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UK Media Round Up


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I'd like to add to those major revelations that I've met Angela Hartnett on several occassions and the real truth of the matter is that she's great company, very funny and highly unlikely to be saying anything nasty about anyone, let alone Gordon Ramsay. Oh, and she's a bloody good cook. Her restaurant's a bit pricey mind.

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You may disagree with me on this point, but here's the question of the week: Do you find it, as I do, slightly patronising when a reviewer tries to give you a final-small-paragraph precis of the restaurant in question, one which tends to gloss over the highs and lows and reduce it down to an ad-executive's tag-line?

Case one : Belinda Richardson's review of Anthony Worrall-Tory's Angel Inn in Wiltshire. The food, frankly, is hit or miss (steak good, scallops lovely, lobster '0/10') so why is this inconsistency not mentioned in the summing up?

I know it gets flak, but the 'out of 20' rating system used by Fort and latterly Durack at least gives the reader guidance while giving them room to read around the rating. I've noticed it a lot in the Manchester reviews, especially MM magazine, where a typical review might be "I wouldn't have done that with the foie gras, and this was badly executed, and these two things don't go together, and the lamb was overcooked" followed by "I'd recommed going, the food's pretty good" as the last line.

Speaking of Durack, his review this week (was there one?) is absent from the IoS website, as is Tracy McLeod.. Did anyone catch the paper edition?

Giles Coren manages to set himself a new record of not mentioning the establishment he's reviewing (Hunan, on Pimlico Road) until the last sentence of the first page. I have decided, therefore, to link to the second page, as this will probably be the starting point of any salient information given. Don't worry about the last paragraph, it's meant to be ironic...

Nothing from Gillian Glover in the Scotsman this week either... is the BBC strike spreading?

Jay Rayner goes to Brighton (were you there, Andy?) and has a rather characterful time at The Gingerman.

Anthony's gets a visit from Katharine Viner, and while not quite matching up to her experiences at The Fat Duck, nevertheless pleases her greatly. Mind t'salt on mother's portion, though.

I have thought long and hard about including AA Gill in this round-up, because while I sometimes find his writing witty, erudite and thought-provoking, it can equally be arrogant, asinine and self-centred. On probation, here's his "review" of Silk (columns passim). Can anyone find a reference to how the food tastes?

No Michael Winner, I promise. I couldn't do that to you.

Restauranteur Edouard de Broglie waves away preconceptions about a restaurant for the voluntarily blind, from the Evening Standard. Bit late for an April Fool's wheeze, I'd have thought...

Fay Machler reviews the same place as Belinda Richardson, with not-too-dissimilar results, though no mention is made of the service. She also goes to "contemporary portuguese" restaurant Tugga on the King's Road, and declares it a fairly mixed bag.

Pane Vino in Kentish Town gets the thumbs-up from Charles Campion, who loves the homely atmosphere.

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Anthony's gets a visit from Katharine Viner, and while not quite matching up to her experiences at The Fat Duck, nevertheless pleases her greatly.  Mind t'salt on mother's portion, though.

the guardian restaurant reviewer is a veggie, how predictable.

And they sent her to a place that doesn't have a vegetarian option :laugh:

whilst she might not find the bread exciting, i have tony's recipe and not only does it go well with parmesan butter and the like, it makes great chip butties!

you don't win friends with salad

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Anthony's gets a visit from Katharine Viner, and while not quite matching up to her experiences at The Fat Duck, nevertheless pleases her greatly.  Mind t'salt on mother's portion, though.

the guardian restaurant reviewer is a veggie, how predictable.

And they sent her to a place that doesn't have a vegetarian option :laugh:

whilst she might not find the bread exciting, i have tony's recipe and not only does it go well with parmesan butter and the like, it makes great chip butties!

Don't worry. Kath's the editor of the magazine, so she sent herself. in other words, don't expect to see her become a regular. At the moment they are trying out people. Hence the week by week change.

Jay

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I quite like the concept of a week-by-week reviewer; Granleese gets my vote thus far.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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A quick memory test.  I think that Thomas Keller did a series of recipes from the Bouchon cookbook in the Times Saturday magazine a couple of months ago.  However, I've been totally unable to find either my copy or see any reference to it in this thread.  Can anyone remember what I'm talking about.  Specifically I was after his recipe for potted salmon.

Thanks

it was my mag - sunday telegraph magazine. i can send you a copy if you give me your address...

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As regards the bridge, a colleague of mine (whose judgment I trust) once worked there. I'm quoting him pretty much verbatim :

"Allan, it's fucking shit. When I went on my split [at 2:30pm] they had the potatoes for dinner's mash boiling on the stove. When I cam back [at 5:30] they were still fucking there. They drained them, put them through the mash machine [a big mouli], no seasoning, no cream, no butter, just sent them out. Shit."

This was one of a few instances of, how can I put it, spur-wearing behaviour?

