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Which high-end London restaurant to go to? Ledbury, Pollen Street Social, Medlar, or Orrery

I've been to the Little Social not the main one. Pretty underwhelming for the money also the service was a bit odd.

+1 On Medlar. The set menu is very good value. The food was excellent, with unobtrusive but efficient service and good suggestions by the glass from the sommelier.

Been to the Orrery bar which is lovely but not the restaurant nor any of the others. The Ledbury get's a lot of love on here and it's on my list.

Jan 29, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

I went to Criterion back in 2002 or 2003. The starter and mains were OK but the lemon tart was very good indeed. It's a wonderful room but I remember the loos being pretty ropey. Don't think I've ever seen a greater disparity between the dining room and the loos.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

One night in London - Dinner recommendations?

Coya is a Peruvian place in Mayfair. Here's the link on London Eating. Reviews and you can book from there

http://www.london-eating.co.uk/42875.htm

Also good review from Zoe Williams last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

How many different types of fish have you tried?

Looking at other people's lists it's definitely over 50. That's before you factor in a month spent in Japan and eating several unidentified species in Sri Lanka and Burma.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

Thanks Phil. I was aware of Haandi but nothing on the menu jumped out at me.
Thinking about it logically why would they push what now is a fairly niche cuisines and certainly was in the early 70's. Never mind sourcing ingredients at that time. If you've been kicked out of one country and are trying to establish yourself in a new one, you make what sells.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

What's for Dinner? #346 - The Deep Freeze Edition!

The missus is at her sisters tonight so can't be bothered to cook for just myself. Also have an estate agent coming over and I'm a somewhat messy cook.
So I picked up some baked rigatoni with aubergine, mozzarella and pecorino. Bought some microwaveable haggis slices for Burns night, I had the malt whisky but not the haggis. So I'll crumble it and mix into the rigatoni.

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

No offence taken it's all part of the cut and thrust of Chowhound. I know your comment was light hearted but there are a lot of misconceptions of British food. There's also a lot of misconceptions about food in the US this side of the pond. If being on Chowhound has taught me one thing it's shown me how wrong they are.
It's also made me crave fish taco's, breakfast burritos and Korean black pudding (amongst other things) which are quite difficult to find in the UK. But that's another story.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

I thought you were using the poor weather in Britain as an analogy and I was responding about the food.To answer your question I've been to the seaside plenty of times when the sun was shining,

There's plenty of tasty food in Britain. Within a 10 minute walk from my house I've got access to around 20 British cheeses, 30-40 British ales, local honey, rabbit,venison and when in season pheasant and partridge. As well as the more obvious stuff. i do live in London but not the centre, good stuff is out there.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

shun knives

I have a couple of friends with Globals.I liked the blade but found them too light in my hans. Knew I wanted Japanese so I got Kai Shun - Scalloped Santoku 18 cm. It's not as heavy as some German knives but I like that it has a wooden handle. It is far and away the best knife I've used but I am an amateur rather than professional.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in Cookware

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

Phil, you're right about the cost. Just this weekend four of us went out to my favourite Sri Lankan place. 6 or 7 dishes for £38. Okay no alcohol but still try doing that in London with British food.

I'm aware of course of the plethora of Bangladeshi places and to a lesser extent those opened by immigrants from Pakistan. I was though always under the impression that those South Indians expelled from Uganda mainly opened small businesses and shops rather than restaurants. I assume there must have been South Asian Ugandan places but inspires by Yasmin Ali Brown's excellent book A Settlers Cook Book (about her time in Uganda and then Britain) I tried to find South Asian/East African restaurants. Even in London it's a struggle. Did find a place in Neasden doing Bhajia , which is an Indian influenced street food from from Kenya but it wasn't all that good.

Jan 28, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

Have you read the OP?
It's entire premise is why do those in the UK like having foreign food both at home and also out in the UK. So quite clearly we can get it at home. I think consumption of Indian food would dip somewhat if we had to schlep over to India very time we wanted a curry.

Jan 27, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

Your link is a precis of Robin Cook's speech and I can't find any mention of where he got his data. Also these kind of surveys are by there very nature self selecting rather than respondents being chosen truly at random. Statistically any results would be dubious.

Jan 26, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Noooooo! Racine gone

Glad you allowed for the auto correction on my tablet an realised I meant The Gay Hussar.
There was a lot in the press that it might be closing.
You're right about the food, not terrible but night great either. But there is an old school charm that is all too rare, especially in Soho. Very relaxed and they couldn't turn a table if they tried. I was thinking no wonder they're in trouble with Soho rents being what they are.
The maitre d was wonderful. He came to our table and said "My dears, there's been a disaster." Concerned I asked what the problem was. His reply "We have run out of stuffed cabbage. For a Hungarian restaurant, that is unforgivable"

Jan 26, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

(London) ISO clubby bar

I really like the bar at the Orrery restaurant in Marylebone. Lots of dark wood, leather chairs, books and IIRC a roaring fire.

Jan 26, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

With apologies to Samuel Johnson, when a man is tired of toad in the hole, he's tired of life :-)

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

It's a very interesting question , especially as to why we would seem to have a very different culture to mainland Europe. Some of these points have been covered by other posters and as already mentioned there has been a burgeoning interest in British food in the UK. As I see if there are a number of historical and cultural reasons.

1.Industrial revolution. Britain was industrialised very early and there was mass migration from rural to urban areas. Very few people were able to cook let alone grow food in the cities. The link between people and the land was broken very early.

2. WWII. Rationing didn't end until the 1950's. During the war there was the dreaded national loaf and only one kind of cheese could made. It took decades to recover from this and regrow an interesting food culture.

3. Culturally children have always left home quite early. Traditionally multi generational households aren't common. This makes passing on a food culture more difficult. Not one of the dishes I cook was taught to me by a family member.

