Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

Text

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 views on food, with you.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Hong Kong Bans Smoking

Hong Kong Bans Smoking

The Hong Kong government has published a bill extending anti-smoking laws to nearly all public indoor areas including restaurants, bars and workplaces.

The bill will also ban smoking in schools, karaoke bars, mahjong parlours, commercial bath-houses and nursing homes.

Anyone breaking the new law, will be liable to a $600 fine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Guns Banned

Guns Banned

Following on from an earlier article here about guns being allowed back into restaurants, it seems that this proposal has been overturned.

Arizona governor Janet Napolitano has vetoed the bill, that would have let people bring their guns into bars and restaurants.

The supporters of the bill said current law deprives citizens of protection, and subjects their guns to the risk of theft if they're left in vehicles parked outside bars or restaurants.

Critics said the measure would lead to fights and accidents.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Restaurants May Be Sued For Making You Fat

Restaurants May Be Sued For Making You Fat

It seems that the march of the compensation culture in the USA has reached new heights of stupidity.

People are trying to sue restaurants and food outlets for serving them food that makes them fat.

Has it not occurred to these people, that if they eat too mauch and don't exercise then they will get fat?

They only have themselves to blames.

A state legislator in Pennsylvania is taking no chances, Rep. Douglas Reichley wants to add Pennsylvania to the list of states that protect the food industry from these lawsuits.

He introduced the bill last month to protect the state's agriculture and food industries, because he doesn't think that they should be sued for "making food that tastes good."

In New York two fat teenagers, clearly on the make, filed a suit against McDonald's for allegedly making them fat by serving them burgers and fries.

Pathetic!

Lower courts in New York have dismissed the case twice, but a federal appeals court reinstated part of it earlier this year.

A handful of similar suits have been thrown out since the New York case was filed in 2002 and there are no other known cases pending, legal experts said.

In the last two years, 16 states have enacted laws prohibiting such obesity lawsuits; in New Mexico, lawmakers approved a "right-to-eat-enchiladas act."

Monday, April 25, 2005

Don't Bring Your Servants

Don't Bring Your Servants

Those of you with servants who are thinking of visiting Lahore for dinner, should maybe consider booking elsewhere.

It seems that many restaurants in Lahore are banning diners from bringing maids, and other domestic staff, into the premises.

Apparently some customers, in certain restaurants, do not like to share the same dining room with domestic staff such as; maids, bodyguards and drivers.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Louisiana Sanitation

Louisiana Sanitation

Those of you thinking of dining in Louisiana may wish to check out a website, run by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, which provides diners with the sanitation reports of 30,000 restaurants across Louisiana.

The sanitation ratings for dining establishments can be searched by name, street address, city or parish.

Restaurants are rated by pelicans, with five denoting a nearly immaculate establishment and one indicating a place where some sort of mandatory corrections are under way.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Dangers of Cooking

The Dangers of Cooking

Kitchens, as we all know, contain many hazards; accidents with knives, fire and hot fat are all well documented.

However, equally dangerous is the humble chili.

These spices must be carefully handled by the chef, otherwise burns to the skin and eyes can occur.

One hapless chef had a little trouble with this recently. Having prepared a large batch of chilies, he went to relive himself in the urinal without washing his hands first.

The result?

A little while later his penis began to burn very painfully.

So bad was the pain, in fact, that he had to go to hospital. They had a solution for his problem, he had to dip his penis into yoghurt for an hour or so.

You have been warned!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

Good news for all you British foodies, who have laboured under the delusion that British cuisine and cooking was not highly rated by the rest of the world.

Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray Berkshire, has been crowned the best in the world by a panel of 600 international chefs and critics.

Blumenthal's award winning dishes include, smoked bacon and egg ice cream and green tea and lime mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen.

The Fat Duck, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, also won the Best in Europe accolade.

Blumenthal reportedly said:

"There are so many very good chefs in the world I cannot believe my name is even in the running for the top. It is fantastic for Britain, though this is all down to the Roux brothers, who first put England on the gastronomic map..".

Adding:

"I like to experiment with different tastes and flavours of sweet and savoury and show they have no boundaries. People expect ice-cream to be sweet, but the Victorians ate it savoury. Cucumber ice, for example, with fresh cucumber was common as a starter or deappetiser in a meal. Crab ice-cream was also popular and I have a recipe dated 1800 for parmesan ice-cream,"..

