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When exactly did everybody move up North? What prompted everybody to stop eating in London Restaurants? I appreciate that some of us don't eat out as regularly as we might wish but I can't believe the lack of London posts lately.

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

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not strictly true. i'll be coming in from darkest hampshire today to eat a meal at new tayyabs. it's my reward for going to a horrible contractors assessment in the City. I'm both a colonial and a yokel so I'm not looking forward to this.

the dry meat however - THAT I'm looking forward to.

but it's good to know that the capital has closed and therefore i don't have to make a reservation.

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When exactly did everybody move up North? What prompted everybody to stop eating in London Restaurants? I appreciate that some of us don't eat out as regularly as we might wish but I can't believe the lack of London posts lately.

Matthew Grant - The last of the Gourmand Mohicans. Time to get the head shaved. :smile:

"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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it's the low season and there hasn't been many new openings lately.

There a new chinese restaurant in chinatown called New China,

it's pretty good, a cut above the rest of chinatown and is on par to the Chinese Experience restaurant.

anyone know of any new opening in london?

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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I agree wholeheartedly about the state of affairs currently. Down the road from me a corner site, formerly an All Bar One, has been turned into an upmarket steakhouse called the Green Door. Its quite plush inside, all shiny and new, and not at all tempting to visit. Considering its opposite a nicely established branch of Black & Blue, one has to wonder what the people who opened this place were thinking.

I think another point about London dining these days is that apart from relatively high end to properly high end, or the absolute other end of the spectrum (chain restaurants and ethnic haunts) there are very few places worth eating out at. I enjoyed the relaunched Cecconi's concept, and The Wolseley as a concept, but not for the food, but what I lament are the dirth of decent gastropubs, or call me old fashioned, bistrots.

I dont know about most other peoples expectations, but I find it very hard, without cutting corners or forgoeing a course, to eat for around 30 pounds a head at dinner. 20 and below is do-able, 50+ is doable, but what about quality in the middle ground? Or am I really missing a few obvious places? I have recently doubled my cookbook collection, particularly volumes about France, cos it just doesnt seem easy enough to find the simple cooking delights that a good, simple (local) restaurant used to be able to provide.

Near where I live (just off Gloucester Road, a not un-central location) we have the aforementioned Black & Blue, the Green Door, Texas Lone Star (rubbish) Bugis Street BRasserie (ok Malay/Singaporean cafe) then up Gloucester Road towards the park we have that aweful Meditarranean Kitchen place, the french asian fusion place l'etranger, Launceston Place, Wodka...sounds like a lot I know, but none of them are particularly worth a second visit apart from Black & Blue and Bugis St. Dont get me started on High St Ken and the Earls Court areas.

One of my fave places is in Ealing, a place called The Walpole, which is open during the day as a cafe and on Friday and Saturdays as a dinner place. Great place to eat, anyone else tried it?

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Fascinating article and all that, but what really caught my eye was that the sadly now deceased restaurant PR Alan Compton Batt "used to boast about punching Jay Rayner." I'd have paid good money to see that!

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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I agree wholeheartedly about the state of affairs currently. Down the road from me a corner site, formerly an All Bar One, has been turned into an upmarket steakhouse called the Green Door. Its quite plush inside, all shiny and new, and not at all tempting to visit. Considering its opposite a nicely established branch of Black & Blue, one has to wonder what the people who opened this place were thinking.

I think another point about London dining these days is that apart from relatively high end to properly high end, or the absolute other end of the spectrum (chain restaurants and ethnic haunts) there are very few places worth eating out at. I enjoyed the relaunched Cecconi's concept, and The Wolseley as a concept, but not for the food, but what I lament are the dirth of decent gastropubs, or call me old fashioned, bistrots.

I dont know about most other peoples expectations, but I find it very hard, without cutting corners or forgoeing a course, to eat for around 30 pounds a head at dinner. 20 and below is do-able, 50+ is doable, but what about quality in the middle ground? Or am I really missing a few obvious places? I have recently doubled my cookbook collection, particularly volumes about France, cos it just doesnt seem easy enough to find the simple cooking delights that a good, simple (local) restaurant used to be able to provide.

Near where I live (just off Gloucester Road, a not un-central location) we have the aforementioned Black & Blue, the Green Door, Texas Lone Star (rubbish) Bugis Street BRasserie (ok Malay/Singaporean cafe) then up Gloucester Road towards the park we have that aweful Meditarranean Kitchen place, the french asian fusion place l'etranger, Launceston Place, Wodka...sounds like a lot I know, but none of them are particularly worth a second visit apart from Black & Blue and Bugis St. Dont get me started on High St Ken and the Earls Court areas.

One of my fave places is in Ealing, a place called The Walpole, which is open during the day as a cafe and on Friday and Saturdays as a dinner place. Great place to eat, anyone else tried it?

raj - i feel your pain...a good meal decently priced is very hard to find. I don't think this is exclusive to London, neither to the mid-range restuarant (although you are right it is more evident here); rather it is commonplace in large cosmopolitan cities which don't have a particularly deep food culture. I'd go further and say that without strong home cooking traditions, it is very difficult for a city to develop a range of eatieries where the value for money is good.

-che

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what really caught my eye was that the sadly now deceased restaurant PR Alan Compton Batt "used to boast about punching Jay Rayner."

I doubt if Jay knew ACB in his pomp as the drink was definitely getting the better of him by the time Mr Rayner acceded to his post @ The Observer. I also doubt if ACB ever actually laid a glove on JR (or, if he did, if Rayner noticed). Of course, there was a time when you were nobody if Compton Batt hadn't threatened to break your legs...

