Thali Indian Restaurant, Old Brompton Road, London Restaurant Review

Thali
166 Old Brompton Road,
London SW5 OBA
Tel02073732626

Reviewed by Neelam Sharma

We ate in Thali on Friday 28th October. As always the food was excellent. The starters are a highlight of the menu. Anything you choose will be delicious as it is always so well cooked and flavoured. The spinach chaat and lamb cutlets are a particular favourite. For main course my companion had the grilled sea bass which had a fantastic sauce and I would definitely choose again. The service is always efficient and friendly. It has a great space downstairs for a party. Whenever I think about the food it makes my mouth water in anticipation of going again.

The thing I like in particular about Thali is that unlike other top-end Indian restaurants the food hasn’t deviated from the authenticity of North Indian food.

www.thali.uk.com

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Fulham Restaurant Brasa introduces Soulful Sundays with Ashbell McElveen

Brasa
474 – 476 Fulham Broadway
London
SW6 1BY

A BRIMFUL OF ASHBELL AT 475 BROADWAY

US barbeque King Ashbell McElveen is returning to London with his brand new venture – Soulful Sundays – a Sunday residency in partnership with popular Fulham restaurant Brasa.

Starting from 9 October, the celebrated and critically acclaimed chef will take over the kitchen every Sunday, bringing his trademark style of globally influenced, southern soul food to Brasa. Ashbell has devised two menus, Brunch and Supper, to reflect his passion for big, bold flavours and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The Brunch menu will be available between 11am-4pm and the Supper menu from 6-10pm.

The Brunch menu offers a selection of breakfasts like the Full Cajun with Crayfish & Leek Cajun Spiced Potato Hash, Ashbell’s Bespoke Spicy Cajun Sausages, Eggs, Smoked Cajun Bacon, Crab and Stuffed Mushrooms, and the Full Texan with 250 g Aged British Sirloin Steak, Onion & Mushroom Hash Potatoes, Cowboy Baked Beans, Black Pepper Coated Smoked Bacon and Eggs. Guests can sink their teeth into Ashbell’s Po’ Boy, a New Orleans style sandwich originally created for those unable to afford a sit down lunch. Choose from shrimp, Louisiana gator, grilled soft shell crab or catfish fillets, piled between two halves of toasted French baguette and dressed with tomatoes, lettuce and Cajun mayo.

From the Supper menu, guests can choose between dishes like Lobster Hash Roll with sweet potato, apple and onion, Pan Sautéed House Smoked Foie Gras served over Seville Orange Flavoured Risotto, British Salt Cod Fritter w Elderflower Clotted Cream Dip and Warm Crab Gratin Dauphines. Those with a mighty appetite can try Ashbell’s Dinosaur Steak, a thick cut 680g T-bone steak seasoned with fresh ground black pepper & Kashmiri Sea Salt, with a side of wild mushroom hash potatoes & smoked onions.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be opening Soulful Sundays with the team at Brasa,” says Ashbell. “All the elements just fell into place – Brasa’s brilliant Head Chef Danny MacGechan and his kitchen team, the location, the venue – it all works so beautifully and everyone involved is so passionate about it.

Hopefully people will like the idea and the food offering and come down and see us one Sunday. It’ll be a cool place to hang out, meet friends and enjoy good quality food and drink.”

Ashbell’s reputation speaks for itself. Growing up in South Carolina, he went on travel the world twice over, soaking up different cultures and experiencing a huge range of cuisines – all of which resonate throughout his cooking today. In the US Ashbell presented flagship WNBC programme the Weekend Today Show as well as having his own range of nationally distributed food products. In London, Ashbell made his mark opening Harlem @ Saint in Covent Garden, Ashbells café at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park and Ashbells in Notting Hill – all of which won him praise from the Capital’s critics.

