COME ON IN… to my website.

IT IS CUSTOMARY for most websites to start with a short manifesto explaining just what kind of site you have stumbled across… but let’s not get too philosophical about this. I am in favour of hospitable restaurants; inventive chefs; local ingredients; eating fresh food; shopping carefully. I am against over elaborate presentation on the plate; dumbed down food television; blunt knives; and anybody who takes photographs of everything they eat. I don’t much like those dim sum chickens feet. I am a great fan of sweetbreads and pork scratchings. I think that beer gets a raw deal in the context of gastronomy. I usually side with comfort rather than style. This site is mainly about food and restaurants but it also touches on trends and books. I hope that it can be dipped into and that it reads like a magazine rather than a diary - I make a great effort to avoid just writing down where I have been and what I have eaten. Please feel free to use the “Contact” page to send brickbats, bouquets, corrections and comments. Welcome aboard, and as our American cousins would have it…Enjoy!

Hot Picks

tabasco

OVER THE YEARS CYRUS TODIWALA has set the gold standard for Indian restaurants in London. For decades he has been promoting authentic dishes from the Indian regions and gradually he has been joined by a handful of restaurants with similar ambitions - Amaya, Tamarind, Benares, Rasoi, Chor Bizarre... But sophisticated Indian food is still the exception rather than the rule. Recently a newcomer – Gymkhana – was voted the best restaurant in Britain in the National Restaurant Awards, leaving a long list of famous names trailing in its wake. One thing is for sure, Gymkhana is not really the best restaurant in the country (that ranking is a by-product of their voting system), but it is a very fine restaurant indeed. Read More...

Questions of Taste

Tio Pepe

WHAT AN INTERESTING IDEA. Why do cookery books have to look like cookery books? As one of my books slid down the sales chart to a level that really upset both me and my publisher (with sales that were euphemistically described as “slow”), one of the “comments” on the web was a rant about how silly we were to produce a cookbook without glossy pictures. Cookbooks are all shoe-horned into a format – they look like cookbooks, they read like cookbooks, they are illustrated like cookbooks. But hang on, this year’s autumn list has something genuinely new and it’s coming to a shelf near you. A brilliant cookbook by Andrew Webb that’s been disguised as a Haynes Manual. Read More...

Six of the best for dim sum

  • Shanghai Blues
  • Pearl Liang
  • Royal China Baker Street
  • Dragon Castle
  • Yauatcha
  • Phoenix Palace