4. We in the UK work some of the longest hours in Europe. Couple this with the fact that in couples both of them usually work, especially as childcare costs in the UK are so high. It's no surprise that stir fry is a favourite dish to cook. Especially if you buy the meat and/or veg ready sliced. I was saying the other day that I can't remember the last time I had potatoes. Pasta or rice is far quicker and a lot of traditional dishes require slow cooked meat.

5.As for the chicken tikka masala statement it must be remem
bered it was made by a Labour politician when multi culturalism was very much on the agenda. I think if they asked about favourite breakfasts, the cooked English breakfast would come out top.

6. I can only really speak for London but there is also a question of cost. For £7 I can maybe get mediocre fish and chips or really good jerk chicken or a bowl of Udon noodles. Good British food is expensive in comparison.

Jan 26, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics

Noooooo! Racine gone

I read at the end of Jay Rayner's restaurant review. One of the places I've always meant to go to but never got round to it ( the missus booked The Gay Hussain last year when it looked like that was closing) missed the boat this time).
There is a ray of hope apparently it may be relaunched elsewhere. I know of a particular part of south London it would be good to do it in.

Jan 25, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

Which whisky are you having for Burns Night?

Apparently I'm difficult to buy for and I've got to that age were people get me a bottle of malt for Xmas.
Got Laphroig 10, Jurassic Origin and Talisker Storm. I'm going for the Talisker.

Jan 25, 2015
Paprikaboy in Spirits
1

recs for teas/juices/soups/drinks/other foods that act as decongestants

I always make fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea. I also buy ready made chicken soup but add a couple of birdseye chillis, fresh ginger and garlic.

Jan 25, 2015
Paprikaboy in General Topics
1

English chocolate imports

Good idea, you could send ding dongs and Clark bars (not entirely sure what they are but I obviously watch too much US TV) and get UK chocolate in return. Not creme eggs though as they've stopped using Cadbury chocolate. If they extend this to the rest of the range then it all becomes moot.

Sri Lanka, Sigiriya, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya

I assume by Ma's they mean Mama's. The food is really good. Galle is not very big so it's easy to find, on checking the address is 76 Leyn Baan St. I'd recommend going to the Galle Fort Hotel for pre dinner drinks, only a couple of mins walk from Mama's.

Jan 25, 2015
Paprikaboy in India & South Asia

Restaurant Name Has Nothing to do With The Food Served

The Chicken Shack. It wasn't a shack but it did serve chicken. The menu was almost entirely chicken, except the night I went. I sat down and was informed they'd run out of chicken. "Would I care to order something else?". Er no.I Went somewhere else.

Jan 25, 2015
Paprikaboy in Not About Food

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

The missus has scored free tickets for The France show in Kensington. We're thinking of buying a place in France so should provide some useful advice.
Probably won't want to cook when we get back home so will eat out. Our local brewery has opened a bar 2 mins from our flat. Not only is the beer good and reasonably priced the staff are also lovely. Now they've started doing burgers. Nothing else just a choice of 4 burgers and chips (British not US) either in a half pint glass or a full pint glass. My favourite burgers locally by a country mile.

CAMRA urges action to save UK pubs

You're right about the shift in culture. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I still enjoy spend an evening in an old school pub playing darts.
I live in south London and yes some have gone gastro to survive, one has majored on real ales having varied roster if 7 or so and regular festivals. There's a couple of proper south London boozers left locally. It depends on the mood I'm in and the company but I realize how lucky I am to have the choice.

Jan 24, 2015
Paprikaboy in Beer
1

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Mix and match, can't really be armed dinner tonight.
Have taken pho stock out of the freezer. Bought some kale,butternut squash and broccoli that you steam in the microwave. Add these to the pho stock with noodles.Also serve with butterflied chilli breadcrumbed prawns. Not something I'd normally buy but they were at the use by date was up and they were very cheap. Some packs in the freezer, one for tonight,
The missus is making more of an effort and making chocolate and pear tart for dessert.

CAMRA urges action to save UK pubs

It's sad that so many pubs are closing. The vote in the
Commons to end the practice of being tied i.e. being forced to buy beer from the brewery at inflated prices should help. Duty on beer and business rates do need to be looked at.
If pubs are under threat they can be registered as a community asset and this can halt the sale of a local pub and the community can buy it. This happened to a pub not far from me, beer prices are bit steep there though.
All this is important but part of me wonders if it's not overstated somewhat. There's plenty of crappy pubs locally that aren't doing well.There's also plenty with good beer that's not too expensive, reasonable food and knowledgeable and friendly staff and not surprisingly they're always busy.

Jan 24, 2015
Paprikaboy in Beer
1

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

I feel for you. My birthday is the day before New Years Eve. You try getting people to come out for a significant birthday on 30th Dec 1999.

Cornwall - St. Ives and Padstow

I think the jam first or cream first thing is just a myth perpetuated by the Devon & Cornwall tourist boards.
I don't put the cream on first. The jam helps the cream stick and you don't get the jam all mushed up in the cream making an unsightly mess.

Jan 23, 2015
Paprikaboy in U.K./Ireland

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I've posted on this thread, so I'll probably go down in your estimation. But I know you don't drink tea and now I've found out you don't like Marmite. So I guess we're equal:-)

Jan 22, 2015
Paprikaboy in Home Cooking
1

Re "Cooked" by Michael Pollan

I really love Cooked. You make a interesting point about how cooking differentiates us from other animals. In terms of language and other aspects of culture re humans vs other animals there's some debate. The cooking difference seems fairly clear cut.
Have you read Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham? More an assessment on cooking and human evolution but a good companion pieces.

Jan 22, 2015
Paprikaboy in Food Media & News