mr_gimlet's Profile

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Paris trip report: Café Trama, Le Severo, Hugo Desnoyer, Le Servan, L'Auberge Bressane

Does Desnoyer take reservations in advance? I thought I remembered reading they took them on the morning for that day.

about 15 hours ago
mr_gimlet in France

November in HK

Charles, many restaurants (and I'm not saying your list is) are not always Westerner friendly. Chairman is, including email for bookings and discussions, and I suspect that is the reason it is mentioned frequently.

Manchester. Northern Quarter vs. Ardwick - late lunch/early tea for a Saturday

Lass O'Gowrie would be my pick

Sep 15, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Probably more Swan/Bridge for the newer places rather than Victoria Street, but of course that's nice.

There's a Yunannese restaurant on Swanston recently opened, and the Thai next to Seven Seeds isn't bad especially at breakfast. Also on Swanston (I think) is an Argentinian ice cream place.

And not food, but Valhalla Cinema is now in North Melbourne.

Looking for good food in Alice Springs and Adelaide without starched tablecloths

Just to clarify - it was more the walking to dinner angle in McLaren Vale that I recall, not tasting.

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

There has been an explosion in BBQ over the past couple of years, and a flurry of sit down versions of food trucks eg Po Boy Quarter. It's getting a bit overplayed though so expect to see some closures

Richmond is the new happening cluster (Mister Jennings, Kong) and Smith Street is filling out. Exclusive shop fronts selling deliberately restricted quantities of things so they run out are also a hot trend - croissants, doughnuts - generally not worth the queue.

Are you in St Kilda?

Looking for good food in Alice Springs and Adelaide without starched tablecloths

The Barossa wineries and stuff are quite spread out, and close to Adelaide, so a good prospect for joining a decent tour. McLaren Vale is much more compact, so I'd base myself in a motel there and walk to most places and use the car for the odd couple that aren't within walking distance.

Both areas have cheaper motel accommodation and it's quite affordable.

Melbourne Good Food Guide hats for the year

No, I haven't been yet. Planning on taking a day off and going midweek, which I used to do at Loam.

I think the 1/2 split this year reflects consistency, there is nothing bad on the menu at the 2 hats whereas you need to be careful ordering with the one hats. Similarly, I've never had bad service at Cutler or Matteo, but have at the hipster one hats.

I agree with Movida, I haven't been for five years and found it pretty expensive. The country recs are good, I had a great lunch at 10 Minutes.

We can always argue over what should/ shouldn't be in, but if you were visiting Melbourne it's a good list.

Looking for good food in Alice Springs and Adelaide without starched tablecloths

There is already one in Perth. It isn't actually that bad, but part of it is quite well priced for Perth.

I liked Cibo when I went to Adelaide regularly.

Good Food Guide - Top 50

Shame about the people ;)

Aug 27, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester, city centre] Middle Kingdom

That would be a Chongqing Hotpot. It normally has enough chilli to kill a water buffalo.

Do you know any of the Hunanese dishes they do?

Aug 27, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Melbourne Good Food Guide hats for the year

Lost its one hat. Oddly, I am off for dinner there tonight. Prix Fixe should have got a hat as well.

I think the border between one hat and none is quite grey. A bad night with waitstaff, slightly off kitchen or other small slip could push you 'across the border'

General question about making reservations

I'm not Harters, but I am grumpy and northern so I'm pretty close.

They are very very different restaurants. Ledbury is the epitome of modern British cooking - outstanding technique and plating. 945 is quite late for dinner in London in Autumn, you may be past midnight when you finish. Rules is very establishment, with wealthy people from the country making their trip to the city. The food is relatively old fashioned, but it is a slice of an England that has nearly disappeared and is great for people watching. You're timing also puts you nicely in the game season, which they excel at. I'd take people visiting from Asia to Rules because it's so different.

I have to confess that I enjoyed Hedone more than Ledbury.

Aug 25, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Melbourne Good Food Guide hats for the year

So the GFG results are out. No real surprises or shocks. I could probably nominate something equivalent to many hatted places that aren't hatted, but it's a good list for planning.

A couple of comments. First, it seems Richmond is becoming a bit of a foodie precinct. Second, the one hat space is being actively targetted by chefs rather than higher up. Third, the ratings seem to have resisted the temptation to cave into the hip and fashionable, so it's probably sustainable, and has a mix of young guns and old favourites. Fourth, the brand-led expansion is clear, I expect next year's list will just be McConnell restaurants.

