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Everything posted by Niall

  1. There's a Japanese knife shop on Blandford st in Marylebone.
  2. We're just back from a trip to NY, and had great meals at a few places; - Eleven Madison lunch; really innovative food and nice concept. Service was excellent. - Momofuku Noodle bar lunch; had the fried chicken (very tasty; I preferred the Southern, my wife preferred Korean), the pork Ramen and and pork buns. All excellent. - Per Se; excellent as always - Matsugen dinner; very good Japanese food. Excellent Soba. great value prix fixe option. - Aldea dinner; great food, good service, relaxed atmosphere. We went to the Flatiron loung cocktail bar beforehand; very old school. - Spice Market (lunch) and SHO Shaun Hergatt (dinner); Both good, but nothing stellar. Although a bit unfair to judge as we ate there on Thanksgiving - Gramercy Tavern for Sunday lunch; very good traditional food. We also had lunch at Jean George and were really disappointed.The pasta was too thick, the prawns were over cooked to the point of being chewy, the ginger sauce on the Tuna was really overpowering, the crab too much mustardy, the sauce on the veal scallopine too salty (had to be sent back) and chicken too salty (eaten only after taking off the crust). They gave us free dessert to make up but that was terrible too; the chambord macerated fennel overpowered the rest of the dessert. The service was excellent throughout though, particularly the Sommelier.
  3. Was there last week for a big group dinner. We had the Smoked Pollack salad, the Bone marrow and a suckling pig. Food was very good (a couple of the bone marrows were overdone, but not too badly) but service wasn't. Wine list is ok; nothing that is standout good quality. We had the Croze hermitage which was good. The waitress then recommended a bottle of les Sorcieres 2008 from Rousillon; that was terrible. I will go back, but find that the service for big groups is generally bad, particularly if you're in the main dining room.
  4. I'm using a free app called ZBar on an iPhone 3GS to get the barcodes; it's working quite well. Although we've had a few books where the bookshop has put their barcode sticker over the ISBN barcode.. a bit irritating.
  5. Are you sure the "optional" 12.5% hadn't already been added to the bill? If so, it would have already been charged to your credit card.
  6. Have you considered getting the TGV from Paris to Strasbourg, then picking up a car there? The TGV only takes a couple of hours (rather than 6) and you'll save on car hire/ petrol etc. As for eating, I haven't been to Strasbourg, but I loved Auberge D'Ill at Illhaeusern and La Table Gourmet at Riquewihr; less than an hour away, and in a nice part of Alsace. Riquewihr in particular is a very pretty town worth visiting.
  7. I can't comment on whether it will be any good, but there will be an election party in the Sports Cafe on Haymarket, not too far from Trafalgar Sq. Apparently both the BBC and Sky are planning to broadcast from there. Tickets are a silly £25. details at http://www.bigelectionparty.co.uk/
  8. I used to live in Cammeray before moving to London, and love the Japanese pleaces on the north shore; the highlights for me were; - As mentioned before, Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi on Military Rd in Neutral bay; they make their own Soba noodles. - Toriciya in Cammeray; a bit off the beaten track, but a great Izakaya with Yakitori and a fantastic Sake list - Sushi Counter in Crows Nest; get the Omakase menu; basically the sushi chef chooses the best he has that day to give you - Rengaya on the cnr of Miller and Blue St in North Sydney; $60 all you can eat Yakiniku Mon-Thurs - Kyushu in Neutral bay; down a side street near the Oaks. Really good Pork Maki Other places I love; - watching Rugby on a Saturday afternoon in the beer garden at the Oaks pub - Delicado food and Wine on Blues Point Rd. Good Tapas style food. great wines. Great sherry collection - Paradoxe on Falcon St in Neutral bay - Il Perugino in Mosman - Phuong Vietnamese in Crows Nest - The Burlington in Crows Nest; Matthew Kemp's (Balzac) second restaurant - Epoque belgian beer bar in Cammeray - Papaya Thai in Cremorne and Cammeray - 2060 in Waverton does a great breakfast, and Dinner is pretty good too. Good foodie shops; - Hudsons Meats in Cammeray Square; cammeray Sq also has a Harris farm veg shop - Essential Ingredient - Kitchen Kapers in Crows Nest for kitchen equipment - St Honore bakery in North Sydney The lower north shore doesn't really have any great high end dining places, but is full of some great casual dining places.
  9. I have always found Ireland to be very homogenized. County Cork is probably the one large exception to that, or at least the fastest to change. There's very little regionalisation; for example Westmeath beef (from around Athlone) is fantastic because of the huge shannon flood plains around there, but try asking a butcher in Dublin for some of it. They'll look at you like you have 2 heads. Things are getting a lot better though; one example is irish cheeses and cheese shops have improved hugely in the 9 years since I left Ireland. Why is Ireland so homogenized and why is there so little regional variation? I'd say it's because of 8 centuries of being under foreign rule followed by decades of relative poverty followed by EU agricultural policy handouts. Now that disposal incomes have risen and EU handouts are decreasing the pace of change should keep speeding up.
  10. Carling. St Peter's have a Golden Ale that is very lager like. http://www.stpetersbrewery.co.uk/shop/prod...=GACASE&SubCat= Cains beer do one, although I've never drunk it. http://www.cainsbeer.com/index/articles_vi...&first_art=true Edit: Brainwave. Remembered Cains.
  11. I have used http://www.winestar.com.au/ without any trouble in the past; I used them between 2000 and 2003 (when I left Oz), buying about 15 cases a year. They were always helpful, always delivered on time, and I never had any customer service/ support issues. Occasionally some wine did go out of stock, but they always rang when that happened to discuss options.
  12. I was there on the 25th aswell and had a great time. We had the £50 tasting menu; not necessarily good value, but certainly great food. We had: Pork and scallop dumplings Kimchi Tuna tataki 3 Sashimi - Tuna, Salmon, Sea Bream tempura Tuna rolls Eggplant in Mirin and Ginger Grilled asparagus with soy and sesame Sea bream with Miso sauce Chicken Yakitori Mushroom rice hotpot All of the food was excelent; especially both Sea Breams. The room itself was great; the designer seems to have had a great sense of light and texture. There was a great mix of wood, metal, stone and other textures on the walls; we were sitting beside a wall of light covered in a tan substance that felt almost like paper mache. (but not in a bad way). We didn't look at the winelist, but there was a good range of Shochu and Sake. I'm bad enough remembering what wines I've had.. I'm afraid I have no chance with Sake!! The service was pretty good too. At the table next to us the waiter spilt warm sake in a diner's lap. The apologies were profuse, an extra desert was presented to the couple and the manager gave them his business card so that they could arrange to be reimbursed for any necessary dry cleaning. All in all, it was a really good meal, and I would recommend it.
  13. Its either called Toh's or To's. I think its on Miller St on the right hand side as you walk down from the junction of the pacific highway to Berry St. They do a good assam laksa.
  14. I like Tentazioni. The food is good. If you book at their website you can get a complimentary glass of wine, and if you join their club you can get 10% off the cost of food at dinner. http://www.tentazioni.co.uk I used to go to Giardinettos when it was at Charlotte St, but I've heard that the prices have doubled and quantities halved since it moved to Mayfair. Refettorio is good for the price; especially when theres a 25 or 33% off deal on toptable. I think the current deal is 25% off all food.
  15. I haven't been back to Sydney for a while (2 years), but I used to love Sea Treasure in Crows Nest.
  16. If you want to stay near the city for a curry, you could try New tayyab, Lahore kebab house of Cafe Spice namaste, all in the east end.
  17. Season/ marinate the pork. Then cover it in olive oil and cook on about 100 C for 8 hours. when this is done let it cool slightly and then put it between two chopping boards with weights on top to compress it for an hour or so. Then cut it up flash fry it to crisp it up and warm it through. Thats how I do it anyway.... I usually serve this with a blood orange and ginger sauce; although I got the original idea from Aria's bangalow pork belly with cumquats.
  18. I've always found wolfies and Cafe Sydney disappointing; Aria is one of my favourite places with a view, and Bistro Lulu and becasse are very good. I have still yet to make it to rockpool, but everyone I know who has eaten there loves it.
  19. We were down at borough last weekend and managed to get a largish (28gm) white truffle from the Italian man for £60 - it was 2200 a kilo. We toyed with the idea of just getting a couple of the smaller ones but couldn't resist the smell of the bigger one. The quality of it was excellent.. be careful at booths to make sure there isn't a load of dirt crusted on, but this one was generally very clean. We stuck it into some rice with half a dozen eggs. We used it for three meals; for the first we scrambled three eggs and had that on some bread from the Pont de la tour bakery. A great Sunday breakfast. For our second meal we made some fresh egg pasta with one of the remaining eggs. We mixed it in a sauce of white wine, oil and chives. We fried the remaining two eggs and shaved 60% of the truffle and some parmesan over the top. For the third meal my other half decided to do a recipe from elizabeth david involving veal escalopes; she made a sandwich between the escalopes with parmesan, tuscan prosciutto and the remaining truffle. This was fried in some oil with some port and white wine added to make a sauce. This was served with some fennel and cauliflower that had been roasted in truffle oil. All up it was delicious; although more truffle would always be good.
  20. Try Giardinetto on Charlotte St. It is a fantastic little Italian place.
  21. Like Bux, we have noticed cards requesting that people do not smoke in the dining areas in the the Chapeau rouge and Lameloise when we were in Burgundy earlier this year. As an ex-smoker with a non-smoking girlfriend it was fantastic to be able to eat without the smoke.
  22. Niall

