Thursday, 9 October 2008

Ti's view on Waterhouse

Well, we're off, if not to a flying start. The company of SuToJu was, as ever, a real pleasure - such good table manners all three possess! Alas, the inaugral choice of restaurant didn't quite live up to expectations. Despite the managements protestations of exemplary 'eco-credentials' and a kitchen that is 'state-of-the-art in environmental sustainability', Roux-trained Executive Chef Arthur Potts Dawson does not seem to possess the requisite eye for detail.
The setting is rather cool and charmless, like an upmarket pizzeria rather than an appropriate setting for gourmands such as us (why the ghastly jazz-lite music?). The service was delightfully friendly but distinctly amateurish - the worst type I always feel, and one that is often to be encountered in UK restaurants. As has already been stated, the waitress neither knew that one of the dishes ordered was unavailable, nor that BOTH of the wines we ordered were! (Do they have a 'biodynamic' wine list that is so very hard to source?)
OK, the food. I also chose the artichoke salad, which consisted of a small plate of green beans with some shards of uncooked artichoke heart. Now, for me, this is one of the most sublime vegetables, but it really needs cooking to bring out it's earthy flavours unless very young. At nearly £9.00 this was a rip-off, considering there was probably only half a small 'choke in there!
Next came stuffed partridge which came accompanied by the ubiquitous green beans. It was tasty enough, and well cooked. There was nothing but a pile of gnawed bones by the time I'd finished with it, so you could say I enjoyed it. The stuffing was either not there or made no impression.
I decided to plump for the ice-cream for dessert as there were two intriguing-sounding flavours on offer : mexican chili chocolate and halva. These were both very good, especially the chocolate with its cinnamon flavours and decent kick of heat.
Hits and misses all round, I'll give it a 3/10, and won't be returning.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Waterhouse is reached through crossing a strange courtyard of flats surrounded by steel balconies and fire escapes. Once inside the room is pleasant enough if somewhat soul less in its use of wood, concrete, glass and steel. Things got off to a rather ominous start as Julia caught a bellini with her hand just as it was being placed on the table and the waitress although apologetic and quick to clear up, stood over Tim (who had a fair amount of the initial spillage on his trousers) with bellini-soden menus, dripping further on to his lap, as she mopped the table around him. She failed to notice that his napkin was completely wet and he chose to let it go.

Well we kicked off with the olives, bread and oil for dipping. The oil was good, as was the bread but the olives were rather disappointing. My meal went rapidly downhill from here. My starter of artichoke heart, grean beans and bortoli beans, was surprisingly dry and unseasoned. The artichoke hearts were woody and lack lustre. The dish was sporadically lifted by the odd caper which brought the flavours together and provided a bit of much needed punch.

My main course was an utter disaster. Poached haddock (even woodier than the artichoke hearts) lay unappetisingly on a bed of soggy chard, both swimming in cold watery milk, strangely reddened by the chard stems. I ate very little of it.

The meal ended on a pleasant note of stilton, onion relish and prunes, washed down with a glass of port. I enjoyed this melee of flavours enormously and although this dish was not 'cooked' by the chef, I have to say it was cleverly put together.

Here's hoping Ju-Ti come up with something a little more inspiring!

2 out of 10.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


First let me say how delighted I am that Ju-Ti-Su-To is up and running. Now, to the first meeting - the room was ok, a little industrial and sleek although it lacked atmosphere and felt a little tired and unloved which is odd for a reataurant's that's only been open for a year or so. The Bellini was fine but not very inspired. My starter, beetroot tower, was good, sweet and salty and full of flavour. The Pino Noir was dull and the whole wine experience was shabby to say the least. My main course, duck special was fine - flavoursome and sticky but not wonderful. My pudding - the illusive Vacherine was again fine but not inspired. All in all the wole experience was ok but very run-of-the-mill. Nothing special to recomend it and the service was the same. 4/10. Roll on December 6.

The Bill

The Waterhouse

Hard chairs and piped music (and it is even louder in the toilets) made for an unpromising start though the arrival of Su-To eclipsed such negative thoughts. I was cheered up further by the prospect of mackerel on the menu. Sadly when I ordered it, I was told that they didn't have any which was disappointing and annoying. Why hadn't she said so in the first place ? I was soothed by the beetroot and ricotta/feta stack with honey dressing as I adore this vegetable and it always makes me think of my mother who was addicted to it during her pregnancy with me. Anyway, I digress. My rabbit, prune and borlotti bean casserole was most enjoyable; good deep flavour, nice textures and generous portion of meat. Sadly, the recommended Pinot Noir was a barely adequate companion. Pudding was a great disappointment; a sad and soggy "saffron poached pear" sat on a gigantic thick round of ship's biscuit. This disc of sandy inedibility was accompanied by a small glass of pear sorbet covered in a sickly apricot goo. A disaster of imagination and execution.
All in all an uncomfortable place run by people who don't really care about food for people who are not interested in what they eat.
3/10 I say !

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Supper Club

Well we are up and running! Right now I am still digesting my cardboard haddock and do not feel ready to plunge in to my post supper critique.

Culinary matters aside, it was lovely to see you (Ju-Ti) tonight and I am so pleased we will now be meeting for supper at least four times a year.

Nighty night.

Susanna XXX
I too am a new blogger and equally excited. No rules about ordering the same dish ( i refer you to the soon-to-be ratified constitution) nor any about Tim tasting your pudding (pardon the expression), although I would advise you to set up a sub-condstitution between yourself and Tim or he'll be tasting your pudding willy-nilly. Can you tell I'm excited? I'll shut up now. Til tonight, xxx

Ooh how exciting !

I have never had my own blog before so I am very excited. Looking forward to our first meal. Can two people order the same dish ? Am I obliged to give Tim a taste of my pudding ? On the other hand, isn't he obliged to let me taste his ? You see the way my mind is working. Onto the dessert menu before we have even got there.

Supper Club

This is the official blog of the Ju-ti Su-To supper Club, inaugurated on 4th October, 2008.