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Micromanage my Life - London Edition

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How do you know? Did it tell you?


On it's grand tour of the dining room it certainly had all the chance it needed to speak up. Sadly it didn't sing to me in quite the same way the EMP duck does.


But I'll make allowance for personal preference: if you don't like a little sugar (or honey) with your duck skin, then this was in fact a very well sourced and cooked duck.

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thanks to continuing jet lag i find myself up in the early morning with nothing to do but post restaurant write-ups. accordingly, here is my lunch at trishna on tuesday.





lunch today was far more informal at hoppers. got there around 1.30'ish and there were only a few people waiting. 10 minutes or so wait and i was seated at the bar. cooking and ingredients not quite as good as at trishna but adjusted for price (this was less than half) it might be close to a push.

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anyway, after all the hotel power outage drama i managed to get to chiswick--thanks, johannabanana, for the warning about checking which district line train i was taking. i may be the first tourist diner at hedone to get there early. this because i couldn't remember what time my reservation was at, and thanks to my phone battery being uncharged, courtesy this morning's power outage, i couldn't check. sure enough i got there at 12 for a 12.30 reservation. they seated me at the counter readily enough and i opted for the hedone tasting menu for £85--billed as 7 or 8 courses, i can't remember.


how was it? well, the food was excellent. there was an item on one dish that i thought was unnecessary and a little detrimental (hazelnut mayo, and a lot of it, atop some pristine dover crab) and there was one dish i was not overly crazy about--a raspberry pre-dessert/palate cleanser. but other than those everything was excellent (the piece de resistance being roast saddle of roe deer with wonderful roasted carrots).


the experience as a whole, however, left me a little bit cold. this may be because for the first half of my meal i was the only person in the restaurant (a couple showed up halfway in; no new diners had arrived when i left at 2); but i think it's more likely because they seated me at the counter, where i was in the proximity of lots of humans, all very busy cooking and with no interest whatsoever in interaction (for most of the meal the chefs in there had their backs to me). if they'd given me one of the many available tables i could at least have been a little more comfortable and felt a little less like an adjunct to the life of the restaurant. and i have to say that sitting at a kitchen counter and watching plates of the kind of food they serve here being assembled (and i mean assembled) makes the whole thing seem more than a little bloodless.


also, there was some oddness at the end. they served me the raspberry thing and then in short order another dessert (a wonderful warm chocolate mousse with yuzu). then for quite a bit nothing happened and i assumed all was done (no new cutlery had been put down after the mousse). so after a while i caught the server's eye and asked for the check. "certainly, sir," she said and had a word with a chef (this bit foxed me) and then brought the check and some petit fours. while putting the check down she said, "we usually have a third dessert but it's a financier and chef has it in the oven; we're sorry about that" (this explained the quick chat with the chef). now if i'd had a menu i might have known to wait, but of course they don't even have menus for the day. but i'm not sure why when i asked for the check she didn't just tell me there was one more delayed course if i wasn't in a hurry. for a few minutes i thought that maybe that financier was going to show up after all so i waited. but it didn't show. so then i looked at the check thinking maybe they'd at least have comped me a bottle of water in exchange, but no, it was the full amount. so a bit of an off-note at the end.


i'll have a full review of the meal on the blog in a week or two.

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and last night i joined balex for dinner at noble rot. very good wine, very good food, very good company. but again some service issues: first some forgotten oysters, a few instances of needing to ask for cutlery, and then the wrong main course served to me, which led to first balex and then me eating our main courses alone. however, they did make up for these errors with comped pours of a riesling and then marsala at the end.

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dishoom in covent garden for lunch today with friends. got there at about 1 and the wait was only about 20 minutes. they handed out small glasses of masala tea to people in line as it was grey and windy when we arrived. and when it started raining they handed out umbrellas as well. all of which was nice. as for the restaurant and the food, the restaurant is fun and the food is solid but, on the whole, nothing terribly out of the ordinary. very fairly priced though. the three of us ate a fair bit and with two large bottles of kingfisher and a glass of wine the bill was £88 with tip. after lunch we walked to hedonism wines in mayfair and passed both gymkhana and benares along the way. i looked at the menus posted outside and noted that the prices were significantly higher.

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