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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Best of Bacon 2012 (updated)

I am starting this new blog appropriately with the best meals I've had of 2012.

1. La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise, Prague. 
What we ate - 12 course taster menu
Most memorable course - Foie gras, grape juice jelly & Beef tongue, yellow pea, apple.
Notes: Now first place - see review for full details!
9.5/10
Beef tongue, yellow pea, apple.
2. L'Enclume Cartmel, Cumbria.
What we ate - 16 course taster menu
Most memorable course - oyster pebbles
Notes: Only slightly edging Marcus Wareing into second place for that real wow factor. This was an amazing experience, and we are excited to learn that Simon Rogan is bringing his genius to Manchester next year.
9.5/10
 
3. Marcus Wareing at The Berkley, London
What we ate - The chefs menu.
Memorable course - Foie gras. I described it at the time as 'meaty butter.'
Notes: Utter perfection, slightly more traditional than L'enclume but no less spectacular for that.
9/10

4. Northcote Manor, nr Blackburn
What we ate - The 8 course taster menu
Memorable course - Everything was great, but what I recall the most was the amazing Lancashire cheese topped bread. It was like the crack cocaine of the bread world.
8/10 

5.  Aumbry - Prestwich
What we ate - 9 course taster menu
Memorable course - A truffle oil soup that wasn't even on the menu, a none meat eating friend had it on her taster menu, and upon tasting it I had to order it. I don't think they even billed me for it.
Manchester's best restaurant.
8/10

6. Kampa Park, Prague
What we ate - 4 faultless courses.
Memorable course - Nordic sashimi of salmon, scallop, lobster and shrimp with parsley oil, green apple and soy aioli.
8/10 
Nordic sashimi of salmon, scallop, lobster and shrimp with parsley oil, green apple and soy aioli.


7. Mandraki Village boutique hotel - Skiathos, Greece
What we ate - Mushroom risotto, black squid risotto, grouper cheeks and veg risotto.
Memorable course - black squid risotto.
Notes: Beautiful boutique hotel with fantastic food. 
7/10 

8. Los Guayres - Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, Spain
What we ate - 6 course taster menu.
Memorable course - Not really, it was all good.
7/10 

9. Australasia - Manchester.
What we ate - Oysters, sushi, pork belly, lamb,scallops 
 Memorable course - The oysters are as fresh as they come.
Notes: Seems to have mixed reviews of late, but we've always eaten well there.
7/10

10. Aubaine Manchester.
What we ate - Pig head croquettes, Duck confit, burger.
Memorable course - Equally all as good.
A late and surprising entry, we really enjoyed everything here, the service and setting were excellent also.
7/10
 
 Honourable mention:  Unknown named restaurant, Panormos, Skopelos, Greece.
What we ate - traditional Greek food on the beach as the sun set - prawn saganki, mousakka
Notes: Sometimes everything is just perfect in life. The perfect setting, wonderful simple cooking and very cheap!
7/10

Best Cheap eats: Polpo, London
Venetian tapas in a 'vibey' setting.
7/10

Best Pub meal: Freemasons at Wiswell
What we ate - 7 course taster menu.
Memorable course: Blood Orange Meringue Pie, Agen Prunes, Salted Walnut Ice Cream
8/10
Blood Orange Meringue Pie, Agen Prunes, Salted Walnut Ice Cream.

Most Disappointing meal of the year
Italia, Manchester. 
After much hype, sadly failed to live up to expectations.
3/10

Best Pub of the Year
The Beech inn, Chorlton.
A true local. 

Best Lunch:
A simple Greek salad. 
Always great in Greece!

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