Tag Archives: Eat

The New Angel restaurant review

Now on a student budget, the frequency of visiting fine food establishments has slowed to a snails pace (presumably a snail not too fussed with how its grass is prepared). However, with John Burton Race back in London and his new restaurant, ‘The New Angel’, offering 50% off, my foodie instincts kicked in and I had to book.

Having been seated by a clearly accomplished waiting team, the menu and breads followed quickly.

I went for an onion and potato bread, followed by a soda bread. The onion variety was a little charred on top, giving it a slightly bitter and unwelcome aftertaste. Though the sweetness of the onion was very pleasing. The soda bread was beautifully soft and trumped the onion and potato.

Look at the aeration on that!

Look at the aeration on that!

After ordering, an amouse bouche was quickly served; a mushroom soup with a parmesan tuille. In terms of amouse bouche of mushroom soups that I’ve had in the past, this was probably the finest (surprising amount of competition there). Really deep, rich pure mushroom flavour. The tuille I felt was a little stale and had to revert to the uncivilised, yet welcome practice of dunking.

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For starters, I decide to shun the advice of the maitre’d (very good he was by the way) of going for the salmon, instead opting for the scallops, served with onion bhaji and pickled vegetables. Beautifully cooked and presented, if perhaps a little small. I felt however that there could have been a little more of a curry hit in the curry elements and a bit more pickle in the pickled elements. Still a pretty solid starter. Let’s go for a 7/10

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Choosing a main was nigh on torture (albeit being nothing like torture). I would have happily eaten all of the mains offered (aren’t I a  saint) and had to place my trust in my sister to choose for me, as I was that pathetically indecisive. Her verdict being the pigeon with savoy cabbage, a truffle and madeira sauce, with a mushroom and foie gras tart.

The smell emanating from the dish was just lovely. The pigeon was succulent and perfectly pink. The skin wasn’t crispy, instead melted away to gamey deliciousness. The sauce was deep in flavour of madeira and truffle, balanced perfectly. While rich, it was harmonious with the dish. Savoy cabbage was a nice accompaniment; can’t really say much more about that! But the best thing about the dish and in fact the whole night (barring the company of my sister of course … she paid!) was the mushroom and foie gras tart. Delectably smooth foie gras, worked perfectly in the crisp tart shell, with the earthy mushrooms finishing off a wonderful mouth feel (whatever that means!).  It was a most enjoyable dish. To parallel the theme of indecisiveness here, I can’t decide between an 8 or 8.5/10.

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Dessert was aesthetically stunning; a strawberry and lemon mille fueille, with raspberry sorbet and italian meringue. I almost felt bad taking my first spoonful (well, not quite)… then I tasted it. Ooh, just lovely. Fresh, light, indulgent; all words that I look for in any dessert!

It was a tad hard to eat, with the mille fueille taking a little persuasion to break free and I felt there could have been a touch more zing in the lemon element, but I’m knit picking. The italian meringue was of the highest quality, putting my own attempts to shame. The real pleasure of this dessert was the number of different combinations, making each spoonful interesting. From the texture of the crisp millie fuille with the varying creams and meringues around the plate. The flavours of raspberry and the marshmallowesque of the meringue. 8/10

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Coming in at under 30 quid a head, including a glass of wine, ordered out of a fear of looking cheap by my sister, represents very good value for money. I feel if I were paying full price (£55), perhaps an extra amouse bouche and or a pre – dessert, would have sweetened the deal (pun intended).

Not that I have any power, influence or even credibility, but I’d give it a Michelin!

Thanks for reading.

Like, comment, share if you wish, you know the drill!

Nearly made it to 2000 views on my blog, so thanks to anyone who has pushed that number up (I’m sure even my Jewish mother couldn’t have done that by herself!)

May be reviewing the Taste of London festival in June (though don’t hold me to that).

I will post a special review (well for me anyway) at some time in August … Osteria Francescana. So you all have that to look forward to!

Thank you

Posh dinner! Ravioli with wild mushrooms in a butter caper sauce

Decided to treat myself and go all posh

I must confess, I didn’t make my own ravioli or grow my own mushrooms for my own matter.

Apart from the fact I do not own a pasta machine, making pasta just isn’t my thing anyway. However, I must say fresh, homemade pasta is far superior (in my experience anyway)

The ravioli was from the Tesco finest range – Portobello mushroom, black truffle and ricotta; at least I’m not spending my student loan on cheap Vodka!

I saute’d the mushrooms (chanterelles) in a fairly large amount of butter and oil (bit annoyed as I forgot to buy sage and or thyme, which I feel would have been a nice addition; we’ll never know!) A splash of white wine, may also have worked, but I didn’t have any (see above). A bit of stock would also work.

