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Matthew Grant

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Everything posted by Matthew Grant

  1. Despite his best efforts in not employing a PR company the reviewers are still getting there though Mikael would rather they wouldn't come until he is fully up to speed. Full review to follow: Time Out 5 Stars
  2. That lid was baked seperately, look at the top of the shell, it's brown, if the lid had been on it would have been white. You can buy shells as well. I'm almost certain that is frozen pastry, if you make your own you have far more neater layers instead of the mass of air in that one.
  3. I'll be honest, I think that pastry looks awful and more than likely is a frozen pie lid that is used by so many pubs these days, not a pie at all, just a piece of frozen puff pastry made with vegetable fat, baked seperately and then balanced on top of the meat. One of my biggest annoyances when eating in pubs these days. Frozen pie lids
  4. You won't regret it. To give you some idea of how seriously he takes his ingredients he has dismissed the Poulet Noir used by lots of top London restaurants. When I say dismissed, I really mean it, Mikael thinks it isn't even good enough to make stock with The quality of the Pigeon is stunning, a strangled bird imported complete with its guts, knocks socks of the squab normally served in London.
  5. I would suggest going now but I don't want any of you to go either. Once the reviewers get their hands on this place I'll almost guarantee you wont be able to get a table for ages. Wihout doubt the most ambitious restaurant to open in London for years, there won't be Michelin stars this year but I wonder whether this could be the first debut restaurant to earn 2 stars in the UK next year.
  6. Glad to see its not just me and Gary that enjoyed Hedone! Andy Hayler
  7. I have to say that rare pork doesn't bother me, just the lack of browning to complement it.
  8. Indeed no wonder it was tasteless, I can cope with sous vide for cuts that benefit from long slow cooking but whats the point with other cuts? I think I'm going to open a restaurant and advertise dishes "complete with Maillard reactions" - I reckon I could be on to a winner
  9. By "Posh" I think you mean "Better" (retires to sofa awaiting barrage of abuse)
  10. Interesting, I much prefer streaky bacon, I would rarely go for a piece of back bacon in a bacon buttie.
  11. Remembering of course that Skate is a Ray and some places (not Quo Vadis I hasten to add) might list Ray when they are using Skate.
  12. I'd think them more likely to Mara des Bois, they are perpetual, smaller berries like the ones in your photo though I'm not sure that they are actually crossed with Gariguettes. I'm surprised they wouldn't just advertise them as Mara des Bois, they are a beautiful strawberry, I've got a lot of those on my plants at the moment. Google a picture of a Gariguette, they are quite distincitve. Edited to add: MdB are actually a cross of 4 different strawberries, I'm pretty certain Gariguette isn't amongst them.
  13. Is that really thoughtful? We are in Britain, wouldn't you expect to see the menu in English? The foodie nerd in me is going to suggest that those don't look like Gariguettes which tend to be longer and narrower as well as being an early season strawberry. I'm not betting my life on it though as I do have a few stragglers on my own Gariguette plants.
  14. Probably worth pointing out that this isn't any old O'Shea beef, it has to meet Mikaels exacting standards, it wouldn't surprise me if he is going to get them to hang it to his own spec.
  15. He's not yet serving the horse fat chips, they will be there at some point though.
  16. Strange you should mention that Jon, I was there again on Friday and had excellent Turbot, it was from the UK, Mikael is trying to source as much as possible from the UK and it is admirable to see how much superior produce he has managed to find, its sad that other restaurateurs/chefs aren't prepared to go to such lengths. The flan, which was already fantastic, was lifted to a higher plain with Nori replacing peas from last week, the dish took on an almost truffle like flavour. I also thought the Gazpacho better, the dill was more pronounced this time round. The turbot was an excellent piece of fish but I thought it could have done with a touch more seasoning, a minor quibble and Mikael acknowledged that it was served the way he wanted . Squab was served with an offal sauce and the smoked potatoes. This was fantastic, in this instance a superior french bird, delivered ungutted, we were left chewing on the leg bones. An Apricot dish with almond Blancmange highlighted superb apricots. Overall bloody lovely and still keeping numbers low as he ensures the best possible food before upping the numbers.
