WANKERS AT PLAY

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Toby
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Toby » 19 May 2018, 22:47

I think Copehead and I would actually get on. We share the same perspective on food. Let's just leave the politics at the door.

The Sportsman is superb.

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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Pansy Puff » 19 May 2018, 23:03

Copehead wrote:Again it comes down to whether you view going as just going out to be fed, which your desire to be filled suggests you do, or whether you view the occasion as something akin to going to the opera or an art gallery or even a cherished band or top sports match.


Hmm. But that analogy assumes that the price we pay for a band or sports match is always worth it.

And I should point out one error in your analogy: most art galleries are free.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Belle Lettre » 19 May 2018, 23:42

Toby wrote:I think Copehead and I would actually get on. We share the same perspective on food. Let's just leave the politics at the door.

The Sportsman is superb.

I've been there too. It is.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 00:13

Toby wrote:I think Copehead and I would actually get on. We share the same perspective on food. Let's just leave the politics at the door.

The Sportsman is superb.


Undoubtedly.

I spent 2 consecutive evenings at the Sportsman for my 50th to have the tasting menu and the a la carte menu.
I couldn't think of anywhere I would rather spend a special occasion.

Great local, seasonal produce beautifully cooked served in an knackered old boozer, and they let dogs in :)

Have you got the cookbook? It is more food porn than real cookbook, I'd probably have a go at a few bits if I wanted to impress a fellow foodie but really I bought it for the pictures and the memories.

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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 00:18

Pansy Puff wrote:
Copehead wrote:Again it comes down to whether you view going as just going out to be fed, which your desire to be filled suggests you do, or whether you view the occasion as something akin to going to the opera or an art gallery or even a cherished band or top sports match.


Hmm. But that analogy assumes that the price we pay for a band or sports match is always worth it.

And I should point out one error in your analogy: most art galleries are free.


I know, but it is fulfilling the same sort of aesthetic desire rather than simply feeding you.

If I want to be well fed I can quite happily to go to a decent local restaurant and 99% of the time I do, but you don't go to the Fat Duck just to be well fed. Or least I doubt it is prime consideration for the people who do go and it wouldn't be for me.

You could pay 500 quid to see a reformed Led Zep and come away disappointed, but I doubt many did, and I doubt many people come away from the fat Duck disappointed either. The prime consideration wouldn't be listening to some decent heavy rock it would be far more than that.
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Re: WANKERS AT PLAY

Postby bobzilla77 » 20 May 2018, 00:31

I can only agree that a truly great meal is as fantastic an experience as a great concert, great opera, great anything you could experience in a couple hours. It's especially great when you get a dish & wine pairing that really hits the right notes.

It's obviously true that there are some people with more money than taste and some expensive fancy eating is not 100% delicious. Those places are most common in LA, NYC, London type of cities.

I got to go to a place in LA called Shibumi the other night, considered one of the best spots in LA right now. It was a total "omakase" or chef's choice menu, we didn't order anything but told them if we had any food allergies. And then the small plates started coming. There were several moments in the meal where I felt the world disappear for a minute while this enticing new flavor I'd never experienced before took over my whole brain. The whisky highball I had contained some of the same herbs and reflected those flavors back. It WAS fucking transcendent! It can be had for about $80 plus tip, which is a lot for a dinner, but doable for a special occasion.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Pansy Puff » 20 May 2018, 08:24

Copehead wrote:
Pansy Puff wrote:
Copehead wrote:Again it comes down to whether you view going as just going out to be fed, which your desire to be filled suggests you do, or whether you view the occasion as something akin to going to the opera or an art gallery or even a cherished band or top sports match.


Hmm. But that analogy assumes that the price we pay for a band or sports match is always worth it.

And I should point out one error in your analogy: most art galleries are free.


I know, but it is fulfilling the same sort of aesthetic desire rather than simply feeding you.

If I want to be well fed I can quite happily to go to a decent local restaurant and 99% of the time I do, but you don't go to the Fat Duck just to be well fed. Or least I doubt it is prime consideration for the people who do go and it wouldn't be for me.

You could pay 500 quid to see a reformed Led Zep and come away disappointed, but I doubt many did, and I doubt many people come away from the fat Duck disappointed either. The prime consideration wouldn't be listening to some decent heavy rock it would be far more than that.


