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The Year 2009

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Right, so, this blog was created and run by the PigPig, my wife; I just write my 2 pence on the restaurants we’re fortunate enough to eat in. I only started doing this in February after our meal at The Square and so far I’ve been pretty motivated to keep this up. Since then, there have been 50 restaurant reviews, so I’m averaging about one review a week, admittedly rather poor compared to other prolific reviewers, but then my wife cooks rather excellent food so eating in is often just as good!

Anyway after a year of extreme pigging out, I wanted to just cast my eye back over some of the things I’ve eaten and reviewed, to appreciate them further in a way (I’m constantly being told by various educational experts that self-reflection is a highly desirable trait). Here are some of the things that really impressed me, that made me sit up and go ‘Wow!’, that made me wish I had more and ultimately, the things that made me go nom nom nom.


  • Soufflé Suissesse aka Cheese Souffle Cooked on Double Cream @ Le Gavroche – first name on the list for me here, this was a real eye opener for me and as befitting a signature dish from a top restaurant was absolutely superb in every way.
Le Gavroche London 07
  • Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad @ St John’s – it was my first visit to St John’s and I absolutely loved it. I’m a simple man at heart and the no frills approach to producing quality tasting food appealed greatly to me. I think this dish personified their ethos really: a slightly unusual ingredient, roasted plainly, with a little something on the side to make the experience better (the parsley salad’s vinaigrette was necessary to help the richness of the marrow).
St John, london 03 Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad
  • A Tasting of Quail @ The Square – a choice from the first review I made, this has remained the dish I remember most from the meal. Breathing in the truffle oil atop the quail consommé while partaking in the royal club sandwich of quail and foie gras, brilliant stuff.
The Square, London


  • Tempura udon & toro sashimi @ Sushi Say – the toro has varied in quality from time to time, but usually still great as it’s usually very fresh. The udon as well is one of my favourites and is slurpingly awesome. This is my go-to place for when I get the sushi cravings.
Sushi-Say London tempura udon

Sushi-Say London toro
  • Fried cod and chips @ Rick Stein’s – the first time I had it, we drove 1.5 hours deep into the West country specifically for this; then I did it again when my parents came down and everybody was happy even though it was a pretty boring drive. Hands down, the best fish and chips, and the tartare sauce was also pretty good.
rick stein fish and chips 11
  • Ox tongue @ St John’s – there were lots of other dishes I could have chosen, but I eventually plumped for this because… well, I just loved it. Perhaps a bit biased since my meal here was fairly recent, but I remember taking the first bite of the tongue, and I just had to sit back to savour the tender flesh properly, without distractions, just letting my taste buds send love signals to my brain.
ox tongue st john, london,


  • Banana sticky toffee pudding, Guinness ice cream @ Launceston Place – the moment my mouth tasted this delightful combination of banana pudding with Guinness ice cream, this dish’s place in this list was assured, the only question was how high it’ll rank; turns out it came first. If I lived nearby, I would be sorely tempted to make weekly trips to Launceston Place just for this dessert.
Launceston place, London 14
  • Chocolate brownie cake @ Nobu – maybe it was because it was a birthday cake for my mum that made it extra special, but I thought it was amazingly good. Has just the right amount of sweetness and fudgy texture. All of us were rather taken aback as I think nobody really expected Nobu of all places to serve such a good brownie cake.
Nobu London 2
  • Ais kacang @ Satay House – often after a meal with my regular group of friends, we’ll be sitting back letting the digestive juices get to work; then I’ll float an idea, “Hey, who’s up for ais kacang?!”. This then starts a debate for the next half hour on our likelihood to get a table at 10pm on a Saturday night JUST for ais kacang and eventually I’ll return home empty handed. This scenario tends to repeat on a biweekly basis and we never actually found out if Satay House will let us in; we didn’t like our hopes and dreams crushed.
Satay house, london ais kacang

Other special mentionables

  • Red velvet cake @ Hummingbird bakery – probably the most visited food place this entire year from me, I think I’ve spent at least half a whole month’s wages on their cakes already. It doesn’t help matters when my close group of friends are as equally mad about this cake as me; nearly every time we meet at a friend’s house, someone would buy this cake. And I’ll still go mad with happiness eating it. Even though I just had a slice of it a week ago.
Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cake 12
The Sportsmans, seasalter 08
  • Mash potato @ L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon – the only redeeming feature from the two starred restaurant for me was this mash, which apparently was 50% butter according to the waitress. That helps explain the smooth-as-silk texture and probably my heart attack 20 years down the line.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon 17

Best meal experience

  • Le Gavroche – it may have been partly due to the company I had that night (my best man who I hadn’t seen since my wedding came down from Singapore to help his girlfriend (my flatmate for a year) pack to move home) but this meal was in many ways sheer excellence for me. Most importantly, the food was superb albeit not flawless and the service throughout the meal was impeccable (and getting a picture and signed autograph by the man himself Michel Roux Jr. didn’t do any harm either). If I had to recommend people a restaurant for a special occasion, this would be it.
Le Gavroche London 02

Have a happy new year, and thanks for visiting.

NB. I’ve excluded Fat Duck from this list because I ate there over a year ago, and it would be unfair to the rest anyway.

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