Ashbell’s preference for cooking over coals fits the venue perfectly, with Brasa literally meaning ‘live coal’. The Kitchen is decked out with an impressive Asador Grill, imported especially from the Basque Mountains area of Spain. With 80 covers and private dining for up to 25, Soulful Sunday’s will be the perfect place to relax, eat and drink Big Easy style, while Ashbell serves up pots full of soul with an infectious smile.

Brasa forms part of a Fulham’s only triple aspect venue owned and run by industry stalwart Brenhan Magee. The three-story building takes pride of place on the Fulham Broadway with the restaurant occupying the first floor. The ground floor houses Broadway Bar & Grill, a substantial 300 capacity brasserie style venue, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a bite to eat. The project was recently completed with the opening of Broadway House, a private members club on the top floor. Broadway House offers over 5,000 square feet of luxury, providing the perfect place to relax, eat, drink and socialise with like-minded people. Members benefit from two stunning roof terraces both with barbeques which, weather permitting, will be used by Ashbell.

Guests will also be able to enjoy the finest cocktails, created using homemade infused spirits including chilli vodka, pink grapefruit tequila and lemongrass & ginger rum. The cocktail list is extensive, with interesting twists on classic blends such as the Broadway Julep with two types of gin and quince liqueur and the rather fitting Burntdown Tennessee using homemade orange infused Jack Daniels, marmalade and old-fashioned Victorian lemonade.

A varied wine list featuring wines sourced internationally is available, including the house wine priced at £13.50 (Vina Pena, Castilla, Spain, red and white) through to more complex wines such as a Chardonnay, Santa Maria Vineyard, Byron Napa, USA and a Chateau La Pointe, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux.

Soulful Sundays @ Brasa
Open Sunday’s from 9 October 2011.
Brunch, 11am – 4pm
Supper, 6pm – 10pm

Brasa
474 – 476 Fulham Broadway
London
SW6 1BY
Tel: 020 7610 3137
Web: www.brasalondon.com

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Meatballs at The Quality Chop House | Restaurant Review

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House
92-94 Farringdon Road
London. EC1R 3EA

T: 020 3490 6228

Helen Forrest Reviews….

This week I took the Veggie along for a meal at Exmouth Market based Meatballs (yes I know, but somebody had to try the vegetarian option, and with eight delicious sounding meatballs on offer it wasn’t going to be me!).

Although this speciality restaurant, run by couple Hugh and Shelly Fowler has only been open little over a month, the famous building which houses it is far from new. It has been proudly standing since the 1870s, when it was a working men’s chop house.

The grade II listed site offers a warm welcome, with plenty of interesting details to look at such as the gorgeous wood-work of the original six seater booths and historical photos of the chop house. It would be perfect for a first date for example. In fact the relaxed vibe from Shelly and her all female waiting staff is just as warm as you imagine it would have been for the working men who came to unwind and eat heartily here all that time ago.

With such a name as Meatballs at the Quality Chop House again not an obvious choice for the vegetarians amongst us, however a non-meat eater would be unlikely to go hungry here. The special of the Pumpkin Soup with truffle oil was a good place to start (fairly priced at £3.50 for this bowl of creamy luxury) and the Veggie was also pleased to see a couple of proper vegetarian dishes on the menu including a salad (£6.95). The alternative ball on our visit (although I am led to believe some of the specials will also be veggie-friendly) was courgette in a mild curry sauce rather than a soya-based ‘mock meatballs’ dish – all good stuff!

meatballs

We also shared the Spinach, Bacon and Parmesan salad with green beans to start (£6.95), as I was saving myself for the main attractions! The salad was a nice surprise in that it was garden-fresh and lip-smackingly tasty; nicely dressed in a balsamic and shallot vinaigrette. Our charming waitress suggested the bacon come separately so we could really share the dish. For me, the bacon added a nice chewiness along with the yummy parmesan but even without this element it was a winner and would be a lighter alternative served under any of the meatballs, although it would perhaps work best with the delicate chicken balls. All the meat is free range and from top producers, add to this the range of natural wines and Meatballs ethos is clear, just like your conscious will be when you tuck in.

