Sunday, March 16, 2014

GAUTIER RESTAURANT


 
 
 



    • Black Winter Truffle Acquarello Riso Aged Parmesan - Fig 3



      This was a most beautiful risotto - all creamy and absolutely full of flavour. It had small pieces of black truffle and aged Parmesan cheese on top.


      Halibut with Purple Artichoke, Fondant Fennel Confit Tomatoes, Basil Aromatic Jus - Fig 4
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      Whilst good, this was the least enjoyable of all the dishes. It consisted of a small fillet of Halibut, pan fried and served on the above garnishes.

      Welsh Lamb -  Pink Roasted Loin, Thyme Braised Lamb Shoulder, Herb and Parmesan Celeriac and Lamb Jus - Fig 5







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    • A mixture of lamb loin and rolled lamb shoulder - this was an exciting dish especially with all the trimmings and garnishes.
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    • A selection of Unpasteurised French Cheeses - Garnishes and Biscuits - Fig 6
       
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    • Three pieces of different French cheeses served with crackers and oat biscuits. I know that this is not a 'big deal', but with me personally, but I really can't see the advantage of serving cheese at this stage of the meal. The cheese is very filling, and for me, it takes away the enjoyment of eating and enjoying the desserts.
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    • Yorkshire Rhubarb -  Rhubarb Compote and Lemon Pepper Lime and Mascarpone - Fig 7
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    • This, in my opinion was the best dish of the evening! It consisted of small pieces of rhubarb, with small fragments of all the other garnishes intertwined - it was just lovely.


Williams Pear Millefeuille Cider Ice Cream and Vanilla Chantilly - Fig 8







This consisted of two layers of millefeuille with a vanilla Chantilly cream between and a slice of stewed Williams pear.


Dark Chocolate Golden Louis XV Dark Chocolate and Praline - Fig 9
 




 


This beautiful dessert was also extremely rich. It consisted of a flat cylinder of dark chocolate praline on a hazelnut base, all with some gold leaf on the top. It was luscious!


 


We finished off with some delightful chocolate creams, and a very good night was had by all!.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

MAZE RESTAURANT IN LONDON


I have been to the 'Maze' in Melbourne, Australia on a number of occasions, and have found it to be a really fantastic restaurant - both for the creativity and standard of food presented and also the moderate prices involved. These visits came to a halt as a result of disagreements between Gordon Ramsey and the other partners in that restaurant. 

My daughter and son-in-law who live in England had never been to 'Maze', so on the current visit to London in 2014, I found it a perfect opportunity to take them to 'Maze'. We decided to go for lunch and have the lunch special deal, which is very similar to the deal that 'Maze' had in Melbourne - of a total of four dishes for £30. There were seven dishes to choose from in the savoury section of the menu -

Spiced pumpkin velouté, salt pollock, lemon yoghurt,
Duck and foie gras terrine, rhubarb, Sauternes gel,

Smoked mackerel, beetroot, horseradish, mandarin vinaigrette,
Crispy chicken thigh, charred baby gem, turnip, lettuce mayonnaise,
Sea bream, enoki mushroom, seaweed, ginger, dashi,
Steamed pork bun, sweetcorn and fried onions,
Lamb belly, cauliflower and spiced lentils.


and two dishes to choose from in the sweets -

Clementine parfait, clove ice cream, hazelnut, Cointreau gel,
Chocolate and peanut bar, caramelised banana.



My daughter, Aviva and I had duck and foie gras terrine, rhubarb and Sauternes gel - Fig 1 - this was a very rich dish and while it was very tasty - neither of us could see exactly why the rhubarb was present on the dish?






James, my son - in - law had chicken Crispy chicken thigh, charred baby gem, turnip, lettuce mayonnaise - Fig 2 - which he felt was very good.







Next we all ate Sea bream, enoki mushroom,seaweed, ginger, dashi - Fig 3 - the sea bass was just perfectly cooked and the Asian sauce was truly delightful.








The third dish we all had was Lamb belly, cauliflower and spiced lentils - Fig 4 - it was simply sublime!






For desserts, I had Clementine parfait, clove ice cream, hazelnut, Cointreau gel - Fig 5







whilst Aviva and James had the Chocolate and peanut bar, caramelised banana - Fig 6.








We all teamed this up with a glass of Dr Loosens Riesling which was just beautiful. So all in all, we had a truly wonderful lunch experience.








Monday, December 10, 2012

THE LEDBURY





 





I was very fortunate to go to the ‘Ledbury’ together with my daughter and son in law – Fig 1, on my recent trip to England in November 2012. The chef – Brett Graham, is an Australian who opened the Ledbury in 2005. Since that time, the Ledbury, supported by a very energetic team has won many accolades as well as two Michelin stars. It was number three in the Sunday Times issue of Britain’s top 100 restaurants which was done in association with Harden’s – restaurant reviewers in October 2012.




 


 
 
 
  








Fig 1 - James, Aviva and Barry


We decided to have the ‘tasting menu’ and a true delight it was!

