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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ethical Cod

Those of you with a yearning for a good quality piece of cod, but who have found it difficult to obtain owing to overfishing, may soon take heart; it seems that a new supply of ethical cod has been made available.

The first organic cod will be appearing in Britain's supermarkets and restaurants this week.

Tesco will be selling organic cod fillets at a staggering £19.99 per kilo.

"No Catch . . . Just Cod" is aimed at the "ethical eater", it is the world's first organically farmed 100% sustainable cod.

It is produced by Johnson Seafarms in the Shetlands, who say that the cod are raised in spacious circular cages and are fed wild herring and mackerel and given toys, including ropes to chew on and tunnels to swim through.

The cod will also be served at restaurants in Harvey Nichols stores, the Oxo Tower restaurant and on the South Bank in London.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oscars - The Croydon Park Hotel

Oscars - The Croydon Park Hotel

The issues raised in the earlier post that I made, have now been fully addressed by the Croydon Park Hotel.

My compliments to them for acting promptly on this.

I have therefore removed my original post.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Taj Mahal Wins Tiffin Cup

Taj Mahal Wins Tiffin Cup

Taj Mahal, an Indian restaurant established in Pembrokeshire nearly three decades ago, has won the inaugural Tiffin Cup.

Over 40 South Asian restaurants in the UK had been nominated for the contest by their local MPs, before being whittled down to a shortlist of 14 for the final showdown at the House of Commons last night.

The Tiffin Cup was launched by British MPs Keith Vaz, Michael Fabricant and John Barrett in recognition of the contribution of South Asian restaurants to British cuisine and to raise money for charity.

Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons, was Chief Guest.

Birmingham's 'Royal Al Faisal', specialising in Kashmiri cuisine, came second while 'B Raj Tandoori' Fraserburgh in Scotland finished third.

The entries were judged by celebrity chefs and presenters; Lloyd Grossman and Ainsley Harriott, event management expert Teji Singh, Bollywood actor Saeed Jaffrey and Nina Wadia from the television show 'Goodness Gracious Me'.

A raffle organised on the occasion raised over 1,500 for two charities, the Roko Cancer Appeal and TB Alert.

I wonder if they had read that the Taj Mahl was shut for 5 days in 2004, as a result of a rat infestation?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tiffin Cup 2006

Tiffin Cup 2006

Britain's top curry chefs will compete in the House of Commons kitchens today, in the Tiffin Cup 2006 the contest to find the nation's best curry restaurant.

Fourteen south Asian restaurants from the UK have been shortlisted from a total of more than 40, nominated by their local MPs for the final of the first Tiffin Cup.

The judging panel includes; Lloyd Grossman, Ainsley Harriott and Nina Wadia from Goodness Gracious Me.

The Tiffin Cup has been organised by MPs Michael Fabricant, John Barrett and Keith Vaz.

Mr Vaz said:

"The UK's love affair with curry has come a long way.

I am delighted to host the first Tiffin Cup grand final, which will feature 14 of the best South Asian restaurants Britain has to offer.

I am sure this will be a fun-packed evening that will highlight how far South Asian cuisine has developed in this country, while also supporting two very worthy causes
."

The competition is helping to raise money for the Roko Cancer Appeal, which aims to create India's first mobile breast cancer unit, and TB Alert, the only charity which fights tuberculosis in both the UK and India.

Monday, May 15, 2006

No Salary For Waiters

No Salary For Waiters

Anthony Worrall Thompson, the TV celebrity chef, has reportedly lambasted the poor standards of service offered by many restaurants in the UK.

He directs much of his rage at the influx of foreign staff who have not been trained in the fine art of service, and who cannot speak the language.

He has a point, many a fine meal is ruined by poor quality service.

Worrall Thompson's solution is to zeroise waiters salaries, and make them only work for tips.

An interesting solution to the service problems the beset so many restaurants. However, I doubt that it would be allowed under the current minimum wage rules.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Tiffin Cup

The Tiffin Cup

Chefs from 14 curry houses in the UK will travel to Parliament on the 16th of May to compete in a "cook off" for the inaugural Tiffin Cup, which celebrates south Asian cuisine.

MPs Michael Fabricant, John Barrett and Keith Vaz launched the Tiffin Cup because of the "colourful contribution" south Asian restaurants make to the British food industry.

40 south Asian restaurants throughout the UK were nominated for the award by their local MPs. These were cut down to a shortlist of 14, and they will compete in a cook-in at the Commons on 16 May.

The judges include presenters Loyd Grossman, Ainsley Harriott and Nina Wadia from TV's Goodness Gracious Me.

The winning restaurant will get a year's supply of Cobra Beer, and the 2006 Tiffin Cup.

The competition will raise money for the Roko Cancer Appeal, which also fights tuberculosis in the UK and India.

Mr Vaz said:

"The UK's love affair with curry has come a long way. I am delighted to host the first Tiffin Cup grand final, which will feature 14 of the best south Asian restaurants Britain has to offer.

These restaurants raise a greater awareness and understanding of Britain's Asian communities.

I am sure this will be a fun-packed evening that will highlight how far south Asian cuisine has developed in this country, while also supporting two very worthy causes
."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The World Is Your Lobster

The World Is Your Lobster

Those of you who love the taste of lobster, but are a little squeamish about seeing it being boiled alive, may find the latest food invention to be of interest.

Simon Buckhaven, a barrister, has designed a gadget that stuns a lobster with electrodes and kills it within five seconds. The CrustaStun ensures that the lobster dies a less violent death, than the current variations of; being drowned in freshwater, knifed in the head or boiled alive.

The CrustaStun is being used by the Blue Seafood Company, in Paignton, Devon, and Cromer Crab, of Norfolk.

Mr Buckhaven will soon offer a smaller version that can be used in restaurants, at a cost of about £1,500 to £2,000.

He is even working on one for the home.

It is expected that the CrustaStun will receive a sales boost soon, as the EU may well make the humane killing of crustaceans compulsory; as a scientific report has said that they are "sentient beings" and feel pain.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cold Cure

Cold Cure

If you are suffering from a cold, and are in need of a little comfort food that may help you expel the bugs, try this simple recipe.
  • Take one medium onion, and peel it.


  • Place it whole into a pan, and cover with cold water.


  • Bring the water to the boil, and simmer with the lid on for around ten minutes until the onion is soft.


  • Remove the onion from the pan, shake off excess water and place on a plate.


  • Put a good sized knob of butter on the top, and season with salt and black pepper.


  • Eat whilst hot.
This dish helps to warm you, fight off the bugs and make your cough more productive.

Get well soon!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Dangers of Seaweed

The Dangers of Seaweed

Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reportedly considering measures to cut back on the consumption of a type of seaweed called hijiki, which allegedly contains high levels of inorganic arsenic.

Hijiki is used primarily in Japanese food.

On July 28 2004, the FSA issued a warning that advised people not to eat the seaweed.

"A survey carried out by the Agency found that hijiki contains inorganic arsenic, a form that occurs naturally in some food and can increase people's risk of developing cancer if eaten regularly".

Hijiki is a distinctive, almost black, shredded seaweed, that is used mainly as an appetiser or starter in some Japanese restaurants.

Following the warning, the FSA has recently urged the food and wholesale industries to discuss effective measures to restrain consumption of hijiki.

The day will come when we will not be allowed to eat anyhting!