Attica, Flower Drum, Vue de Monde

Cafe Di Stasio, Cutler & Co, Ezard, Grossi Florentino, Matteo’s, MoVida, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Rosetta, Saint Crispin, Spice Temple

Bacash, Becco, Bistro Guillaume, Bistro Vue, Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, Centonove, Circa, Coda, Cumulus Inc, Da Noi, Dandelion, Donovans, Easy Tiger, Epocha, Estelle, The European, The Grand, Hare & Grace, Huxtable, Il Bacaro, Kenzan, Longrain, Maha, Merricote, Moon Under Water, MoVida Aqui, No. 8 by John Lawson, Noir, 
Pei Modern, The Point Albert Park, The Press Club, Pure South, Sarti, Shoya, Stokehouse City, Supernormal, Tempura Hajime, Tonka, Town Hall Hotel, The Town Mouse, Union Dining, 
Woodland House, Yu-u


Gladioli, Jim McDougall in Stefano’s Cellar, 
Lake House, Provenance, Royal Mail Hotel, 
Ten Minutes by Tractor

A La Grecque, Annie Smithers Bistrot, The Argus Dining Room, Chris’s Beacon Point, Du Fermier, Eleonore’s, Healesville Hotel, Kazuki’s, Montalto, Paringa Estate, Port Phillip Estate, Simone’s Restaurant, Tani Eat & Drink, Terminus at Flinders Hotel, Terrace Restaurant, Tulip

Gift for Friend? What does the US have that you don't?

There are great frozen pirogi around. Where does your daughter live?

Best place for maple syrup is costco

Bargain of the month - but you have to come to Manchester for it

Is the cheese shop still there over the road?

Aug 18, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Le Louis XV-Lunch or Dinner

I enjoyed lunch because we sat on the terrace in the sunshine. As Maximilien said, depends how much you want to spend and what you are looking for.

We had to get the bus back to Nice :-)

Aug 07, 2014
mr_gimlet in France

Yorkshire Dales

Can you give an insight into prices the Yorke Arms? Their website is suspiciously silent.

Jul 26, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Ledbury, or something else?

If you open up lunch, there are lots of options, and you might want to have a look by searching simply because there are so many options. Personally, if I were visiting London from India, I would go to Le Gavroche for lunch.

Ledbury does online bookings by the way.

Jul 16, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

[Oban] Waterfront Fishouse

Is that the place that has a small takeaway space downstairs - it's almost next door tot he ferry terminal?

Jul 13, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Best Chinese restaurant in Broome


[West Didsbury, Manchester] Lime Tree

Wow, is the Lime Tree still going! I went there 25 years ago!

Jul 09, 2014
mr_gimlet in U.K./Ireland

Better steak: Rockpool or Chophouse

So where did you go and what was it like?

Better steak: Rockpool or Chophouse

Assuming you mean Rockpool bar and grill, it has good sourcing pedigree for wagyu, less so for the other steaks.

I'd also say that, as an Australian, I think it is highly inconsiderate to hold two dinner reservations for busy restaurants less than a day out.

Using a Credit-card .. at Bistro/boulangerie or patisserie

whats a puce?

Jul 07, 2014
mr_gimlet in France

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I forgot you were a Japan regular. Izakaya Den seems to reflect a Melbourne speciality: take an inexpensive cuisine, preferably street food, and then make it really, really expensive. I was dragged to a place in Brunswick last week and it was $8 for a taco. One. Taco. And I had a $15 pho as well in Preston.

Daughter and finace in town for 3 days. What should they eat?

There is a lot of information already here as @coliver has not very subtly intimated. We get lots of visitors from the US so I really would recommend you sit down and have a look at a few of the most recent threads.

Be aware Sydney prices are expensive by most country standards and factor that into your thinking.

If there is anything you want a view on then ask specifically, but otherwise it's difficult to help - it's a bit like going to the France board and saying "I want a nice meal in Paris"

That said, can I ask where your daughter and fiance live/ are from? That might help us a bit.

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Thank you for taking the time to write things up. Reviews are always a matter of opinion, but I appreciate the time you've taken to explain why you enjoyed or didn't enjoy something.

I have always said that Sydney can support more great restaurants than Melbourne. Both cities do mid range well, but it's easier to travel between suburbs in Melbourne and so catchment areas are bigger. the downside is you almost always have to travel for something, because we don't have these little villages of solid local eating like Sydney. So in Sydney there is always a good thai within ten minutes; in Melbourne there is a great thai in twenty.

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

The Japanese comment is valid for Melbourne. There is really good stuff, but it can be a little hidden in that blink and you'll miss it kind of way. For example, the couple of best sashimi in Melbourne are obscured: one is a small frontage between a laundrette and a bed shop, and the other is in a bland Eastern suburbs shopping centre. (Think Attica). There is also the added complication in Melbourne that it will be an expensive meal - for people whose price expectations are set by their local sushi lunch spot. I still enjoy Yoshii in Sydney, but i suspect Sydney tastes have moved to the more flamboyant celebrity chef model (don't get me started on the abomination that is Sake).

The ramen craze never really hit Melbourne, but there are good, still popular lunchy places with broad menus of various katsus and ramen. But, again, they pitch at the $10 lunch market.

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Many years ago, in their old old location, they were basically a French restaurant aiming for 1* territory with all that entailed in terms of napkins and stuff. Then they moved to a better location to do all the frippery with nice tables and stuff, and then started to introduce a more Australian feel to the food with the French classics going to Bistro Vue.

It's a special occasion restaurant in a stunning location that can't be too avant garde because of its clientele and so I tend to avoid it: I'd rather go to Quay or Brae