OK, I get you. And the time I went to the restaurant I mentioned was certainly an amazing experience. I just think it's a very, very expensive experience, and I know that if I spend a huge amount of money on a series of interesting, but small, dishes, I will "enjoy" it even if I don't. After all "in one study by The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Stanford University scholars, people not only rate the same wine more highly when they’re told it is more expensive, functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI scans taken of their brains while they were drinking the wine suggest participants enjoyed the experience of drinking it more. " Link http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050

In other words, I'm conflicted. I know it is an amazing experience, but since food is a basic need I want it to have dual purposes.
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Re: WANKERS AT PLAY

Postby gash on ignore » 20 May 2018, 09:41



Hodgson 8-)
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Tonto Papadopoulos » 20 May 2018, 10:05

Pansy Puff wrote:In other words, I'm conflicted. I know it is an amazing experience, but since food is a basic need I want it to have dual purposes.


It does, though. I love a north London kebab or a bacon butty but I also love the fine dining experience every couple of months. My favourite place at the moment is this place:

http://www.pidginlondon.com/menu

because it offers great value for money (in terms of fine dining) and the food is as good as almost any Michelin starred restaurant I've been to - better than most, in fact - but is casual and quirky. The menu changes every week and you get what you're given but it never disappoints. If I remember correctly, it used to have a star but then changed chef's so is having to win it back. I don't doubt for a second that it will.

Marcus is the only 2 star restaurant I've been to. It was fabulous but no better than Abantal in Seville which currently only has 1 star.

http://www.abantalrestaurante.es/

Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social, just off Regent St, is another favourite of ours. Informal yet elegant and the food is exceptional.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Pansy Puff » 20 May 2018, 10:16

Vic Snazell-Sprey wrote:
Pansy Puff wrote:In other words, I'm conflicted. I know it is an amazing experience, but since food is a basic need I want it to have dual purposes.


It does, though. I love a north London kebab or a bacon butty but I also love the fine dining experience every couple of months. My favourite place at the moment is this place:

http://www.pidginlondon.com/menu

because it offers great value for money (in terms of fine dining) and the food is as good as almost any Michelin starred restaurant I've been to - better than most, in fact - but is casual and quirky. The menu changes every week and you get what you're given but it never disappoints. If I remember correctly, it used to have a star but then changed chef's so is having to win it back. I don't doubt for a second that it will.

Marcus is the only 2 star restaurant I've been to. It was fabulous but no better than Abantal in Seville which currently only has 1 star.

http://www.abantalrestaurante.es/

Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social, just off Regent St, is another favourite of ours. Informal yet elegant and the food is exceptional.

It does... Sometimes, and it should all times. I'm talking specifically about a tasting menu, and I've only experienced that once so not a great sample. I don't deny that one can have an incredible experience in top quality restaurants. The tasting menu experience is a different kettle of fish (served with a smoke infused cube of tartare).
I've eaten in some amazing restaurants, probably the greatest experience was at Northcote Manor. Amazing food, amazing service, amazing place.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Robert » 20 May 2018, 11:21

Copehead wrote:
Robert wrote:
Toby wrote:Everyone I know who has been to the Fat Duck says that it is absolutely worth the expense.


No way. There is no meal on earth worth that money.
Unless you live in Africa, it’s the only thing available and you happen to have they money.


That is the view of someone only interested in food as a fuel rather than as an art form.

In Japan people will huge amounts of money for the right piece of food at the right time, like a perfectly ripe piece of fruit at the peak of its season.

500 pounds for one meal isn't that outrageous, you could pay that much to a scalper to see Led Zeppelin and have an experience that was just as ephemeral but just as emotionally intense and satisfying.

I have paid up to around 200 per head without a qualm, 500 is pushing it but when the house is bought and paid for it may be how I choose to celebrate that occasion.



Another sharp analysis! :D

I have a library of about 300 cooking books. I spend at least 1,5 to 2 hours a day in the kitchen to cook. I think about food more often than about-say- music. Just to demonstrate that to me it is not a matter of food as merely fuel. Oh, and I grow my own vegetables & herbs.

For me Blumenthal’s kitchen relies too much on a wow factor using all these ( by now outdated) moleculair trickeries.

A much better 3 star Chef is Alain Passard of L’Arpege who really pushes boundaries without the theatre that Blumenthal uses. In fact he got his three stars based on a vegetarian kitchen. ( eventhough he does do meat & fish these days too)

I admire Blumenthal for the sheer accuracy of his meals but it is not for me.

Eventhough the money is of no concern, I simply won’t be paying €500,- for a meal.

I won’t be paying that for a reformed Led Zep either.

