Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When good is no more.


I have a little Indian place that I have been going to for the last few years. It has always been good. Even made it part of a Saturday tradition. Much to my disappointment the place has seemingly found a hill and decided to head towards the base.

This is not a sudden turn of events. there was never one defining moment when things turned the proverbial corner. Just a series of little things. As we all know these little things can make a big difference.

Onion bajis had a distinct taste of Freezer burn.

The korma sauce seemed a little to close to vanilla pudding, or at the very least custard. Really not the best thing to go with shrimp.

Nan bread arrives cold. Is one of the best things about Indian restaurants the straight from the oven bread?

An eggplant dish had a base that seemed suspiciously like jarred tomato sauce.

I could go on but one gets the picture. It has gotten to the point where the very notion of eating there turns one off. It is hard to go to a place knowing that one dish (minimum) will be bad.

I certainly understand that the restaurant business is very difficult. There is a constant need to check and keep cost down. But there is cost control and then there is vanilla pudding.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

'Back to' London

New York

I did it again. Forgot to write things down. This is what happens when I enjoy myself too much. Not bad considering, I was not in a place that I expected to be. A last minute opening gave me the chance. I took it and found myself his sitting in Gordon Ramsay’s New York outpost Gordon Ramsay at the London.

This place is well worth a visit. Yes it is expensive but well worth the price. Certainly a good choice for a special occasion. And when you think about the fact that you save on airfare; you can 'justify' it even more.

The fact is Ramsay, who actually is very soft spoken, essentially up rooted his London flagship operation and brought the staff over with him. I am certain that I recognized a couple of faces from my visit. Some how despite an ever expanding empire (Never mind all the time taken up by his numerous TV ventures.) Ramsay has somehow been able to maintain the quality across the board. His food is excellent and the service exceptional.

I was impressed the first time that I indulged at his restaurant. I have never heard a bad word spoken about any of his other establishments. One can say what they like about the man's TV persona. true or false, love it or hate it. The man can quietly back things up

Monday, April 9, 2007


Somewhere in the UK on a train.

A question was recently posted about food snobbery. It seemed fairly straight forward at the time. Haveing more time than I'd like sitting on a train gave me time to think further on the question.

I have friends who make a show about their eating. From them its about the scene. If a place is trendy then that suddenly turn out to have been regulars. I've experienced them not wanting to go somewhere to 'knowing everyone' based on the television exposure of the chef. They are sure to inform us all about 'their ' places.

For me it comes down to taste, as in ones own personal. If you like the one likes the expensive imported cut of beef, or that expensive bottle of wine, because it's what you happen to like. Then great enjoy it. If instead you prefer the egg salad sandwich from the nearby diner enjoy that as well.

Grass fed beef is considered to have more flavor that grain feed. If someone coses not to eat grass fed does that make them a snob. Personally I don't think so. If you go for the grass feed because only based on it's perceived reputation. Then yes perhaps one might have snobbish tendencies. It all comes down to personal preferences especially if you are paying the bill.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Good intentions.


I was out to dinner with a friend the other night. This being an old friend whom I had not seen in a while we decided to push the boat out a little. Actually we wound up pushing the boat out quite far. The meal and everything about it was great. This being London it was expensive. It came to about two hundred and fifty dollars each service included. No complaints about the price. However what did bother me was the added ‘donation’ tacked on to the bill. It was one pound roughly the equivalent of two bucks. Granted not much after an extravagant meal. Yet it bothers me that they simply would add their good intentions to my bill. If the charity is so important why not take it out of the profit they made of ours, and everyone else’s meal?

Perhaps I’m simply being petty. But it does bother me.