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What Restaurant did you eat at last night?

Discussion in 'La Cuisine' started by physichull, 4 Apr 2011.

  1. the-evaluator

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Sep 2015

    Posts: 2,552

    I ate there once, never again. Without going into overly graphic detail let's just say that 'eye of a needle' and 'brown rain' where commonly uttered phrases in my house for the next 10 days.
     
  2. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,056

    Location: Higher Walton

    Haha we seem to have the opposite problem. No matter how many prunes are eaten!
     
  3. One More Solo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Dec 2004

    Posts: 15,926

    Location: Manchester

    Manchester House (cross post from Trip Advisor...)

    I'd written a lengthy review before realising I'd wasted five paragraphs on the experience between entering the building and going to our table (via the bar), which lasted all of 30 minutes, and only spent two paragraphs praising the restaurant.

    In short, if you're offered the chance to go for a drink in the bar while your table is readied (note: not sure what they were getting ready as we were on time for our reservation), especially on a Saturday night, politely decline and either offer to come back later or see if there is a seat available in the restaurant for a cocktail. The bar is great if you want to be deafened by middle aged (yet curiously childish) birthday parties, be side eyed by bleached blonde WAGs or confuse the staff by ordering esoteric drinks like a gin martini. Quietly confident I didn't invent that one otherwise I'd have put my name to it. Otherwise, I'd recommend arriving bang on time. It's a shame as it's a lovely room and the drinks menu is great but if it's aiming for casual sophistication then it's a fair way short of that.

    I digress. We were lucky enough to have the tasting menu and wine pairing once we did sit down at our table. It was our first time in the restaurant itself and I was really impressed with the layout. It's spacious, uncluttered, with good size tables and the large open kitchen being a nice focal point. If you can, request one of the booths that face it if you're into that sort of thing.

    The food was also really good - clear the place is beginning to hit its stride - and captured modern British cooking really well with influences drawn pretty widely. I liked the little riffs on what are staple flavours now: curry, tacos and sushi. They were nice homages with enough of a twist to not go too far down the deconstruction route. Other highlights were the ox cheek with garlic and bread sauce and a scallop dish with a simple Japanese style dressing. Really good stuff.

    Following our main dish, we thought we would try the cheese course, having it pre-dessert in true French (the nation, not the competing restaurant) style. The cumin crackers and oat biscuits were really nicely made but I was a bit disappointed by the lack of British cheeses. Despite having a strong cheese growing heritage, we seem to be a bit embarrassed to dish it up in restaurants. Why not? I'd much sooner try something local and unusual (or at least have the choice to) than another same-y block of Manchego, Camembert or Brie. I know others have said they feel the restaurant sometimes plays it a bit safe (and looking at the a la carte mains, I perhaps agree) and this felt like one of those times.

    Of the final sweet dishes, the only course that fell a bit flat for me was an gooseberry/pastry/apple sorbet dessert that just had a bit too much acid. The sorbet by itself was nicely done but just overwhelmed everything else a bit. I got what they were going for but it was a bit much, like biting into a Bramley and instantly regretting it. It was however more than made up for by the other desserts, including the Refresher which always seems to go down well in other reviews (and has more than a nod to Heston Blumenthal's influence, right down to the popping candy) and a really well balanced chocolate mousse/cherry plate to finish.

    On final points, the wine pairings were really enjoyable and imaginative, and left us inspired to pick up a few bottles which doesn't often happen. The service in the restaurant was also excellent - a complete contrast to the bar - with our host for the evening (I'm sorry I didn't catch her name) being really friendly, enthusiastic about the food and wine, and knowledgeable. Within minutes of sitting down at our table we felt at ease and comfortable and it went from there. Within minutes of sitting down at the bar, we were still meerkatting around the room trying to get someone's attention and totally confused about whether there was table service or not.

    To conclude, I'm not sure if MH is still pushing for Michelin recognition or not (it's far from the be all and end all), but sticking a fusty inspector in a lift with a hen party to start the evening would mean the restaurant is probably already snookered. At the prices charged, a place like this needs to be an exceptional experience and not just a great meal. Indeed, it seemed appropriate in many ways that our evening was capped off by an issue with the bill (the manager was very apologetic about the whole thing, but it was a little bit unprofessional that it happened in the first place). That was then followed by us opting to be led down the stairs to get out because the lift was full of squealing, hammered people. Your 12 courses of food have to be pretty exceptional to make up for suffering three courses of tedious lift banter (and, in my wife's case, worse than that courtesy of some odd woman's wandering hands).
     
  4. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,056

    Location: Higher Walton

    You’ve got your review of the bar area bang on.

    We got in the lift with what seemed like a hen party. Unsure where we were going we ended up in the bar when intending to go to the restaurant.

    Ended up stood around confused as to where to eat before someone came and took us back to the 2nd floor for the restaurant.

