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Off Menu - your perfect 3 course meal


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1: Sparkling. I do like a bit of fizzy water.

2: Bread, without a shadow of a doubt. A nice rustic sourdough would be ideal, but anything super tasty and well-made would be ace.

3: Onion bhajis. Done well, a thing of beauty.

4: The best Margherita pizza on the planet, wherever that is to be found.

5: Dal makhani, or a saag paneer. Today the dal makhani, I think.

6: It won't work with any of the food, but a really good Bloody Mary. It's one of those drinks I occasionally crave, and just typing this makes me fancy one.

7: I *would* go for a cheeseboard given the choice, but I'll assume it's a no-no here. So I'd go for sorbet. I'd want a bitchingly tart lemon one for starters. If I can have a combo, then an added scoop each of gooseberry, pear, and rhubarb if such things can be found would make me a very happy bunny. I'm not a dessert person, and I haven't got a sweet tooth, but I could eat sorbet until my face goes numb.

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Good thread

  1. Still - I will never understand why they take this perfect drinking fluid and ruin it with a metallic taste and artificial bubbles
  2. Bread - hard to go wrong with anything properly homebaked (as long as not covered in seeds) but I have a soft spot for those little South American cheese bread balls they used to serve in the Gaucho steakhouses - pao de queijo.
  3. Pate/Terrine (meat not offal) - I love a good rich terrine or pate, served with lightly toasted slices of sourdough
  4. Fish & Chips - this is my default answer for dinner out, but it has to be good, found a place called Rockfish in Dartmouth recently and it was close to F&C perfection, light crispy batter, proper fresh cod fillets (you can always tell the little frozen neatly shaped bits of compressed cod chipboard in lesser establishments) and they gave you a nice amount of chips but offered free refills (they want you to always have hot not cold chips). Agree with @PK the choice of cooking oil/beef dripping is important, it's such a simple dish there is no place to hide any shortcuts or cheap ingredients. Also I want a nice rough cut tartare and some good mushy peas. 
  5. Battered Pickled Onion Rings - didn't even know these were a thing or how good these could be til I visited Rockfish.
  6. G&T - I'm not much of a boozer but like a G&T with a meal, a nice light citrusy gin like Sacred or Tanq10 and none of that awful Fever Tree tonic which shouts all over the gin and demands to be tasted, nice Schweppes slimline please to sit in the background and complement, not dominate.
  7. Ice Cream - I do like a good dessert but find they are so often teeth curlingly sweet or disappointing - a good high cream content ice cream rarely disappoints though, something classic like a clotted cream vanilla or rum and raisin.

What this got me thinking is how my tastes have changed, 10-15y ago I loved the high end 'experience' restaurants with the Michelin stars like The Fat Duck and my list would have looked quite different. Now as I've cooked a lot more eating out is frequently disappointing and something we do increasingly less, what I crave is good simple homemade food, making something with care and good ingredients is so satisfying, and my ageing digestion system enjoys it far more. 

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Love this podcast, although as with anything the quality varies depending on the guest. The more James Acaster gets enraged by the guest's choices, the happier I am (Victoria Coren Mitchell's Ploughmans springs to mind).

 

As to my choices:

 

1. Still - Sparkling water is revolting, as Gotters so eloquently explains

2. Bread - I do not understand Poppadoms before a meal. As a standalone snack, sure. But they are essentially crisps. Why would I want to eat a big bag of crisps before a three course meal? Whereas bread, lovely warm bread, butter melting into it - that's something special in a restaurant, and something I don't often allow myself at home. In particular I'd want the freshly baked mini loaves from a (sadly now closed) restaurant in Whitstable called the East Coast Dining Room

3. Bao Buns. A selection. Sticky Pork Belly. Duck. All the trimmings. Flesh and Buns

4. Cote de Boeuf from Sophie's in Covent Garden (also closed, sadly). Chips. Bearnaise Sauce. Easily the best steak I've ever eaten.

