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Matthew Grant

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Everything posted by Matthew Grant

  1. I won't go too much into the drawing out moisture thing but it's a bit more complicated than that - especially if you're salting for 20mins or more Please do I guess your talking about the possible tenderising effect it might have but surely that would go beyond seasoning and towards curing?
  2. The stuff they had at Hedone last weekend was incredible, and hung for 10 weeks, previously it was good, last weekend it hit another level completely.
  3. Two schools of thought there, if you season with salt in advance it draws out moisture that you may wish to preserve especially if the meat has been dry aged for any length of time. That surface moisture can also prevent getting a decent crust. I totally agree with you regarding getting a good piece of meat and cooking it at home however I think Goodman is the only place in London I can get a better steak than I can normally buy and cook at home. If we move away from steak houses I reckon I can cook a better meal at home 75% of the time but if I thought about that too much I'd never eat out and eating out isn't all (I say this through gritted teeth) about the food
  4. Decent meal here on Thursday, ingredient quality not as good as somewhere like the River Cafe but at this price point it was OK. Suppli were a little underseasoned. Crescentine came with a lovely fresh stracchino cheese and decent salami. Tortellini of prosciutto & mortadella in capon brodo was excellent, the pasta was just about perfect, the broth ever so slightly salty. IMO risotto is always a difficuly order in a restaurant and they succeeded to some extent though my preference would still be towards firmer rice. Main courses are large, nicely cooked widgeon came with guanciale and a big pile of polenta which seemed to have some cream in it but otherwise was a little bland and, again, underseasoned. Rachel opted for a small plate of excellent Luganega deluxe sausage and a plate of turnip tops with garlic and chilli. Finished off with a lovley Gelato cup bonet - amaretti soaked in rum, bonet gelato, salted caramel gelato & espresso syrup. Overall a nice meal and decent value - £156 including service, a glass of prosecco and a bottle of Valle Reale Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006 which opened up quite nicely and felt like good (restaurant)value at £40.
  5. Goodmans - grass or corn fed beef, a good variety of cuts, a selection of US meat, some more supplied by O'Sheas (the best Butcher in London) and they age their own meat. I've not had a better steak in London except at Hedone but that really isn;t what you would regard as a steak house. Hawksmoor - Longhorn supplied by the Ginger Pig - good but not on the same level as Goodmans imo.
  6. I had a lovely meal here on Friday night, we were looked after very well and ate what ever Anthony served to us (literally).The room has been done up, rustic wooden tables, marble bar, some interesting new artwork etc. Not that I thought it needed freshening up but it looks a lot fresher. For transparency some of these dishes were comped. Purple sprouting Broccoli, Italian Lardo with a caesar mayonnaise - excellent Lardo, I believe it was from Antica Macelleria Falorni, just a small amount of the dressing on the served, strongly flavoured with anchovies. Buffalo Mozzerella with slow roasted Onions and white balsamic vinegar Fresh ricotta Gnocchi "gnudi" served with a lovely tomato/nduja sauce Cod fillet, crisp chicken wings, sweetcorn and yuzu puree was really good, the yuzu adding an interesting citrus note and a touch of acidity and the cod about as perfectly cooked as it gets. Grilled Scottish Beef, salsify, autumn vegetable puree and red wine sauce had a beautiful piece of buccleuch bavette, not normally a breed that I'm keen on but in this cut it had excellent flavour and texture. Pear, butternut, coffee and chestnut. English treacle tart with creme fraiche Pear Clafoutis - a highlight for me, not as eggy/dense as some clafoutis and I was pleased to get the chance to have a portion to myself after missing out at Wild Honey a few weeks ago. Overall a lovely meal after a bit of a protracted absence, I've commented on it before but consistency at Wild Honey and Arbutus is a massive plus, its difficult to be completely impartial but still my "go to" restaurant when entertaining friends or recommending somewhere to eat in London.
  7. I returned again on Tuesday night, restaurant half empty until gone 21:00. Food still nothing to shout about but better executed than last time. All I can say is the crab was average, the lamb was average and the apple was average. The crab was "fine" (waiters take note its as low as I go before saying it was poor). So what if its "Cotswold lamb", I bet some farmers in the cotswolds sell to supermarkets, combined with tired old combinations (aubergine and cumin, yoghurt, olive) it felt distinctly old hat. The social aspect alluded to by David is as far as I can see a non starter. Arrived 10 minutes early for our table and were told we couldn't have a drink at the bar as it was full. What this means is that all the stools were taken, doesn't matter that there were empty tables or large areas of floor space to stand in and we were ushered straight to our table. I'm really not getting the place at all
  8. Thanks, I've been thinking about a visit here and I think you might have sold it to me. With regard to the bread I've seen a few people complain about it not being warm in various restaurants. A lot of people who make bread will tell you that it shouldn't be warm, the characteristics of a loaf change as it cools down and matures a little. A sourdough loaf will, IMO, taste better a day or two after baking. I'm all for good bread at room temperature, average bread warmed up is cheating
  9. Any restaurant that doesn't allow photography gets my vote
  10. I think Margaret was arguing for photos with "precise captions". As she says, a photo alone tells you nothing about the food, any restaurant can turn out pretty food, the trick is to make it taste nice as well
  11. This is true but you can also find some blogs/posts that have bloody awful photos that do nothing to encourage people to go eat there (I'm not including David's photos amongst this category).
