What’s coming Next?

Christmas is on its way, so it’s time to organise the restaurants we are going to visit over the course of the next few weeks.

This year for a change and as a precursor to moving to Kent permanently, we are focusing on that area. We have a trip planned to what is probably the most famous Kent restaurant of them all (at least in the gourmet category) – The Sportsman a rather special Michelin starred restaurant located in an unassuming pub on the outskirts of Whitstable.

The other places on our list are less well known, they include favorites like Age & Sons and the Caboose Cafe plus we have plans to try the beautifully located Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs, with its stunning views of Viking Bay (or at least they were stunning until the recent floods).  I sampled Wyatt & Jones food earlier this year at the popular Broadstairs Food Festival so am looking forward to seeing what the kitchen can produce, especially since they bake their own breads, smoke their own fish and butcher their own meats.

We are also keen to check out The Empire Room which is due to open soon in the Royal Harbour Hotel, Ramsgate.

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What’s coming Next?

Christmas holidays of course. This is the time of year where it’s often difficult to find that special meal. Either the restaurant you want is fully booked, or it’s just doing a boring and overpriced Christmas Menu or it’s closed for the holidays. However over the last few years we have found that if you look carefully and book with enough advance notice you can still find some gems around the Christmas season.

This year we have chosen two very different but highly acclaimed restaurants that we have not visited yet :-

One of this years shining stars, it is run by an ex-Chez Bruce team, so it has quite a pedigree to go with its newly acquired Michelin Star and its string of stellar reviews.

Simon Rogan’s famous London Pop-up (an off shot of L’Enclume)

Click here to view some of the amazing dishes that come out of the Kitchen.

We are also returning to a couple of favorites:-

  • Jose – Best Tapas in London!

Can’t wait 😉

What’s is No Expert doing next?

Well, we are working our way slowly through our Wish list, with visits to Bob Bob Ricard and the oh so famous Sketch, which should be interesting!

Sketch won a No Expert award for the worst restaurant web site a while back, but they have completely revamped it now.  The new one is much easier to navigate, but still a bit OTT and not exactly easy on the eyes, as you will see if you click on this link.

We are also trying out a new place at Londons Vertical Gateway or Battersea Heliport as it is better known. It’s called Patrisey. I am sure it won’t be in the same league (food wise) as the two restaurants I have just mentioned – It has a VIEW and from experience we have found that the better the view the worse the food tends to be.  Here’s hoping it’s one of the exceptions to that unwritten rule 😉

There is a bit of a Russian Theme here with Bob Bob Ricard off course and the fact that Sketch and Hotel Verta (where Patrisey is located) look like the sort of venues where you might spot the odd Russian Oligarch.

What’s coming next ?

The restaurants on our list for the next couple of months include some old and some new :-

LONDON – ENGLAND

  • Chez Bruce – Making a return visit, just because it’s so good.
  • Chor Bizarre – A new venue for us, reviewing the branch in Mayfair, not the one in Delhi or Noida 😉
  • La Trompette – Making a return visit after a gap of a couple of years to this Nigel Platts-Martins restaurant in Chiswick.
  • Launceston Place – Making a return visit after a gap of almost two years to Tristan Welch’s restaurant in Kensington.
  • Maze – Making a return visit,  Alex Marks formally of the Foliage has replaced Jason Atherton as head chef.
  • Morton’s Club – Making a  return visit to this exclusive private members club.
  • Roux at Parliament Square – A lunch time visit for a change.
  • Seven Park Place by William Drabble – A first time visit to this highly acclaimed restaurant in St James Club and Hotel.
  • Trinity – A first time vist to this Clapham Restaurant, its has been on the wish list for a while.

NEW SOUTH WALES – AUSTRALIA

  • Rick Stein at Bannisters – Our Australian correspondent visited Ricks restaurant in Cornwall a couple of years ago so should be in a good position to see how the Australian outpost compares.  Apparently it’s a tad warmer there than Padstow.
  • Quay – One of the Sydney’s top restaurants.

What’s coming next ?

Having lunch at Dinner – Heston Blumenthals historically themed and much talked about venture at The Mandarin Oriental.

Planning trips to :-

and maybe, as we head into Spring, visit some Seaside Restaurants  around the Kent and Suffolk coasts.

NO EXPERT ANNUAL AWARDS 2011

 

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Best of the best

and the winner for BEST FOOD is

The Ritz

See post:-

The Ritz – getting past The Glitz

 

Runners up – Providores and Chez Bruce

 


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Worst of the worst

 

and the winner for WORST FOOD is

Apsleys

See post :-

Apsleys at the Lanesborough – Where Taste Fails

 

and the winner for MOST DISAPPOINTING FOOD is

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

See post:-

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – Simmer down and reduce your expectations

 

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Other Awards

Best Bread – The Modern Pantry

See post:-

The Modern Pantry – Food Fusion

NO EXPERT ANNUAL AWARDS FOR 2010

 

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Best of the best

 

and the Northern Hemisphere winner for BEST FOOD is

The Ledbury

See posts:-

The Ledbury – embarassing leaks

 

Runner up – Chez Bruce

 

and the Southern Hemisphere winner for BEST FOOD is

Tetsuya’s –  Sydney

See post:-

Tetsuya’s – Its a knockout

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Worst of the worst

 

and the winner for WORST FOOD is

Dog & Fox  – Wimbledon Village

See post :-

Dog & Fox – less is more

Runners up –

Altitude 360

Menier Chocolate Factory

 

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Worst of the worst

 

 

and the winner for MOST DISAPPOINTING FOOD is

Murano’s – London

See post:-

Murano – oh dear!

