Are fish and chips ever worth £32.50? This is possibly the most pertinent question about chef Tom Kerridge’s glitzy new dining room in the 283-room, five-star Corinthia Hotel near Whitehall in London. So let’s just cut to the chase. What if I told you the fish is the finest, freshest, most ethical brill cocooned in a batter so crisp, it feels like a masterclass in whipping and dipping. Oh, and you eat the fish while Kerridge himself, the man off the telly, ambles jovially around his 90-cover fiefdom in chef’s whites. Plus, this fish arrives with a little pot of chips. Say, around 12 chips in all, but triple-cooked with an ethereal, golden shimmer, so that each one feels like a little earnest task at hand. A delicious task, yes, but these are not flippantly scoffed chips like the gargantuan, soft, soggy and fragrant pile you unwrap from the local chippy, stinking gloriously of malt, newsprint and Friday night. No, these are special, once-in-a-lifetime chips … [Read more...] about Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, London WC2: ‘Once-in-a-lifetime chips’ – restaurant review
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Fun is such an under-rated quality in a restaurant. When I think about where I want to go for dinner when off the clock, it’s not always to the places with the most intricate, ambitious food or the ones with the most eye-popping design. Always and inevitably, I’m drawn back to places where, more than anything else, I had a really good time. The Laughing Heart’s owner, Charlie Mellor (ex-Brawn and Elliot’s, another couple of crackers) is here to show you the absolute best of times. When I reject his suggestion of an orange natural wine (with the grape skins left on until it’s muscular and frequently overbearing), I worry that this makes me the equivalent of the woman who orders decaff in the spoddy cold-brew coffee specialist. He laughs: “Not at all. I want whatever you have to be delicious. There will be something on the list that’s perfect for you, and I’ll find it.” And, with a Reciotto di Gambellara from Angiolino Maule and a … [Read more...] about The Laughing Heart, London E2: ‘The only good news from 2016?’ – restaurant review
Quite honestly, this is the best pannacotta I’ve ever eaten. I intend, as I usually do with dessert, to have a taste or two, then push it away. But I can’t, I just can’t. With the texture of clotted cream, only the teensiest shimmy of wobble, it’s thickly freckled with inky vanilla seeds and sits in a pool of sharp-sweet juice from its macerated raspberries and strawberries. It is, genuinely, sublime. I know, I know: it’s only pudding. But turning something this simple – a dish that has become a stiff old jelly of a cliche – into this sigh-inducing showstopper takes serious chops. I’ve come back to Brawn on hearing that it’s now fully owned by Ed Wilson, formerly group chef of the little Terroirs collection of restaurants, which used to include this one (Wilson is “maintaining links to the wider group”, whatever that means) before it became entirely his baby. I’ve always loved the space, a high-ceilinged, … [Read more...] about Brawn, London E2 – restaurant review
HE'S become one of the most recognisable maître d’ in the country and it's all thanks to his role as a matchmaker on Channel 4's First Dates. Here's everything you need to know about the suave Fred Sirieix, who has charmed the nation with his French accent. Who is Fred Sirieix and what is his background? French-born Fred is best known as the loveable maître d’ on the hit Channel 4 show First Dates. The 47-year-old was born and brought up in Limoges in western France and from an early age decided he wanted to work in the service industry. He attended catering college and initially trained as a chef but decided to focus on being front of the house instead. Fred trained as a maître d’ in France before moving to London.Fred then worked at La Tante Claire in Chelsea and also spent time at Le Gavroche in Mayfair, Satario and Brasserie Roux. As well as being the much-loved maître d’ in the First Dates restaurant, he is the general manager at … [Read more...] about Who is First Dates legend Fred Sirieix, is he married and does he really work in the restaurant Paternoster Chop House?
Some 20 years ago, at the turn of the millennium, Sydney was world-famous for its 24-hour bars, thriving band scene and epic dance parties. Darlinghurst's Oxford Street, a stone's throw away from the city's central business district, had grown from being a gay-dominated nightclub strip to a thriving mecca for fun-hungry revellers from all walks of life. Yes, there was a time when people actually queued, in long snaking lines, to get into DCM, Byblos, Kinsellas, Q-Bar, ARQ and Midnight Shift. Scroll down for video 'You never wanted to leave': When Sydney was the most lively city in the WORLD and people queued for 24/7 for clubs and bars ... before Nanny State laws closed 176 venues and destroyed its nightlife forever Vanishing points: Some 20 years ago, at the turn of the millennium, Sydney was world-famous for its 24-hour bars, thriving band scene and epic dance parties... Not now The huge DCM site, located at the lower end of Oxford Street, was renowned for its superior sound … [Read more...] about ‘You never wanted to leave’: Sydney was the most lively city in the WORLD where people queued 24/7 to get into clubs – before Nanny State laws closed 176 venues and destroyed its nightlife forever