Sipping some tongue tingling Victorian lemonade with mint (£2.45) I had had to make some tough choices but in the end I had opted for the sliders (£5.95): these trendy ‘miniature burgers’ are everywhere at the moment so I was keen to try the Meatballs take.

The trio of your choice (£5.95), from beef to pork, chicken and lamb can be added to with sides including iceberg wedges with blue cheese sauce, a lovely fresh pasta in a parmesan cream, rice or even a pearl barley risotto (sides from £2.95 – £3.95). My choice was Pork and Rosemary, Chicken with lemon and caperberry sauce and the Greek Lamb.

Alternatively, you can go more trad and order your choice of balls (each portion of three is £3.95) to come with something underneath such as buttery – and they do mean buttery, it was gorgeous – mashed potato. The food comes presented on simple, white crockery, no self-conscious wooden boards here and it is all the better for this.

The communal eating is further encouraged by the booths and even at our early evening setting you could feel how a nice buzzing atmosphere would come as the restaurant filled up. This concept slots in nicely with our current desire to be able to continue to afford to eat out, and our increasing love for food which we can share. You can certainly imagine the place becoming a regular for local workers; one of their intriguing cocktails such as the Blueberry G & T’s (£5.95) would hit the spot after a long day in the office that’s for sure!

Shelly herself was in the kitchen until recently, but it was very nice to see her front of house, chatting to diners; where it is very obvious how much time, care and thought the Fowler’s have put into Meatballs. As Shelly pointed out the original purpose of the restaurant is the same as it was over a hundred years ago; it’s just now many of us spend our days as slaves to the computer rather than the shovel.

There was a little confusion on my part over the egg papperdelle going underneath the courgette balls, but all credit to the kitchen they decided we must know what I was doing – you are encouraged to make up your own flavour combinations after all! The courgette balls were delicious, seasoned to perfection and the egg papperdelle of a very high quality, the two flavours didn’t clash much as both were very subtle. I could have eaten a whole bowl just of the pasta, it was so silky. The Veggie was also impressed but felt the curry sauce was not really needed, the courgette was good enough without dressing.

Although the restaurant hadn’t yet filled up when we were there, it being only just gone 6pm, there was a nice atmosphere with appropriate music at an also appropriate level which isn’t always the case at many speciality restaurants.

The meatballs were all tender; mid-sized and served in glossy little buns that soaked up the sauces. The lamb was the real star of the trio, with its pink and delicious innards and the slightly charred outside marrying perfectly with the raita. I suspect the same would be true of the beef and ricotta, which I wish I had had the room to sample as well. I did however give in to temptation and tried the special Spanish Chicken and Chorizo as a bonus ball. The price of these “bonus balls” means they are no gamble (sorry!), they are only a quid each which allows you to mix and match to your heart’s content without feeling you are spending too much. This combo went down a treat; don’t be put off by the pink look of the meatball – due to the inclusion of the cured sausage – it was damn flavoursome. The ball was covered with a creamy aioli and was well-spiced, with a welcome heat coming through, making it a joint favourite with the Greek Lamb.

The Pork and Rosemary and Chicken with Lemon and Caperberry sauce were both nicely done too if inevitably a little drier, and I like the fact that the kitchen will be coming up with different specials to try such as corned beef and tandoori lamb to keep you returning, as if you needed an excuse!

To finish the Veggie and I shared Aunty Joyce’s Egg Custard (£3.65) and the Eton Mess (both too tempting to ignore: I love how the clatter is different wherever you go). The custard was delicious; my only criticism was that it was a little watery, whilst the Veggie proclaimed that Aunty Joyce could definitely make that again! The Eton Mess was a chewy delight but the liquored plums were a tad too strong for me, although I am not a drinker so probably not the best judge. Either were good ends to a very pleasant evening.

