Ashoka | Premier Indian Restaurant Sheffield

SHEFFIELD CURRY HOTSPOT WOWS CRITICS AND CUSTOMERS

Ashoka | Premier Indian Restaurant Sheffield

Sheffield’s premier Indian restaurant, Ashoka, has cooked its way up the curry ladder, emerging as an A-list entry in the 2007 Good Curry Guide. Published every two or three years, the book lists just the top 100 of the 9,000-plus curry hotspots in the country. Ashoka was classed among the top 60, an improvement from Ashoka’s listing in the last edition. The list is compiled through reader recommendations and inspections by the Guide’s team.

Earlier this year, Ashoka was awarded the Indian Restaurant of the Year prize by Westside magazine and was also nominated as one of the top five Indian restaurants of the year by Menu magazine as part of the annual Curry Capital of Britain competition.

The triple honours coincide with the boutique restaurant’s 40th birthday in 2007. Founded in 1967 by Bangladeshi immigrant Kamal Ahmed, it was taken over by budding Sheffield restaurateur Rahul Amin three years ago. Since then, although sticking to the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, the Sheffield lad born to Gujarati immigrant parents has taken the eatery from strength to strength.

The varied menu includes old favourites like kebabs, tikka masalas and ghost dishes, as well as some more unusual dishes like traditional Farsi dansak and Ceylon-style chicken curry. Prices range from £1 to £14.

“Ashoka is one of the oldest restaurants on Ecclesall Road and one of South Yorkshire’s oldest Asian restaurants. It has a fantastic reputation in Sheffield and enjoys a high quality loyal clientele. This area attracts foodies, and Ashoka has done well competing with bigger establishments,” says Rahul. “We have added a few new dishes to the menu since taking over, like the fresh coriander chicken tikka, but by and large we have kept things as they were because that’s the way the customers like it.”

Rahul does have a few tricks up his sleeve for the future though, including a grand 40th birthday celebration. “It’s in the planning stages and will be unveiled soon,” promises Rahul.

REF: ASH001 – Ashoka Good Curry Guide 2007

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The Bombay Brasserie Courtfield Close, London | Silver Jubilee

The Bombay brasserie celebrates its silver jubilee

What happened in 1982? The world took its first sip of Diet Coke; the UK went to war over the Falklands; ET tried to phone home and on the 10th of December the Bombay Brasserie ushered in a new era for Indian restaurants. Gone was the flock wallpaper and the cooking by numbers (one sauce fits all) that sadly still characterises many local neighbourhood Indian restaurants.

The Bombay Brasserie set new standards, and was the first home with the concept of Indian fine dining, Now on the 10th of December 2007, for one night only, the anniversary will be celebrated by offering customers the exact same menu from 25 years previously and more importantly at the exact same prices!

Today’s diners will be familiar with many of the dishes on the original menu, but in 1982 with its emphasis on regionality, the menu was a complete revelation. Even more surprising were the prices. £5 50 for Tandoori Poussin or £4 95 for Goan fish curry and rice may be low by today’s standards, but 25 years ago such a price point reflected The Bombay Brasserie’s unique offering – that of plucking Indian cuisine from the neighbourhood high street and elevating it to cordon bleu status.

The restaurant has remained at the cutting edge of Indian cuisine in London and was recently the only restaurant to be included in the Evening Standard’s list of 14 eateries that made the most indelible impression on their famous critic over the last 30 years.

The Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Close, London SW7 4QH

E-mail: bombay1brasserie@aol.com
Website: www.bombaybrasserielondon.com
Reservations: 020 7370 4040
Read Clifford Mould’s review: www.dine-online.co.uk/bombayb.htm

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Awana | Contemporary fine dining Malaysian Restaurant

Streets Ahead at Awana

Hawkers peddling their wares through the streets of Malaysia is a definitive image of this nation’s culinary heritage and a stark contrast to the fine dining experience to be found on Chelsea’s Sloane Avenue, that is until now.

Awana, the contemporary fine dining Malaysian restaurant is bringing authentic Malay street cuisine to the heart of Chelsea with their Street Food Festival throughout September, reflecting the multicultural ‘flavour’ of the country with skewers of tender satay, traditional breads, succulent lamb and fresh seafood.

