Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visitors and critics

I was supposed to finish this blog about review and reviewers weeks ago! Time flies- big time. Everyday brings a little more distraction and I end up writing this blog 10 minutes before the service starts!

I was going to tell you how much reviews in newspaper and magazine influence me.

I was going to tell you that I read and and read reviews from my favorite food critics while putting the restaurant together...

I was going to tell you how I felt when a review is brilliant and when a review destroys me!

Well actually it is quite easy to imagine : happy or very sad.

One thing that I realised is that every review has a point- so it was vital for me to weight Le pour et Le contre of each review.

One week end during the month of July we had 2 reviews in 2 Sunday magazines; eaten the same day, in the same room by 2 different reviewers:

one loved it and can't wait to comeback- the other one finds the all experience useless.

If you read left- Great review

if you read right- Crap review

So that is the point of review- a matter of taste and politic- just like our customers.

What is important now is to keep our guests happy by providing superb food, superb service..etc

and most important making sure that our pricing is right.

During my last trip to France, I was almost tempted to try a very up and coming restaurant near Nice.

1 Michelin star, young chef, exciting cuisine...

Sadly when I saw the price of the A la Carte, I knew that I will end up banqueroute if I ever order anything from his menu. The price was horrendous-

35 euros for a starter & nothing below 65 euros for a main course!!!

I felt very sorry for the chef as I am sure even at this price he doesn't cover his costs.

Running a restaurant relies too much on having hands serving plates, hands preparing the food, hands washing dishes..etc But those hands are attached to French voters body who believe in being looked after by THE STATE.

The NI contribution is enormous: 1euro goes to NI for every 1euro you give to your staff.Working hours are at 35hours a week (even in the catering industry)- every extra hours after 41 hours a week costs you another 50% extra(with a maximum of 45 hours per week); I know that every month you have to pay for a new tax: keeping the 50's + in employment- sending your staff to the STATE doctor for nothing other than 80 euros per employee- apprenticeship tax- CSG... plus all the bank holidays and the strike days.

Mission impossible to succeed.

Happy to be in London? Oh yes..........................but I have a restaurant in France too.

Merde alors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


21 Romilly Street
London W1 d5af
0207494 3111

4-18 October 2010

Foie Gras Apple-Sultanas
Crispy Herbs Caramel
Calvados Reduction Deglazed with Verjus


Scottish Scallops & Girolles
Parsley Cream, Garlic & Crunchy Granny Smith
Light Crustacean Dressing


Salsify & Curry

Braised Salasify, Poached Quail Eggs
Light Curry sauce & Mango Chutney


Autumn Truffle Risotto
Chicken Jus Reduction & Brown Butter


Cut Of Welsh Lamb
Autumn Vegetables from Secrett’s Farm
Classic Pommes Dauphines
Garlic & Lamb Jus


Slowly Baked Icelandic Cod
Marinated with Soya & Sugar
Braised Celeriac & Leeks
Lime Aromatic Jus


Light Herb Millefeuille
Wild Mushrooms & Almond-Tofu
Crunchy Pear & Port Jus

Golden Louis XV
Crunchy Pralin & Gold


Warm Apple & Caramel
Crumble Chiboust
Caramel Ice

4 Plats

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Recap of Summer

It is almost surreal as how fast time flies!

I just realised that I haven't been updating my blog for almost 8 weeks.
8 weeks spent juggling between entertaining my kids, traveling back and forward to Bangkok and Singapore, researching new suppliers, new ingredients, founding new employees, dealing with management crisis, paying wages, delaying payment to suppliers, torturing Gerard mentally, replying to rude customers, developing our wine business, cooking, ignoring phone calls from energy company trying to make me save money, browsing the net for a bit of porn, creating menus for Christmas, forgetting my mobile phone in my Bangkok bedside table,.... etc
I guess that is the usual life of running a business!

The most annoying thing during the last 8 weeks was to have my computer stolen.
Everything is gone!
My family pictures (especially the ones from Arthur & Anais birth)- all my recipes & menus - the Flowers, Petals & Herbs book I wrote while at Roussillon- the collection of gay porn that took me ages to download-The budgets & forecasts for all my restaurants. Really annoying.
Also the reason why I did not write anything on my blog is that I did not have any money spare to buy a new PC- I paid the wages first- which I thought was a better thing to do!

The restaurant has been quite packed for the entire months of July & August, so I thought that I could indulge in a new bottom of the range PC world' slow and under equipped Compaq.
I am going to make the most of it!

Need to go back to the kitchen now- the whole pig has just arrived and needs to be butchered.
Next time I'll talk to you about the Tsunami of restaurant reviews we have had this summer...

Veganisteria 111

Deep Problem If there was one thing that has seriously amazed me since becoming a vegan chef is the fact that I am still not connected ...