Quote:

"The award is the culmination of what has been happening to cooking in Britain since the mid-1990s and makes it now the best place to eat, especially in London and just outside. You can still get appalling food in restaurants outside London. I just don?t think there is a good food culture here as there is in France and Italy. But food trends trickle down from restaurants and some time that will trickle down to people?s own kitchens."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Air Conditioning II

Air Conditioning II

Whilst I am on the subject of air conditioning in restaurants; it is a good time to vent my spleen on those establishments that employ their air conditioning units as a means to encourage people to leave quickly, when the restaurant is closing.

You have all been in these places, as you linger near to closing time enjoying another liqueur, the management try to hasten your departure by turning up the air conditioning.

I don't like this trick, and avoid places that employ it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Restaurant Air Conditioning

Restaurant Air Conditioning

I have some simple advice for restaurant owners, regarding their air conditioning systems.

Restaurants that have their air conditioning set too high, make the restaurant feel like a refrigerator.

Please be aware that if I wished to eat in a refrigerator, then I would simply climb into my Electrolux and dine there.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Check Your Gun Sir?

Check Your Gun Sir?

The Arizona Senate has voted to allow people take guns into bars and restaurants, if the establishments don't deny them permission and if the bearers aren't drinking alcohol.

Supporters say that the current law, which prevents this, deprives law-abiding citizens of the means to protect themselves and others. It also subjects their guns to the risk of theft, if they're left in vehicles parked outside bars or restaurants.

Under the bill, backed by the National Rifle Association, people could carry weapons into bars and restaurants that don't post notices prohibiting it. Not surprisingly it is opposed by law enforcement groups and organisations representing bar and restaurant operators.

I would imagine that service improves dramatically in establishments where the customers are wielding a firearm.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Franklins

Restaurant

Franklins
157 Lordship Lane
Dulwich

Phone:- 0208 299 9598

Website www.franklinsrestaurant.com

Overview

Eva and I went to Dulwich last week to try out Franklins, a pub and restaurant that has gained a reputation for good quality English food. I also understand that the pub is recommended for its beer as well.

Ambience

Franklins consists of a small cosy pub at the front, and an intimate romantic restaurant at the rear. The restaurant is situated on both the ground floor and the basement.

It was a Friday evening, and both the pub and restaurant were very busy, it is therefore advisable to book in advance.

The restaurant was lively, with the open kitchen situated along the wall at the back, yet intimate and cosy. The wooden floor of the restaurant contrasted with the brick walls, on which were hung several large antique mirrors and a large picture of an Empire day outdoor party.

The tables were laid with paper cloths, and were quite close together but not uncomfortably so.

The atmosphere was relaxed, but lively; I would swear that I saw Prince William dining at the table next to us.

Menu

The menu, which was unashamedly English, is varied on a regular basis and had a variety of hearty dishes to choose between. This particular evening, amongst others, it contained; devilled kidneys, jellied oxtail, pork belly with snails, rack of lamb, calves liver with Pease pudding and a sirloin steak.

They even serve a savoury course, which is something that is not so common in restaurants these days.

Service

We were warmly greeted, and promptly shown to our table.

The staff were very friendly and efficient. Service and food preparation were well coordinated as they needed to be, given the number of covers.

We were kindly offered another, less central table, when it became free; a nice gesture.

Food

I started with the devilled kidneys on toast. This was a splendid dish, consisting of a very generous portion of lambs kidneys served atop a chunky cut piece of well toasted bread.

The kidneys were delightful; tender, rich and very piquant.

First class!

I chose the spring chicken with leeks for my main course. This dish was a combination of a succulent, tender whole poussin served with a delicate white wine tarragon sauce on top of leeks.

I chose boiled new potatoes to accompany it. Both the chicken and the potatoes were delightful.

Eva started with the scallop roe on toast. This consisted of a generous portion of pink, fluffy delicate tasting roe accompanied by two triangles of thick cut toast.

It was delicate, delicious and a pleasure to eat.