  12. What I find strange about this is that you are eating out simply to provide reviews How about going along simply to enjoy a meal without having to make it public?
  13. Worth noting that Pied de Terre just lost a Michelin Star following the departure of Shane Osborne.
  14. I don't object to a cancellation policy, I object to the way he feels the need to put down customers. As for maximising tables that is fine as well but as Howard said, he booked a table for himself, the restaurant wrongly assumed that it was for two people.
  15. Sat, you may think your kitchen banter makes good reading and is funny, it may be in the kitchen but once in the public domain I can only tell you that it makes you look like a first class prick. Nearly every complaint on tripadvisor is related to service issues yet you feel the need to respond to every single one, why not let it be? The good reviews outweigh the bad ones by a decent margin but gradually you are eroding that with your constant jibes. Sure you'll claim that you have been vindicated now that you have two stars and I have no doubt that you deserve them but consider whether you would rather be a great chef with a good reputation or "that wanker that slags people off on trip advisor". Have a guess which one your are at the moment.
  16. Matthew asked earlier what chefs are going to the lengths Mikael is when it comes to sourcing, and the simple answer is hundreds. Pretty much every Michelin starred restaurant strives to find the best ingredients available to them, both in terms of locality and budget. Heck, there's a host of non-Michelin accredited gastro-pubs in the south Notts area where I live who apply this same dedication. I doubt very much that they are, with all the best will in the world they may be trying to source carefully but not to the same extremes. For a start, sourcing locally is no guarantee of great quality. Is your guy in the pub in South Notts insisting on having Scallops delivered live on a daily basis, so fresh that they are still moving when they are served raw? How about getting personal deliveries from France twice a week for vegetables and fruit that he can't get of a good enough quality in the UK? Are the pigeons being strangled so that they retain the blood or are they being shot. Is he retaining a shelf at one of the best butchers in the country, hand selecting his meat and having it hung to his own specification? They may have noble intent but I'll almost guarantee they aren't sourcing to the same level as Mikael.
  17. I know that post was a while ago but I had hare at Wild Honey on Saturday as well and again the quality of the hare was very good, I remember hare dishes all the way back to Putney Bridge and they have always been excellent. Other highlights on the table were the smoked eel with boneless chicken wings, Plaice which had been stuffed with mushrooms and served with courgettes and artichokes, slow cooked shoulder of Venison with Polenta and a beautiful Beetroot salad. Desserts are always good and pear clafoutis was a star dish, It wasn't something I fancied but I was left disappointed I hadn't ordered it after having a taste. Great cheese as well, including a great epoisses. First visit in a long time and I wasn't left disappointed, it was as consistent as ever and beautiful looking dishes as well.
  18. But so many places identify themselves being some sort of crossover establishment, there would inevitably be tons of screaming over having been judged according to the wrong set of guidelines. Could be entertaining, actually Thats exactly why I said the category would have to be agreed with the owner, there would still be lots of screaming and shouting though as delusional restaurant owners and out of date Michelin inspectors clashed horns
  19. Of course not 2 stars is 2 stars whatever category you are, 2 stars is "excellent cooking, worth a detour", nothing to do with category at all so it should be comparable to other two stars. This is Michelin, nothing could be that straight forward
  20. Quite simply because a pub and restaurant are different categories. You have to read between the lines with Michelin, they wouldn't be so kind as to tell you which category they fall under Maybe that is what they need to do, create classes of restaurant e.g. French bistro, modern european, pub etc. The catgegory would be agreed with the owner and each restaurant could then be clearly compared to its correct peers.
  21. I'm a little confused over the "pub grub" comment - you're in a pub, what do you expect? You didn't seem to mind Pollen street social serving Ham, egg, tomato and mushrooms which you could equally argue was pub grub. A Michelin star isn't a style of food, it is " A very good restaurant in its category". It doesn't stand to reason that a pub with a michelin star will be the equivalent of a 1 star fine dining resturant, or a 1 star Japanese or a 1 star bistro etc. Having said that the tendency of pubs (not just Michelin starred ones) to charge the prices you mention, bugs the hell out of me as well. A service charge for bar service is outrageous. I think its important to remember that it is an "optional service charge" I would have refused to pay it, as you are entitled to do.
  22. What price? I'm not defending TFL@Harrods prices but that dish is something Keller servers at Bouchon. Incidentally, IMO, top quality chicken is worth as much as any other meat, especially when cooked well. The thing that would concern me about Kellers recipe is that it is cooked to 73 degrees, fine for the legs but well overcooked for the breast.
  23. That brine is exactly the same as the brine he uses for his Lemon fried chicken recipe.
  24. Well, if the food at Ducasse is a 3*, then at the very least The Ledbury should be. To be honest, I'd rate Sat Bains above the Ledbury too. I'm not disputing that either though I thought the one meal I had (a long time ago) was easily 3 star standard especially by British Standards, having said that people I trust have advised that it has gone down hill since then so I'm willing to accept that it should lose a star. That "British Standards" bit is important, for all Michelin claims, the 3* standards I've experienced in France are a mile away from any UK 2 star. Similarly I've had 1 star meals in France that would easily be considered 2 in the UK.
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