Sweet Potato

Some types of guilt are easier to shake off than others. I blame myself, I really do. Not only did I allow her to go out alone, unchaperoned, I even encouraged it. It was a Friday. We had just come back after a couple of days away. The house was short on provisions and I…

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Dean Banks

Kinnettles Hotel, 127 North Street,  St Andrews, Fife KY6 9AG 01334 473387   www.haarrestaurant.com The Bill Dinner Tasting Menu 5 courses: £50 A la Carte Starters: £11.00 – £16.00 | Mains: £20.00 – £35.00  Desserts: £9.50 The Score Cooking 7/10 | Service 5/5 | Flavour 4/5 | Value 4/5 TOTAL 20/25   There is something about…

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Magnifying Glass

When the site was launched, I mentioned that there were still a couple of glitches which had to be ironed out. Many thanks to Alan Tomkins of Alpha Tango, and his tecchy man Adrian for resolving them. There are two separate search facilities. While they are straightforward enough, if you haven’t encountered the wonderful world…

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Spaghetti Puttanesca

I’ve been making this for years, generally none too well. Today, by accident, I made one of the best ever. While all pasta sauce has to be big enough to flavour a lot of carbohydrate, puttanesca is huge. Why so? Ah, how to explain without offending the sensibilities of your maiden aunts, should they chance upon…

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French Institute

59 – 63 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1RN 0131 225 4021  www.lebistrot.co.uk The Bill Table d’Hote Lunch 2 courses: £13.95 | 3 courses: £16.95 Dinner A la Carte Starters: £5.95 – £9.95 | Mains: £12.95 – £32.95  Desserts: £5.95 – £6.95 The Score Cooking 6/10 | Service 3/5 | Flavour 4/5 | Value 5/5…

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The eyebrows of anyone who knows me are likely to rise considerably at the notion of my penning an article on shopping. As a leisure activity it scores as highly in my book as watching ethnic dancing or having bamboo shoots inserted under my toenails. But, dear reader, you have still got to get the…

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Now I bow to no one in my admiration of Nigel Slater. In addition to his writing and broadcasting, he is editor of the Observer Food Monthly, which I take from time to time. The latest edition which I read contained The 8th Annual OFM 50 –  Everything We Love In The World of Food Right…

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Grand Marnier Souffle

This blog is posted for Valentine’s Day. Making a romantic dinner? A light last course is always to be recommended, You also want something that shows you’ve made an effort. Soufflés aren’t as frightening as you might think, once you’ve made one or two. With a larger unruly dinner party,  the timing can be an…

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Cafe Royal Interior

19 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AA 0131 556 1884 www.belhavenpubs.co.uk/pubs/midlothian/cafe-royal-circle-bar The Bill A la Carte Oysters(6): £12.00 – £15.00 | Starters: £6.00 – £12.00  Mains: £13.00 – £35.00* | Desserts: £6.00 – £7.00 * Lobster is market price, probably higher The Score Cooking 2.5/10 | Service 3/5 | Flavour 2/5 | Value 2/5 TOTAL…

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Gordon Ramsay

When a chef has acquired a degree of celebrity, people’s attitudes seem to change. One of the most common questions posed to waiting staff is whether the great one is on the premises or whether he personally prepared that terrine/fish/panna cotta. When the answer is in the negative, this often results in hurt feelings. In…

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Slow Roasted Lamb

Sometimes I think that in a previous life I must have been a French housewife. Or have I just spent too long reading and watching Nigel Slater? When food shopping there are times, especially if you have planned a dinner or other event, when you know exactly what you want to buy, and precisely what…

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Two Fat Ladies

118A Blythswood Street, Glasgow G2 4EG   0141 847 0088  www.https://twofatladiesrestaurant.com/citycentre The Bill Table D’Hote Lunch 2 courses; £16.00 | 3 courses £19.00 Table D’Hote Dinner 2 courses; £18.00 | 3 courses £21.00 A la Carte Starters: £5.00 – £11.00 | Mains: £16.00 – £22.50 |  Desserts: £6.50 – £8.50 The Score Cooking 7/10 |…

