Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews and Food Musings


Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and musings on food with you.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Ham

I bought a magnificent 4kg smoked horseshoe gammon from my good friend Derek Stott of D and D Family Butchers for Christmas.

Here is my traditional recipe for cooking it.


-smoked gammon with a good layer of fat
-juniper berries
-black peppercorns
-bay leaves
-demerara sugar
-egg yolk
-English mustard powder


-place an upturned plate in the largest saucepan you have (this stops the base of the ham burning)
-add bayleaves, juniper and peppercorn to the pot
-place ham on plate and fill with water until covered
-simmer for 20 minutes per pound
-remove rind when cooked
-score fat
-stud with cloves
-mix egg yolk, mustard and sugar into paste
-smear paste over fat
-sprinkle with breadcrumbs
-bake for 15 minutes in 180 over


Blood marvellous!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Sausage Rolls


- sausage meat (I got mine from my good chum from Derek Stott of D and D Family Butchers)
- mixed herbs
- 250g plain flour
- 250g butter
- 250mg ice cold water
- lemon juice
- salt/pepper
- beaten egg


- sift flour into bowl and season
- add lemon juice
- cube butter
- add to flour and mix roughly with hands
- slowly add water with one hand, mixing with other until dough ball is formed
- put in fridge
- mix sausage meat with herbs and season
- fry off a spoonful to check flavour
- flour working surface
- roll dough into rectangle
- fold 3 ways and turn 90 degrees then roll away from you
- repeat twice more
- roll sausage meat in between hands and place longways down the side of dough
- roll dough over sausage and brush edge with egg
- seal
- score
- cut into size desired
- repeat
- place on baking paper on baking tray
- put into pre heated oven 180 degrees
- cook for around 25 mins until brown

Enjoy hot or cold!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kudos To English's of Brighton

Monday, December 10, 2018

Chicken Soup

Here is a simple, quick recipe for chicken soup that will warm the cockles of your heart.


-chicken quarters (sourced from my good chum Derek Stott of D and D Family Butchers)
-bay leaves
-olive oil


-Sauté the chicken for a few minutes in olive oil, salt and pepper
-Add the diced carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic and onion
-Add water to cover the chicken etc
-Simmer for an hour
-Remove chicken and de-bone
-Distress the chicken meat and return to the soup


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

My thanks to my good chum Derek Stott (of D and D Family Butchers) who cut me a magnificent 3.5kg joint of 28 day aged sirloin (with an excellent layer of fat) from the Highlands.

I roasted it with Yorkshire Pudding, which I cook under the meat in its juices and fat. The result being a beef infused "pancake".

Pudding Ingredients



Mix the batter at least an hour before needed, and leave to rest.

When the beef has less than an hour to cook, pour the batter under the joint into the fat that has rendered from the joint.

Let the meat rest for 20 mins or so, and then make the gravy in the roasting pan once you have removed the pudding.

The meat was very flavoursome, succulent and tender. The Yorkshire Pudding was superb, and by the way is also great eaten cold with salt!

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Italian Evening at The Dover Castle Brighton

My heartiest congratulations, and kudos, to Chef Jason Bear and the good people of the Dover Castle Brighton, for hosting an Italian Evening last night....oh the official title was:

Italian Food For Families, Friends and Lovers

Irrespective of semantics the food, atmosphere and service were absolutely bloody brilliant.

The small plates of splendid, tasty and homemade Italian food were great. Chef Jason Bear created dishes using family recipes, and made use of a rolling pin for the homemade pasta (no poncey modern pasta machines for him!).

The food was top notch and, as far as I am concerned, the lasagne was the best I have ever had (even better than my own!). Also, by the way, the lamb neck with borlottie beans was ace. Eva was well pleased with her arancini and calamari.

Oh, and by the way, the Prosecco and sambucas lubricated our palettes nicely.

Please may we have more of these evenings!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup


-two heads of garlic
-bay leaves
-onion chopped
-olive oil
-chicken stock
-sea salt/pepper


-halve the pumpkins and discard seeds/stringy bits
-score and season
-place garlic and bay leaves in each half and drizzle with olive oil
-roast at 180 for 1 hour
-soften onion in olive oil and nutmeg
-scoop out cooked pumpkin and add to onion
-squeeze out garlic and add
-discard bay leaves
-add stock
-add a good sized knob of butter

Lovely and warming for a winter's evening!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pea Soup


-frozen peas
-onion (chopped)
-potato (chopped)
-chicken stock


Put everything into a saucepan, simmer for twenty minutes.


A lovely warming, comforting soup for a winter's day.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Ivy Revisited - In Which The Ivy Grows a Pair

We went to the Ivy again on Saturday, with a chum who was down from London, and had a rip roaring evening.

Kudos and thanks to the good people of the Ivy for putting on a splendid evening for us, the food was excellent (I highly commend the Shepherd's Pie - which, btw, needs to be served as a larger portion) as was the ambience and the service first class (special mention in dispatches for our splendid waiter, who is a natural people person and showman in the very best sense of the word!).

Loyal readers will recall that when I first reviewed The Ivy in May, I made the following observation:
"NB: for reasons best known to the Ivy they won't flame your Sambuca (for full details please see my views on that here)."
Which I then waxed lyrical about on Nanny Knows Best.

I am very pleased to report that since then #SambucaGate has been addressed, The Ivy has grown a pair, and flaming Sambucas are now on the menu there!

They were served with enthusiasm, gusto and were splendid.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau At The Independent Brighton

Kudos and thanks to Chef Sam Ireland and the good people of  The Independent Brighton for laying on a splendid Beaujolais Nouveau evening last night.

It was a hoot and a half!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Butter Cured Steak

Roast Pheasant and Bread Sauce

As we are now in the autumnal months my chum Derek Stott, of D and D Family Butchers, had some local pheasant in his shop.

Here is a recipe for roast pheasant with bread sauce.


-cooking apple
-bay leaves
-smoked streaky bacon (from Derek of course!)


Grate the onion and sweat in olive oil, combine with a grated peeled cooking apple and add lemon juice.

Stuff the pheasant with the above.

Smear liberally with butter, then cover in bacon.

Put the bird on the sliced carrots in a casserole, and roast at 190 for around 1 hour 30 mins.
Rest the bird upside down for 15 minutes in order to ensure juices flow to the breast.

Stud half an onion with cloves and infuse the onion and bay leaves in warm milk.

Discard onion and bay leaves, add bread crumbs and warm whilst adding butter and salt and pepper.

Voilà, a meal fit for a king!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Beef Bacon

Wednesday, November 07, 2018