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rjs1

Pearl Restaurant (formerly QC)

54 posts in this topic

i thought that but as it tasted ok, i didn't complain.

i was trying to keep my interaction with our waiter to a minimum by this point :raz:

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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Terry Durak sent the cheese cart away for not being "appealing" enough

... and manages to say so in 14 words. That's what I call a restaurant review.

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that's what i called haiku.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Thats what I call music vol 58.

(its been a long day.)

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whatever it that is being served in an £18.50 glass wine is not relevant, pushing booze of that price/calibre on people who don't want it is very poor form.

maybe it's very good, but pushing your value system onto someone else is not on. that's the price of a bottle of house wine, not appropirate someone for someone who has asked for a glass of wine.

if they cared that much about their wine, they'd have either asked for something like that, or ordered something suitably grand.

Essentially an 18.50 glass of wine comes from a bottle of around £100 on a menu, and many people have no interest in that sort of affair.

Footnote having gained 9.5 stone in 2 weeks in the south of france, I have a nice story to compare. dining at Petit nice 2* in marseilles, overlooking the corniche - view to die for.

they have a fabulous lunch menu for 50 euro. for 60 you get a half bottle of house wine between 2, and for 70 you get the former plus the house cocktail each.

the latter seemed good value, so we opted for that, and also ordered another half of something quite nice off the wine list.

the sommelier came up and said not to worry about the extra wine we ordered, that would substitute the cocktail for a half of red to complement our meal. that would work better. so we got four courses each plus half of white and a half of red included in the menu price. they were decent house wines, on the main list at about 15 euro each.

in essence, he figured we wanted a little wine to go with lunch and managed to oblige. This seems quite in contrast with someone recommending a glass of wine - unpriced - that costs as much as the lunch being consumed.

know your customer dude.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Went to Pearl last night, having not eaten at QC I couldn't comment on the change to the decor but the end product is pretty impressive. Interesting tables with a built in light that shines through the centre from underneath: pretty but not ideal for reading menus. Apart from the larger than life chandeliers very little other lighting from above.

Had the three course a la carte at 42.50, they were actually quite busy for a Tuesday night and the atmosphere in the large marbled space was much better than expected from AA Gill's review.

No canapes

Amuse: Tomato consomme with a cucumber sorbet on the side. Very good, refreshing clean flavours that lingered and lingered. Worked well together.

Similar concept for pre-pud (there was one) which was a blueberry 'soup' with a yoghurt sorbet. Less successful, partly because I found blueberry to be an uninteresting flavour.

First Course: Pan Fried Foie Gras with beetroot tart tatin. Very generous slab of foie gras, not so keen on the beetroot tart tatin, the thin slivers of beetroot were lost in the excessive amount of pastry and added little to the foie gras for me.

Main Course: Three fish, duck, lamb or veal - maybe a bit limited in choice. I chose Lamb, sweetbreads, new potatoes, morels etc. The lamb had been marinated to tenderise plus lift and enhance the natural flavours of the meat. The sum of the parts was a hearty, earthy and gutsy dish which made that degree of prep out of place, that said I thoroughly enjoyed it. My fellow diner's fan of magret duck was almost retro save such detail of the confit being delivered in a spring role, again generous portions, wholeheartedley enjoyed.

Cheese: Shared a plate, thought they were good, well described etc Minor grumble, too few strong cheeses (munster only one really).

Pudding: Too full and asked for sorbets, disappointed to get Strawberry and Blueberry; I never like the former as the natural flavour doesn't seem to fit well with sorbet and I always feel I'm tasteing the syrup; the latter as is a bit non descript in the first place. There were far more interesting sorbets/ice creams used across the pudding menu that could have been presented. The puddings did actually read well, perhaps a tanaka metier that I missed out on?

Coffee and Sweets; Coffee not included and sweets only arrived after we had finished coffee. They were late but good.

Wine List: Too big, jungle. 330 different wines, 1440 bottles stored, heavyweights by the glass dominating the opening pages. A long list in every respect; wines from Lebanon, Argentina, New Zealand, Chile, Canada and everywhere else. When it boils down to it I found few choices under £40 that the average wine drinker (me) could feel confident about. Nor keen on the wheel up the champagne trolley upon arrival with 4 choices, forcing the customer to say white non vintage and feel like a cheap skate (seems common practice these days).

Service: Good, found it had a happy balance between formal and friendly, especially the french sommelier. Had to ask for wine glass to be topped up once and given the wrong bill but minor grumble.

