Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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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.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pretentious Moi?

Pretentious Moi?

Eva and I popped into The Bishop, 25-27 Lordship Lane Dulwich, last night for a quick drink before going on for dinner.

The bar is trendy and newly opened, it serves a selection of beers Leffe, Budvar, Scrumpy, Abbotts, Ale Fresco; it also has a reasonable looking food menu.

However, there is one issue that I would like to draw attention to.

They do not serve pints of Leffe.

I ordered a pint and a half of Leffe last night, and was told that they only serve it in half pints.

When I pointed out that the other beers were served in pints, I was told that it was not the case for Leffe.

When I asked why, I was initially told "I don't know" by the barman.

Never daunted by being fobbed off, I made further enquiries; it turns out that they believe that it is only served on the Continent in half pints.

Nonsense!

Sorry guys, pretentious nonsense in my view.

If the customer wants a pint, then serve him a pint.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Japanese Food Invasion

Japanese Food Invasion

Japanese restaurants are reportedly taking off in the UK.

The number of restaurants grew 20% last year, making Japanese cuisine one of the fastest growing segments of the ethnic food market, along with Thai.

Peter Grove, editor of Menu, a trade magazine for Asian restaurateurs, said:

"Japanese restaurants in the UK are now where Thai restaurants were four years ago. The industry is on the verge of a major breakthrough in terms of size and popularity."

Monday, July 25, 2005

La Brasa Revisited

La Brasa Revisited

Eva and I dined in La Brasa on Saturday, and had another enjoyable meal; every bit as good as the first time that we went there.

We are also pleased to see that La Brasa has received recognition from The Independent, being nominated in the "best of local London" category for 2005.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Treehouse Revisited

Treehouse Revisited

Eva and I went to the Treehouse last night for a drink and a meal, we have not been there since January.

We are pleased to say that the food and service were as enjoyable as our first visit there.

We had meatballs in strawberry coolie, smoked salmon in crepes, shank of lamb and cottage pie.

All excellent.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Garbo's Revisited

Garbo's Revisited

Eva and I dined in Garbo's, London's best Swedish restaurant, last night with some of the members of her Swedish course.

A jolly time was had by all, and we are pleased to note that the quality of the food, service and ambience is as good as it was when we first dined there in May 2004.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hong Kong's Rat Invasion

Hong Kong's Rat Invasion

Hong Kong's central business district is facing an invasion of rats.

Between January and June, the densely populated area's rodent infestation rate rose from 0 to 17%.

Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, said that the invasion was down to poor hygiene standards at restaurants in the area's old, run-down and poorly-maintained buildings and maze of dank alleyways.

Government officers are distributing pamphlets to educate restaurant workers about hygiene, food storage, rubbish disposal and rat prevention. Workers were also putting out poisoned bait.

The district is now the second-worst rat infested area in Hong Kong, behind a shopping center in rural New Territories. A rodent infestation rate above 20 percent is considered high.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Black Marks For The Gaucho Grill

Black Marks For The Gaucho Grill

Eva and I returned to the Gaucho Grill at Canary Wharf yesterday, for a meal.

Whilst the food and service were good, they did let themselves down in one respect.

Their sirloin steak, that is proudly displayed raw, comes with a layer of fat; as indeed it should do.

Indeed the layer of fat is one of the key selling points that the Gaucho Grill makes in its sales pitch.

Duly sold, I ordered a steak.

Unfortunately, the chef and the sales team do not seem to be talking to each other; as when the steak arrived, the fat had been cut off.

The error was further compounded by the manager saying, when I queried this, that the fat had probably burnt away.

Nonsense!

Effective communication between the kitchen and front house staff is essential, if a restaurant is to succeed.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Chinese Beer Recalled

Chinese Beer Recalled

The Korea Food and Drug Administration has ordered a recall of all beer imported from China, amid recent reports that it contains formaldehyde.

The order follows recent Chinese media reports that formaldehyde, a harmful chemical that can cause cancer, was used by Chinese beer producers to remove deposited material in the alcoholic beverage.

The report alleged that 95% of all Chinese beer contains formaldehyde, at levels as high as six times the 0.2 milligram per litre recommendation in China's food safety law.

The recalled beer will be tested, as well as of all Chinese beer brought into the country in the future.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Low Paid Demo

Low Paid Demo

Union activists, in the GMB, will stage a demonstration highlighting low pay in the hospitality industry.

The union said that employees who serve in hotels, restaurants, casinos and tourist attractions deserved a greater share of profits made by companies in the sector.

A study, commissioned by the union, shows that workers in these industries are among the lowest paid in the UK.

The protest will be held outside the annual lunch in London of the British Hospitality Association.

I wonder though if they included the tips, that good service attracts, in their survey?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Guts Squeezed

Guts Squeezed

Despite the fact that US waistlines may be expanding, the size of the seating in restaurants is being reduced.

This is due to the fact that real estate prices are rising, forcing restaurants to increase capacity per square foot.

This is affecting the chain restaurants most of all.

O'Charley's and Captain D's, both Nashville-based restaurant companies, are building smaller versions of their restaurants and help franchisees get into new buildings for a little less money.

Burger King, which has 70 percent drive-through sales, is also looking at smaller prototypes.