Tuesday 29 December 2015

20 Best Dishes 2015.

Here are my Top 20 Dishes of 2015. I've tried to not limit it to just high end restaurants. When you really need it, the bacon and egg naan at Dishoom is the most perfect dish for example. This was the year of the txuleta, both in Spain (Etxebarri, Ibai) and at home (Levanter and Volta).

1. Isle of Mull Scallop, Amontillado, White Alba Truffle. Hedone, London.
2.  Sopa Yódica de berberechos.  Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain.
3. Mussels in lemon grass and coconut soup. Mina, Bilbao, Spain.
4. Tomato and eel. Azurmendi, Bilbao, Spain.
5. Scallop Ceviche, lamb pancakes, veal sweetbreads. (Selection). The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds, UK.
6. Truffle custard, cabbage, onions and kale. Aulis at Fera, London.
7. Foie Cuba libre with lemon frost. Quique Dacosta at Ibérica, Manchester.
8. Foie and Montford Asado. La Culchara de San Telmo, San Sebastian. 
 9.  Tuna tartare, loin sashimi, tataki. La Taberna de El Campero, Zahara de los Atunes, Spain.
10. Chuleta de vaca. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe Achondo, Spain. And in the UK at Levanter, Ramsbottom.
11. Hake poached in pine oil. The French, Manchester.
12. Bacon & Egg Naan, Dishoom, London.
13. Celeriac Lasagna, Cep Truffle. Fraiche, Oxton.
14. Kokotxas. Ibai, San Sebastian. 
15. Carabineros. In Spain and sourced from Out of the Blue, Manchester and Greys Fine Foods.
16.  Meat Fruit. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London.
17. Twice cooked Lamb, marinated cherry tomatoes & red peppers. Ibérica, Manchester.
 18. Kuai Tiew Duck Yellow noodle, roast duck, duck soup, Siam Smiles, Manchester.
19. Jacob's Ladder, Truffle chips. Burnt Truffle, Heswall.

20. Slow cooked lamb shoulder, Tuscan sausage. Sugo Pasta Kitchen, Altrincham.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

10 Best Restaurants 2015.

Here are my 10 best restaurants that we visited this year, some more than once. I've also included a signature dish or one that I especially liked. It proved just too tough to rank them, so they're not necessarily in order.
Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Spain.
Aulis, At Fera Claridges, London UK.
Azurmendi, Bilbao Spain.
Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Achondo, Spain.
The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds, UK.
The French, Manchester, UK.
Mina, Bilbao, Spain.
Hedone, Chiswick, London, UK.
Fraiche, Oxton, UK.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Fraiche, Oxton.

It's quite telling that throughout the three lunches we've had at Fraiche this year, not one course has been a dud, nothing has 'not quite worked' as you often find on numerous tasting menus. We've genuinely loved every single bite of what chef Marc Wilkinson has created. Each meal has been almost completely different too. This time was even better as we enjoyed the new small conservatory area at the back which is lighter. Favourite dishes on this occasion were the Celeriac Lasagna and the beautiful Sussex Venison. The desserts are also very strong, Mrs B declared the lemongrass panna cotta to be her dessert of the year.

Fraiche Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Lunch cost us £45 each.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London.

As we normally only visit London once a year on a restaurant trip, it takes me some time to decide on which of the hundreds of fine places we should eat. Sunday lunch was proving a tough choice, especially after the previous epic day of eating at both Hedone and Aulis. It may seem a 'safe' decision but whilst Dinner may not be the latest place to go, I chose it simply because I thought the sheer quality of the dishes would shine through. They truly did, it was a wonderful lunch, excellent service in  a beautiful room overlooking Hyde Park, and completely faultless food. The signature dishes of Meat Fruit (which I've always wanted to try) and the Tipsy Cake were real highlights.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal - Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato *Lunch cost us £104 each sharing various starters and desserts.