  17. You should see him in action in a Cafe Rouge!
  18. Hedone had a soft opening last night and I have to say that this would already rank as my number 1 meal in the UK this year and I'll predict that it will only be surpassed by other meals at Hedone. It was a fantastic debut and made all the more exciting as Mikael (as any of us who know him could have predicted) wasn't happy with everything so things will be getting even better. Ingredient quality was key and they were allowed to shine, nothing overbearing or dominating other than the main ingredients. Gougeres and complimentary champagne (Froment Griffin) to keep us amused, fantastic home made bread (I was going to take him one of my own loaves but having tasted Mikaels I'm glad I left my now not so proud effort at home). Umami flan with english peas was enhanced with the use of bonito flakes. An intense gaspacho with dill seed sorbet (more of a cream) was fantastic especially as it incorporated English tomatoes (supplemented with some from Italy). A Sashimi of scallops was super, served simply sliced with a little radish and a dressing of White Banyuls vinegar, the following course was again scallops, this time cooked in the shell with seaweed butter, not just any old nori but nori Mikael himself bought in Japan. Wild Dorset seabass was probably the best piece of seabass I have tried, a tranche from a lovely large fish served with tomatoes and fresh almonds. One slight criticism acknowledged by Mikael was that it was a touch undercooked but given the quality of the fish they got away with it, it could probably have been served raw for all I cared. As an indication of how particular Mikael is with fish, he wants it within a day of being caught and it shouldn't be stored on ice. Our table was also sent a dish only being served to the non meat eaters, a lovely lobster, the tail meat was excellent but the claw was perfection, as good a piece of Lobster that I've ever tried, a lovely lobster jus. Cheeses from Neals yard 45 day aged Black Angus beef was served with its juicers, onions, cabbage and Juniper smoked potatoes French and English Raspberries were served with acinnamon ice cream, aromatic vinegar and horseradish cream - Who would have thought that they would come together in such a lovely way. I hope that some other people who were there last night will be able to validate how good this was and how good it will be as they settle down. Reservations: 0208 747 0377
  19. Presumably that £15 supplement was for preserved truffles or summer truffles which makes you wonder why you needed to pay a supplement for them. Of course I might be wrong and the season has been exceptionally long or arrived exceptionally early?
  20. Its amazing that they evict the Comte guys yet Ginger Pig is allowed to stand despite having another shop elsewhere. Elsey and Bents new set up is, IMO, exactly what the trustees want. You only have to look at how it transformed itself from the run of the mill fruit and veg stand on the edge of the market to the poncey decor yet still run of the mill but over priced veg stand with a coffee shop inside. Its an absolute joke. What the market needs is proper traders dedicated to providing the best available, no matter where else they are set up ro what they look like. If Maltby street were to get a good butcher and fishmongers borough would probably not see me very often at all.
  21. Some of the old timers on this board may remember Degusto (Mikael Jonsson), a man obsessed with ingredient quality and precise cooking? I'll start with a disclaimer and let everyone know that I am friends with Mikael, we meet occasionally in London and he sometimes makes reservations for me in France. To anybody that knows him Mikael would be a very talented chef and after much encouragement (not that he needed too much) and a couple of false starts he has finally taken the plunge, changed career and is about to open a restaurant in Chiswick called Hedone. He has already spent considerable time and effort trying to source the best ingredients he can find in the UK and these will be supplemented from other sources whenever he believes they aren't good enough. I haven't got any menu details just yet but hope to be able to give a sneak preview in the next week or so. This restaurant will be one of the most ambitious to open in London in a long time, I hope people will give it time to settle in, Mikael will be the first to admit that the best he has to offer may take a little while to develop and numbers will be limited until they feel comfortable with what they are doing, to this end I will not be revealing the opening date at this point. Mikael is one of the few chefs I know that is hoping the critics don't come straight away. Hedone 301 Chiswick High Road Gastroville
  22. You've got a treat and a half coming up then, not sure if I can say too much at the moment but I suspect that quality wise it will be a lot more ambitious than La Trompette.
  23. FWIW I love traditional cooking, my point was that if the dishes aren't winning him 3 stars now it is unlikely to unless he changes something. L'ambroisie and Ducasse already have 3 stars - why do they need to change anything? On the other hand Gavroche and Gidleigh Park aren't changing and nor is their rating - go figure! Maybe they don't want 3 stars, in which case that's fine.
  24. I've not been and I'll admit that I used to be a MPW white fan, however the fact that he endorses Bernard Matthews should tell you everything you need to know.
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