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Matthew Grant

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Everything posted by Matthew Grant

  1. I was only referring to the food. Can you honestly think of anywhere that deserves promotion from two stars to three?
  2. I'm not sure it is a shame there are no new 3 stars Where is there that really aspires to reach 3 stars? Plenty would like to have them but I'm not sure I can say hand on heart that there is anywhere that I've eaten at recently in the UK that truly deserves to be promoted to the top tier. Compared to the French 3* there isn't a two star that is remotely close to that sort of standard (I'll reserve judgement on the Ledbury, I'm eating there for the first time in a while in a few weeks).
  3. Surprised about the Bingham losing a star as well, I had a lovely meal earlier this year.
  4. If so it just proves that customer service plays no part in the awarding of stars.
  5. The most amazing thing about this years guide is that it hasn't been leaked/release early
  6. A slightly different scenario but some years ago I had to cancel a restaurant reservations at one of the Ramsay establishments at approximately 24 hours notice due to a family emergency. I was advised that they would debit x amount of pounds per person and I told them in no uncertain terms that if they tried to I would instruct my bank that it was an unauthorised payment at which point, without any further argument at all, they agreed not to charge. I vaguley remember a court case many years ago where the judgement was in favour of the diner as the restaurant were deemed to have been given enough notice to rebook the table.
  7. The irony, Knappett resigns and is currently cooking at TFL@Harrods
  8. According to Food Snob, James Knappett resigned today.
  9. When you say "we try to capitalise the booking to full potential" does this include booking an extra seat for single reservations The argument is between yourselves and Howard but as the error was your own I would have thought waiving the fee was the least you could do
  10. I've never been to the restaurant but I've always found Sat Bains to me an amiable guy on TV but some of his responses to the poor reviews on tripadvisor would make me think twice about ever dining at his restaurant. e.g. Whilst I can understand that customers might drive you insane the fact that he seems to respond to every negative review, a lot of them based around poor customer service or the cancellation policy, suggests a surprising level of insecurity. One of the reviewers had their 4 top cancelled after one of their party dropped out. Surely a table for 3 would have been the same table as one for 4? Another of Sat's responses suggests that the cancellation charge is actually sent to the MacMillan Cancer Support fund - a nice idea but this would suggest that it is nothing more than a punitive charge, is this even legal?
  11. When you say £350 a head you presumably are talking about £180 per head for the menu plus £170 for drinks?
  12. For me I don't think I would have appreciated this meal a few years ago due to the simplicity of it but my tastes have changed and I'm sick of non descript dishes with average produce. The simplicity thing is a choice, I'm pretty sure Mikael could turn out 3* style haute cuisine if he chose but certainly for the moment at least, he prefers to let the ingredients shine and serve them with complimentary flavours. What other restaurants in London have produce as consistently high as Hedone? The thing I like about it is that they truly are serving the best produce in what appears to be a simple manner. Things like the jus have sometimes gone through a 3 stage cooking process so it may not be as simple as we would like to believe. This is unlike a multitude of other restaurants who are simply getting their produce locally (no guarantee of quality) or from the usual suppliers to the rest of the trade yet claiming to be serving the best of British. How many chefs do you know getting up at 6am every day to select the fish he wants from his supplier? how about buying 6.5kg Turbots so fresh they haven't even got rigormortis and need a couple of days in the fridge before they are ready for eating. What about fully feathered/furred game? How about sending produce back to suppliers because it doesn't meet the standards Mikael demands? This isn't a PR stunt, it is Mikaels high standards, higher than anyone else I know.
  13. Another fantastic meal on Saturday, Cevennes Onion, turbot with cockles and Cavelo Nero, raw duck foie gras with raw cepes (a fantastic example of prime ingredients needing very little doing to them) Incredible salt marsh lamb, and if its possible even better quality pigeon than the last time. So far finding consistently good produce doesn't seem to be a problem, I'm looking forward to the changing seasons. Truly fantastic, just the sort of dining my tastes are leaning towards these days. How this place finished second to Pollen Street Social in the Timeout food awards is beyond me, an illustration of what a PR company can do for you?
