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yvonne johnson

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About yvonne johnson

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    Norwich, UK
  1. Anything by Jonathan Coe. A very fine writer. And funny too. I don't think many can match him.
  2. Stayed here last weekend, and was delighted all round. Owners Kevin and Jacki Mangeolles do a marvellous job being hosts and deal with the organization of the small restaurant (seats around 25?), rooms, and hospitality with aplomb. The meal was truly satisfying: hard to describe, but it was measured with precision in terms of flavors (not confusing or fussy, yet you didn't get tired of eating more). Unlike some tasting menus where you get tired out and the meal goes downhill after a few courses, this managed to fire on all cylinders with the venison dish. Highly recommended. Lovely part of the country too. Iced Ginger & Lemon Grass Tea (This was a lovely opening--served in tiny pot with tiny cups) Beetroot Biscuit Spiced Crab (Crab was out of this world. Glyn even liked --what's the world coming to?--the beetroot biscuit) Baked Aura Potato, Cream Cheese & Caviar (G. found this a little filling tho it was only around a 1/4 of a baked potato Leek custard, potato chips (If we had to quibble this was the least successful dish--the custard seemed a bit too thick) Loin of Holkham Venison, Fresh Chestnut, Celeriac Purée (as I said above, just fab) Delice De Crémières, Beetroot Meringue (By this time G had had enough of beets, but I ate it all), Walnut Croutons (Wow, what great cheese. Must track this down.) Pre-dessert (Lovely coffee trifle type of thing) Chocolate Sphere, Walnut Ice Cream, Warm Chocolate Sauce (Sauce was poured over and the spaceship sphere fell in on itself--cute) http://theneptune.co.uk
  3. yvonne johnson