Summary: Jun Tanaka must have cooked in more starred kitchens than anyone else out there...Gavroche, Square, Capital, Restaurant MPW, Oak Room, Nico at ninety etc but not obvious where his inspriations came from when eating his food. The Pearl web site: "Jun believes that ingredients should not be masked and over complicated, but enhanced to bring out their natural flavours, producing a clean and distinct taste." The amuse and pre pud aside I didn't see this...but what I had I liked enough to want to go again. And given the full wine list is now published on the Pearl site some pre prep is possible. They said the menu is changing soon to reflect the season, I may like the main course choice better then.

Total Bill: £88 per head including £45 bottle of medoc plus a glass of white (£7.50)

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The lamb had been marinated to tenderise plus lift and enhance the natural flavours of the meat. The sum of the parts was a hearty, earthy and gutsy dish which made that degree of prep out of place, that said I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm quite looking forward to getting here at some point, so thanks for the report. I'm not sure I understand what this bit above means though. Can you explain?

Interesting comments about blueberries. I'm eating a lot of them at the moment and for the first time. Am actually analysing the flavour of the ones's I'm eating as I type and they are quite a hit and miss fruit. Out of fice only one had really good acidity and flavour so I imagine cooking with them can be a bit hit and miss. I had a blueberry creme brulee in chicago recently that tasted of nothing. At the time I thought it was just that I didn't have a very good palate but I'm going to be less hard on myself now.

Do they tell you how much each glass of champagne is when they bring over the trolley or are you expected to have an innate knowledge of the relative value of each. That said, they could just park the trolley next to me and I'd be happy.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Suzi

You have to guess which one you can afford...or be safe and say white non vintage.

The lamb - presented in a fan - had a sauce with morels, new potatoes and sweetbreads. We were told afterwards about the detail of marination process and the impact that this was designed to have on the flavour of the lamb - I had not noticed because of the sauce which accompanied the dish. It was not a dish of separate components on a plate, each having clean distinct flavours that balanced each other nor designed for interersting contrasts in textures. (This is an observation and not a criticism) The lifting and enhancing of the lamb was done (for me) by the sauce rather than me being aware of the flavour benefit of the marination process....the end result was very enjoyable and generous, no complaints.


Edited by Marlyn4k (log)

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I went for lunch the other day - I used to go quite a bit when it was QC - I too loved the food, but didn't take to the room - beautiful but cold. They have wrought quite a transformation, and it now feels much more welcoming. It was a lot busier than it used to be. The staff seemed more prefessional than others above have mentioned too, though the service was slow - strange in a restaurant that is in a business district.

I was meeting some old friends - one I hadn't seen for 25 years, so we spent all the time talking, and we were all in a hurry so didn't have time for starters - so all I can comment on is my experience: I didn't get time to taste their food except one pudding.

On the downside, I was given a menu with no prices on - maybe they always do it for the ladeez, but it's annoying - I've hosted lunches there before now, and would not be impressed b this - again, strange in a business district to do this.

The food? well I always used to enjoy the food at QC - this was just as beautifully presented, but my only course was curiously pallid in flavour - everything was perfectly cooked, but tasted of little... It could, of course, have been the fact that I was there for the talking not the eating, but I did *try* to concentrate on what I was eating a bit - the glass of wine that the sommeleier recommended (very professionally I must say) was also pallid. For the record my main was rabbit and king prawn with mushrooms.

Between us we only had one pudding - the taste I had (gingerbread with pear) was very good, and the coffee was excellent.

Overall - I shall return, as it was a warmer experience than I ever had at QC - the food was obviously prepared with such care that I am prepared to accept that I was unlucky and not concentrating enough.

I had a look at the cheese trolley - it looked good!

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A business dinner at Pearl last night, in a private room just off the bar.

The food was surprisingly good -- I had that tomato consomme/cucumber sorbet starter described upthread, then the sauteed foie gras, then a pan-fried seabass, then a pre-dessert of yoghurt with a cassis granita, then cheeses. The cheeses came pre-selected -- there were 10 of us, several had the cheese, and it would have been disruptive and clumsy to wheel a cheese trolley into the fairly small private room.

But the food, overall, was good -- the tomato consomme fresh and clean, the foie nicely sauteed, the seabass very flavourful, though a tad overdone. Even the cheeses were OK.

Service was fine, except for a visit by a rather officious maitre-d (think Mr Bean with a French accent) who loudly interrupted a discussion to ask whether we approved of the food.