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At the end of this, you are going to look in incredulity and say, all this column just about a sandwich? Well yes, but please bear with me. Not just any old sandwich but one that the late Anthony Bourdain, no less, declared the best ever. Once you’ve embarked on a food tour in Vietnam,…

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Duongs Ho Chi Minh City

Duong’s Restaurant Saigon & Cooking Class 27 Dong Du Street, Ben Nghe Ward, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam www.duongrestaurant.com The Bill (£1 = 30,000 Vietnamese Dong) Set Menus: £15.00 – £36.50; A la carte Starters £3.50 – £13.00; Mains £9.00 – £25.00; Desserts £4.00 – £5.00 The Score Food 5/10; Service 2/5; Flavour 4/5; Value…

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The Marshall Trewin House of Fun Somewhere in Norfolk Reservations: Strictly By Invitation Only Guest Reviewer Ross Marshall The Bill Incredibly cheap The Score Cooking 8/10* | Service 2/5** | Flavour 6/5*** | Value 5/5**** TOTAL 21/25 It’s Friday and Tom’s oxtail recipe has just dropped into my phone. Looks interesting – though, clearly, it’s…

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Brussels Sprouts

  Now, hands up those who eat Brussels Sprouts on any day other than December 25? And keep your hands up if you enjoy them. My hand is in the air twice. It’s probably appropriate that I’m writing this with an election on the way, one which has opinions as polarised over politics as they…

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Apple Strudel

I was looking for something festive. And, about to head to Prague to visit grandson, something with a European twist. Then I discovered that today’s feast is a favourite of close friend PM. And that his granddaughter, Miss Charlotte, made it for him at the age of six. So there’s no excuse for the rest…

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As we all know, the brain is a mighty curious thing. If you doubt this, just consider the latest dream you can recall, and ask yourself, where on earth did that come from? And where, you should all ask, do these recipe ideas come from, week on week? Four years or so ago, when this…

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Sussex Pond Pudding It’s coming into pudding season. My own Christmas pud was made a couple of weeks ago. The Sunday morning routine has had to be altered slightly to feed it a little brandy and sherry. We have been making our own for a few years now, a recipe by Stephen Harris of The…

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Eusebi Deli

Eusebi Deli 152 Park Road, Glasgow, G2 9HB 0141 648 9999  www.eusebideli.com The Bill Starters: £4.00 – £12.00 | Mains: £12.50 – £24.00 | Desserts: Didn’t get there The Score Cooking 8/10 | Service 5/5 | Flavour 5/5 | Value 5/5 TOTAL 23/25 A long, long time ago, in a place very close to here,…

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White Horse Edinburgh

266 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8AA 0131 629 5300 https://www.whitehorseoysterbar.co.uk The Bill Small Plates – 9.00 – £14.00 | Whole Fish (Daily Selection) – £Market Price | Seafood Platters (for two) – £65.00 – £95.00 | Desserts – £4.50 – £7.50 The Score Cooking 6/10 | Service 4/5 | Flavour 3.5/5 | Value 3.5/5 TOTAL 17/25…

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Vietnam House

3 Grove Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8AF 0131 228 3383   www.vietnamhouserestaurant.co.uk The Bill Starters: £6.25 – £7.95 | Mains: £10.50 – £14.50 | Desserts: £3.99 The Score Cooking 5.5/10 | Service 5/5 | Flavour 4/5 | Value 5/5 TOTAL 19.5/25 Picture yourself, if you will, back in the days of the Edinburgh Enlightenment. Now I am…

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Like summer’s lease, the game season hath all too short a date. Enjoy it while ye may. Those with longer memories may recall that I did a partridge recipe a couple of years ago. I cooked the legs and crown separately. I was very kindly gifted a brace the other day, and decided to roast…

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