Archive for the 'London' Category



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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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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Sketch Lecture Room and Library, London

Sketch

I first visited the Sketch Lecture Room almost two years ago. It was a different time. I was a different man. Since then, the economy has shrunk, whilst my admiration and enjoyment of good food has grown. Thus, in keeping with my own habitually contrarian nature, today I decided to dine at the most expensive restaurant in the country. But, like Matthew Fort, ‘I am a curious and greedy fellow. I like to spend my money on great food’.

The Lecture Room and Library are just one fraction of the fairytale fairground, one part of the pleasure palace that is Sketch; there is also the Glade, Gallery, East Bar and Parlour, another restaurant, bar, bar again and patisserie respectively. It is the brainchild of Mourad Mazouz and Pierre Gagnaire. The former is a Berber’s son from Algeria turned Paris and London restaurateur (hip eatery 404, Paris and trendy Momo, London), the latter a French super-chef (five Michelin stars). Together, they shared an ambition to launch a ‘lieu’ for food, art and music, which was first formed in 1996 when the pair plus an anonymous investor purchased a derelict eighteenth century building on Conduit Street. Many years and many millions later (some say twelve, some say more), finally in 2002, Madonna unveiled Sketch with an opening-night party that straightaway set it up as an exciting, outrageous and fantastically fashionable ‘magnet for extraordinary people’.

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Pied à Terre, London

Pied à Terre - Ses Etoiles 2

Pied à Terre is the two star restaurant run by David Moore and Chef Shane Osborn. It also happens to be the big brother of l’Autre Pied, where I recently enjoyed Marcus Eaves’ talented cooking (himself formerly sous chef here). Moore has also been in the limelight lately having played sidekick to Raymond Blanc on BBC2’s The Restaurant. Actually, one episode was even set here, with contestants spending a service or two as members of the FOH. But the less said about that, the better.
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