5. Creamed Spinach. Just goes so well with the above.

6. Bottle of Amarone di Valpolicella. My favourite red wine at the moment

7. A dessert of my own invention. Large croissant, warmed in the oven. Split open and spread with Biscoff Crunchy spread. Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Thread needs pix:

 

Gua-Bao-Buns-Pork-Belly-square-FS-7271.jpg.d578d28a78a7b4d90b7dc93f4651b98f.jpg

 

Steak.jpg.8da9d8d0dfc2e02d36a11754e610e0c1.jpg

 

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8 minutes ago, PK said:

Good lord, battered pickled onion rings sound incredible.

 

they take something already great and make them even better -  you need the stringy outer onion skin removed so they bite thru and a light crispy, not breaded batter, then they lightly pickle the big onion rings so you get in essence a salt and vinegar tang off them

 

we stayed for a week in Dartmouth and ate in Rockfish 3 times - the desserts were ropey but didn't matter, the main event was superb.

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Excellent choices @Davros sock drawer.  Creamed spinach is a thing of joy, especially if it's at Hawksmoor.  The tiniest hint of nutmeg in there, scooped up with half a roast potato.  Phwoar.  And Valpolicella is banging, like a bottle of black forest gateau.  

 

God, I'm so hungry.

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12 hours ago, MarkN said:

So I'd go for sorbet. I'd want a bitchingly tart lemon one for starters. If I can have a combo, then an added scoop each of gooseberry, pear, and rhubarb if such things can be found would make me a very happy bunny. I'm not a dessert person, and I haven't got a sweet tooth, but I could eat sorbet until my face goes numb.

 

Blood orange sorbet is one of the nicest things I've every tasted

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I don't do podcasts often (I can't listen to people talk and do something else at the same time - it's a real weakness), but I had a crack at the Victoria Coren Mitchell episode since it was mentioned (I'd pay good money to listen to her read the phone book, quite frankly). Really funny. James Acaster is fantastic, and there's a great dynamic between him and Ed Gamble. Will try to listen to more when I have the time.

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  • 3 months later...

oh man this is difficult.

Still water.

 

Sourdough Bread - with a whipped compound butter, something with a little flavour, perhaps artichoke or anchovy

 

Starter

Possibly this pea dish from Gauthier's vegan menu. Peas, with pea volute and crispy peas or something, the whole thing was just made of peas prepared in different ways. I don't even especially like peas but this was such a perfect dish.

 

Main
I'm not sure where to start with this. I think I would probably go for some sort of sharing platter. Maybe the Terre a terre Tapas sharing plate
Tapas--750x500.jpg

 

Side

Ok, getting easier.. Chicken Wings at Bone Daddies - they are spicy, sticky and covered in sesame.
Screen-Shot-2018-07-09-at-15.50.43.png 


Drink
I'd go Ice wine - I've got a bottle that's going to get opened soon while the apocalypse rages outside. I've you haven't tried it, get yourself some.

 

Dessert is the easiest part for me. It would be this. A couple of years ago I went to Gazelle for my birthday and ordered every dessert on the menu, this one is incredible. That's a chocolate mouse with italian meringue, it's scorched on top and has this amazing flavour and then inside is incredibly tart passion fruit, it's honestly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever tasted.

chocolate.jpg

 



 

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49 minutes ago, Gaz said:

 

 

Dessert is the easiest part for me. It would be this. A couple of years ago I went to Gazelle for my birthday and ordered every dessert on the menu. ..
 

Haha - that's ace! Even as someone who doesn't have a sweet tooth, I have to admire that. 

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10 hours ago, Gaz said:

Starter

Possibly this pea dish from Gauthier's vegan menu. Peas, with pea volute and crispy peas or something, the whole thing was just made of peas prepared in different ways. I don't even especially like peas but this was such a perfect dish.

