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Hibiscus moving?


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We were not hugely impressed; a pleasant meal with some nice wine but nothing was really outstanding and many things just didn't work. The sausage roll didn't taste as good as one I could get from Greg's for a 20th the price. The sea urchin/pork combination didn't work for me. The pre-dessert of granny smith puree and lemongrass foam tasted like a tub of lemon curd and the lime parfait dessert was topped with what appeared to be a rather pretentious digestive biscuit.

Also would restaurants please stop using that fucking Molton Brown shit in their toilets? The smell is horrible and overpowering and it ruins one's enjoyment of the wine.

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The sausage roll didn't taste as good as one I could get from Greg's for a 20th the price.

Also would restaurants please stop using that fucking Molton Brown shit in their toilets? The smell is horrible and overpowering and it ruins one's enjoyment of the wine.

1-You eat at Gregg's :blink: ?

2-It's been a while since I have eaten out at a high end establishment admittedly, but I am fairly certain one isn't supposed to bloody drink the toiletries. :wink:

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I had a very edible ham and cheese slice from Greggs today while Mrs Fisherman was buying Christmas shite in town, though to be honest I think Claude may have been able to make something a little better.

My other half swears by a Greggs cheese and onion pastie in a barm. But she is from a town near Wigan. I'm far too scared to try it though.

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The sausage roll didn't taste as good as one I could get from Greg's for a 20th the price.

Also would restaurants please stop using that fucking Molton Brown shit in their toilets? The smell is horrible and overpowering and it ruins one's enjoyment of the wine.

1-You eat at Gregg's :blink: ?

2-It's been a while since I have eaten out at a high end establishment admittedly, but I am fairly certain one isn't supposed to bloody drink the toiletries. :wink:

1-Not for a while, but I seem to remember enjoying it more.

2-Oh. I thought everything in a posh restaurant was edible...

Edited by camdan (log)
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I just realised I didn't post my meal here :wacko:

A bit of a mixed meal at Hibiscus. We found the veal disappointing, lacking in flavour and leaving it a pretty ordinary dish, I wonder if the supplier had changed? The Pollack carpaccio worked really well with the Black Radish and Autumn truffle, I can imagine this would be great with Scallops (As I understood it has been served in the past). Another starter of pumpkin soup with Blue Cheese sorbet was beautiful, silky smooth.

A freebie from the kitchen of Foie Gras was divine, the quality of the Foie quite superb, so much so that I have completely forgotten the accompaniments.

The Pork was interesting, the Urchin sauce perhaps a little too salty but other than that combined with the pork well. The Sweet Potato fondant seemed a little redundant. The Sausage roll was really good but If I'm honest after trying the Ginger Pig sausage roll straight form the oven it didn't quite live up to expectations. I failed to detect the truffle in the sauce which was a little like an undistinguished brown sauce.

The Cheese course was exceptional both in quality and value for money. The (new) waiter serving it made me laugh after I turned down Montgomery Cheddar ( I already had the Comte) he announced that I was probably right declaring it "Nice on toast"

A chocolate dessert (with basil ice cream) didn't really do the business but a tarte fine of apple was fabulous though the accompanying ice cream (I forget, white bean?) was a little grainy.

Overall an interesting/good meal but I think we'll get the best out of the restaurant once it beds in a little more. Fabulous effortless service led by Claire throughout and nice to see Claude doing the rounds after the meal. Why can't every restaurant be like this?

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

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I had a very edible ham and cheese slice from Greggs today while Mrs Fisherman was buying Christmas shite in town, though to be honest I think Claude may have been able to make something a little better.

My other half swears by a Greggs cheese and onion pastie in a barm. But she is from a town near Wigan. I'm far too scared to try it though.

Funny AJ I live a town near Wigan and the dish your other half enjoys is called a 'slapper', must say I am also a little scared of trying it!!

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The sausage roll didn't taste as good as one I could get from Greg's for a 20th the price.

Also would restaurants please stop using that fucking Molton Brown shit in their toilets? The smell is horrible and overpowering and it ruins one's enjoyment of the wine.

1-You eat at Gregg's :blink: ?

2-It's been a while since I have eaten out at a high end establishment admittedly, but I am fairly certain one isn't supposed to bloody drink the toiletries. :wink:

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Camdan maybe if you asked the sommelier he may have picked you a wine that would compliment the smells of Molton Brown :wink:

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Another starter of pumpkin soup with Blue Cheese sorbet was beautiful, silky smooth.

How can you have a blue cheese sorbet? If it contains dairy products, surely it would be blue cheese ice cream?

Not necessarily, for example milk sorbet, chocolate sorbet. Ice creams are generally literal, iced cream. Sorbets are less creamy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This review by Mr Jancis Robinson (aka Nick Lander)http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/20071216 is generally positive about the early performance in London. Lander does reckon however that Claude Bosi could do with reducing the ingedients in each dish by one.

For me the most disturbing part of the review is Hibiscus' experience of diner cancellations (no problem with this in Ludlow). Claude Bosi states “Last week we had 134 cancellations and we served 450 customers in total”.