I do happily pay €30,- for Johnny Marr though, who I’ll be seeing tonight at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.

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Re: WANKERS AT PLAY

Postby Jimbo » 20 May 2018, 15:38

There are so many fine little restaurants around here there is no need to wonder what the New York Grill atop the Hyatt serves. I attribute that to the dedication and detail Japanese put to the smallest endeavor. Tonight my wife and I ate at a small Italian restaurant and jazz cafe. The owner told us he'd spent three years living and working in an Italian restaurant in Italy while playing jazz drums when he could. The margherita pizza was superb laded with cheese on a crispy crust and the pasta puttanesca was spicy and garlicy. It all went down well with a frosty mug of Yebisu beer. And the price? Not cheap. :(
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 16:05

Pansy Puff wrote:OK, I get you. And the time I went to the restaurant I mentioned was certainly an amazing experience. I just think it's a very, very expensive experience, and I know that if I spend a huge amount of money on a series of interesting, but small, dishes, I will "enjoy" it even if I don't. After all "in one study by The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Stanford University scholars, people not only rate the same wine more highly when they’re told it is more expensive, functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI scans taken of their brains while they were drinking the wine suggest participants enjoyed the experience of drinking it more. " Link http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050

In other words, I'm conflicted. I know it is an amazing experience, but since food is a basic need I want it to have dual purposes.


I agree it is expensive; but I view it like doing a track day for a car enthusiast or making a day of a premiership football game for a football fan, it is an indulgence of a passion that you will budget for and do occasionally.

It is quite possible to spend hundreds of pounds on fine dining for a crap experience; Jay Rayner does so regularly in his restaurant review column, today's may be another, but if you choose carefully it should be possible to avoid the people phoning it in at a restaurant they have barely visited at a swanky London hotel.

I also get what you say about having to convince yourself you enjoyed an experience you paid so much money for and I guess we have all had those sorts of experiences with restaurants as with other things, but nothing at the top end springs to mind immediately although there must be one or two.

I suppose that when I plan to spend multiple hundreds on a meal I do so after careful consideration and go to established places with chefs who are generally on the premises.

Even at Le Gavroche a few years back when Le Roux was a constant on TV he was always in his restaurant even at week day lunch times.

I have definitely had this experience with expensive wine, where I have convinced myself it is transcendent because of the cost whereas in retrospect it was just a decent bottle of wine.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 16:09

Robert wrote:I have a library of about 300 cooking books. I spend at least 1,5 to 2 hours a day in the kitchen to cook. I think about food more often than about-say- music. Just to demonstrate that to me it is not a matter of food as merely fuel. Oh, and I grow my own vegetables & herbs.

For me Blumenthal’s kitchen relies too much on a wow factor using all these ( by now outdated) moleculair trickeries.

A much better 3 star Chef is Alain Passard of L’Arpege who really pushes boundaries without the theatre that Blumenthal uses. In fact he got his three stars based on a vegetarian kitchen. ( eventhough he does do meat & fish these days too)

I admire Blumenthal for the sheer accuracy of his meals but it is not for me.

Eventhough the money is of no concern, I simply won’t be paying €500,- for a meal.

I won’t be paying that for a reformed Led Zep either.

I do happily pay €30,- for Johnny Marr though, who I’ll be seeing tonight at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.


I'd probably pay 500 quid to see Johnny Marr in the right venue :)
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Re: WANKERS AT PLAY

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 16:32

Rather amusingly I remembered a very expensive 3* meal I ate that did disappoint slightly and it was the same guy who gets a kicking from Jay Rayner today - Heinz Beck, at La Pergola at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome; I was staying there so it would have been rude not to.

But even that experience had memorable moments - a liquid carbonara sauce inside tortellini that is a signature dish of his and was exquisite and a little mirrored tower of draws full of bon bons at the end of the meal.

There was also a water menu and the water sommelier looked like I'd cock punched him when I said I wanted tap water.

Surprisingly the wine was really reasonable as we stuck to local Gavi that was under 20 quid a bottle and very nice; when in Rome.

The space is also rather amazing with views right across Rome.

But that was a meal where I did have to try and convince myself it was worth the hundreds I was laying out.

(If you google Heinz Beck La Pergola in google images the guy I cock punched is in the tenth frame serving some food to a posh couple, he must be the maître d' or something)
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Robert » 20 May 2018, 18:23

Copehead wrote:
Robert wrote:I have a library of about 300 cooking books. I spend at least 1,5 to 2 hours a day in the kitchen to cook. I think about food more often than about-say- music. Just to demonstrate that to me it is not a matter of food as merely fuel. Oh, and I grow my own vegetables & herbs.