    Those few minutes were enough to convince us the post meal drink we’d intended to have was best enjoyed elsewhere.
     
  5. One More Solo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Dec 2004

    Posts: 15,926

    Location: Manchester

    Glad it’s not just me! I’ve been similar places in Europe and they seem to be pretty good at getting the right crowd in to create a nice atmosphere without having an overbearing door policy. Here it just feels like they’ll take anyone if it pays their overheads. That’s fair enough but not if you’re charging premium prices. With hindsight I’d rather have gone across the road for a pre dinner pint at The Brink, the Spinningfields bars just attract people with money but no manners.
     
  6. bJN

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Nov 2009

    Posts: 3,487

    Location: Norwich

    Took my parents, the fiancée and her parents out last night - went to The Wildebeest just South of Norwich; Daniel Smith is the chef patron there. Was our collective first real experience of a Michelin Plate (or anything Michelin!) restaurant, and the food was fantastic! I'll certainly be looking to go back there sooner rather than later for their taster menu which sounded great! Wasn't too pricey in my eyes either, came in just over £250 for five lots of three courses and one lot of two courses, plus drinks.
     
  7. the-evaluator

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Sep 2015

    Posts: 2,552

    I've booked a table and overnight stay at The Blackswan, Oldstead for Valentines Day. I've also booked a table at Tom Kerridge's Bar & Grill in London for the end of September. No details on the menu as yet but I like his style of food so I'm sure it'll be good.
     
  8. Tuppy_Glossop

    Mobster

    Joined: 15 Feb 2012

    Posts: 2,854

    Location: 2

    Nice. We have just booked Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac for next month.
     
  9. oli collett

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Apr 2004

    Posts: 4,788

    Location: London

    The black swan is excellent, I ate there for the first time last night. Wise move staying there as it's very remote!
     
  10. the-evaluator

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Sep 2015

    Posts: 2,552

    Yeah, I'd looked at alternative accomodation as we were planning on going later this year but decided that staying there was the best option.
     
  11. Richard - London

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Jul 2018

    Posts: 332

    Location: London.

    goodmans Mayfair - last night, was pretty good, Had the porter house, great taste, a little on the pricey side but worth it for an evening out.
     
  12. kiteloopy

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Apr 2008

    Posts: 2,691

    Location: Notts / Reading

    Saturday Night - Sexy Fish.
    2/10. Food was very nice but extortionate for the prices we paid. We know places like that are usually on the small and expensive side but this was on another level. We complained and got over £200 off the bill. Music was excessively loud and terrible service. Novikov was much better.

    Sunday lunch - Maze by Gordon Ramsay
    8/10. Very good food, although I think I might have chosen the wrong dish. A great grill restaurant.
     
  13. molinari

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Jan 2003

    Posts: 5,188

    Trying to find alternatives to Hawksmoor and Goodmans for steak in London, so last night we went to Omnino in Leadenhall (near Aldgate). Very good selection of steak, which was exceptionally tasty. Sides were good too although not the best chips. The empanadas and sausages we had for starters were also very good.
     
  14. the-evaluator

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Sep 2015

    Posts: 2,552

    M is another good alternative. The steak board we had at the Threadneedle Street restaurant was superb, the rump steak was absolutely sublime. The sides (chips especially) aren't as good as Hawksmoor but I like being able to garnish my steak with foie gras.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2018
  15. amigafan2003

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Jan 2008

    Posts: 17,854

    Location: Fylde Coast, Lancashire

    Took the wife to Windermere for a couple of nights away for our anniversary and visited L'Enclume again, this time for lunch on wednesday. As always, an outstanding experience. Dinner at the hotel (Briery Wood) was also very good, better than I was expecting to be honest.
     
  16. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 41,006

    Location: Notts

    yesterday we went to Marcus Wareing for lunch, it's often a way to get to top end restaurants at a reasonable price

    unfortunately it escalated rather quickly :eek:


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 41,006

    Location: Notts

    and today went to Hawksmoor seven dials for Sunday lunch

    all looked great but out mains were stone cold

    sent back and the replacements were stone cold with no roast potatoes

    left at that point, shame as I have liked it there in past
     
  18. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,186

    Location: London

    See that "charge to room" note on the receipt? That's your friend ;):p
     
  19. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 41,006

    Location: Notts

    Reckon they might notice I wa staying the the Conrad and not the Berkeley :p
     
  20. Regy53

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jun 2011

    Posts: 3,756

    Location: Northampton

    Was last week floating around germany / belguim for the F1

    Hotel am Tiergarten owned by the Schmitz family

    Steak on a Hot Stone to cook to your perfection, was so good went back two days later (both are sirloin )

    [​IMG]Untitled by Ross c, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Untitled by Ross c, on Flickr