A dash of lemon, season and some capers and that’s it (plus some pine nuts that I toasted of separately). I wanted the mushrooms to be the star of the dish, so didn’t want an overly complicated, over powering sauce.

Finish off with some balsamic and there you have it.

If I had the time or frankly the inclination I would of made a pumpkin, butternut squash type puree. I feel it would have complemented the mushrooms well and made a nice contrast.

What do you lot reckon?

Vegetables

I think it is time we start to show them some respect!

Too many people view vegetables as an afterthought of their dinner, when they can be an integral, delicious part of it.

It’s like, we have been told to eat vegetables as they are healthy, so we will stick them on at the last minute, with little thought. Enjoy your veg!

Don’t just boil your broccoli; griddle it, stir fry it with some garlic, ginger and chilli.

Don’t just boil your carrots; roast them with a bit of honey and some fennel seeds.

Add to your peas, some butter, seasoning and mint and crush.

Don’t just steam your asparagus; griddle with salt, pepper and balsamic.

And so on and etcetara

But the one that really gets me, is the boiled potato (I think that counts as a vegetable). Just don’t do it!

Please share your tips on vegetable improvement!

My biggest food pet hates!

Below is a list of a few of the things that really grate on me – pun sort of intended, when it comes to food.

  1. People asking for their steak well done! It’s not fair on the chef, the people with them, who have to suffer the embarrassment, and it’s not fair on the cow! If you want your meat well done, please stay at home or become a veggie! (This doesn’t include pregnant woman, they are the only exception).
  2. Raw food diets. Fair enough, there are health benefits and it is believed a whole lot of nutrients are lost during the cooking process. Yes, eat healthy, but why deprive yourself of one of life’s great pleasures (nice food) and go raw. Why do it people!?
  3. This one is highly personable and perhaps just a touch strange. I hate eating breakfast with people! Now with toast and alike, I can manage, but when it comes to cereal, I cross the line. The crunch, the milk; something about it just gets to me. I’m not going to try and explain this borderline phobia, but there you go, I hate being near people eating cereal! This may be one for my counselor!
  4. Ice cream in cones. Now for many people, I can see the appeal of a cone; you get to the front of the line and you see a tub or more food, it is very tempting to go with the latter. I haven’t had a cone in years and here’s why; you can’t put it down anywhere, it drips all over your hand, and it just looks like a lot of hassle. And then there’s me, with my sensible tub, able to walk at normal speed with clean hands, not a care in the world. The only thing I see people with a cone is rushing through the ice cream, to try and escape the drip – but THERE IS NO ESCAPE! Barhumbug.
  5. Obsession with potato. Just a quick one, but for me it is a highly overrated and overused ingredient! Oooh controversial!
  6. People who won’t eat certain food. They happily chow down on chicken, duck, cow, sheep, turkey and yet serve these very same people a bit of rabbit, or a lovely breast of pigeon and they say ‘oh no, I couldn’t eat that’. Oh, all of sudden you’re fond of animals, all of a sudden you’ve gone all squeamish about eating animals, all of sudden you’re a campaigner for animal welfare!

And there you go, my list of all my food hates.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone, although I have covered a fairly wide range of eating habits – from ice cream cone eaters to potato users (almost the whole of the UK, with the potato one!).

Do you agree with any of these? What are your own food related hates?

Thanks for reading – I feel like a weight has been lifted of my shoulders!

Roganic restaurant review

Now for the avid readers of my blogs (love you mum), you will know that I placed Roganic at the top of my list for my ‘Top 5 exciting restaurants in London’. So when my sister told me that she was taking me there for my birthday, I could’ve hugged her (I didn’t).

 

The amouse bouche’s were brought to us before the menu – very clever. They were so good that my dad suggested we go for the 6 course tasting menu, instead of the 3 that we were going to get – result! A chickpea crisp bread with cream cheese and cucumber was very pleasant, but the pork and eel croquette was superb. Up there with one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. Smoky, salty – superb!

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Pea with sugar snaps and beef tongue was our first course. I expected a tongue shaped meat with a few peas and sugar snaps – so a pea mousse with shavings of tongue (sounds appetising I know!) came as a surprise. What is was though, was a delicious, light, fresh dish. How they managed to create a pea mousse with such depth of flavour is beyond me.

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Purple sprouting broccoli with a buttermilk cream and barley was next. The barbecued broccoli was beyond any greenery I’ve had before and the texture contrast with it and the cream and the barley resulted in simple, harmonious pleasure. I think this dish sums up the food at Roganic rather well.  Before the meal, I perused the menu and thought ‘How on Earth can this be nice!?’ But the inventiveness (must be a word) and execution to turn such humble ingredients into something so tasty is really what Roganic is all about.