The Fowler’s have not been the first to spot the potential in dusting off this historical building, but with ‘Meatballs’ they hope to put a new casual dining spin on this iconic site. The menu is well put together and the kitchen seems in safe hands, but as you would expect after only having been open just over a month, there are still a few tiny niggles. However they have got so much right, so quickly and we would definitely return and bring friends for a good night out, especially because of those little touches such as an amuse-bouche to start and fresh tap water at the table without prompting. These all go a long way to making you feel special and indeed part of the family!

http://www.meatballs.co.uk

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The Collection, Brompton Road, SW3 – Restaurant Review

The Collection
264 Brompton Road
London SW3 2AS
Tel: 020 7225 1212

It’s good to see that The Collection is open again after a period of closure, complete with its new sexy interior designed by Tom Dixon. It really is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed and has, once again, become a magnet for the beautiful people. From its entrance on Brompton Cross, The Collection is accessed by a long and lighted glamorous catwalk style walkway that leads directly into the vast downstairs bar. On arrival there is most definitely a feeling of having arrived somewhere very on trend. The building is enormous, with a warehouse feel, which indeed it once was. A sensation of space is evident; with simple modern brickwork, metal supports, vast windows, light installations, and a mezzanine section above housing a restaurant. From Thursday to Saturday nights there is a DJ perched up on high, giving the place a nightclub feel as the music pumps endlessly and loudly. Meanwhile down below, the bar steadily fills with glossy locked, preened females and designer-clad metrosexuals, working their way through the cocktail list with no sign of the on-going recession in evidence.

We moved upstairs to the restaurant for dinner which, as I mentioned, is situated on a mezzanine with a bird’s eye view of the bar. If voluble music is not your thing, perhaps you need to eat here on a Sunday to Wednesday night when things are a lot quieter with no loud music being pumped out, although I fear the place would lose its vibrant atmosphere which is part of its pull. However if like me, you enjoy people watching, come when things are at full throttle as you’ll be in for a treat.

The restaurant is attractively set out, with the kitchen on full view at one end. Tables are well-spaced and the seating is comfortable. Service is switched on and efficient, with knowledgeable, smartly-attired staff. Our waiter,Romano, knew the menu inside out and was brilliant at describing the dishes. The Head Chef, Alex Fanzola, is a disciple of Mediterranean cooking and sources his ingredients from small suppliers with excellent pedigrees. The menu is split into sections, with the starters consisting of small, tapas style dishes, of which there are many to choose from with something for everyone, veggies included. Having made our way through a wonderful selection of house breads served with a collection of flavoured virgin olive oils that included basil, truffle and lemon, we began our feasting. Commencing with a creamy and silky burrata, a plate of spicy buffalo tartare, tender, smokey squid with a piquant kick of chilli and a plate of tender, melt in the mouth smoked duck, with crunchy beans. To follow, there was plenty of choice for all palates and appetites. I had a succulent plate of sea bass that had been baked in a salt crust. It was perfectly cooked, very fresh, and served with a sauce of Mediterranean flavours. We also tried some tender and spicy barbequed grouper with contrasting cool and spicy sauces, together with a side order of courgettes tossed with pine nuts and raisins. To drink we tried the house white wine, an Italian Trebbiano/Chardonnay 2010, which was palatable, refreshing and very drinkable.
To finish, due to the lightness of the cooking, I had just enough room for dessert. From the choice of nine puddings I had a feather light pear and walnut tart. It was artistically presented with a perfect balance of flavours and a subtle cinnamon sauce. A creamy orange and cinnamon rice pudding with rosewater ice-cream and pomegranate sauce was also pronounced first rate.

By 11pm the lights were lowered, the music was cranked up, and a nightclub atmosphere had descended downstairs in the bar as a seemingly sea of testosterone was erupting before our eyes.

The Collection is a great fun place to take a group of twenty/thirty something’s who want a fun night out. Dinner can be cheap or expensive, depending what you choose. Overall, fun will be had and a memorable evening can be confidently predicted.