I remember when eating out in restaurants was a gentlemanly activity. Not now in London on this evidence. Hibiscus have had to start taking CC numbers with bookings to limit the damage to their bottom line.

BTW Happy Xmas everyone.

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  • 2 months later...
Dinner yesterday.

A question: when is a surprise not a surprise?

We decided we might as well pay £75 for the 'surprise' menu, as the unsurprising version is now £55. We expected to get dishes which were different to everyone else. However, we were surprised to get a long stream of starters, plus main and dessert, from the a la carte. Or, perhaps ironically, that was the surprise?

We finally went there last week and ordered the surprise menu. They probably improved from a few months ago as they now have a few off-the-menu items.

The crab salad was superb, but the best course has to be the organic salmon, brilliant texture!

gallery_57364_5484_10275.jpg

gallery_57364_5484_50327.jpg

www.finediningexplorer.com/Hibiscus.

The whole meal was flawless, definitely one of the best meals we had in London.

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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Great photos on your blog.

Good to see he's made the egg cocotte more appealing, and also looks like there's a new pastry chef on board.

However I still think the menu seems like it has a lot of sweet flavours throughout the mains (chestnut, mango, sweetcorn). Didn't you find the foie gras too rich at that stage of the meal?

We may have to go back and check it out :biggrin:

Sarah

Sarah

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Great photos on your blog.

However I still think the menu seems like it has a lot of sweet flavours throughout the mains (chestnut, mango, sweetcorn). Didn't you find the foie gras too rich at that stage of the meal?

Sarah

Thanks.

Yes, almost every course had some sweetness to them: chestnut soup, honey dressing on crab, sweetcorn, honey wasabi with salmon, sweet caramelized crust for the foie, and even the onion puree for the pigeon.

The foie ice cream before the main wasn't too rich mainly because it was chilled, actually kind of refreshing.

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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  • 1 month later...
Dinner yesterday.

A question: when is a surprise not a surprise?

We decided we might as well pay £75 for the 'surprise' menu, as the unsurprising version is now £55. We expected to get dishes which were different to everyone else. However, we were surprised to get a long stream of starters, plus main and dessert, from the a la carte. Or, perhaps ironically, that was the surprise?

We finally went there last week and ordered the surprise menu. They probably improved from a few months ago as they now have a few off-the-menu items.

We went last week and also had the 'surprise' menu. I think that perhaps 3 of the 7 courses were 'off menu', or at least they weren't on the 'taste of spring' menu which I later photographed, they may have been on a a la carte.

My favourites were the smoked asparagus (at least partly because we were reminded of it throughout the evening as every time it was served to another table a blast of oak smoke went through the restaurant), and the halibut with spring vegetables. Also the saddle of kid was very nice.

I like the decor: there's a strip mirror round the walls so that even if you are facing the wall you can keep a keen eye on all the goings on around.

See my blog (link in the sig) for photos and more detail.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, it’s horribly late - so sue me……..

Well it has taken us a while to get down to the new Hibiscus but I am delighted we did. I have to admit we were very excited at the prospect of seeing its new incarnation but a tad apprehensive in view of the fondness we had about Hibiscus as it was in Ludlow and the, well, quite frankly ludicrous number of meals we have enjoyed there over the years. Our first stop on our rare grown up night out was to meet our friends at the bar under Roka on Charlotte street. A recommendation from Claire to enjoy a quick cocktail or two and rather nice it was too. Just make sure that you are correctly attired, i.e. preferably in a rugby kit, as tackling the staff to the floor is the only freakin way to get a drink, pay the bill etc.

A quick cab ride and we were on Madddox street in no time. Now I have read some churlish comments about the interior, so I was intrigued to know what it would look like and I am delighted to say that the detractors are indeed talking bollocks. What a lovely space it is and absolutely packed on a Monday night . I especially liked the way they have subtly emulated shades of the old Hibiscus with the wood panelling , yet incorporated a more modern note with the slate on the far wall. The lasses loved the chandelier above the central serving station too.

To start we had some classic gougeres and comped champagne, which always makes it taste infinitely better.

“Oeuf en Cocotte”, Puy Lentil Veloute, Coconut Milk, Toasted Brioche

I have not had this dish for a while and was delighted to have it again . The creamy egg, rich veloute and sweetish coconut melded to give a perfect start.

Wye Valley Asparagus confit in Salted Butter, then lighted smoked, Crushed Soft-boiled Eggs with Spring Truffle, Tamarillo Powder

Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Henri Bourgeois, Loire Valley

A nice touch was that they bring and present the asparagus to the table before whisking it away to be smoked. Eggs again in this course but very enjoyable and a clever mixture of tastes. The wine choice was excellent too.

Ravioli of Spring Onion & Lime, Roast Cevenne Onion, Broad Bean & Mint Puree

Petaluma Riesling “Hanlin Hill” 2006, Clare Valley

A variation of the dish that made Matthew Fort weep a few moons ago. Very pleasant indeed and yet again a superb wine choice from Simon.