Executive Chef Mark Read and Head Chef Lee Chin Soon have collaborated on this street food menu to encompass the very best dishes from a variety of regions. Influences range from the capital Kuala Lumpur, Taiping which is famous for its delicious street food and Penang, often nicknamed as the ‘food capital of Malaysia,’ to create menu which evokes the real flavour of Malaysia.

Starters (£6.50)
Satay Bebola Daging from Kuala Lumpur
Beef skewer served with Awana’s signature spicy peanut sauce

Roti Bom from Taiping
Malaysian thick bread made from a traditional family recipe served with red curry sauce

Main course (£14.00)
Sambal Udang from Penang
Tiger prawn tail with onion, coriander, sweet pepper in sambal chilli

Pasembur from Taiping
Yam bean, cucumber, bean sprout, flour fritters with spicy sweet potato sauce

Kari Kambing from Kedah
Slow cooked tender lamb curry with coconut milk and awana blended herbs

Nasi Putih from Perlis
Fragrant rice

Dessert (£5.00)
Ais Kacang from Penang
Pistachio ice cream served with cinnamon topped shaved ice, kidney beans, jelly and sweet milk

Awana, perfectly introduces willing taste buds to the true culinary diversity of Malaysia while sommelier Li Ya Nan has carefully selected wines list to complement each dish.

Surrounded by beautiful teakwood, traditional batik silk and luscious dark red leather, you can enjoy the Street Food Festival menu in the finest surroundings. A chic bar area hosts an extensive cocktail list concentrating on delectable whisky blends and exotic aromatic mixes.

Open for lunch and dinner everyday, awana brings the streets of Malaysia straight to the heart of Chelsea.
The Street Food Festival menu is only available from the 1st Sept – 30th Sept 07.

Awana
85 Sloane Avenue
London
SW3 3DX

020 7584 8880
www.awana.co.uk

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Great Australians, Kosta Browne and Petrus From The Benchmark Wine Group

Great Australians, Kosta Browne, and Petrus From The Benchmark Wine Group

Australia
Clarendon Hills Grenache Blewitt Springs Vineyard Old Vines 1999 ~ 1 @ $57 RP92
Clarendon Hills Grenache Blewitt Springs Vineyard Old Vines 2001 ~ 3 @ $55 RP95
Clarendon Hills Grenache Hickinbotham Vineyard Old Vines 2002 ~ 2 @ $42 RP92-94
Clarendon Hills Shiraz Brookman`s 2002 ~ 2 @ $59 RP96
Clarendon Hills Shiraz Hickinbotham Vineyard 2002 ~ 1 @ $79
Clarendon Hills Shiraz Liandra`s 1998 ~ 3 @ $43 RP91
Clarendon Hills Shiraz Liandra`s 2001 ~ 1 @ $42 RP93
Clarendon Hills Shiraz Moritz 2002 ~ 2 @ $55 RP95, WS93
d`Arenberg Shiraz Dead Arm McLaren Vale 2002 ~ 3 @ $49 RP93, WS92
d`Arenberg Shiraz Ironstone Pressings 1998 ~ 2 @ $46 RP92, ST90
d`Arenberg Shiraz Ironstone Pressings 2000 ~ 2 @ $42
d`Arenberg Shiraz Ironstone Pressings 2002 ~ 4 @ $51 RP93, ST90
Elderton Shiraz Command 1996 ~ 1 @ $64 RP93, WS93
Greenock Creek Grenache Cornerstone 2003 ~ 3 @ $60 RP94
Greenock Creek Grenache Cornerstone 2004 ~ 3 @ $49 RP91
Grosset Riesling Polish Hill 2004 ~ 3 @ $30 WS92, ST91
Kaesler Shiraz Old Bastard 2001 ~ 1 @ $115 RP96, WS96
Kaesler Shiraz Old Bastard 2002 ~ 5 @ $115 RP96, WS94 “The flagship offering, the 2002 Shiraz Old Bastard was fashioned from a vineyard planted in 1896, and was cropped at one ton of fruit per acre. It spent 22 months in French oak before being bottled with neither fining nor filtration. A spectacular perfume of raspberries, plums, blackberries, espresso, vanilla, and charcoal is followed by a tannic Shiraz with a huge palate, massive concentration, tremendous richness, and a multidimensional flavor profile. Less alcoholic (15.2%) than The Bogan, it should be cellared for 4-6 years, and consumed over the following 20-25.” -Robert Parker
Mitolo Cabernet Sauvignon Serpico 2003 ~ 5 @ $39 RP92, ST91
Mitolo Shiraz Reiver 2004 ~ 6 @ $30
Torbreck Shiraz Factor 2002 ~ 4 @ $125 RP99 “Remarkably, the 2002 The Factor may be even more awesome than the 2001. It boasts a blackberry liqueur-like intensity with chocolatey richness intermixed with blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. The unctuous texture, refreshing acidity, and sweet tannin frame-up this magnificent wine. It should drink well for 15+ years. Interestingly, the 2002 The Factor did not have the Cote Rotie-like roasted element found in the 2001, no doubt because 2002 was a much cooler growing year than the record heat experienced in 2001.” -Robert Parker