It started off with:
The Amuse Bouche – it consisted of foie gras paste with Kataifi pastry on top - Fig 2;




                 


















Next was crushed Jerusalem Artichokes with warm hand picked Crab, Pumpernickel and dill
- Fig 3a;
      


 
 




















or there was 'Risotto' of Celeriac and new potato with smoked eel and parsley, as an alternative - Fig 3b;




















then flame grilled Mackerel with Avocado, Celtic mustard and Shiso - Fig 4;



 


















this was followed by Hampshire Buffalo milk curd with Saint-Nectaire, Truffle toast and a broth of grilled onions - Fig 5;






















next there was a fillet of Turbot with a grilled leek, Lobster puree and Riesling - Fig 6;




















then there was a jowl of Pork with walnut cream, fresh and dried Chicory - Fig 7a;























or Roast quail with chestnuts, Chanterelles and pear as an alternative - Fig 7b;
























Roast breast and confit leg of Pigeon with red vegetables and leaves, Foie Gras and quince came next - Fig 8;



 
 



















then the pre-dessert – a lovely sorbet - Fig 9;


 
 
 















 


and then a brown sugar Tart with poached grapes and stem ginger ice cream was the last dish on the menu - Fig 10;




















And finally there was a mixture of tiny jellies, chocolate truffles and tiny meringues with piped cream on top - Fig 11

 
 











A truly delightful meal and one the taste buds will remember for a long time to come.



Some of the photographs and the wording is from the Ledbury website.




AFTERNOON TEA AT THE CLARIDGES HOTEL - LONDON

I was extremely fortunate to go to Claridges for afternoon tea with my daughter– Aviva. We arrived at 3.00 pm just in time to be seated for an afternoon tea full of surprises! We were seated in the Foyer area - Fig 1, 2;
 


Art Deco Large


 Fig 1 - the foyer of Claridges with the tea room immediately beyond the pillars.





















Fig 2 - inside Claridges foyer area where tea is served.



and immediately presented with a sixteen page booklet describing a choice of almost 40 teas and herbal infusions from all over the world. Aviva chose an Earl Grey tea - one of three different types; whilst I had Darjeeling tea. Then we were served a plate of finger sandwiches, which included smoked salmon, egg and mayonnaise, cucumber, camembert with relish - Fig 3.


















Fig 3 - the array of sandwiches that were on offer.



We were then given freshly baked raisin and apple scones with Marco Polo jelly and Cornish clotted cream - Fig 4,

 










Fig 4 - two different types of scones with Marco Polo jelly and Clotted cream.



and a selection of sweet pastries - Fig 5.




 



All the while, there was a pianist and a cellist playing soft music – a really delightful time! And finally, we were presented with a Christmas tree full of tea! - Fig 6,























Fig 6 - Barry with his Christmas tree full of tea!




and Aviva was presented with a birthday cake - Fig 7.



























Some of the photographs and wording comes from the Claridge’s web site.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

HOW TO MAKE PIZZA FOR DINNER? EASY!

This recipe for pizzas is similar to the pizzas made by my daughter Tamara and her husband David. It is a simple way of making pizza that is filling and reasonably healthy!


I am going to prepare a mushroom and olive pizza with cheese. But, a pizza with ANY filling combination can be made.
Firstly you require the pizza base which I get by buying a Souvlaki pita wrap by Creative Foods - Figs 1 and 2.




















Fig 1 - Souvlaki pita wraps




















Fig 2 - pita wrap is going to be the pizza base



This pizza base is then covered by a  tomato paste - I use the very good tasting Leggo's herbed tomato pizza sauce - Fig 3 and 4.




























Fig 3 - Leggo's Pizza sauce containing basil,garlic, onion and herbs























Fig 4 - pizza base covered with the Leggo's tomato sauce


Once this tomato sauce is on, you take three or four button mushrooms; slice them thinly and these are then placed on the tomato sauce - Fig 5.























Fig 5 - sliced button mushrooms placed all over the pizza base




Then I place five or six kalimatta olives - halved over the pizza base - Fig 6.






















Fig 6 - kalimatta olive halves spread over the pizza base




And finally I spread over cheese - I find that the 'pizza cheese' by Perfect Italiano which is a mixture of Mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan tastes better than other brands of tasty cheddar cheese although you can use any brand of cheese that you like - Fig 7 and 8











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Fig 7 - packet of Perfect Italiano pizza cheese
























Fig 8 - the cheese spread over the pizza base



The pizza is then placed on an oven tray, and put in a 200C oven for 16 minutes. After the required time, the pizza is removed from the oven - Fig 9,























Fig 9 - pizza just removed from the oven





slid off the oven tray, cut into eight sections - Fig 10 and enjoyed.






















Fig 10 - pizza cut up into eight pieces



Now - what could be easier than that!

If you don't want the cheese so brown - 14 minutes cooking time is enough. Virtually any type of food can be put on the pizza base - different cheeses; salami; pineapple; anchovies; etc.

Creative Foods, Leggo's and Perfect Italiano are Australian based firms. Similar products are available elsewhere in the world.