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Beginners restaurant guide


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Hi all,

I was wondering If i could get some help with my plan. In the recent years I have become really passonate about food all over again and now im not too poor Im able to check out all these restaurants ive always read and heard about.

so im trying to formulate a plan of action.

I have started at la gavroche because in my opinion this is the start, full stop.

So where do I go from here? I dont want to peak too soon so really I want to save the fat duck to close to the end of my plan. And In my dreams it will end at el bulli hehe.

I dont want to make it just about the food too, For me its about the chefs and where they came from, So I wouldnt want to eat in say Marcus Wareings restaurant before gordon ramseys..

I just wish marco puerre White was still around to complete my self set quest.

So yeah any help will be very appreacated thank you

chris

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Hi all,

I was wondering If i could get some help with my plan. In the recent years I have become really passonate about food all over again and now im not too poor Im able to check out all these restaurants ive always read and heard about.

so im trying to formulate a plan of action.

I have started at la gavroche because in my opinion this is the start, full stop.

So where do I go from here? I dont want to peak too soon so really I want to save the fat duck to close to the end of my plan. And In my dreams it will end at el bulli hehe. 

I dont want to make it just about the food too, For me its about the chefs and where they came from, So I wouldnt want to eat in say Marcus Wareings restaurant before gordon ramseys..

I just wish marco puerre White was still around to complete my self set quest.

So yeah any help will be very appreacated thank you

chris

I'm not sure what you are asking for????

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Interesting idea.

May I suggest getting in early to Le Café Anglais, soon to open in a shopping centre in Bayswater. Worth a go only because the chef's Rowley Leigh -- perhaps the most influential London chef still to be found manning a stove.

Edit: by the way, has anyone ever constructed a family tree of restaurants? Rules branching into the Savoy Grill, Aubergine at the source of Ramsay, Sugar Club to Providores, etc. etc? Seems a pointless but entertaining project for someone with too much time on their hands.

Edited by naebody (log)
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I'm not sure what you are asking for????

Sorry you will have to forgive me, im suffering from a kidney stone at the moment so finding it hard to think about anything but the pain.

by the way, has anyone ever constructed a family tree of restaurants?

Thats pretty much what im looking for. So then I can start at the top and make my way down.

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I would rather start at the bottom and work up with some of the restaurants for example, once you've eaten at RHR i'm not sure how much you'd appreciate the other Ramsay restaurants comparitively. Don't get me wrong, i have eaten at all of them and they are all fantastic restaurants but I like the idea of working up from 1star to 3 and then you can better appreciate the differences in style, service and cuisine etc You could try Theo Randall and 15 as they have both been trained by The river Cafe etc etc If you are areound this coming weekend try Taste of London in Regents Park - chefs from a lot of London's top restaurants wil be there selling sample portions of their dishes from £3- £6.00 Well worth the £20 entry fee - Tickets from Ch4 website or toptable

Happy eating!!

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Don't forget the generation of chefs that worked under Mosimann at the Dorchester in the 80's including Mark Hix of Caprice Holdings and Michael Deane in Belfast. Then there's the originators or modern British cuisine such as Alastair Little (no longer cooking but his restaurant is still there). How about Nico's mob including Andy McLeish at Chapter One.

Then there's the dozens of chefs that trained with Raymond Blanc including John Burton Race. Then you'll need to track down all of Marco's boys such as Tim Payne who is currently Oliver Peyton's exec chef and Steven Terry at The Hardwick in Wales.

Don't forget the legendary Bibendum brigade that included Phil Howard of the Square, Henry Harris of Racine, Bruce Poole of Chez Bruce, Jeremy Lee of the Blueprint Cafe and Ian Bates of the Old Spot in Wells. And then there's all those chefs that came out of the Capital like Richard Shepherd, Shaun Hill, Brian Turner and Gary Rhodes. And the chefs that worked with Bruno Loubet including Anthony Demetre of Arbutus.

And of course you can't overlook Anton Edelmann's 21 years at the Savoy who had the likes of Marcus Wareing and Giorgio Locatelli working for him.

If I were you, I'd book the restaurants first based on what you fancy eating and worry about the history afterwards!

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To follow on from Andy's thread, one well worth visiting is Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge where head chef Chris Staines is also ex-MPW!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Okay - after more thought than my employer would appreciate, I've come up with the following suggestion for "The history of London restaurants in ten subjective steps".

It's not quite chronological by chef, style or opening date, and the progression from zero to three stars is obviously a bit forced. There are also some glaring omissions, on the basis that they are no longer what they were. (For example, while there are much better restaurants than Clarke's, it's included because it's probably the most preserved example of that particular movement).

Anyway:

Sweetings

The Savoy Grill

The Ivy

Veeraswamy

Clarkes

St John

Racine

Chez Bruce

The Square

Ramsay RHR

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  • 2 weeks later...

Baccus - 9 courses + wine pairing for £100 is good value.

Or go for 5 or 3 courses. The food is very interesting and while ,when I was there, some service issues go with a smile and appreciate what they are doing then you will either be entranced or repulsed!

As for Bibendum - it is a classic when it's on form but expect to pat £60 pp just for food, The clasics there are (Well so many in the starters Foie, Snails, Terrine,) Main - Fish and chips, Roast Chicken (For 2). Desert :- Creme Brulle, Tarte Fine aux pomme and the killer chocolate pithier (and ask for the digestif menu, they don't give it out as standard but some ver interesting spirits on there).

