Thursday, 1 October 2015

London - The Square

I almost don't know where to begin, honestly.

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks working out of London, which was exciting enough on its own, but even more so given my love of fine dining.  With a veritable smorgasbord of incredible restaurants on offer, how would I ever be able to narrow the choice down to just a few special dining establishments?

Let me start off by saying, I couldn't get into my first, second or third choice restaurants, even though I had plenty of time to book.  Let's just say that some restaurants are almost impossible to get into, and leave it at that.  As I worked my way down my list of restaurants I'd dreamed about dining in, I finally found a lunchtime spot available at Mayfair stalwart The Square by Phil Howard.

With two Michelin Stars held since 1998, The Square is an institution in London and chef and co-owner Phil Howard regarded as arguably one of the best chefs in Europe.  In fact, in an Instagram conversation with a former alumni of the Square, a guy that runs one of the best restaurants in Brisbane, it was put to me that the Square and Phil Howard were responsible for producing and inspiring thousands of top chefs globally.  The reverence in which both are held were clear and I knew I would be in for a treat.

Cheap Eats - Miss Kays Brisbane

My recent vacation to Brisbane held many surprises, in particular the number of openings and closings of restaurants.  When I lived in Brisbane, I knew there were lots of changes afoot, but like the proverbial 'frog in hot water' you don't really notice the change in temperature until it's too late.  Coming back after eight months away was like being dropped into a vat of boiling water, the changed foodie landscape was plain to see.

Knowing about my love of burgers, I'd been told by a number of friends and followers that there was a great new burger joint in the CBD and that I 'had to check it out'.  It was a huge coincidence that I'd noticed Miss Kays at around the same time, ironically, located at the site of the Villager (see post here), which had closed during my time away.

SC was off with her cousin, who she'd bumped into while we were walking up the Queen Street Mall, so I took the opportunity to leave the girls to catch up and made my way around the corner to Miss Kays.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

NUR - nourishment, love and science come together

Every once in a while, you experience something so unexpected that it instantly forms a lasting memory.  The tasting menu at NUR has left an indelible impression, one that has me comparing the meal to one of my top five ever....  Big call for sure, but there it is.

Let me tell you a little bit about NUR.  

The chef and founder of NUR has an interesting background: inspired and tutored by culinary legend Raymond Blanc, Nurdin Topham's life changed when Blanc prepared him a tomato dish which was a revelation, tasting like nothing Chef Topham had tasted before.  So much flavour, yet so light and balanced, the dish inspired a life changing decision, one that led to ten years in Blanc's two Michelin Starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, as well as a qualification as a natural therapist. 

The inspiration for NUR came once Nurdin was able to eat at Rene Redzepi's world famous NOMA in Copenhagen, which led to an internship at Redzepi's Nordic Food Lab, where he immersed himself in artisanal food production, science and fermentation.  Wanting to open his own restaurant, but never thinking that Hong Kong would become home, it was a chance meeting with a HK chef that led to the  opening of NUR.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

LONgTIME - definitely a funky spot

Not long before I moved away from Brisbane, a cool sounding little restaurant opened up in the Valley called LONgTIME.  I'd walked past a couple of times and made the rookie mistake of looking at the bar area outside, assuming it was the dining area and thinking 'Meh.

I'd never really given the modern Thai restaurant much of a thought until we came back to Brisbane for a short visit and arranged to go along with good mates.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived for our dinner and found a huge and contemporary looking dining room, wrapped around an open kitchen, hidden from street view.  I was gob smacked!

It didn't surprise me that it was one of the hottest dining spots in Brisbane and a favourite of our Brisbane buds Thommo and Druce.  It was just the sort of hip and out of the way place that would appeal to our friends, who regaled us with stories of former visits and amazing food.  I literally couldn't wait to get cracking...

But, wait I did.  I'd arrived a little early and Thommo and Druce, who'd been entertaining SC, were quite late.  So, I had the opportunity to sit in the dining room and watch it slowly, then quickly fill up as I waited for my dining companions.  At least I was comfortable and it did give me the opportunity to admire the fit-out, which was solid looking wood tables and chairs and green leaf covered chandeliers, bringing the outside in.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...