Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I’ve been to Gerswhins, which is on (or under) Dean Street before, but for a quick pre-gig meal. This time was a more leisured affair. The place is underground, in a wine cellar. It’s dimly light, from 100s of fibre optic strands from the ceiling. It’s a jazz resturant apparently. So, later in the evening, they had caberet; a guy in a dinner jacket, crooning to a recording backing track. He was actually pretty good, very professional and a competent singer; half-way through a Sinatra melody, an older couple, very elegantly dressed—man in blazer and tie, woman in skirt and formal top—started wheeling around the dance floor (that is the small gap between the tables). The woman looked happy and entertained, the man dignified and serene, although I noticed a momentary look of relief as he got to sit down again.

I could help thinking that the dimness was partly to cover up the flaws; there was a ice bucket hidden partly next and partly under my seat, catching drips from the ceiling; or at least the ones which didn’t fall on me. The toilets were dark, but with spotlight urinals which were stainless steel; the parabolic bowls shined the light back bright enough to burn your retinas; while engaged, however, my head blocked the light and, already half-blinded, meant I had to aim using echo location. And one of the taps was not screwed in properly, rotating Exorcist style rather than producing water.

A strange night; Gershwins is a bit tacky, but gets away with it for some reason; it was both elegant and naff simultaneously, which should be impossible.

Oh, yeah, and the food. I had a pepper and courgette soup followed by a mushroom curry; they were both excellent, even if the curry was a bit pokey. I had a pepper soup a couple of weeks ago (on the Grand Canyon of all places) which was lovely, so perhaps I should try this.

Originally published on my old blog site.

After my last experience with rice, I decided to get straight-back in there. Bought some more, and cooked it with beans and stuff. Managed to overcook the rice, which I haven’t done for a while.

I’ve been thinking about why I’ve started to each so many beans recently; then it came to me. I’ve got salad obsessed recently. My fridge is smaller than my freezer. Salad goes into the fridge, beans the freezer. It’s all perfectly logical.

Originally published on my old blog site.

How the world has changed. Once upon a time, rice was my main staple. I used to eat tons of the stuff. Nowadays, I have a more varied staple diet: noodles, pasta, bread, wheat, cous-cous, rice and, of course, the occasional tattie. While I was cooking some rice last night, I noticed to my dismay that it had got some infection — small mites by the look of things which, fortunately float obviously on top of the water.

I’ve had a 10kg bag of rice in my house for most of my adult life, but I fear now that I have seen my last. I shall be buying 2kg bags in future.

The mites were incredible though; it’s wonderful to me that a thing so small, smaller than this comma, can be a complete multi-cellular organism. Wonder what species they were?

Originally published on my old blog site.

The inspiration for tonights meal was by from my brother, who did me something like this a while back. A bean salad, with bread essentially.

Very simple: tin of mixed beans which I have had for quite a while — I think fresh would have been better; some fresh garlic, lightly chopped; olive oil; pepper; balsamic vinegar and lime juice. Served with an undressed green salad (with addition carrot and and parsnip), eaten with one of those boil-in-the-bag batton loafs.

Very simple, very nice. Back for more.

Originally published on my old blog site.

Having been in Vienna for a week, I thought I would comment on the food. In general, it’s very good. I can’t point my finger at a single bad meal (although several inappropriate ones — more later). The most common kind of food that I eat was Italian. As a world cuisine, it has the advantage of being the least offensive to all concerned. Both resturants that we tried were good; one of them managed to achieve a feet that I would have not believed possible and cooked a meal which might just have had too much garlic (gnocchi in garlic, chilli and olive oil). I eat Austrian food twice. One resturant mostly served boiled cow; here, I had Chanterelle mushrooms in white sauce which were nice, although the meal needed more variation. The other was for the conference dinner — queues were long, everything was meat, with the exception of fried, battered vegetables. The wine was not very good either. I think beer would have worked better for a meal consisting largely of bones. In general, conference meals were good though, although occasionally dull. The salads were really nice, although they kept running out. I guess the Viennese eat these as garnish, and served them in quantities appropriate for this.

The two highlights, though, were the the bakeries. I had croissant and coffee everyday. The coffee was rich, strong and without bitterness, while the croissants were delicious. The only exception here were the two breakfasts I had in the Ibis Hotel where I was staying; the croissant were stale and tasteless. And, finally, last night we found a Japanese. Not the greatest I’ve ever been too, but it hit the spot. The food was pleantiful, cheap and well cooked. I ended up having a second main meal, although we split it between two of us.

Originally published on my old blog site.

Blackfriars is a very posh resturant in Newcastle. I’ve been there a couple of times, and the food is reasonably good. On monday, I eat there; the veggie option is small but looked reasonable. I went for the stuffed aubergine in the end. It came with breadcrumbs and ratatouille (that is the contents of the aubergine cooked in tomato), rather than the cous cous that was on the menu; a pity as it happens, as the whole thing was rather too dry; something that would probably not have affected the cous cous.

In general, it’s confirmed my opinion. Blackfrairs is okay, but when you get down to it a polysyllabic menu, and artful arrangement on the plate does not make up for the unspiried dishes and a lack of flair for vegetarian food by the chef.

Course, the meat might be great. I can’t comment.

Originally published on my old blog site.