Warm Jellied Eel, Pickled Granny Smith Apple, Smoked Eel

Macon-Verze 2006, Domain Leflaive, Burgundy

Having lived in London for years and having never got round to trying jellied eels is somewhat of a sin. So to then have my first taste in a Michelin starred restaurant has set me up a for a fall with any future attempt to eat it. A delicate and pleasant enough dish with the intense eel counterbalanced by the apple. My only slight disappointment was getting about six bloody bones to er, fish out as it were.

Braised Elwy Valley Mutton, Brittany Octopus, Lychee Salad, Mutton & Rosewater Jus

“Ma Maison” Pinot Noir 2006, Leung Estate, Martinborough

The mutton was utterly delicious- truly it was as indeed was the octopus and lychee salad. But the latter was such a delicate beast it needed to be the star of the show and the mutton rather overshadowed it we thought. Don’t misunderstand me- it was delicious to eat.

Savoury Ice Cream of Foie Gras, Warm Emulsion of Brioche, Balsamic Vinegar Caramel

I Capitelli, Roberto Anselmi 2005, Veneto

A minor paddy attack on my part at this stage. Having looked at the menu when we arrived , panic set in when I realised that this signature dish was not on the menu. Having eulogised about this dish to our friend Joe at length I though he was going to be disappointed at its omission. But bless his heart, Simon stepped up, disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared all smiles. We were saved, Claude would rustle some up for us. It was as good as ever, but sadly there is just never enough of it.

Slow-grilled Pyrenean Kid, Fricasse of Soya Beans & Baby Turnips,

Lemon Thyme Jus, Sheppard’s Pie

Chambolle Musigny 1999, Domaine Bertheau, Burgundy

For all four of us it was our first taste of kid, and a perfect picture of spring was supplied on the plate. The little ribs being delicious, the vegetables a joy, but the star of the show was the sublime Sheppard’s pie of this delicate meat. Wow, the sort of dish one would want for their last meal (preferably eaten off of Kylie- but that’s a personal thing.) The Musigny deserves a special mention as it was utterly gorgeous .

Selection of British and French Cheeses

Quinta de Vale Dona Maria 2005, Douro Valley

Sweet Celeriac & Frozen Raspberries

White Asparagus Tart, Black Olive, White Chocolate & Fresh Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream

Muscat de St Jean de Minervois 2005, Languedoc

The girls preferred the pre-dessert to the main pudding., but I rather liked it unusual as it was and you can see what Claude was aiming for. By the way, why this predilection to use olives in desserts.? Anthony did it a few years back with a pineapple dessert and Sat Bains did it last week, pairing slivers of them with a delightful chocolate pudding.

A special mention re Simon who is doing sterling work. The wine flight was truly superb. Put it this way, our friend Joe who having worked in the industry for some years (despite his bloody youth) , knows his stuff. He had the top wallet bashing wine flight at the Fat Duck last year , but thought dish for dish and wine for wine, the flight here was better judged.

Overall, a great evening and it was lovely to see some old faces especially Simon and Sally and of course Claude. Sadly we didn‘t see Claire as she was away drinking tequila slammers with Heston et al at the 50 Best restaurant do that evening.

We are delighted for them, they and their team have worked very hard and we wish them every success in the future.

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Wye Valley Asparagus confit in Salted Butter, then lighted smoked, Crushed Soft-boiled Eggs with Spring Truffle, Tamarillo Powder

Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Henri Bourgeois, Loire Valley

A nice touch was that they bring  and present the asparagus to the table before whisking it away to be smoked. Eggs again in this course but very enjoyable and a clever mixture of tastes. The wine choice was excellent too.

I think you got that backwards: when we were there they were taking the asparagus round after smoking but before plating up: that way the table and mosr of the restaurant got the hit of oak smoke as it was uncovered. Great theatre.

Thanks for the excellent writeup: it brought back memories of our visit, an all too long 6 weeks ago.

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"Wye Valley Asparagus confit in Salted Butter, then lighted smoked, Crushed Soft-boiled Eggs with Spring Truffle, Tamarillo Powder"

"I think you got that backwards: when we were there they were taking the asparagus round after smoking but before plating up: that way the table and mosr of the restaurant got the hit of oak smoke as it was uncovered. Great theatre."

Hell's teeth, you are quite right Duncan. In mitigation, it was two months ago and I am obviously losing my marbles.

Right, better get on with Sat Bains review over the weekend.

Edited by Bapi (log)
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By the way, why this predilection to use olives in  desserts.? Anthony did it a few years back with a  pineapple dessert and Sat Bains did it last week, pairing slivers of them with a delightful chocolate pudding.

It's something you encounter a lot isn't it... the darkly caramelised black olives they're doing at Midsummer House at the moment are the best thing about the desserts on the tasting menu, matched in this case with fennel and pear. I'm pretty sure I had something similar at Bacchus not long ago too, again with caramel (as with the pineapple tarte tatin at Anthony's)... in fact their website currently lists black olives with mango, sounds rather reminiscent!

I think it's largely just the old salt caramel trick, not so different from maple syrup on bacon etc., but there is a special affinity with a certain kind of olive -- those very dark, rich treacley wrinkled black olives you can get (forget what they're called) are already half way to a dessert as they come.

I suppose accomodating green olives in a dessert might be more of a challenge...

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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