Louise Elgin. October 2011.

Cocktails around £10.00
House wine £18.00
A three course dinner for two with wine and water is around £75 a head.

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ARTHUR CHRISTMAS BRINGS THE REGENT STREET CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TO TOWN

Join in the festivities on Tuesday 8 November 2011 with Sony Pictures and Aardman as Regent Street’s festive activities celebrate the 3D cinema release of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

World famous shopping and lifestyle destination Regent Street, London W1 is pleased to announce its annual switch-on of Christmas lights, this year adorned with extra festive flair as it celebrates the eagerly anticipated release of the 3D family movie, ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, starring a stellar line-up of UK talent including Bill Nighy, James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Ashley Jensen.

From 5pm on Tuesday 8th November 2011, there will be fun and entertainment for all the family, culminating with the countdown to the all-important switch-on moment when the skies will be lit to herald the start of the Christmas season. Hosted by Jamie Theakston & Emma Bunton from London’s Heart 106.2, the full line-up of stars attending the event will be announced shortly.

After the event shoppers will be able walk the Mile of Style under a canopy of glittering lights whilst they seek out that special Christmas gift from the wide array of flagship stores along Regent Street, including Omega, Gant, Ferrari, Banana Republic, Armani Exchange, Anthropologie, Jaeger, Liberty, Apple and Michael Kors. Visitors can then extend the Christmas cheer in one of the many restaurants and bars on offer and even enjoy a cocktail with a roof top view of the lights at Aqua.

Released on 11th November 2011, the 3D, CGI-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, reveals the incredible, never-before-seen answer to every child’s question: “So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?” The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic – a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero: Santa’s youngest son, Arthur. When this amazing operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, the least capable Claus embarks on a hilariously exciting rogue mission against the clock to deliver the last present before Christmas morning dawns.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation present an Aardman production, Arthur Christmas. Starring; James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and Ashley Jensen. Directed by Sarah Smith. Produced by; Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Carla Shelley and Steve Pegram. Written by; Peter Baynham & Sarah Smith.

David Shaw, Head of Regent Street Portfolio at The Crown Estate, said: “With Sony Pictures and Aardman as our partner celebrating the release of Arthur Christmas, Regent Street’s Christmas lights switch-on this year will yet again signal the start of Christmas in the West End.”

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS will be released at cinemas nationwide by Sony Pictures Releasing on 11th November 2011

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Acclaimed London Restaurant Gilgamesh Introduces New Dining Experience

Guests booking a table in the Babylon Lounge can now enjoy a table to table Peking Duck trolley, a luxury seafood bar for guests to choose from and private booths dressed with red drapes.

The exclusive new offering is available in the Babylon Lounge every Friday and Saturday evening. The Peking Duck trolley is brought over to each guest by a Gilgamesh chef. The succulent Peking Duck is shredded straight from the bird and seasoned with fresh hoisin sauce and spring greens. Pancakes are rolled in front of diners and presented as a starting dish or later in the meal, catering for everyone’s individual requests.

The seafood selection is exhibited lavishly on ice across the Babylon bar. Sitting in full view of the dining room, the display is an instant eye catcher. Guests can order an array of dishes in different proportions such as Dressed Devon Crab, Steamed Razor Clams, King Tiger Prawns and Native Lobster Mayonnaise, all prepared in a pan-Asian style with complementing ingredients to produce a renowned exuberant taste.

Incorporating the same charismatic atmosphere of the main Gilgamesh restaurant, the Babylon Lounge is an intimate dining room with décor that boasts red drapes, separating each table for a truly personal experience. As a regular celebrity hotspot, the personalised set up perfectly suits those seeking a little privacy combined with a unique menu offering.

Not only does the Babylon Lounge offer the Peking Duck and seafood menu, but all of Head Chef Ian Pengelley’s masterfully designed dishes from the a la carte menu are also available to enjoy.