Eva then chose the rack of lamb with garlic for her main course. This was pink and tender. I tried some and was impressed with the flavour, and texture, of the lamb; it was not overpowered, but complimented, by the garlic. Eva ordered the dauphine potatoes to accompany the lamb, an ideal combination.

Now, by this stage, we normally opt for coffee and liqueurs. However, I was feeling greedy and decided to try the savoury. Therefore I ordered a Welsh rarebit.

I was not disappointed; a more piquant and flavoursome rarebit I could not have wished for, duly arrived.

It consisted of a very generous slice of thick cut toast, smothered in melted Irish cheddar and mustard.

Outstanding!

The meal, which included a bottle of Chablis and liqueurs, came to £87 before service.

Overall Opinion

We had a most splendid meal, and evening. I guarantee that we will be returning to Franklins again.

We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this fine restaurant.

Pope's Busts To Return?

Pope's Busts To Return?

It is reported that the Italian restaurant chain, Buca di Beppo, has removed 90 plaster busts of Pope John Paul II from its private dining rooms out of respect for the deceased pope.

The removed busts were to have been donated to Catholic schools.

However, this move has not gone down so well with some customers; who have complained to the chain.

The customers say that the "pope rooms" look and feel bare without the busts. As such, the company is rumoured to be having second thoughts about its hasty decision.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Chicago Tries To Ban Foie Gras

Chicago Tries To Ban Foie Gras

It seems that those of you who live in Chicago, and love foie gras, may soon find this delicacy a little harder to come by.

That is if Alderman Joseph Moore has his way. Moore is proposing an ordinance that would ban foie gras from city menus.

He is following the lead taken by well known Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter, who pulled foie gras from his menu.

Moore is reported a saying:

"The unethical treatment of animals should be completely distasteful..It's incumbent on us..I just think that the public needs to be informed about the cruelty the birds must undergo, and it's incumbent on us for those who hold public office to take action,"

The council could vote on the matter as soon as its May 11 meeting.

I suggest that you indulge yourselves fully, before then, just in case he wins.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Canadian Seafood Boycott

It is reported that Legal Sea Foods, the 31-restaurant chain based in Boston, has joined the Humane Society of the United States in asking American restaurants and consumers to boycott Canadian seafood.

This is in response to the ongoing seal hunt that is practiced in Canada.

This comes on the heals of the new labelling law in the USA, which gives consumers details on their seafood products as to the country-of-origin.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Prince Charles's Stag Night

Prince Charles's Stag Night

Those of you who are planning a stag night, might care to take a look at what Prince Charles did on his last Friday.

It was organised by Prince William and Harry at the Rustico restaurant, in the Swiss resort of Kloster.

The main course, at £14 per head, was the "Chas Fondue".

Prince Charles thanked his guests at the surprise party, by toasting them with glasses of champagne.

Seemingly the restaurant is quiet and out of the way, therefore it is ideal for royalty and those wishing to escape the media.

The restaurant's signature dish, the Rustico Chas Fondue, comes with; grilled potatoes, onions, gherkins and bacon smothered in melted cheese.

Drinkies consisted of several bottles of white and red wine, plus £50 magnums of Louise Roederer Brut Premier champagne.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Twizzlers' Revenge

Twizzlers' Revenge

Jamie Oliver's recent campaign against British schoolchildren being fed processed crap has had an unexpected side effect.

It seems that sales of the much derided Turkey Twizzler, which is allegedly a menace to childrens' health, are rocketing.

King of the turkey's, Bernard Matthews, has reported a 32% year-on-year rise in sales.

The Twizzlers consist mainly of water, rusk, pork fat and coating; 33% is is made up of "mechanically recovered" turkey meat.

Jamie Oliver seemingly was so incensed about that product, that he threatened to "send a bomb round their factory and shove it right up the jacksie of the MD."

Given this evangelical crusade for food purity, I would question as to why Jamie allows himself to be seen as the frontman for Sainsburys?

Oh wait a minute, that would be the money he is receiving from them right?

Following on from Jamie's programme, Twizzlers have been banned by some schools. However, the British public still have a taste for these processed "foods".

There has been no reported no downturn in sales of Fish Rockets, Turkey Dinosaurs, McCain's Smiles or any of the other products derided by Jamie Oliver's programme.