Sunday, 18 May 2014

Thairiffic

Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines and it's hard for restaurants to replicate the flavours found in Thailand. Over the years we have liked Thai Siam but after it changed hands many years ago, the food went downhill. Thai Lemongrass is also ok but serves very safe mainstream Thai food.
I was excited to hear that a new Thai place had opened up but after giving it two tries I don't think I will be going back. It a nice looking restaurant and the service is very good but the food is just ok.
It's good to see somtam and larb on the menu but neither of them had the mouth watering intensity of the versions found at  Thai Siam or Dusit in Edinburgh. The grilled dishes were probably the strong point. The stir fries were just odd as both came with heavy sauces that were very similar to the curries. In fact we ended up with four dishes that were very similar. For this reason I probably wouldn't return. There really was no variation or depth to what is a vibrant cuisine.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Kyloe

Myself and Rachel got the train through to Edinburgh to have lunch with my good friend Natalie. Given that both Rachel and I are mostly Paleo these days we thought we would try out this steak place.
I had subscribed to their newsletter which gave us 20% off food which is a good thing as it ain't cheap.
Now I will have to compare it to the Hawksmoor and Goodman and did it measure up? No, not really. It has a lot of positives but I found it to be expensive for what you get. My meal came to £50 including the discount. I don't mind paying that at Hawksmoor or Goodman as what you get merits it, but not here. 

There were a lot of positives. 
It's a good looking place and the service was very good. The portions were slightly small although we still left stuffed due to the amount we ordered. The steak tartare was better after I added extra Tabasco and Worchestire sauce and oddly, my side salad had no dressing on it. My rib eye was medium when I had asked for medium rare (I later overheard a different waiter telling another table that due to the high fat content it was better medium rare,something I had not heard before). My Cafe de Paris butter was good but did not involve any liver. Rachel was very pleased with her fillet but Natalie found her plaice to be over cooked. The skinny fries were very good, and we were so full we didn't even eat the Portobello mushrooms we ordered. Despite this we still ordered pudding and my pineapple tart Tatin was very nice, the best of the puddings I think. Rachel chocolate mousse was more of a parfait and Natalie's chocolate fudge sundae was very rich and sweet as could be expected but not as sophisticated as it might have been.
We had a fun time but I don't know that we would go back.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Cabin

Is not the sort of place I would choose to go. First off, it is in Whiteinch, near nothing else and second the idea of live entertainment might float a lot of people's boats, but not mine.
It was a works night out so there were a group of us. The food is very reasonably priced. I had mussels, one or two were a bit gritty but reasonable sized served with a garlic shallot cream, which was slightly too salty. The soda bread it came with was apparently very good. I didn't eat it as avoiding bread at the moment.
The pre theatre is £18 for 3 course, with the mussels having a £2 supplement and my beef Wellington a £5 supplement. The beef Wellington was an individual one and tasty although very salty. The mushroom sauce was good but some of the root veg undercooked particularly the parsnip. My friends starter of venison meatballs with egg noodles was described as tasty if a bit on the small side, and his main of lemon sole, with colcannon unfortunately a bit tasteless.
Most of us had the brioche bread and butter pudding which was described by someone who has it as their favourite pudding, as disappointing and too sweet. I very rarely have it so thought it alright.

The main problem came at the end of the night when we settled up the bill. As a group we had drank a fair bit so that would have been good for their profit. We had all paid a £10 deposit which there being 16 of us, we expected £160 to be deducted from the bill. But no they only would deduct £100 from the bill. When we asked why they said it was for the no shows. The original size if the group was 16, so even though I have never heard of this in any other restuarant ( and even though there were empty tables) we would have accepted a £30 penalty but then they started playing silly beggars and said that the original size of the group was 18 not 16 that's why they took more off us. When we stated that 16 was always the size of the party they said they had no confirmation of that and that 18 was what they were expecting and that they would deduct money for 5 no shows.
At the end of the day we let them have their £50 but withheld our tip and all 13 of us decided we would never go back. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Byron

Not much to say other than good as ever.
Chocolate malted milkshake 
Byron burger, sauce, lettuce, tomato on the side with extra red onion and jalepenos.
French fries, courgette fries
B-Rex burger for Liz Lemon
Happy full tummies
I see they are creeping closer to the Border. Hurry up and come to Glasgow is all I can say!

Smokehouse

We seem to be chasing Neil Rankin round Islington. We just missed him at John Salt and were keen to try the meat centric menu on offer here. 

It's a nice laid back vibe with a good buzz. It was unsurprisingly full on a Saturday evening. We had a very good snd effiecient waitress who took time to answer all our questions. We were sat right at the pass which was bordering on the almost too warm so I wonder what they will do in the height of summer. I also wonder how this menu will translate into the summer months as the beef bourgingnon and Barnsley chop although delicious, seem more suited for autumn and winter than the sweltering summers London enjoys.

The brisket roll with gouchang was excellent, the duck in spring rolls was lovely with a tasty Peking sauce that was like a more sophisticated satay. The burnt leeks were delicious and light compared to the other two.
As stated before the short rib and Barnsley chop were meet with nods of approval. The chop was served blue and John almost asked for it to be cooked a bit more but ate it anyway and declared it delicious. 
My mackeral was disappointing. It came head and tail on, which is not a problem but it also came with all the bones, which is, a bit of a faff especially in a place with dim lighting. It was just too much effort in that lighting for me to eat it so Liz Lemon made sure it didn't go to waste. I also have to say compared to the other dishes the way it was present wasn't the prettiest, in fact it was ugly. Ugly fish.
The Asian style coleslaw that came with was very tasty as was the side of pulled pork and grilled romaine. The other disappointment was the side of green salad, which was a small bowl of shredded iceberg, no dressing no nothing. 
Now I know the Smokehouse is a smoker/ meatcentric place but that doesn't mean that it can't do light or vegetable dishes well. I would suggest they need to focus on this aspect of the menu particularly coming I to the summer months when interesting salads a la ottolenghi could be the perfect foil for some smoked/ grilled meats when heavy mash or cauliflower cheese would just be too much.
A surprise standout was the double d. To say it is an incarnation of a double decker is to do it an injustice. It had a great combination of textures and flavours. A really good way to end a fun meal.

Pig and Butcher

We stopped in here for pre dinner drinks and ended up having pre dinner snacks!
Very good venison scotch eggs and good double dipped chips 

10 Greek St

I still love this place.
We meet John for lunch taking advantage of the fact you can book at lunchtime. It was full and had a good buzz. The service was friendly and the good came out when it was ready which suited us fine as we has a lot of catching up to do.
We ordered duck hearts in Marsala. I am not fond of heart but Liz Lemon and John said they were tasty especially with the Marsala.
We had some scallops which were perfectly cooked and sweet.
Pardon peppers are always good.
I was a little disappointed the baby squid were coated but they were still moreish.
The proscutio, wet garlic and burrata was tasty although the weakest of our dishes. 
The prawns were magnificent the sort you get in Spain and delicious with the pomegranate, chili and yoghurt salad.
The standout of the meal however was the treacle tart. So good that I ordered a second slice, with clotted cream. It was not too sweet and had the perfect consistency of crispy top and chewy inside. The treacle tart of my dreams.