The Babylon Lounge offers guests a truly personal experience of pan-Asian dining at its best. The menu combines fun and sophistication, and with lavish surroundings, guests are left charmed by Gilgamesh.

For all booking enquiries please email reservations@gilgameshbar.com or call 0207 428 4922

GILGAMESH
Camden View
Camden Stables Market
Chalk Farm Road
London NW1 8AH
020 7 482 5757

www.gilgameshbar.com

Open seven days a week from 11am until late.

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Mince Masala and Lamb Rogan Josh – How To Video

Watch this video to see Kyran Bracken and Cyrus Todiwala show us how to get involved this National Curry Week

In the UK most of us enjoy a curry at least once a week. But while it’s clear we love to eat the hot-stuff, when it comes to making one ourselves, we’re not so skilled.

So instead of just ordering in a takeaway, curry fan and rugby legend Kyran Bracken has teamed up with top Indian chef Cyrus Todiwala to encourage everyone to get involved in this year’s Big Curry Cook-in. Working with Red Tractor beef and lamb they are helping to show everyone just how quick and simple it can be to whip up our favourite dish whenever we fancy it.

When cooking your own curry at home, make sure you’re getting good quality meat by looking for a quality mark such as the Red Tractor logo; then you will know that you’re getting farm-assured beef or lamb.

Watch this video to see Cyrus give Kyran top tips on how to master a Mince Masala and a Lamb Rogan Josh, and if Kyran can do it then so can you!

For more information visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/bigcurry

RECIPE: Mince Masala

Serves 4

Preparation time: Approximately 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
450g/1lb lean beef mince
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 x 2.5cm/1inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 425g can chopped tomatoes
1-2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
10ml/2tsp garam masala
2 handfuls freshly chopped coriander

Method:

1. Heat a large, shallow, non-stick frying pan until hot and cook the mince, onion, garlic and ginger for 5-7 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, chillies, seasoning, garam masala and half the coriander.

3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve with plain basmati rice, poppadums and a cucumber raita, or a selection of relishes.

Tip:

If preferred, replace the garam masala with a prepared curry paste of your choice.

RECIPE: Lamb Rogan Josh

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1-1½ hours

Ingredients:
450g/1lb lean lamb shoulder or leg cubes, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
15ml/1tbsp oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped or 1 x 500g pack prepared diced onions
5ml/1tsp garlic purée
1 x 420g (approx.) jar prepared Rogan Josh sauce
6 small new potatoes, halved
100g/4oz prepared cauliflower florets (frozen are good too)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Natural yogurt, to garnish
Freshly chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and brown the lamb with the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the sauce, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook on the hob for 1-1½ hours or according to the jar instructions.

3. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time add the vegetables and continue to cook. Remove from the heat, season, if required and garnish with the yogurt and coriander.

4. Serve with prepared basmati rice and a selection of Indian relishes and poppadoms or naan bread.

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Christmas at Carluccio’s

Christmas at Carluccio’s

By Helen Forrest…

So somehow we find ourselves in October, with Christmas two months away we are hurtling towards 2012. Time truly does wait for no-one, and if like me, you always leave your Christmas planning to the last minute you will pleased to know that Carluccio’s – that byword for authentic and affordable Italian food – has the answer to a foodie’s festive prayers. The original Neal Street eatery has now spawned over 60 restaurants worldwide as well as an online shop, where you can bring a little bit of that “Festa di Natale” (The Christmas Party) spirit into your home.

Carluccio’s dedicated team have done the hard work for you; travelling across Italy, meeting their favourite artisan producers and friends all of whom are dedicated to offering the highest quality products, to bring together the finest Italian food, drink and gifts for the festive season.

