better pieces of venison I have tried. The Shetland lamb we had wasn't yet on the menu (I think it will be on from Tuesday and should be a regular addition to the menu) and drew some admiring glance from the table next to us. It was incredible, surprisingly slim bones indicating a small animal, lovely crisp fat and the lamb served rare which at first sight I thought was a little underdone but one bite left me realising that anything more would have been a mistake. Quite a dark colour with a hint of iodine, served with root vegetables and another fantastic sauce. The lemon tart with mandarin sorbet was a great way to finish a fine meal. Chloe is star in that kitchen, plenty of plaudits for the ingredients but the technical work in the pastry section is amongst the best I've tried in London. I feel like there has been a slight shift in style since the first few weeks, some of the dishes seem a little more complex without compromising the ingredient quality and still keeping the focus on the key ingredient in each dish. I would say that this meal was solid two star territory with a couple of positive exceptions; I'll put my neck on the line and say that the deer and the lamb could easily have been from a 3 star meal in France. Outstanding
  19. I believe they are also Tuber Aestivum and I think you are probably right about the area having an effect. Having said that best summer truffles I've tried are nothing like the best Perigord truffles. Similarly I've had T.Melonsporum from other areas, mainly Italian and Spanish, and they never seem to be as good as those from France.
  20. I also don't understand why so many chefs serve what can only be described as a defective dish just for the sake (I imagine) of having the word 'truffle' on the menu. Really, truffle is something that either is served in adequate quantity and top quality, or it is a huge disappointment, ranging in taste and texture from nothing to cardboard. The problem is more than likely because it isn't really the best time for black truffles, I bet if you asked they have used preserved or "summer" truffles (Tuber Aestivum) which aren't a patch on fresh Perigord Truffle (Tuber Melonsporum) which, IMO, are not at there best until later on, maybe in the new year.
  21. Is that really what the 5 star AA rating means? Do they even rate restaurants outside the UK, if not how on earth can that rating be taken seriously?
  22. So if there is residue left over isn't this a sign that the meat has lost moisture prior to cooking, so negating the lack of moisture loss during cooking? My experience with well aged cuts (7 weeks plus) is that I would cook them less than something less aged because of the lack of moisture in the first place. I once had a piece of beef fillet from O'Sheas that had been aged so long it needed only a sear to cook and the texture was similar to something that had been cooked for much longer. Anyhow, Goodmans is my preference for good steak in London
  23. So we're talking relatively small amounts of salt? For some reason I thought we were talking larger a quantities and for a little longer than that. I've never done side by side tests but in the past found that pre salting for any length of time left the surface very moist, I can't recall timescales but I'm surprised that the liquid is being reabsorbed so quickly, when I've done this in the past it is normally against pieces of meat that weren't aged quite as long as I would like. I wonder how they are measuring reabsorbotion against evaporation? I shall give it another go
  24. Thanks, Nikki didn't even get past the restaurant name
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