Runner up – Tom Aikens

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For information on the other awards, see

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No Expert Annual Awards for 2010 – Other Categories

Best Starter of the Year

  • Gravadlax and beetroot club sandwich with herring salade lyonaise and horseradish : Chez Bruce

Best Main Course of the Year

  • Skate Poached in Brown Butter with Truffle Puree, Cauliflower, Parmesan Gnocchi and Sea Vegetables : The Ledbury.

Best Dessert – 2 winners

  • Passion Fruit Souffle with Sauterne Ice cream : The Ledbury.
  • Raspberries/vinegar and quark Ice cream/vinaigrette – or RED as it was called on the menu : Moments in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Barcelona).

Worst Dessert- 2 winners

  • Peanut butter crumble with caramelized bananas – Muranos : A boring, unattractive dessert (one of these occasions where it would help to have a peanut allergy, so as to avoid accidentally ordering it).
  • Strawberry shortcake at the Blueprint Cafe : Not my idea of shortcake. It was  more like oatcake, with cream and strawberries, basically rather dull.

Best Service

  • Foliage, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (London) – closely followed by Moments in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Barcelona).

Worst Service

  • Tetsuya’s (Sydney)more for the handling of an incident rather than overall service. Saying sorry always helps. See Tetsuya’s – It’s a knockout for details.

Best Bread

Best Brunch

Most disappointing – Places where the hype was  really out of step with our experience.

Best value for money – 3 winners here

  • The Landmark : Champagne brunch in the Winter Garden – SERIOUSLY. I know  it is expensive but you more than get your money’s worth, fabulous selection of food and unlimited champagne.
  • Coq d’Argent : A Top Table deal of £19 for 3 courses that included escargot and venison.
  • The Atheneaum : Another Top Table deal, a Christmas menu providing 2 substantial courses for £24.50 or 3 for £29.50 – with coffee and mince pies and a glass of “really good” champagne.

Worst value for money

  • The Blueprint Cafe – even with a couple of courses free (using Top Table points), it was still far too expensive for the food quality delivered.

The £21 Fish & Chips at The Mayflower Inn, might have won this award, but since the price stopped us even trying that dish, I can not judge. However I still do not believe any Pub should get away with charging £21 for Fish & Chips.

Best View

Now that we have got Christmas out of the way, we are looking forward to starting the real celebrations with a post Christmas restaurant binge.   Over the course of the next two weeks we will be dining at two of our absolute favorite restaurants Chez Bruce and The Ledbury.  We also have lunch plans at two locations that could not be more different The Ritz and The Modern Pantry.

We will also be announcing our best and worst restaurants of the year. Watch this space.

 

What’s coming next in the lead up to Christmas?

It is always a bit more difficult at this time of year – a bit harder to get bookings if you want to avoid the Christmas rip off menus and holiday shut downs.

So despite the seasonal difficulties we have posts coming up for a couple of really hot top London destination restaurants:-

  • The Ledbury – which just seems to be winning more and more awards and acclaim this year.
  • Koffmann’s – need I say more, the mans a legend.

We are also going to Chez Bruce, a restaurant that has been top of our wish list for a while now.

Then we are starting off the New Year on a high note (hopefully), at Apsleys in the Lanesborough Hotel. It was awarded a Michelin star earlier this year. It is a Heinz Becks Restaurant, the first one outside Italy, where  he has 3 Michelin stars for La Pergola in Rome.

No Expert Annual Awards

The No Expert Best and Worst Restaurant for 2010 will be announced at the end of year.

What’s coming next?

LONDON

It’s Chocolate week – 11th to 17th October,  so we will be making the most of that.

SYDNEY

There will be more posts from our Australian correspondent.

Post planned will include Bilsons and Tetsuya’s, two restaurants that have been the subject of recent controversy due to losing hats – Chefs Hats are awarded for outstanding restaurants and range from one hat through three hats – both were demoted from 3 hats to 2 hats in the SMH Good Food Guide 2011 Awards –  The Good Food Guide, published by the Fairfax Newspaper Group in Australia, is the Australian guide listing the best places to eat. See Bilson bites back

SINGAPORE

There will also be a post for Iggy’s in Singapore, which is number 26 in the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list.

POST COUNT

We have now reached our 200th post count. No plans to slow down.

What’s coming in September.

More posts on top London destination restaurants this month, including

and lots more posts from our Australian correspondent, covering some interesting venues down under including a couple of the fine dining restaurants in Orange NSW, an area known for its Restaurants, Vineyards and Farmers Markets.