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Scallop puree with carrot puree was third. This was probably my least favourite dish so far; not because I didn’t like it – I most certainly did, but more because it was perhaps less inventive and unique to the previous dishes. The scallops were incredibly sweet, as was the carrot puree; in fact it was just a touch too sweet for me, perhaps a tart element would have worked here (but who am I to say, I lasted 2 months at catering college!).

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Monkfish encased in bacon with mussels was next was up next. The bacon powder acted as the seasoning, adding a great level of salt to the dish. The use of monkfish (quite a meaty fish), with the mussels, meant that it was not overwhelmingly fishy and was a clever combination.

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Chicken with ‘wispy’ leeks was the final savoury dish. A strong aniseed scent arose from the dish and was equally strong in taste. The chicken was ‘sous vide’ (water bath to you and me) and was perfectly soft and tender throughout. I felt the leeks were a touch too thin, so didn’t add the crunch expected.

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We were given a ‘free’ dessert of macerated strawberries, strawberry meringue and rowan ice cream (I believe rowan is a berry, not a dessert from a local cafe of the same name, near where I’m from). This was nice enough, although the ice cream was not as smooth and creamy as it should have been (maybe it was from Rowans after all – no that’s a bit harsh). The meringue was beautifully flavoured with strawberry and the strawberries were of good quality.

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The actual dessert was entitled ‘sweet cheese pear, pine and malt’ – I would like to suggest a new name of ‘sweet cheesus’! Again, while being very pleasant and refreshing, this dish didn’t blow me away. The pears were beautifully tender and the malt crisp was not only there for texture, but had a pleasant, unusual flavour of its own.

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The desserts while not bad, were the most disappointing section of the meal – this may be due to the fact that I had recently been spoiled by the tremendous desserts at the Ledbury.

Unfortunately, Roganic is only a pop up restaurant and is set to shut on the 20th June. It was up there with the best of dining experiences I’ve ever had. The service was beyond friendly (not in that way!) and always attentive; the food was inventive, creative and above all tasty.

Food: 8.5

Service: 10

Value for money: 8

Thanks for reading.

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I have a nice recipe to share in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out.

I will also be reviewing HKK for the end of June, so that’s something for you all to look forward to!

My Galvin at Windows review

For me there are two indicators of quality on arrival at a restaurant, 1) The toilets and 2) if Raymond Blanc is amongst the customers. Amazingly both were ticked; no greater first impression could have been made.

Bread was average. The granary variety had little flavour. Better was a trendy share and tear bread that was similar in flavour to a focaccia.

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Being a nice Jewish boy, I gave up the choice of going for the Pigs head terrine, with foie gras and black pudding – I fear God would have struck me down there and then if I did. Instead I went for the much holier Haddock ravioli, with a poached egg, brioche crumbs and capers.

The capers and brioche were rather lost in the creamy fish emulsion, although what was left was more than satisfactory. Beautifully soft smoked haddock delivered a striking fish flavour and worked well with the paper thin pasta. The whole thing amalgamated into a very pleasant, perhaps ever so slightly, too subtle taste.

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For main, plaice with broccoli puree, samphire and black rice. The fish was perfectly cooked, which is always nice. The puree, worked well, but was ever so slightly bitter and left an undesired aftertaste. The rice was a bit of a revelation and for someone (me) who think that potatoes are overrated, a welcome change. The samphire added the crunch and saltiness the dish needed. The original dish included chorizo, but I fear even in sausage form God would look unfavourably at me for eating pork! An omission that didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the dish.

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For dessert, I had a baked apple (One of my new year’s resolutions was to eat more fruit) with apple sorbet, crème anglaise and beurre noisette crumbs. The apple was superbly cooked, with a generous topping of caramel (still counts!). The sorbet, was perhaps too small, because once I had run out, with a third of the apple left, the dish became a bit too heavy and sickly. The beurre noisette crumbs were cookie dough esque and very tasty indeed.

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We were presented with a jar of marshmallows with the bill. But these weren’t the sort that you could roast over an open flame, singing kumbaya, more the sort to sip with a cup of tea and really appreciate. Somehow they had managed to refine a marshmallow, the end result of which was very nice indeed; especially the zingy lime flavoured one I had.

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Chocolates as well! Very nice too

Overall, a very pleasant meal, one of the best I’ve had.

Food:8/10

Service: 8.5/10

Value : 8/10 – £29 for three courses, plus a fair few extras

View: 10/10 – I would reccomend this place purely on its view. If you can get a window seat, it is well worth the journey.A great place for a romantic meal I would suggest and yes I am free ladies.

I shall not be posting another review until May, as I have run out of money!

Thank you for reading. Eat, drink and be merry.

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