    Went to see BSP and Editors at UEA last week. BSP were good but not as energetic as they were before at a UEA Norwich smaller venue a few months ago and they need not have been b/c they outshone Editors this night. Oh well, just goes to show that the lead band (Editors) can be the lesser of the two.
  4. Norfolk has only two Michelin starred restaurants. The Neptune in Old Hunstanton is one (yet to try), and Morston Hall is the other. Stayed at Morston Hall last week and I liked it a lot, but not in the ways I expected. The website makes the place and gardens unattractive, in my view, but on getting there it felt inviting. Particularly attractive is a small herb garden with little hedges and wrens flying about. Galton Blackiston knows how to cook and has been doing so for at least 21 years at the same place. It's a 7.30 for 8 PM arrangement with all guests sitting down (after drinks and amuses -- all of which I found not more-ish--in the conservatory) in the dining rooms at well-spaced tables. I won't go through each course one by one--around 7 with wine flight. Beetroot (that pleased G!) with other vegetables; plaice; pork; beef (sous vide?); cheeses ; cherries (very good). Most of the dishes just lacked umph. There was little accompaniment to the meat dishes and they just didn't sing. Sometimes, less isn't more? But, you know, I'll give it another try. Got one of Blackiston's cookery books and the dishes look fab. http://www.morstonhall.com
  5. Remember Miracle Grill on the E Side? Early 1990s? Flay was really good. He continued to be good but the press went off him b/c he became too commercial. I did too but for other reasons, mainly inconsistency.
  6. Where to put this? Malcolm Gladwell being his usual whiny self. (Mind you, the entire programme is very annoying.) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038bxfd
  7. The chef is very generous. But if so generous that one can't enjoy the second half of the menu b/c of too big portions in the first half, then I think something needs to be tweaked. I agree the service, atmosphere, etc --if that's what you refer to in the "little things" --are spot on. I liked my meal a lot in places and I think the restaurant deserves at least one Michelin star, but as a whole the meal was out of balance.
  8. I'm with the late Tuckerman on this restaurant. We went in 2008 and G liked it a lot more than I did. http://mouthfulsfood.com/forums/index.php/topic/15301-a-cambridge-miscellany/?p=889493 The same happened again last week. Interestingly what Tuckerman liked so much 7 years ago is still fab: green pea soup with prawns. I thought it lacked interest from then on: the scallops were wonderful, big and meaty, but the skate was overly greasy for my taste. The accompaniments with perfectly cooked quail were over rich. There was just too much food (choice b/w 7 and 10 courses only--no a la carte. I was amazed that some around us managed a cheese course (supplement). http://www.midsummerhouse.co.uk/menu/
  9. No, G stayed home --just me and my chum. He has no inclination to go to Copenhagen. Can't move for BEETS.
  10. A couple of blocks south of Vesterbro Metro which we didn't use. And around 1/2hr walk NW of central station.
  11. Spent most of last week in Copenhagen with an old friend. Overall, I thought the food was very good. Radio This was my favorite meal. Scallop / Spring Cabbage / Mustard / Cress Cod / Cucumber / Horseradish / Seaweed Fennel / Høost / Capers / Parsley Veal Flank / Onion / More Onion Rhubarb / Beetroot / Malt / Milk Five courses 400 dkk Three courses 300 dkk The baby scallops were sweet and beautifully seared; the cabbage and mustard lightened the dish. The cod dish was cold (on purpose) and delicate. I could’ve eaten a huge plate of the fennel on its own—it was done just right and so richly satisfying. The veal came in thin long strips, with a light sauce that I can’t recall, and just the right sized portion. The dessert was refreshing and not sweet at all with interesting chunks of baked beetroot along with poached rhubarb. Nice walk too from city center through Frederiksberg residential area to get to it. Manfred’s & Vin In a trendy street in the Nørrebro district (that bears a strong resemblance to Park Slope), it does what’s considered, I guess, somewhat stereotypical modern Nordic cuisine. We went for the 7 small plates to share plus a dish of the simply steamed or boiled crayfish (a special) which were small but flavorsome. All 7 dishes were surprises created by the chef, and split came to $43 per person. There was lots of food. The highlights for me were: Smashed beetroot served alongside goat’s cheese with a separate green salad with nasturtium and their lightly pickled seeds (I especially took to the latter). Oven baked onions with new garlic Another green salad with cod roe Potatoes (seemed fried) and root veg with poached egg Less successful, we thought, was a light but at the same time mushy pork terrine with horseradish and cucumber on top. On being moved inside at 9 PM prompt (regulations), we then had slow cooked beef in a parsley sauce. Beef was nicely cooked and tender, but didn’t rock my boat. It was interesting and largely very good, but nothing had a wow factor. Great walk around Assistens Kirkegard before dinner; on a par with Père Lachaise, me thinks. Sister restaurant that looked a little more formal is across the street and called Relae. (See Rail Paul mentions above.) Nimb Brasserie Went here on my final day by myself. It was all very quiet on a lovely sunny day and I had a table by open French doors overlooking the Tivoli Gardens. I’m pretty sure the menu on the website is accurate: Fried foie gras with poached rhubarb, Madeira sauce and Madagascar pepper Fried chicken breast with carrots, beets & chicken sauce with hearts Glass of champagne Deutz Brut and glass of Barbera d’Ruvei, plus side of new pots, and a bottle Hildon water all came to 82 Euros ($106) inclu service. The meal was somewhat predictable, but the food was very well executed. The chicken breast (French cut) was especially juicy and falvoursome. Restaurant l'Alsace Just came across it in the Strogot shopping district. Has a pretty outside garden, but the food (for me, plaice with new potatoes) was lackluster. A rhubarb tart was fine. Also lackluster was a steak in Nyhavn, but didn’t have high hopes in this touristy area. Salt looked very promising but my friend doesn’t care for sweetbreads and game (chiz). Cafés I recommend Café Oven Vande in Christianshavn. My sandwich, Parma ham, avocado, artichoke, arugula, and salsa romesco 
was delicious. Good starting off point before walking around Christiania—I didn’t think I’d be so taken with this long-standing hippie community but it was fascinating and beautiful. [Cafe In Malmo (day trip to Sweden—highly recommend Malmo and just ½ hr from Copenhagen by train) Lilla Kafferosteriet (Baltzarsgatan 24A). Scrumptious open sandwiches: roast beef on brown bread with remoulade on top as described by Sneak upthread (tinged yellow coz of the turmeric).] Hotel Guldsmeden Carlton in the Vesterbro area (people say up and coming district of Copenhagen) is quirky and the recently refurbished bedrooms are mainly Asian in design. Liked it a lot and handy for station.
  12. I found that last piece a little disturbing. There's a risk he'll give the impression that poring over a dictionary to improve specific words and phrases in a fourth draft is something expected of writers. I should think it's a very rare practice indeed. Not read the articles. But improving on words and phraseology in a 4th draft? I'd have thought that might lead to stilted writing. Maybe more people do this than I'd imagined and that explains why some sentences leap off the page as just wrong.
  13. Yeah, the Met gala. I imagine a pre-gala dinner with Kardashian & West and Wintour telling her to wear that awful floral thinking knowing how hideous the dress was. Wintour looks ok in a youthful floral, but it's a bit insipid, me thinks.
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