They understand that those few days in December, and the weeks leading up to them, are about sitting down around the table with your family and friends. It doesn’t matter whether you aren’t talking to your second sister for reasons you can’t remember or that your Grandad has taken his hearing aids out so he can’t hear your Grandma nagging him about his sherry intake… For that time you try and rub along together and forget your differences, and come together. You just want relax and forget about work for a while. That overflowing in-tray will still be there in January after all…

Now I’ve got you in the mood, I want to share with you my picks from their fantastic range, which mean it’s easy to find something for everyone this year. Pictured below are Cigara (£4.95 for 100g) one of the many lovely stocking fillers which means it won’t cost the earth to fill the kid’s, or the big kid’s, stockings!

carlChocolatecigars

The days of showing up at your brother’s with a past-their-sell-by-date chocolate mint selection box are long gone. Replace those tired After Eights with
Carluccio’s gorgeous and refreshing, Clemente in Camicia, (pictured below), which translates as chocolate coated clementine pieces. The clementines are produced in Calabria by Francesco Rao, and combine the very best dark chocolate with juicy segments of Francesco’s fruit. At £16.95 for 300g they are at the higher end of the range but will provide the whole family with a lovely palate cleanser after the heavy roast that characterises most people’s Christmas Day. There should even be enough for Boxing Day too!

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For those of you that prefer a lighter alternative to the often stodgy fruitcake for your table’s centrepiece, you couldn’t do much better than one of their Panettone Tradizionale. This mouth-watering creation takes 24 hours to make, and the result is very special; made with dried fruit, candied peel and topped with hazelnut icing, the cake, at 1kg is large enough to go around, and have plenty left over for those unexpected visitors. If you are more of a chocoholic than fruit-lover, you will want to try the Panettone al Cioccolato, which is full of milk and dark chocolate pieces and topped with a hazelnut icing. Both are available in 1kg (£16.95) or cute 60g (£3.95) versions, which would make great gifts.

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Moving on to that all important gift for your parent/s, or whomever takes that role in your life. There are various box sets that might take your fancy from the Celebrazione set to the Complete Mushroom book which comes with tools to find those perfect fungi.

carlMushroomBookSet

carlCelebrazione

For those who would like to splash out a little more there are the box sets which offer a complete Christmas in a box from £60-£95 for your loved ones. If you can’t be with them then it’s a great way to say ‘I love and miss you’ – included in the sets are items such as the fantastic ‘Two Greedy Italians’ book from the TV show of the same name, full of brilliant recipes that are easy to follow and require simple ingredients. So however you spend your Christmas, make sure you pop down to your local Carluccio’s or go online at http://www.carluccios.com

carl£60GiftBox

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The Collection Restaurant and Bar, Iconic Chelsea Venue Inspires

THE COLLECTION: ICONIC VENUE TO RELAUNCH THIS AUTUMN

Situated in the heart of Chelsea, The Collection restaurant and bar re-launched in late September 2011. The menu features contemporary takes on the traditional cooking of southern Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East. With a lavish redesign by Design Research Studio, an eclectic cocktail list, and three exclusive retail spaces the West London institution is set to become a refined all-day destination.

Fronted by Executive Chef Alex Fanzola, the kitchen uses the finest ingredients, expertly sourced from suppliers such as the organic Laverstoke Park and premium London butchers, O’Shea’s of Knightsbridge. The dishes pay homage to the very best produce of the “Olive Oil” countries of the Mediterranean. Dishes include Tartare of buffalo with duck egg and sourdough toast, Barbeque grouper with samphire marinated in a tomato and lime sauce, Seared butterflied prawns with basil emulsion and confit garlic, and Clay baked baby chicken with pomegranate molasses and sprouting broccoli.

Created by Design Research Studio under the direction of Tom Dixon, and taking inspiration from the creative worlds of art, fashion and music, the lofty interior is styled with inviting leather and velvet banquet seating, the iconic metallic lighting, and textured walls of scorched wood and exposed brick, creating the perfect intimate setting for day and night. A specially commissioned artwork depicting a forest scene swathes the wall leading guests up the glass stairs to the mezzanine, which provides evening dining as well as space for private dining and events.

