Very Satisfying Comfort Food @ Four Seasons Chinatown London on 25Aug2014

roast duck (烧鸭)

roast duck (烧鸭)

coming back from cambridge, we decided to go to the regent street nespresso outlet to get some capsules for my friend in singapore. we took the piccadilly line from king’s cross to piccadilly. i bought 50each of the black ristretto (intensity 10 arabica) & the purple arpeggio (intensity 9 arabica) capsules. 🙂

as we were near to four seasons in chinatown, we decided to have another go at roast duck just for the 2 of us. 🙂

son felt that the roast duck at four seasons was better & the sauce was sweeter c/w the roast duck gold mine. i could not tell the difference & i really love the roast duck at both restaurants. really shook! 🙂 price wise there wasn’t much to compare either – £12 at gold mine and £12.50 at four seasons.

roast pork (烧肉)  & char siew on rice

roast pork (烧肉) & char siew on rice

as there were only 2 of us & we already had 1/2duck, we decided to have a roast pork (烧肉) & char siew on rice for £7.80. i guessed it would be a smaller portion but this worked out well for us & was cheaper than getting a meat plate for £8.50 + £2.50 for rice.

the roast pork (烧肉)  at gold mine was distinctly superior to this.

my last experience with four seasons was in 2011 & as expected the service was brisk & business like bordering on unfriendly or even rudeness i had come to expect in chinese restaurants (or for that matter in any restaurants like this of so many nasi chefs in singapore, & at la botte in stresa where business was so good & they were always full & so busy).

i spoke cantonese with the 40-ish lady server i mistook as from hong kong. she was fast in words & thoughts & forceful. later when she talked about high teacher’s pay in singapore (which i guessed was misinformation) i realised she not likely to be from hong kong  & she told me she came to UK from malaysia 22 years ago. anyway she was very nice to us & gave 10% student discount when my son asked. we were not expecting that as my son was dining with me & not his student friends. 🙂

well, for me, gold mine & four seasons are the places i will go back every time i am in london.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Set Lunch @ Cote Brasserie Cambridge on 25Aug2014

mussels in white wine

mussels in white wine

set off for a 1 day trip to cambridge monday 25.8.2014.

filtered water

filtered water

it was a wet day of light drizzle. we had finished a short walking route passing a few colleges & around the backs. we decided to drop in to cote brasserie for some lunch & rest. 🙂

we got tap water (no charge) like we did in london. there was a £9.95 2-course set lunch. we both picked the mussels with white wine. it was tender just like at big easy in london. the taste of the broth was better than the hot spicy one i had at big easy.

roasted seabass

roasted seabass

minute steak with fries

minute steak with fries

i had the roasted sea bas. it was good, nicely done fish with flavours of tomatoes & olive oil.

son had the minute steak which came with £2 supplement.

overal it was a very good lunch at £22 for 2pax.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ Joel Robuchon London on 24Aug2014

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

i had a very good lunch at gordon ramsey at the claridge’s brook street (now closed), & not so great dinner at marco pierre white in london in 2011. had yet to try joel robuchon. i had joel robuchon in hong kong both the set lunches menu decouvert at l’ artelier & dinner degustation at la cuisine. the set lunches were pretty good & reasonably priced. the degustation was good of course but too expensive for me.

wife & son had been talking about joel robuchon in london & paris, so we decided to go for a pre-theatre at joel robuchon london on 24.8.2014.

it was really good. 🙂

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket of baguette, olive bread, sour dough was ok for good restaurant standard.

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart was lovely. my son & i were talking about that this being an assembled dish, but still the presentation was great & all the ingredients came together beautifully. 🙂

crispy sous vide poached egg

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings was very good too. it’s a bit similar to the excellent 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo at jaan with the combination of taste & texture – the silky yoke & the salty bits of chorizo PLUS the crispy filo. this was good. jaan’s was much better.