Rhone
Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 1985 ~ 1 @ $109 RP93
Chapoutier Hermitage Le Meal 2001 ~ 3 @ $152 RP92-95, ST93
Chapoutier Hermitage Le Meal 2001 ~ 1 @ $99 RP92-95, ST93 signs of seepage
Chapoutier Hermitage Pavillon 1990 ~ 1 @ $529 RP100 “The 1990 Le Pavilion is as compelling as the 1989. It exhibits slightly less opulence, but more power and weight. Black colored, with an extraordinary perfume of licorice, sweet blackcurrants, smoke, and minerals, it coats the palate with layer upon layer of decadently rich, superconcentrated, nearly viscous Syrah flavors. There is amazing glycerin, a chewy, unctuous texture, and phenomenal length. The tannins, which are considerable when analyzed, are virtually obscured by the massive quantities of fruit. I hope I live to see the day when Chapoutier’s 1990 Ermitage Le Pavilion, Chave’s 1990 Hermitage, and Jaboulet’s 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle are fully mature! What a trio of wines these three producers have produced from this historic appellation! My best guess for the aging potential of the Ermitage Le Pavilion is that it is more forward than both the Chave and Jaboulet Hermitages, but should you have the good fortune to find a bottle or two, do not open it for at least 7-10 years. It should last for 30-40 years.” -Robert Parker
Chapoutier Hermitage Pavillon 2000 ~ 2 @ $199 RP98
Chateau Rayas Pignan Chateauneuf du Pape 1989 ~ 1 @ $174 RP93 “Similar to the 1990, although slightly less port-like and without the color saturation of that wine, the full-throttle, robust, intense, rich 1989 Pignan coats the palate with layers of viscous fruit flavors, high alcohol, and an impressive velvety sweetness. This high-octane wine exhibits no signs of going into a closed stage; it should continue to drink splendidly well for another 12-15 + years.” -Robert Parker

Bordeaux
La Gaffeliere 1990 ~ 1 @ $125 RP90
La Mission Haut Brion 1988 ~ 2 @ $175 RP90
Pavie 1989 ~ 1 @ $145 WS90
Pavie 1990 ~ 1 @ $159 RP92, WS94
Petrus 1990 ~ 1 @ $3975 RP100, WS100 “The phenomenally rich, well-endowed 1990 Petrus has been magical from the first time I tasted it in cask. The color is a dense, jammy plum/purple. The wine possesses a knock-out nose of black fruits intertwined with aromas of toasty new oak, caramel, and flowers. Massively rich and full-bodied, with slightly lower acidity and sweeter tannin than its older sibling, the 1989, the 1990 is an extraordinarily rich, seamless wine with layers of flavor, and a finish that lasts for nearly 45 seconds. Although it is remarkably accessible because of its voluptuous texture, this wine has not begun to develop secondary nuances. It should hit its peak in 10-15 years, and last for three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035.” -Robert Parker
Petrus 1994 ~ 1 @ $825 RP93, WS93
Petrus 2000 ~ 1 @ $3850 RP100 “A magical effort from Petrus, the 2000 has continued to gain weight and stature. From the bottle, it is a perfect wine, much like the 1998. The color is inky plum/purple to the rim and the nose, which starts slowly, begins to roar after several minutes, offering up scents of smoke, blackberries, cherries, licorice, and an unmistakable truffle/underbrush element. On the palate, this enormous effort is reminiscent of dry vintage port, with fabulous ripeness, a huge, unctuous texture, enormous body, and a colossal 65-second finish.” -Robert Parker

