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Everything posted by Winot

  1. Dismissing the whole of Brick Lane makes me a bit uncomfortable. There are, no doubt, quite a few places where your £6-a-head, BYO meal may not be of the highest quality. But the street also supports one of London's biggest Bengali communities, as evidenced by the twin menus in places like Gram Bangla and Cafe Naz Express. This whole "Brick Lane is all just touts and watery curry" stereotype is playing into the hands of those who want to see it become the next Starbucks frontier. ← You're probably right - I was just kneejerking to Sunbeam's I have had good meals in Sweet and Spicy (the cafe at the bottom end - Pakistani rather than Bangladeshi I think) but nothing great elsewhere and certainly nothing to touch Tayyabs or even East is East on the Commercial Rd (our hangout since Tayyabs got too busy). And you've got to admit the touts are irritating.
  2. Apart from that Brick Lane is uniformly poor.
  3. Isn't the problem that UK consumers aren't prepared to pay a reasonable price for restaurant food? If they did, the mark-up on the wine could come down.
  4. Went again to Trinity for lunch on Friday and actually lunch prices have gone down with the alc now three courses for £20 - a bargain. I started with the mackerel tartar with cucumber cream and then had the pork belly with black olive mash. The missus had Lyonnaise duck confit salad (more of a rillette) then beef pot au feu with summer vegetables. Puddings were hit and miss but then I'm not a pudding fan - should have gone for the cheese. Check out the pigs trotters on (Poilane) toast starter withsauce gribiche - excellent. However still some kitchen issues - took far to long for the food to come out and there were only two tables occupied - not good enough.
  5. No idea about Koffman's influence but if he is in the kitchen it may explain why the lunch I had there a couple of months ago was a significant step up from the previous disaster.
  6. That's the place that was featured on the last series of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, no? ← Just checked and you're right. I really ought to spend more time watching telly, or at least asking those who do. Found some excerpts on YouTube however and the couple who ran it when GR visited no longer do - clearly he couldn't work his magic this time. ETA - there's a fascinating story here for some one with more expertise and time at their disposal than I - the changing face of a restaurant location - from an acclaimed French restaurant (7/10 in the Good Food Guide 2002) to Murder Mystery nights and punters complaining about the lack of a veg side dish via a Gordon Ramsay failure.
  7. There was - La Terrasse at the Sandgate hotel. Unfortunately it closed in 2002. Even more unfortunately, we tried to go there this weekend on the basis of an out of date review. We realised that the hotel wasn't quite as classy as we had anticipated when we saw the signs for "Wednesday nights are Murder Mystery nights" on the way in. In an earlier thread someone alluded to the length of time you needed to set aside to read through all of the wine list. I'm pleased to say the new management have solved this difficulty by omitting the year of the vintage. So much quicker to read now.
  8. Konditor & Cook very good. Shops in Cornwall Rd (Waterloo) and Gray's Inn Rd.
  9. Thanks - if there's one thing certain in this world (other than death & taxes) it's that we won't have any supermodels in the group. We are experiencing a certain internal friction in that my senior partner wants to take them to The Bleeding Awful which he has an irrational fondness for and where I had one of the worst meals of my life (if you don't count those experienced in Newcastle). But thanks for all your suggestions.
  10. I've been for lunch three or four times and really rate it. Too tired to try to describe it now but flavours are big & clear yet it's pretty striaghtforward in terms of ingredients & not too mucked around. Kind of Frenchified Anchor & Hope style. I only went to Thyme once and wasn't too impressed, but then I left hungry which never impresses me. Edit to add - the light lunch menu is a great concept - check out the web site. Oh - and it's not that close to Clapham Junction.
  11. Good point, had thought of that but my assumption having seen a number of Japanese lawyers at various international conferences over the years is that they tend to be quite conservative about food. Probably no more so than the equivalent conservative section of the UK (don't want to racially stereotype - don't shoot me...).
  12. Does anyone have any recent experience of high-end Japanese? We are entertaining some Japanese associates in a couple of weeks that we need to impress. We are based on Holborn Viaduct so City/West End would be accessible by cab. Time Out 2007 suggests a few near Green Park - Miyama, Nobu Berkeley St, Umu. Also Roka (mentioned above), but I wonder if this would be too innovative for Japanese lawyers... Any guidance gratefully received.
  13. believe me that mentality is not just in the north !!! ← or west! ← Or the US - Woody Allen starts Annie Hall (1975) like this: "There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such ... small portions."
  14. Good pubs in Bloomsbury include the Lamb on Lamb's Conduit St, Princess Louise on High Holborn, and the Duke (of York) on Roger St. Have a play on fancyapint.com for details.
  15. Giraffe is good at what it does (burgers etc.) and very child friendly but certainly not gourmet. Before my daughter starting toddling (and therefore became too impatient to sit through a 3 course meal) I took her with me to a variety of fairly upmarket places in central London and didn't have any problems. Sometimes we even let my wife come along. Off the top of my head I can remember visiting: Rex Whistler at Tate Britain Racine Brasserie St. Quentin Fifth Floor at Harvey Nicholls Flaneur, Clerkenwell Chisou, Mayfair Upstairs, Brixton Most were for lunch. The thing to remember is that although the British don't like children much (or eating out for that matter), most restaurants in London have waitstaff from cultures where the opposite is true, and as a result you will usually be warmly welcomed.
  16. I always think Indian is a good option where veggies are involved. South Indian for preference. You could try one of the Rasa chain, or Mela. Alternatively, for the adventurous option, Szechuan at Bar Shu.
  17. But restaurant websites are notoriously awful. Sites for great places like Hibiscus fail to even have basic info like opening times on them. And there's always that slow flash upload which is just tedious. Why fancy restaurants have to have...*gibber, gibber* This one's pretty good - Arbutus
  18. Is there a thread on this place still in existence? ← Err, yes, here.
  19. Thanks to this thread (and to Jon in particular) have just enjoyed a magnificient meal at Chez Kristoff of razor clams followed by confit of cod, squid done two ways (deep fried and steamed) and chick peas* with a side of purple sprouting broccoli (is there any other kind). A glass of house champagne and a carafe of Languedoc cabernet merlot were the perfect accompaniments and the whole experience was a wonderful though slightly bizarre prelude to the wonderful though slightly bizarre "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. Edit to add - oh, and there were pig's trotters in there too
  20. There's an answer, Tim - fuck 'em. Search out the real deal like Basildog's place and give the River Cafe a miss. It's the free market innit.
  21. Is Centrale still going on Cambridge Circus? Hole in the wall pasta place in which I spent many an evening in the early 90s (although you had to go to the Spice of Life for the loo). A huge plate of steaming gnocchi for a fiver.
  22. I probably don't eat out often enough to know much about this, but I agree that Pearl definitely deserves a star - had two cracking meals there this year (service way too slow though). On the other hand, much as I love the Wolseley, I can't see how what is basically overpriced comfort food warrants a star. The service however is excellent.
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