The Collection’s eclectic cocktail list showcases original cocktails, infused with Mediterranean flavours such as rosemary syrup, muddled Spanish grapes and fresh pear. Located on the mezzanine, the exclusive Pommery Champagne Bar presents a variety of carefully selected champagnes, with tasting champagne flights for the true aficionado, whilst the comprehensive wine list features over 80 red, white and rose? wines, available by the glass, bottle and carafe. During the weekend, The Collection’s Champagne Brunches offers traditional brunch dishes using organic bacon, eggs and sausages from Laverstoke Park, alongside savoury tarts, quiches and home-made cakes all accompanied by champagne.

Offering guests a unique retail experience, The Collection’s new private retail spaces will host a series of one-off “pop-up” stores, collaborating with renowned jewellers, designers and artists to showcase their original collections.

The Collection is open daily from 10am until Midnight, serving food all day.

The Collection, 264 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2AS

Tel: 020 7225 1212

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Sumas Restaurant, Gorey, Jersey | Restaurant Review Jersey

Reviewed By Yolande Oakes

Visit for dinner at Sumas Restaurant Jersey 31.08.2011.

Dishes we ate from the menu.

Me
Home made Chicken Liver Parfait, Orange and Onion Marmalade, Micro Herbs – Full of flavour, marmalade was a good contrast to the richness. Wine, MAD FISH Shiraz 2005 Western Australia.

Pan Fried Local Brill, Herb Crushed jersey Royals, Local scallop, White Wine Sauce – Super fresh, simple dish, fish stacked on crushed potatoes, sauce over topped with scallop. My husband only got one mouthful as I demolished the rest with a big smile. Wine, Sancerre. Domaine Roger Neveu 2009, France.

British and French cheeses – Brie de Meax, Bleu De l’Aveyron there were three other cheeses but I can’t remember their names. Adequate portions, plated in kitchen with grapes, walnut halves and various biscuit’s. Port, Graham’s 10 yr. old tawny. (I think the port had kicked in by then).

Husband
Hand Dived Jersey Scallops, Local Cauliflower and Bacon Puree, Smoked Salsify, Tree Oak Tomatoes – Everything went together, except Smoked Cherry Tomatoes (smokes salsify on menu) but my husband felt sure the tomatoes were also smokes. far too much, over powered the scallops, this is not a complaint, just needs to be tweaked a bit. Wine, Stormy Cape, Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch 2010 South Africa.

Fillet of Angus Beef (MR), Horseradish and Thyme Rosti, Morel Mushrooms, Three Oaks Pepper Compote, Bone Marrow, Madeira Sauce – Came as excepted, quite a traditional dish served in a modern way. He had no problem with that, tender meat with good flavour from the trimmings. Wine,Monte Ducay, Reserva, Carinena, 2006, Spain.

Trio of Chocolate. Dark Fondant, White Brulee, Milk Parfait with Pistachio Crust. Can you go wrong with chocolate? Even so it was well executed, good chocolate used and each of the three ate well together. Wine Elysium, Black Muscat, Quady 2009 California.

We both tried all the wines, good value for money. My husband remembered serving the Elysium in Stroud when it first came out in the late 80’s he believes.

Service was really good, friendly and professional.
Total bill just over £140.0.

The Head Chef was off duty on our visit so we spoke to Paul Dufty the owner , who was active at all tables, wanted to please and obviously knows his job well.

Well worth the visit if your in Jersey, my husband was not sure if they have any credits to their name, but if they haven’t he is sure it will not be long. A rising star he fancies.

Hope this comment helps you and Sumas.

Yours faithfully

Chris and Yolande Oakes

Gorey Village Main Rd
Gorey, Jersey JE3 6ET, United Kingdom
TEL: 01534 853 291

Sumas has been one of Jersey’s most celebrated restaurants since it opened its doors in 1997. Located in the picturesque harbour of Gorey on the east coast of the island, Sumas nestles below the iconic Mont Orgueil Castle.

http://www.sumasrestaurant.com

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