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

#2 the open ravioli with littleneck clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam was again excellent. the shellfish, crispy top & foam was a wonderful combination. 🙂

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 the 6hr braised ox cheeks was very good in terms of taste & preparation, however just for comparison of braised items i think the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co was much tastier than this, so was the braised wagyu at hkk london & for my own taste preference = my own spanish beef ribs is also better (of course the meat cuts were different & we are not comparing apples with apples). 🙂

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

#3 the scottish lobster sea shell pasta, a substantial portion (i think 1/2 a 600g lobster), was tops! the foam & broth like a very good lobster bisque, and the lobster was very sweet & tasty. the pasta too. an excellent pasta dish! 🙂

the price for 3-course was £36 + 13% = S$73++ & there was a £7 supplement for the lobster. at S$73++ for a set lunch/pre theatre menu it was very much more expensive than the fabulous les amis S$45++ 4-course set lunch. both were excellent & JR was more inventive but quality+value wise, les amis would beat this hands down. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Street Eats @ Borough Market on 23Aug2014

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

son & i went to london’s most famous market, borough market, on morning of 23.8.2014. took northern line from king’s cross to london bridge.

we were planning to try out the several famous street eats here. 🙂

borough market started in the current location from 1755, though records from 1014 listed it as a market  for fish, grain, livestocks, fruits & vegetables.

the wholesale market opens weekdays 2am-8am. the retail market opens wednesday to thursday 10am to 5pm, fridays from 10am to 6pm, and saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

1 of the famous eats is the £5 duck confit sandwich, and that was also the first we tried. it was pretty good. the confit duck rillette was tasty & tender & did not disappoint. the ciabatta bread though was not very exciting, kind of tougher to the bite.

roast selling beef, crispy pork belly & bacon sandwich

roast selling beef, crispy pork belly & bacon sandwich

beef, crispy pork belly & bacon

beef, crispy pork belly & bacon

crispy pork belly sandwich

crispy pork belly sandwich

the next we tried was the £6.50 belly pork sandwich at roast. a queue built up rather quickly! it came with ok pork belly & a sheet of crispy skin. sad to say, for me the “crackling skin” was about the standard of my failed belly pork attempts & quite unedible. 😦 the bread was softer & better than the ciabatta of the duck confit sandwich. we didn’t try the beef sandwich, perhaps that would be better, 🙂

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

we had the single chorisa bun at brindisia. though a blogger mentioned it was more worthwhile to have the double chorizo for £4.95 instead of the single £3.95, my son disagreed, he thought it would be too salty with 2 chorizos, and i had to agree with him after trying it. 🙂

of the 3 my preference would be (1) duck confit sandwich (2) chorizo bun (3) belly pork sandwich. 🙂

salt beef (corn beef) sandwich

salt beef (corn beef) sandwich

we found the salt beef (corn beef) sandwich shortly. it looked really good. my son thought it looked better than it tasted. in any case we did not have space for it. nor the other food.

paella

paella

seller was offering free tasting with a small plastic spoon. the taste was ok but this was like a mass cooking & well below my own seafood risotto, so held no attraction for us.

seafood, calamari, cajun chicken etc.

seafood, calamari, cajun chicken etc.

they also served other dishes like calamari, cajun chicken etc.

prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad

prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad

dorset crab

dorset crab

1 stall was selling fresh cooked seafood, from prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad to dorset crab.

excellent mushroom pate=GBP4 tub

excellent mushroom pate=GBP4 tub

the homemade mushroom pate was very flavourful. my son bought 1 tub for £4.

borough market

borough market

exotic stuff - kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich

exotic stuff – kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich

there were exotic burgers including  kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich.

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

and the olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead was another famous stall at borough market.

borough market

borough market

quite crowded close to noon on a saturday.

whole roast pig

whole roast pig

they had whole roast pig too!

free wifi at borough market

free wifi at borough market

& there was free wifi at the market.

overall, the few famous dishes were pretty ok though nothing really caught my fancy (too much bread/carb for me anyway). it was still better by miles than the very poor poppies fish & chip at camden which we had on 24.8.2014.

c.h.e.f andy