For me Blumenthal’s kitchen relies too much on a wow factor using all these ( by now outdated) moleculair trickeries.

A much better 3 star Chef is Alain Passard of L’Arpege who really pushes boundaries without the theatre that Blumenthal uses. In fact he got his three stars based on a vegetarian kitchen. ( eventhough he does do meat & fish these days too)

I admire Blumenthal for the sheer accuracy of his meals but it is not for me.

Eventhough the money is of no concern, I simply won’t be paying €500,- for a meal.

I won’t be paying that for a reformed Led Zep either.

I do happily pay €30,- for Johnny Marr though, who I’ll be seeing tonight at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.


I'd probably pay 500 quid to see Johnny Marr in the right venue :)



Itholds 300 people-pretty good.

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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 19:06

Robert wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Robert wrote:I have a library of about 300 cooking books. I spend at least 1,5 to 2 hours a day in the kitchen to cook. I think about food more often than about-say- music. Just to demonstrate that to me it is not a matter of food as merely fuel. Oh, and I grow my own vegetables & herbs.

For me Blumenthal’s kitchen relies too much on a wow factor using all these ( by now outdated) moleculair trickeries.

A much better 3 star Chef is Alain Passard of L’Arpege who really pushes boundaries without the theatre that Blumenthal uses. In fact he got his three stars based on a vegetarian kitchen. ( eventhough he does do meat & fish these days too)

I admire Blumenthal for the sheer accuracy of his meals but it is not for me.

Eventhough the money is of no concern, I simply won’t be paying €500,- for a meal.

I won’t be paying that for a reformed Led Zep either.

I do happily pay €30,- for Johnny Marr though, who I’ll be seeing tonight at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.


I'd probably pay 500 quid to see Johnny Marr in the right venue :)



Itholds 300 people-pretty good.


I'll give you 500 quid for your ticket!
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 20 May 2018, 21:23

Copehead wrote:
I suppose that when I plan to spend multiple hundreds on a meal I do so after careful consideration and go to established places with chefs who are generally on the premises.

Even at Le Gavroche a few years back when Le Roux was a constant on TV he was always in his restaurant even at week day lunch times.

The head chef there during the 90s was a bloke called Mark Prescott, I think it had three Michelin stars at the time. He upped sticks and returned home to Wrightington after a while, and ran his own restaurant, The Mulberry Tree, where I used to go quite often. You could easily have a top quality Michelin and above standard meal there for under £50 a head; which is one of the things that gets me about these places charging multiples of hundreds, I do think it's the exclusivity of being able to pay that which is part of the deal, you're already assuming you're getting something the average joe can't, and that it has to be superior because of that wedge.
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Re: Where Is The Best Restaurant?

Postby Copehead » 20 May 2018, 22:18

Darkness_Fish wrote:
Copehead wrote:
I suppose that when I plan to spend multiple hundreds on a meal I do so after careful consideration and go to established places with chefs who are generally on the premises.

Even at Le Gavroche a few years back when Le Roux was a constant on TV he was always in his restaurant even at week day lunch times.

The head chef there during the 90s was a bloke called Mark Prescott, I think it had three Michelin stars at the time. He upped sticks and returned home to Wrightington after a while, and ran his own restaurant, The Mulberry Tree, where I used to go quite often. You could easily have a top quality Michelin and above standard meal there for under £50 a head; which is one of the things that gets me about these places charging multiples of hundreds, I do think it's the exclusivity of being able to pay that which is part of the deal, you're already assuming you're getting something the average joe can't, and that it has to be superior because of that wedge.


I think the logistics of running a top end operation mean that even if you are charging a fortune you aren't making much if anything, Jay Rayner did a piece on it a while back, the top end restaurants will often have as many staff as customers and in London they will pay eye watering rents.

The best value is always going to be a place like the one you mention or the Sportsman, they are smaller operations run out of what are basically pubs with an extended kitchen.

I thought the Fat Duck lost money even at the prices you pay there and was used as Flag Ship for brand Blumenthal rather than a money making concern in itself.
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Re: WANKERS AT PLAY

Postby yomptepi » 20 May 2018, 23:00

You can eat at most fine restaurants for under £50 as long as you don't get involved in the wine list. And most do a lunchtime two course set menu which is good value.
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