 

Oh yes, I know the one you mean. Phenomenal. Gives the asparagus a run for its money! That vegan tasting menu is probably the best meal I've ever had at a restaurant.

 

Incidentally the somelier has a wine selection case for sale at the moment

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12 hours ago, MarkN said:

Haha - that's ace! Even as someone who doesn't have a sweet tooth, I have to admire that. 

 

To be 100% clear I wasn't on my own for this, but the whole point of going was to order them all. Me and a couple of friends will go to a cocktail bar and have the whole menu (usually 3 drinks each) so we just did the same with desserts.

 

2 hours ago, PK said:

 

Oh yes, I know the one you mean. Phenomenal. Gives the asparagus a run for its money! That vegan tasting menu is probably the best meal I've ever had at a restaurant.

 

Incidentally the somelier has a wine selection case for sale at the moment

 

It really is amazing and great value. The only place that matches it is Relae in Copenhagen but that was many times the cost (and took months to pay off) - they had a dish there that was rainbow carrots super thinly sliced and stacked up in a roast carrot broth that was beautiful and a portobello mushroom "pasta" in a hazelnut cream which just boggled my mind.
 

img-8599.jpg

For those who aren't in the know, Gauthier is the best value tasting menu in London and if you sign up to their newsletter you can get 25% off gift cards which makes the vegan tasting menu at lunch times £45 each or thereabouts, which includes a glass of champagne, five courses, coffee and service.

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  • 1 month later...

Their live episode with Roisin Conaty is an absolute shitshow so far; James can't get video working, Roisin has no headphones so there's an echo from her end whenever anyone else talks, and it's all on Skype so it looks like Ceefax.

 

 

And for some reason Ed is sitting in a bin

 

image.png.4e92ee5de1c32e557dc7c5bbf147d088.png

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

It was so utterly baffling to listen to.

The podcast unveils some quite odd opinions on food at the best of times, but thinking that the entire world has been conned into thinking water is important and being repulsed by the wet mouths of water drinkers is a completely new one for me.

 

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I'm pretty sure she was doing a bit. I quite like her, she reminds me of a friend who is similarly eccentric and scatty and plays it up quite a bit. Her kids must have been mortified by her appearance though :lol:

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On 11/10/2020 at 19:56, Gaz said:

It was so utterly baffling to listen to.

The podcast unveils some quite odd opinions on food at the best of times, but thinking that the entire world has been conned into thinking water is important and being repulsed by the wet mouths of water drinkers is a completely new one for me.

 

 

Er, I don't think she was being entirely serious.

 

Can't believe that warrants a click-bait article. Edit: Oh wait - Mail Online. Of course.

 

I thought she was really funny and I almost immediately made her Tuna Cheese Melt. Tabasco! (Slaps forehead). Of course!

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26 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

 

Er, I don't think she was being entirely serious.

 

Can't believe that warrants a click-bait article. Edit: Oh wait - Mail Online. Of course.

 

I thought she was really funny and I almost immediately made her Tuna Cheese Melt. Tabasco! (Slaps forehead). Of course!

 

She's not wrong about tuna melts, they're incredible.

 

The Daily Mail article was hilarious in its own right. It featured this wonderful combination of photo & caption

 

image.png.15d776deab20ae1b9d64c134a2f02e52.png

 

A sober warning from NightOwl61

 

image.png.55ef3025d3675adb2e446a877aa6c5a5.png

 

And a great point from Joy

 

image.png.e5c18ca63fccefc7d98fe3032e71a10e.png

 

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Oh also if anyone likes the sound of the Gauthier vegan tasting menu that @Gaz mentioned, you can now get their Vegan Box delivered, which is 8 courses for 'up to 4 people' for which you do a bit of light prep/reheating at home. It's £75, or £105 with two paired bottles of wine.

 

The thing in the top left is their 'Faux Gras' which is amazing

 

image.png.f4ee72d3b8baf750e2f8868dfe375c27.png

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