Archive for December, 2008

St John, London (The Second Return)

St. John

It seems St. John is simply a must visit for any foreign foodie. Typically, eaters and epicures from across the world, whether they be in London to consume Chinese, Indian or haute cuisine, each show their fealty to Fergus and make homage to Smithfields. And such was the case with Aaron (A Life Worth Eating), DB and Ulterior Epicure.  This was their first foray to St. John and my third (the other two consecutive visits being before its summer refurbishment).
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The Sportsman, Seasalter

The Sportsman

Great expectations. That is what we all had. That is also the title of Dickens’ novel of which some was set in or around where we would be lunching today. The we, well, that would be Aaron, half of A Life Worth Eating; Ulterior Epicure; an as yet, un-aliased and unaffiliated passive foodie (let’s call him DB); our gastro-guide and master setter-upper, Moby P; and little old me. The where? That was Seasalter and its Michelin-starred pub, the Sportsman. And yes, you read right, I did include Michelin-starred and pub in the same sentence.

It was a miserable day. Saturday morning. Seven a.m. Heavy rain. Moby P pulled up at the West London underground station we had designated as our pick-up point; Aaron, DB and I bundled into car and into the warmth. We were on our way to a top secret airport (let’s call it H) to fetch Ulterior Epicure and start our cross-Kent road trip. It would be almost a hundred miles and almost two hours before we reached the fabled foodie oasis. However, this is no hush-hush spot out in the middle of nowhere (well, actually it is in the middle of nowhere), for even those famous French tyre peddlers know about it and like it so much they gave it a star last January (2008).
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Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester - Logo

I first dined with Ducasse almost a year ago to the day; it was less than one month after it initially opened, but already the knives were out. Another week, another victim / villain (delete as appropriate), n’est-ce pas? Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, ADAD, was assumed to be another of the chef’s prestige restaurants, together with the two elite others that bear his name: Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, Monaco and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris. Whether this assumption aligned with Alain’s intentions, is another issue.

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

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