And a top tip - with a 30 page wine list, trust the somellier, the only time I've gone wrong there is when I ordered myself - give them a price point if you need to, and leave it to them. (However if you don't see the grape badge - busy - ask for the somellier. This is the sort of reastaurant that has 12 bottled of X and will never get them again, they charge by what a wine is worth (by taste) not by what it costs. So markups can range from 2x to 10x so put your trust in thier somelliers.

Asso just had butter poached lobster with broad bean puree at Bibendum tonight and it put the French Laundry's butter poached lobster to shame, this was perfection on a plate, (ok - if honest there was slightly to much frisse lettuce or it could have been chopped more).

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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As a counter argument to Bibendum, I would read this first. Ermintrude, are you a regular their?

Bibendum

Don't go to L'enculme in Cartmell, Cumbria. Unless you want to waste a lot of money & regard the opinion of Giles (the new Dimbleby's) Coren (who gave it 10/10 presumably as a joke) seriously. :blink:

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Is there really a right or a wrong list or order of restuaurants to go to?

How long is this journey going to be before you arrive at your destination?

surely you should go to the ones that intrest you most, or 100 different people are going to give you 100 different lists?

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As a counter argument to Bibendum, I would read this first. Ermintrude, are you a regular their?

Bibendum

I eat there around 3 or 4 times a year but have done so over the last 10 years. The previous time I ate there was Dec 22nd 2006. I'll come clean and say that I know several people who work there BOH. But I've also sent many people there to eat, friends, family, chefs, colleagues at work and most of the time they have had given great reports. I realise that the review you mentioned, he was "With his Nan" and did not want to complain, which I understand, but perhaps he could have 'gone to the toilet - and had a word off camera'. But like any restaurant it can have it's off days and sometimes you can have bad combinations of FOH and BOH. Like any restaurant it can have an off day (I've had a couple, mostly around service or over seasoned food but these are rare) .

I recommend Bibendum as it is a classic as when it opened in 1987 by itTerrance Conran and chief Simon Hopkiinson as Chef ( p.s. check out his cook books especially "Roast Chicken and other stories" and "The Prawn Cocktail Years" which are classics). And it was part of the big change in the restaurant scene in the UK, and then led to the Conran food empire. But it's not a typical Conran restaurant (he owns 1/3 I believe) and when it works it's briliant.

Last Friday when I was there I had butter poached lobster with broad bean puree (The lobster was more tender than the French laundry , followed by roast rabbit (which included the liver and kidneys - Bibendum are quite adventurous for the UK regarding offal) that was delicious.

Top tips go in the week if you can.

If it's your first time go for at least one of thier signature dishes:- Escargots de Bourgogne (12), Terrine of foie gras, fish and chips, Poulet de Bresse à l'estragon, Pithiviers au chocolat, Crème brûlée, Tarte fine aux pommes.

Also when I saw Matthew Grant's comments back in Feb, I did send them a link to the post.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I suggest you try Roussillon, before working your way up to The Square, Capital, Pied a Terre and Petrus.

With Le Gavroche being my favourite restaurant in Britain, I always found a comparison to the Waterside Inn highly interesting. The kitchen style of the two Roux cousins appears quite similar to me.

Edited by ameiden (log)
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Sketch Lecture Room and Library in London is worth a visit. Lunch is a bargain if you want to get an idea of whether or not to splash out on dinner. £35 for three courses (4 if you count the complimentary canapes). The starter is a taster of multiple dishes; the main course choices a bit limited (but frequently changed); and either a taster of three sweet deserts or selection of cheeses.

Honestly I think the French side of the MPW empire is still worth a look-see.

When Marco Pierre White walked away from cooking I too walked away from his restaurants. It wasn't a big thing, but they'd diminished in some way in my mind and there were way more restaurants than I had time to eat in.

Anyway, I tried L'Escargot last week. Having just been reading The Soul of A Chef by Michael Ruhlman there was no way I could pass on a ballotine of ham hock and foie gras. The foie gras just lightly shined with melted fat where it had been heated. It was utterly delicious, the coarse ham the perfect contrast to the buttery smooth foie. A chop of lamb served with petit pois puree and roast potato cubes followed; sweet, tender and perfectly cooked. Desert of chocolate tart was perfect. Perhaps because it was early in service the torte had a light, just out of the oven consistency and deep flavourful tastes that perfectly balance bitter and sweet over a dark chocolate biscuit base.

According to the 2007 edition of The Good Food Guide the place to check out in central London are Arbutus (newcomer of the year), Galvin at Windows, and Latium. I can agree with the first two. I have no idea about Latium, I'd never heard of it until I just looked up their choices.

D.

Edited by dharold (log)

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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I would look for a balance.

Definately finish with Gordon... RHR is fantastic.

But move around a bit. London has a fantastic collection.

My Choices would be

Racine - Classic Bistro

Nahm (Thai 1*)

Umu (Japanese 1* - Full Omakase)

Hakkasan (Chinese 1* - Dimsum)

St John (Suckling Pig Roast !!!!!)

Joel Robouchon (1*)

Sketch (1* - Library)

The Fat Duck (3* Fantastic - to compare where the above will be in 2-5 years)

Then

Gordon Royal Hospital Road (for perfection especially the service.)

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