Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rhubarb Margarita

Due entirely to a combination of company and cocktails, I can't compile a critique of this quarter's culinary quest. What I can do is to record the ingredients of my margharita which ranks as the most superior of its kind; rhubarb, lime and Falernum rum (especially imported from South America and flavoured with cloves, ginger and vanilla) with a chilli salt rim. Awesome and even better second time round. Well done Hakkasan ! What I also recall about the evening is my delight at finding myself once more reunited with Su and To. We always have such a happy, funny and interesting time together. As regards the food at Rasa Samudra, it is the pickle selection and the Gavi wine which come to mind. They went down rather well together, much to my surprise. And then there was the sago pudding; the payyasam - which made for a comforting finale. A fabulous evening - thank you Supper Club 10/10

Monday, 7 November 2011

Night Out

As usual, a delightful evening with Su-To, who really are exemplary supper companions!
A glamourous start at Hakkasan, where we had 2 cocktails each; the star being the rhubarb margharita, though my 'Hakka' was pretty good...from here we wobbled down to Rasa Samudra which specialises in fish. We commenced with a delicious selection of freshly made pickles, then on to starters - my dry fish and prawn fry was actually rather good. The Kappayum Meenum I had to follow had a good taste, but wasn't served with the cassava separately, as it is supposed to be, and it also lacked the smoky cocum fruit traditionally included.
Overall, the food was interesting (for London) but some of the dishes definitely lacked punch - especially a crab dish, described as "the chef's speciality" which seemed to consist only of crab in its shell.
Staff were somewhat unengaging I thought - I'll give it a 6/10 for food.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Really Rasa Good

Wonderful to get back into the Supper Club saddle after a too lengthy break. Delightful to see Ti and Ju and a real pleasure to toast Ju's exciting new adventure. Fine cocktails at Hakasan which gave the evening a rousing start without dulling the senses. On to Rasa's West End incarnation to sample the delights of Kerala. Friendly, gentle waiting staff made us feel most welcome and brought a divine pre-meal assortment of chutneys, pickles and crispy treats. The starters were pretty good although I found Su's chickpea and my beetroot a little bland and the crab slightly under-whelming. The main courses were similar, highly edible without reaching stratospheric heights. The wine went well and the whole evening was a total pleasure but maybe not quite reaching some of the dizzy heights previously attained by this Supper Club. I give 8/10.

The Bills

Friday, 4 November 2011

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Ottolenghi Manna

Su has well and trully redeemed herself - Nopi was an excellent choice!
Underwhelming cocktails were outshone by a delicious little dish of roasted celeriac and yogurt puree with good bread. Simple but arresting flavours which was the theme for the whole meal - a succession of gorgeous dishes (and we sampled 16 from the menu, 4 from each section) most of which made us all go mmmm....
Highlights for me were the skordalia and broccolini (untempting-sounding, but divine); all 4 fish dishes, including an unctuous prawn and tarragon stew; chicken with myrtle salt.
All puds were lovely, as was the wine - a minerally white from Etna, and a juicy red from Campania. 9/10.

Nopi is YESpi.

The room was beautifully simple and the staff friendly and relaxed which both boded well. Su and I sat gazing at the amuse bouche and eventually had to have a small sample which also promised greatness. A rather damp Ti and Ju then arrived and we swiftly ordered cocktails. These were fine, not great but, as it turned out, the one false note in a near faultless evening. The veg dishes were all very strong on flavour and skill, the only minor exception might be Ti's choice of tomato salad but I reckon this was excellent but just paled a little in comparison to the other dishes which were divine. The fish course was if anything even better. My scallops were perfectly cooked with a gorgeous chilli jam to go with them,the soft-shell crab may have been the best ever and the octopus and prawn equally tasty. The meat dishes and the puddings were of an equally high quality and we all agreed that of the 16 dishes we sampled every one was simple, unusual and heavenly.

I give it 9.5out of 10

The Bill

Monday, 7 February 2011

Hawksmoor and more

Su and I walked to the bus stop celebrating the joys of Supper Club. Not only is the company faultless (heck, it even provides extremely thoughtful and supportive child-care advice)but the fact that it exists provides a highpoint for each quarter - a pleasure to be looked forward to and savoured. Now, Hawksmoor. Hmnnn. Many, many positives - excellent cocktails, friendly service though perhaps a little slow. The dining concept works really well and I like the fact that it is obvious to all that you are there to eat steak - very simple. The startes were good altohugh I think the rule with Bone Marrow as with Oysters and Steak is you don't fuck with it. So, the onion while tasty was a step too far for me. The Porterhouse Steak cooked rare was simply the tatiest steak I've tasted and perfectly cooked. Wine also just right. I found the seating arrangement and the waiter and the other diners just gave the place a slightly corporate feeling but this is faily minor quiblle and I give it 8.75/10

Perfect Meating

A real treat this time out - spacious cocktail bar in this subterranean cellar location serves excellent mixed drinks by chatty and friendly staff. The decor is very pleasing - old parquet, reclaimed doors and tables, remnants of its previous history as a brewery showing in the brick and pitch walls, and it is nice to eat in a spacious room for a change.

Plumped for 900g of Porterhouse, shared with Su, which was probably the tastiest beef I've had for quite a while. Beef dripping chips provided the healthy accompaniment along with greens and spinach. The split marrow bone and onion starter was a joy.

I'll gladly return to sample more: 9/10

The Bill

Friday, 4 February 2011

Hawksmoor - Yes more !

OK, so I am a later blogger but my personal diary for 4th February 2011 reads as follows:-
" Shared a Porterhouse steak with Toby - meat and company both exemplary"
Need I say more ?