    Bocuse and Lyon

    We'll probably try to get the train there and get a taxi back. Thank you all for your comments; We were not expecting a huge level of creativeness; just some of the best classic french cuisine. We had considered Troisgros, but decided against it this trip. I'm sure we will be back in the future for that one. This one will be our third 3 star experience, so we are looking forward to it. So far we ahve been to lameloise and Ducasse at the Plaza Athene, both of which have been completely different, and Bocuse looks like it will be different too.
  23. I had a nice meal at the Village d'Ung Et Li Lam; Wasn't to bad. We went for the Peking duck. It was good value and pretty good food. Its in the 8th on Rue Jean Mermoz. Near FD Roosevelt Metro.
  24. Hi, I have a reservation for Bocuse in November and was hoping for some advice on where to stay. We are in Lyon for two nights and would rather stay in the one place. How easy is it to get to and from Bocuse from the City centre? How much would a taxi cost? Or is there somewhere reasonably priced close by that would be better? Thanks Niall
  25. I had a great meal at the Bristol about a year ago; I did have the degustation; the Crab soup and Turbot were delicious and very memorable. The service was fantastic, and the Winter room is great. Last time I was in Paris I ate at a 1 star called Braisière in the 17th. There wasn't one on the menu, so we asked if one was possible. The chef came out and spoke to us and asked about our likes and dislikes and put a dego together for us; it was very good. After the meal the chef came out and spoke to us about our meal. The place itself was small and quite nice. The english amongst the staff was minimal though. The menu was 70 euros each for 7 courses. The food is country french; the chef is from the Gascogne.
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