It should be noted that I haven't eaten there. It should also be noted that I now have no desire to.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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that's a shame, i was going to say you are welcome to join us!

thom's coming too and knows the chef so hopefully we'll get something decent.

and at lunch time hopefully the pots won't have been able to boil for too long :laugh:

cheers

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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Hee hee... I've briefly met Robert Owen Brown and he seems like a nice fella. From the couple of reports I've had back from the place, the problem seems to be consistency - a case of "while the cat's away"... I hope you enjoy it, and do try the mash. :)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Hee hee...  I've briefly met Robert Owen Brown and he seems like a nice fella.  From the couple of reports I've had back from the place, the problem seems to be consistency - a case of "while the cat's away"...  I hope you enjoy it, and do try the mash. :)

I promise we will try the mash when we venture there. :biggrin:

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The Guardian website seems not to have updated the Weekend section from last week, so there's no link to this week's restaurant review, I'm afraid.

Jay Rayner had a week off (lucky for some), and the lovely and fragrant Mariella Frostrup filled the resulting void with what seems to be a well-written review of Tom Conran's Cow in London.

Gillian Glover's latest Scotsman review is unavailable, so here's one from a few weeks ago. It's a bit of a sorry tale, really, as The Vintners Rooms was once a gem of a restaurant serving wonderful food, owned and run by a certain Tim Cumming. Tim was as straight up-and-down as they come, having worked in and later part owning George Perry-Smith's Hole in the Wall in Bath. In a book published a couple of years ago on Edinburgh's favourite chefs, all the photos were of chefs dressed up in finery; pressed starched whites, toques and the sort. Not so Tim, who donned his usual cheap dishwasher's apron and a white polo shirt. It's sad to see a place go downhill, and now that Cumming is no longer a part of the Vintners Rooms it's become a shadow of its former self. When I was in Edinburgh last week, Davy the Sage told me that it's on the brink of closure. Sadness indeed.

The Telegraph hasn't updated its site either. Bank Holiday = no work done?

I'll rectify this as soon as they come online.

I was delighted to see that Terry Durack's review form last week is available online; less delighted to see that it's of the Ledbury.

Caroline Stacey stood in for Tracy MacLeod last week, and reviewed Deep, remaining disctinctly unimpressed. The knives are out for this plaice, I think. Will it flounder?

This week, Tracy MacLeod goes to the Garden Cafe, roasted by Giles Coren a fortnight ago (the Garden Cafe, not MacLeod). The review's a bit more positive, and it's safe to say she likes it.

Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury. Giles Coren Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury. Ledbury Ledbury Ledbury, Ledbury "Ledbury Ledbury", Ledbury.

A bit of a mixed review of Glas from Fay Maschler, ditto Taiwan Village, where the food seems to be uniformly deep-fried and smothered in red sauce.

Informative stuff from Marina O'Loughlin in her review of Zigni. I'm not too geared up on Eritrean food, but now I think I want to be. Tobia also gets the thumbs up from Marina. Was this a deliberately East African tour, and if so, where are you going next? :)

Helen Nicholson reviews The Garden Cafe, and rather likes it.

I'm not sure I'm Toby Young's greatest fan, review-wise, and I think his week's offering, The Tiroler Hut, is a bit vapid. Nevertheless, it's here because it's here because it's here, to paraphrase the WWI marching song.

Glory be - AA Gill actually reviews a restaurant, preceded by moderately readable interesting guff, as opposed to the norm. Wizzy is nothing to do with AWT, but tries hard to do the properly Korean bit.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Just to satisfy my own curiosity, here's a list of the most-reviewed places so far...

Silk - Terry Durack, Giles Coren, AA Gill

Glas - Terry Durack, Jay Rayner, Fay Maschler

The Garden Cafe - Giles Coren, Tracy MacLeod, Helen Nicholson

Deep - Jan Moir, Fay Maschler, Marina O'Loughlin, Caroline Stacey

The bloody Ledbury - Fay Maschler, Jan Moir, Tracy MacLeod, Terry Durack, Giles Coren.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Jay's falling behind...

(possibly some supportive underwear might help?)

Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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The bloody Ledbury - Fay Maschler, Jan Moir, Tracy MacLeod, Terry Durack, Giles Coren.

Does anyone actually buy the Telegraph on Sunday? I really wanted to read Matthew Norman's review which I would guess was this week and I completely forgot to pick up a copy. For some bizarre reason Norman's reviews are never on line.

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Re the Ledbury don't watch this space. Not minded to review, for reasons I'll expand upon if any body is that interested, but they won't be.

Re Taiwan Village, do watch this space. Fay Maschler was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Jay

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Informative stuff from Marina O'Loughlin in her review of Zigni.  I'm not too geared up on Eritrean food, but now I think I want to be.  Tobia also gets the thumbs up from Marina.  Was this a deliberately East African tour, and if so, where are you going next? :)

er, new gordon ramsay... :biggrin:

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, here's a list of the most-reviewed places so far...

Silk - Terry Durack, Giles Coren, AA Gill

Glas - Terry Durack, Jay Rayner, Fay Maschler

The Garden Cafe - Giles Coren, Tracy MacLeod, Helen Nicholson

Deep - Jan Moir, Fay Maschler, Marina O'Loughlin, Caroline Stacey

The bloody Ledbury - Fay Maschler, Jan Moir, Tracy MacLeod, Terry Durack, Giles Coren.

i've done silk and the bloody ledbury too!

Re the Ledbury don't watch this space. Not minded to review, for reasons I'll expand upon if any body is that interested, but they won't be.

go on, you've got me. dish!

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