Tag Archives: restaurants

Book Review: London The Cookbook

London The Cookbook cover

[Before proceeding with the review, I would just like to add a personal note. To the people of London, in particular the residents of Grenfell tower who lost their homes in the terrible fire, the firefighters who are nothing other than Superheros, the victims and their friends and families, and the community rounding up to help. Also to all the traders in Borough Market and the victims of the London Bridge attack. We are with you.]

I could not contain my excitement when after writing to Quarto requesting this book for review, I actually received it in the post. You see, for any new reader of this blog, you must know that London and I go way back. I met her for the first time when I was 6. And yes, London is of course, a she. I didn’t like her very much at first, until my parents took me to the parks. She and I made friends there and then, and remain so to this day.

Continue reading Book Review: London The Cookbook

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Places to Eat: Keops

img_20160913_204703I am blessed to have great friends. They are good people who fill my life with joy and serenity, and having no brothers nor sisters, they’re my support system and my tribe. You can count my friends with one hand but they’re all I need. They are honest, trustworthy, loyal, dependable and non-judgemental. And total foodies. I almost ‘heard’ you trying to guess and you were completely right. So M suggested a great place we could try for a lovely meal and a long catch-up chat. It was so good, we went there twice in matter of a few weeks.

Continue reading Places to Eat: Keops

I’m having this for breakfast…

Banana Milkshake (7466)…and it’s nothing too exciting. Lately I have been making the so-called most important meal of the day a priority. I have to say I love milk. I drink it alone, preferably cold straight from the fridge. Filtered and semi-skimmed. Of course, everyone has their own preferences. This milkshake obsession started as soon as J, J2 and I finished a walk around the Arundel area (near Slindon to be precise). We stopped for a coffee at Pappardelle in the town centre before heading home. We did, and we liked the place so much that we stayed a bit longer than planned. So I ordered a simple vanilla milkshake and wanted to stay there forever. (P.S. This is *not* a sponsored post, just in case you’re wondering.)

This is my method. I warn you: my concoction is a no-frills thing, no sugar no nothing; you don’t need it here. Just a banana or two, topped with milk. If you like you could always add one scoop of good vanilla ice-cream for your sugar fix if you really need one (preferably with those lovely brown specks of pods inside). A whiz in the blender and there you have it.

Now that I remember, I do have some vanilla pods waiting to be used. What is your favourite breakfast meal?

Rob xx

Stolen items from restaurants…

James Ramsden’s article on The Guardian on Tuesday was pretty interesting, and the topic also made it on BBC Breakfast. Items range from the basic napkin to toilet flushers! One of the obvious questions would be: what exactly are you going to do with a toilet flusher? Fixing your loo at home I guess! Apparently people tweet about stealing stuff too. Amazing. This can go under #notonlyinMalta on Twitter. If you’re interested, you can find the article here. To read Jamie’s interview to the Radio Times click here.

Rob x

Book review: Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Star Chef

3 Star Chef (9073)

I learn new things every day. From anyone. It doesn’t matter if on the other side of the bench there’s a chef or a home cook who’s doing the teaching. If something makes sense, it makes sense. That’s it. Done deal. I do have lots of respect for people who know their craft; those who have gone through years of classes and training in the best kitchens, with the masters. They took the time to train for excellence. Not a mean feat. They might seem arrogant, and arguably some are, but I would count to ten before saying so. Not all restaurants are the same. And not every chef is the same. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Gordon Ramsay or trying his food; still, through reading his work and watching the man on tv, whether from a restaurant kitchen or indeed at home, I feel I have actually learnt something. Please note that two books by Ramsay have been out on the same date: Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course (Hodder & Stoughton) and 3 Star Chef (Quadrille Publishing). The former accompanies a tv series, and has a very different style. Quadrille were kind enough to send me a review copy of the latter on the day of publication. Without diminishing the importance of eating well at home, cooking in a restaurant kitchen is obviously a very different thing. This book is about restaurant food at the highest level.

There’s no doubt about it: the guys at Quadrille know what they’re doing. Freshly pressed, everything about 3 Star Chef (the mini edition) points to one thing: Perfection…with a capital P. And that’s Gordon Ramsay for you. He needs no introduction, and for those who don’t know who he is, let’s just say that one doesn’t get three stars from Michelin for nothing. This book is Gordon Ramsay. You can tell as soon as you read what he has to say about this project.

First impressions are good. It’s white so it’s clean. The photos are stunning, the food exquisite, so it’s beautiful. There are a few photos of the Chef but this is meant to be a celebration of Ramsay’s accomplishments so far, so there’s definitely a place for them. The first half is glossy and shows off 50 of his trademark dishes at their best, whereas the second half is matte, snaps us out of nirvana, and explains how they are made (step by step, without any extra patronising). What I didn’t do this time is to try some of his signature dishes myself (something which I usually do for completeness), but hey, really, what is there to confirm about the food? There are some dishes which scare me, but others, like the Fillet of red mullet with cod, spring onion and pearl barely risotto, with a sweet and sour pepper sauce, seem attainable enough. At least to cook; I cannot really hope to replicate the presentation. I would also like to try my hand at the Carrot and white chocolate fondant with dark chocolate sorbet.

It’s easy to sort through which recipes one could reasonably try. However, some seem impractical as they need very particular ingredients; this is hardly unexpected in recipes of this kind, and substitutions aren’t acceptable (unless this is already indicated). Others cause logistical problems: what to do with any leftover ingredients. My only concern is the lack of a list of stockists, for those specialist ingredients. Though of course there is always the internet. If you want it, you can find it. Gordon will certainly not treat you like a kid. If you’re capable of mastering these types of dishes, then you probably already know where to get the ingredients from, or at least how to find out.

It’s a book that belongs in the kitchen as well as in the living room. Priced at a mere £20 it makes a nice gift for any Gordon fan. Quadrille have confirmed that this year’s edition has the same content as the signed limited edition of 2007. It just has been reduced in size. It’s not the kind of book I’d normally go for if I was merely browsing in a bookshop. Having said that, now I’ve spent some time reading it I’m not quite so sure.

Rob x