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Everything posted by Winot

  1. Agreed; it was a mistake to go on about Bleak House for so long. Fixed link here. I'm going for lunch on Thursday - hurrah.
  2. Well that's because the British don't take food seriously. I thought that for his first outing it was surprisingly half-cocked. If you're going to do a Gill-like column then you'd better do it to the max. Maybe this bodes well; maybe he'll turn out to be more than a fucking comedian.
  3. I've been once about 6 years ago. I remember it was good for wine; we didn't eat there. It was very crowded and I remember thinking it was in a rather surprising location so close to Leicester Sq.
  4. Marlyn, I've just gone back and re-read the review and I think you're being vicariously over-sensitive. The reviewer praises the chef and the food to the skies. He was clearly unhappy with the service, however, and it's difficult to see how we're going to come to a conclusion about that in this forum if the reviewer and restaurant are giving two different stories. I have to say however that the pros in the review would encourage this neutral observer to visit the restaurant, particularly if (as they say) they are going to take steps to correct the cons. All the best, W. Edit to say that this post referred to Marlyn's post before he edited it.
  5. Does anyone know a good placec to stop between Glasgow and Dumfries (actually Kirkcudbright)? We're going to a wedding there in a couple of weeks' time and the B&B owner said that if we got to Kirkcudbright after 8.30pm there wouldn't be anywhere to get dinner
  6. There's a cafe that's meant to be quite good at the ROH end of Floral St. Looks quite upmarket. Funny name.
  7. Moby - why would you want to get beer delivered at Bombay Bicycle prices? Get a few crates from Oddbins and stick 'em in your cellar, man!
  8. Che - I thought the cattle came over with the first Spanish immigrants in the 17th century and prospered on the pampas - is that wrong? I've only spent a couple of weeks in Argentina (last year - one in BA and one in the Salta region) but I have to say I found the food quite "one note". Yes I had the best steak I've ever eaten (in El Rancho in the tiny town of Cafayate) but after the sixth steak meal even I was craving something different. In fact the first thing we did on getting back to BA was hot foot to the (only) south-east Asian noodle bar. Edit to add that we did have our fill of empenadas, tamale and humitas but this is not the mark of a great cuisine. The latter two in particular are sometimes barely edible. Great steak though!
  9. How do you cook a potato in a tandoor?
  10. Keep it Simple is good - lots of content and I like the seasonal organisation. Other good ones: Moro Real Cooking (Nigel Slater) Fish (Sophie Grigson) I love the look of David Thompson's Thai Cooking but the ingredients are not that user friendly (and I'm London based). I've just bought The River Cottage Meat book and that looks excellent.
  11. I guess you could turn up at Anchor & Hope at 5.45pm and take over the whole place.
  12. I don't think so. I was at the Tavern once when they were re-doing their kitchen (or it had broken down or something) and they were carrying food through the yard from the main joint. The tavern has a downstairs room but it's all a bit claustrophobic. When I first went there you weren't officially meant to eat upstairs but could if you asked; now they've cottoned on to the fact that it's a much nicer room and eating there is sanctioned. Tiny chairs though.
  13. I went to a joint stag/hen do in Hamburg a couple of weeks ago and was dreading the food part of the evening. But Rive (a fish restaurant down by the docks) did us proud -- a four course set meal for 20-25 people that was tasty, perfectly timed and served with good grace (we were a little... um...boisterous). And all for 45 euros a head. Not great food, but good. So it can be done - although you may need to go to Hamburg to get it.
  14. Oh God the macaroni cheese. I had the same thing as a side order to suckling pig when I went there a month or two back - truly awful. Though not as bad as the scallops St. Jacques which came with a vile cheese sauce. We were celebrating a colleague's exam success so I didn't kick up a fuss, but had a vague disquiet at the time and realised in retrospect that it had been a truly bad meal (great wine list though). I came away feeling that they'd completely over-extended themselves -- the place is vast (and was packed at lunchtime) and I just don't think the kitchen could cope. Funnily enough I went to the Bleeding Heart Tavern a few weeks' later and had a great lunch upstairs in the pub (Caesar salad followed by smoked haddock with poached egg). Unfussy cooking; good quality ingredients; keen pricing. And Adnams on tap, although inexpertly served by the French bar staff. They may produce the best chefs and waiters in the world, but they know bugger all about beer. And for some reason the management here has decided to refuse to serrve pints of lager. Ale yes, but not lager. Bizarre.
  15. I'm sure you'll be able to keep ahead of the game Suzi.
  16. Another reason for the growth of the gastropub is that it offers non-intimidating dining. You wouldn't believe how many friends I've got (all middle class, natch) who would feel very uncomfortable going to a restaurant, but feel much happier in a pub (even if the prices are comparable). And as for my parents... It all comes back to the informality thing.
  17. Morfudd, I will e-mail you about my meal when I get a chance. I for one appreciate your receptiveness to criticism and desire to learn from experience -- this bodes well for Lola's future and I wish you all the best with that. Winot
  18. NT is of course the best choice. I'd be interested to hear how the booking works out -- I used to go once a month or so with a group and we'd regularly book then turn up and find we'd have to queue with everyone else. They are lovely though. Edit to add -- if you are on Brick Lane, Sweet & Spicy at the southern end is the best choice (it's a Pakistani caff rather than a Bangladeshi curry joint).
  19. I once read something about the effect of inheritance tax on running restaurants in Francee -v- UK -- something about the French being able to leave their restaurant businesses to their progeny whereas the British are clobbered which means restaurants are less likely to run over generations. No idea how true it is but sounds plausible.
  20. I went to Lola's a week or so back and it wasn't good. The food was so-so (trying too hard; over-fussy) and the service truly awful. The room's nice but the atmosphere was spoilt by the service and the loud MOR rock. Apparently the chef is now Brian Sparks.
  21. Agreed. However these price brackets probably aren't that representative in the UK -- I beleive the average spend per bottle is closer to £3-4. I don't believe so, that sounds too low. £2.99 will by you a bottle of supermarket Rose de Anjou, the cheapest Australian red at Oddbins is 'Rawson's Retreat' blend and this is £3.99 a bottle. Considering that the latter contains Ruby Cabernet (= filth and second rate filth at that) this is an expensive wine for what it is. £3-4 pounds would have to be at the very lowest end for what you could buy a bottle of Australian wine for in the UK. I've down some quick searching and my figure is clearly out of date (I think I got it from an Oz Clarke book but that may have been from 10 years ago). However this article from the Guardian 19 Feb 2003 suggests that so it still ain't that high.
  22. Agreed. However these price brackets probably aren't that representative in the UK -- I beleive the average spend per bottle is closer to £3-4.
  23. Jenny Lo's Tea House on Eccleston St isn't bad. Also, The Regency is a fantastic cafe (B+W tiled walls; shouting staff; cabbies) but I can't remember where it is I'm afraid (the missus works down that way not me).
  24. How about a pub that serves food that aspires to be as good as that of a restaurant but without the formality?
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