  14. Any recs for dog friendly pubs/restaurants with reasonable food? We'll be staying in Hawkshead.
  15. Pretty poor meal here last night, hurried service put me off straight away, we hadn;t even ordered our drinks at the bar (we had been asked if we wanted a drink first) when the waitress tried to whisk us away to our table, she returned 5 minutes later when we had our drinks and gave us no choice, she already had one of the drinks on the tray before we could complain! The Starters were dreadful, they arrived about 5 minutes after ordering. Escabeche of quail, chicken liver cream, nuts and seeds tasted like it had been cooked last week and reheated to order. The dressing reminded me of a cheap, sweet chinese sauce. Really awful and nearly but not quite surpassed in its awfulness by my wood pigeon with Jerusalem artichoke soup and various bits and bobs that were unidentifiable due to their lack of discernable flavour (I think it was trompette de la mort). The two small pieces of wood pigeon tasted as though they had been cooked at the same time as the quail. Halibut was decent enough, served with purple sprouting Brocolli and catalan paella which had a nice subtle fishiness to it. My Cod with broad beans, peas, cockles and squid, parsley emulsion came with an overworked mash potato which was walking the tight rope between "creamed" and "split cement". Slightly over cooked fish which wouldn't have been saved if it were cooked properly. Glutton for punishment we shared a dessert of Wild strawberry & vanilla cheesecake, strawberry sorbet, nut crumble, some very tired strawberries and grainy cheesecake with a base that barely existed. Overall this was such an ordinary/bad meal I couldn't believe the adulation some have heaped upon it. It really could be any number of restaurants, nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Sadly Atherton was in the kitchen which makes it all the more annoying.
  16. Sorry Richard, who took you to task? I think you'll find that you took me to task for laying out why I don't believe going to the pop up is worth the money and then you made claims about the price that were demonstrably wrong. If I found myself near Yountville I would go to TFL.
  17. I didn't say to steer clear of Thomas Keller, in fact I said "That's not to say that Keller isn't a good chef but looking at his dishes the cooking does little for me". See? His food does nothing for me so I'm not that interested. What I did say was "In my book" i.e. My opinion, and I paraphrase the rest, steer clear of pop up restaurants with guest chefs charging more money than they would normally charge at their own restaurant. I'm not sure what's snobby about that, sounds to me like common sense? To me it seems snobbier to say "if you can afford it then go". I can, I won't. When most restaurants open they start with soft prices, maybe half of what they would normally charge while they settle in. A pop up restaurant possibly faces bigger challenges in staff, supply and equipment than a new restaurant yet this "new restaurant" is going to charge more than anywhere else in the UK and approximately 40% more than The French Laundry, not "more or less what he charges in the US".
  18. My experience of US restaurants is that they are often overhyped and a bit of a let down. There are very few places I've dined at in the US where I can't find what I believe to be an equivalent or better restaurant in UK or Europe. That's not to say that Keller isn't a good chef but looking at his dishes the cooking does little for me (I haven't eaten there) especially when the ingredients may have flown halfway around the world to be in London or might be 2nd best to the produce he normally uses (I know Harrods claims 95% of the produce used will be the same as the French Laundry). Guest chef events are, on the whole, a poor representation of the food they would normally produce. I would rather take my money and spend it on a 3 star meal in France. In my book (Chef + unfamiliar kitchen + unfamiliar brigade, different ingredients + exhorbitant price) = steer clear
  19. Mini cabs normally work out more expensive on Christmas day than a Black Cab, if you do have a mobile phone use it to phone one of the black cab services rather than Addison Lee who have a high minimum fair or a mini cab who will typically be charging triple fair on Christmas day.
  20. Remember, you read it here first, if you can't get a table you've only got yourself to blame Time out full review Dos Hermanos - Robin Mujamdar
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