Burgundy
Leroy Meursault les Perrieres 1973 ~ 1 @ $199

Italy
Fanti Brunello di Montalcino 1999 ~ 2 @ $91 WS98
Pio Cesare Barbaresco Il Bricco 1998 ~ 18 @ $99 WS92, ST91 original wood “Luscious, almost decadent red, with leather, plum and cedar aromas. Full-bodied, with ripe and round tannins and a generous, rich aftertaste. Up-front and exotic. Best after 2006.” -Wine Spectator

Portugal
Gould Campbell Port 1977 ~ 3 @ $75 WS93
Gould Campbell Port 1977 ~ 2 @ $55 WS93 signs of seepage
Gould Campbell Port 1977 375ml ~ 3 @ $28 WS93
Gould Campbell Port 1977 375ml ~ 2 @ $21 WS93 2.5cm
Quinta do Noval Port 1970 ~ 1 @ $87
Sandeman Port 1967 ~ 1 @ $95 WS90 cracked wax capsule, exposed cork
Sandeman Port 1975 ~ 1 @ $59 cracked wax capsule, exposed cork
Taylor Port 1966 ~ 6 @ $195 MB***/* cracked wax capsule, exposed cork

California Cabernet Blends
Long Shadows Cabernet Sauvignon Pirouette 2004 ~ 1 @ $53 WE91, CG91, WS90
Merryvale Vineyards Profile 1994 ~ 1 @ $85 RP92, WS91, ST92
Opus One 1983 ~ 5 @ $199 oxidized capsule, tissue adhered to label
Opus One 1984 ~ 5 @ $165 WS94 oxidized capsule, sdc
Opus One 1985 ~ 4 @ $219 WS95 oxidized capsule
Opus One 1986 ~ 4 @ $255 WS95 oxidized capsule
Opus One 1987 ~ 3 @ $189 WS97 ts or better, sdc, oxidized capsule
Opus One 1987 ~ 2 @ $155 WS97 past sos
Opus One 1988 ~ 5 @ $209 oxidized capsule
Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2002 ~ 1 @ $29 W&S93
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1985 ~ 12 @ $75 oxidized capsule
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1986 ~ 3 @ $55 WS95 slight oxidized capsule, vts
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1986 ~ 2 @ $49 WS95 past sos, ts, oxidized capsule.
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1988 ~ 6 @ $47 WS91

California Pinot Noir
Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River 2003 ~ 1 @ $129 WS93
Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River 2003 375ml ~ 5 @ $75 WS93 “Wonderful intensity, structure and depth of ripe fruit built around a core of intense plum, blackberry and wild berry fruit flavors. Keeps a tight focus through the finish, where the flavors gain complexity and nuance, adding a dash of fresh earth flavors. Drink now through 2009.” -Wine Spectator
Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2003 ~ 2 @ $95 WS93
Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2003 ~ 2 @ $149 WS95 “This tremendously complex young Pinot gains amplitude, starting out with a delicate band of spice, vanilla, black cherry and wild berry and slowly unfolding to reveal extra layers of depth and dimension. Finishes with a rich, supple aftertaste that caresses the palate. Drink now through 2009.” -Wine Spectator
Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2005 ~ 1 @ $90 WS93

California Syrah
Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Estate 2003 ~ 1 @ $158 RP98, WS96 “The sensational 2003 Syrah Reva Vineyard may be the finest example of this cuvee Alban has yet produced. Nearly endless depth as well as an extraordinarily flamboyant bouquet of blackberries, truffles, acacia flowers, and sweet tar emerge from this broad, opulent, full-bodied, incredibly rich Syrah. It is a stunning wine to drink over the next 12-15 years.” -Robert Parker
Red Car Wine Company Syrah Sugar Daddy 2002 ~ 1 @ $69 RP94

Cheers, Kari/Whitney, Benchmark Wine Group, 707-255-3500, sales@benchmarkwine.com

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