The rest of the place looked deserted when I left. But it was 1030 pm on a Monday night, so this may be an inaccurate read. I hope so. Food and service this good deserve custom. Well worth a revisit.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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anyone been recently? we'll be staying at the Renaissance Chancery Court in Dec and wondering if Pearl is worth the $$?

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anyone been recently? we'll be staying at the Renaissance Chancery Court in Dec and wondering if Pearl is worth the $$?

Haven't been for a bit, but there were some positive notices from former board members writing on other boards a few months back. Well worth checking out IMHO, one of the better hotel-bound-modern-haute joints in the city (and one of the few of note which haven't been swallowed up by the Gordon Ramsay empire as yet.

Jun Tanaka is one of the most underrated haute chefs in London, IMHO (along with that bloke at Aubergine who is so underrated that no one can even remember his name... William Drabble, that's it! :raz: )

ta

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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I went about 2 months ago, it was good. But some of the dry crumbing techniques left a bit to be desired.

it's still fair value, and if I was staying in the hotel, I would certainly eat there.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Amazingly good lunch there on Monday - probably the best cooking I've had out in the last 6 months. Intense but clear (and imaginative ) flavour combinations eg mackeral and red mullet escabeche with ginger and pumpkin puree. And a bargain at £26.50 for three courses. Only problem was the service - v. slow - took 30 mins to get menus and (a business) lunch took 2.5 hours. No excuses as the restaurant was less than half full.

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Good news! I'm there next week, booked prior to his new TV show I hasten to add :rolleyes:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The Giles Coren review is an example of poor restaurant criticism and is an abuse of power: English critic is chastised by French waiter, critic takes up 696 words of a 1,222 word review getting own back on waiter in print when he should have been telling his readers what they might expect if they dined at Pearl.

There are rumours that Coren is due for a stint on one of those "I'm a Celebrity..." shows. I wonder what he would have made of Jun Tanaka's TV programme on Channel 4;mind boggles.

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what tv show is this ?

(not the i'm a celeb obviously)


you don't win friends with salad

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what tv show is this ?

(not the i'm a celeb obviously)

It's on channel 4 whereby he takes someone who can't even boil an egg and by showing them "tricks of the trade" ... in three weeks teaches them enough to enter a chef competition against real chefs.

Called Cooking It

Except it's nowhere near as good as the Faking It programme from a few years back ..

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It lacked a lot - for instance It showed him describing how to descale a fish but didn't actually show it. It really didn't show her transformation form nobody to somebody very well at all, it simply showed him putting a dish together, her copying it with mistakes and the next thing you know she is fooling 3 judges. The definitions and tips flashing up on screen seemed like an embarassing afterthought e.g "Blanching is a chefs term for boiling somehitng then putting it in cold water"

Not really a cooking programme IMO. Do you think it was designed to promote his cooking school that they kept referring to?

Cooking It


Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Jun Tanaka comes across to me as someone who clearly has talent and lots of patience so this isn't intended as an attack on him.... but on that first programme last week, I just didn't care or connect with the woman who was undergoing the transformation. I didn't dislike her ... just apathy from me I guess.

Just think the programme is badly made ... it comes across as an particularly lazy form of the reality TV that we get bombarded with nowadays ... full of cliches and trite "hints" ... rules about keeping your cool and offering guests a drink and then her blatantly doing the opposite!

Didn't believe it nor was I particularly entertained ... so if it didn't educate, inspire, or entertain me ... then difficult to see why I'll watch another one ... unless it's on in the background.

suspect I got more out of this short discussion on EG than the programme!


Edited by YKL (log)

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Jun Tanaka comes across to me as someone who clearly has talent and lots of patience so this isn't intended as an attack on him.... but on that first programme last week, I just didn't care or connect with the woman who was undergoing the transformation.  I didn't dislike her ... just apathy from me I guess.

I always remember the comment on the board from Canadian uber-chef David Hawksworth who worked with Jun at MPW and said he was one of the most talented chefs he had worked with (or words to that effect)

Definitely an underrated talent.

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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YKL, first thing I said at the end was that I didn't believe it either. All the mistakes she made were a dead giveaway, one of the judges had to come and assist her when she nearly set a pan of oil on fire, she walked out in tears, burnt her peppers so she couldn't use them (why didn't she just quickly fry up another batch, would have taken seconds to chop and fry) and yet she was the best one, incredible.

How about some programmes that show some more advanced cooking, I guess that would have too limited an audience :sad:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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