I also enjoyed the sidebar to this piece, The rise and fall of a fashionable restaurant (which includes a cameo from Jay Rayner as The Restaurant Critic!) How much am I looking forward to the reinvention of Shumi as a 100 seater Japanese restaurant with Alan Yau OBE spending another five million quid on the makeover? Not at all!

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One of my fave places is in Ealing, a place called The Walpole, which is open during the day as a cafe and on Friday and Saturdays as a dinner place. Great place to eat, anyone else tried it?

Yes, I have been to the Walpole several times. Small, very friendly place.

Only complaint would be that they over-salt the food...oh, and the serves are so huge that I never have a hope of finishing my meal!

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Lack of time, lack of money & cost of getting to London from outside. Return train fare from Lewes or Brighton is now £32 & driving with parking even more expensive.

Not being a chef or critic I don't generally have much to contribute. But I can offer this inside information(!): JETRO (Japan Export Trade Organisation) have two full-time staff recently-arrived (one from MAFF) at there Holburn offices dedicated to promoting Japanese food in the UK. They have just completed a survey of some 400 London Japanese restaurants & noted that the choice of food is usually pretty dire. The Japanese government is launching a big campaign to promote Japanese food abroad. Personally I hope we'll see a more imaginative & wider use of the amazing flavours and textures of many Japanese ingredients. That's already happening at Bill's Produce store & cafe in Brighton & Lewes (soon to arrive in London I hear).

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I'm just curious to know why there are very few postings about any London restaurants at the moment.

You obviously have time to read though? :raz:

Some of us work for a living and don't have the time?

Lack of time, lack of money & cost of getting to London from outside. Return train fare from Lewes or Brighton is now £32 & driving with parking even more expensive.

Not being a chef or critic I don't generally have much to contribute. But I can offer this inside information(!): JETRO (Japan Export Trade Organisation) have two full-time staff recently-arrived (one from MAFF) at there Holburn offices dedicated to promoting Japanese food in the UK. They have just completed a survey of some 400 London Japanese restaurants & noted that the choice of food is usually pretty dire. The Japanese government is launching a big campaign to promote Japanese food abroad. Personally I hope we'll see a more imaginative & wider use of the amazing flavours and textures of many Japanese ingredients. That's already happening at Bill's Produce store & cafe in Brighton & Lewes (soon to arrive in London I hear).

Excused, you don't live in London.

I think it really is down to boredom, although that article concentrated on fashionable restaurants Peyton was astute in his comment:

"The only thing that has changed is there's a better quality of food in this country now - until the late Nineties we were still sending a van to Paris twice a week for ingredients. But we've not become a food-loving nation: it's a metropolitan myth.'

A long time ago we had a discussion on this bored about needing the gneral public (i.e. non foodies) to catch up food wise. We're all food savvy but the majority of punters don't analyse or expect as much from there dining experiences as we might, subsequently food is stuck in a quagmire, chefs/owners are unwilling to take a risk (understandably so) and move on. Contemporary food and talented chefs are plentiful, what is missing is a dining public demanding enough to make a worthwhile but new venture. Maybe ten years down the line the public will all catch up and be demanding something new and then we will have dozens of new openings that we want to try. In the meantime it seems like I'll have to stick to the occasional meal out and blow my budget on cooking for myself at home.

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

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The answer to this is (I think) pretty straightforward. The restaurant trade is by its very nature seasonal and this is the low season (apart from the Valentine's day this month and mother's day next month). After Xmas most punters need a break from overindulgence (clearly this doesn't apply to some egulleteers) and many are skint especially after January's tax bill (this applies to me!). Things will pick up in the spring. I work in restaurants/nightclubs/theatres between 4 and 7 times a week and see this every year.

Personally I'm waiting to see if and when Joel Robuchon opens his London l'Atelier to show Atherton/Ramsay how it should be done.

Adrian York
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I think there is an element of this but in general the UK board and in particular London has been very quiet for some time now, not just the post Christmas period.

Agree that L'Atelier could be a kick up the arse but it has to be said that the food is hardly cutting edge, it is really about the concept which Maze pinched of him (or Tapas or Sushi bars depending on how you want to interpret it). I can't see that it will hugely excite the non-foodies, it will probably be hard to sell the Robuchon brand to a general public that just won't have heard of him, I hope I'm wrong. Besides that again is a new opening, aren't people revisiting restaurants or going to old favourites, this board isn't purely about new openings :hmmm:

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

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I don't see London reviving as a restaurtant town until someone steps up to lay down the culinary gauntlet, so to speak. It looked for a while like it would be Aikens, but that's gone quiet. Ramsays pottering away, printing money and counting zeros. MPW is dead (in that Paul McCartney sort of way). Simon Hopkins is typing. Atherton is developing a franchise more than he is a culinary following. There are a few journeymen and women chefs who are developing careers, but I can't think of anyone who has made any aesthetic noise since Heston stood up.

"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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Sorry, I moved out to Essex...but at least that thread is going strong :smile:

As a result I'm concentrating on home-based pleasures such as wine drinking and am often found on:

http://www.wine-pages.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=forum;f=1

I plan to visit PaT next month finances willing so I'll be sure to report back....

Edited by Gavin Convery (log)

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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There's quite a buzz about private home kitchen restaurants in hong kong

where retired chefs and home cooks would open up their homes for paying customers a few nights a week and cook really REAL home cooking.

I wonder if that could ever catch on in London?

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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If you give me a 70 quid a head I'm happy to cook for you.

thats not too bad

these private kitchen do charge £50+/head

They are usually an 8 course family service meal

consisting of new dishes and luxury items that you just won't see in a normal restuarant.

So what's on the menu?

Edited by origamicrane (log)

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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