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, March 23, 2006

Kitchen Banter

Kitchen Banter

Beware a restaurant where the kitchen has no banter.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vaz Urges Immigration Relaxation

Vaz Urges Immigration Relaxation

Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester, has urged the government to relax the immigration system, so that cooks from India can obtain work permits to work in Indian restaurants in Britain.

Vaz told the House of Commons that Indian and Chinese restaurants in Leicester were facing a crisis due to shortage of cooks.

Vaz stated that the demand for cooks from India and China was increasing, since many of the founders of Indian and Chinese restaurants who opened their establishments in the 1960s were approaching retirement and their children had no interest in running them.

Vaz claims that Britain has the largest number of Indian restaurants outside of India, approximately 10,000. They serve some two million meals a week and the sector is worth over £3BN to the British economy.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said that he did not agree but promised to monitor the system.

There is no reason to assume that chefs, of non Asian origin, cannot be trained to cook Asian meals.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Glasgow Goes For Curry Title

Glasgow City Council is supporting its restaurants' goal to become the Curry Capital of Britain 2006.

Four restaurants have been chosen to represent Glasgow; the Panjea, Ashoka Flame, Shish Mahal and the Dhabba will take part.

The competition is now in its sixth year, and will see sixteen cities facing off for the titles of Curry Capital of Britain 2006 and EthniCity 2006.

Glasgow won Curry Capital in 2002 & 2003, Bradford in 2004 and Birmingham in 2005.

The multiethnic 'EthniCity' title went to Edinburgh in 2003, Birmingham in 2004 and Glasgow in 2005.

The winning city will be announced this May.

Lord Provost Liz Cameron is quoted as saying:

"Glasgow is the home of a good curry. For years our fantastic Indian restaurants have served up inventive and fiery dishes to warm the culinary heart. And we are proud to say that curry is up there as our adoptive national dish."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Somerset Food Fayre

Somerset Food Fayre

Those of you with some spare time on your hands this Thursday, may care to take a trip to Brean in Somerset; where Lesley Waters, Ed Baines and Martin Blunos (TV celebrity chefs) will perform cookery demonstrations and workshops at the food fayre in Brean.

Some 3000 people are expected to attend the cookery demonstrations and workshops, which will be held between 10.30am and 4pm.

There is also be a local produce market, trade stands and free food tasters.

There is no entry charge to members of the public.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Momma Cherri's Moves Home

Momma Cherri's Moves Home

Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack, as featured on this site and on Grondon Ramsay's TV programme, is moving home to a new premises; just a few steps away from its current location, to what used to be Choys.

Charita Jones, the owner, is holding a special celebration for the move on the 23rd of March and is even flying in her mother, brother, cousins and great aunts for the event.

I wish her every success.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

British Beef Back in Europe

British Beef Back in Europe

British beef can finally return to Europe's shops and restaurants, after the 10 year ban imposed on it as a result of BSE.

EU food safety experts agreed yesterday to lift the export ban, that was imposed during the mad cow crisis.

British beef exports to the European Union were halted in 1996, as brain-wasting Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) spread across the country.

I regularly ate beef on the bone at that time, which I purchased "illegally" from a trusted butcher.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Those of you travelling to the Mongolain capital of Ulaanbaatar should check out the restaurant in the Hotel Ulaanbaatar.

Ulaanbaatar Hotel
Sukhbaatar Square 14
Ulaanbaatar 210645
Mongolia

E-mail: info@ubhotel.mn
Tel: 976-11-320320, 320237
Fax: 976-11-324485, 323330

One of my colleagues, who is currently staying there on business, tells me that the steaks, meat dishes, salami and vodka served by the hotel are all first class.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Motorway Service?

Motorway Service?

The consumer magazine, Which?, has taken to the roads and reviewed the food at many of Britain's much lambasted motorway "service" stations.

It is fair to say that many do not come out with flying colours. The Cullompton service station on the M5 near Exeter, was named as the worst in Britain.

It was described as "little more than a McDonald's next to a petrol station".

Quote:

"It provides the bare minimum required but we reckon these days people have the right to expect more when they see a great big sign directing them off the motorway."

Other service stations to be lambasted include; Bothwell on the M74 east of Glasgow ("dreary and cluttered"), Trowell on the M1 near Nottingham ("dull, uninspiring, noisy and gloomy") and Magor on the M4 near Newport ("a truly miserable experience").

However, one station did meet with the approval of Which? Tebay is named the best in Britain.

Which? awarded it five stars.

Quote:

"An attractive wooden building with terrific far-reaching Cumbrian views and a duck pond make a great first impact.

A decent restaurant, well-stocked shop with quality kids' toys and free phone calls to a good local hotel all impressed. But it was the local produce shop that sealed the deal
."

Fridges were stocked with local lamb and beef, stuffed pheasants and Cumbrian organic chicken. The deli sold regional chutney and jams, the cakes and sandwiches were freshly made in the kitchens.

So you see, if the service stations bothered to try they could improve. The problem is they don't give a stuff about the customer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Leicester Is Britain's Curry Capital

Leicester Is Britain's Curry Capital

Manchester has lost its self awarded title of Britain's curry capital.

Manchester's "curry mile", in Rusholme, has been usurped by Leicester. The Frequency of Overseas Dishes (FOOD) study has found that Leicester has the highest density of curry houses of all British cities, with at least two every square mile.

However, it is not the quantity but the quality that matters surely?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

McDonald's Closes

McDonald's Closes

Scourge of the healthy food lobby, McDonald's is closing around 25 of its "restaurants" across Britain after five years of falling sales.

Britain is the worst performing country in the McDonald's chain.

I doubt, given the number of other fast food establishments in Britain, that anyone will starve as a result of these closures.