Review: The Grey Horse (BBQ Whisky Beer)

Back in 2013, yeah, remember then? The Lib Dems still existed, King Richard III’s skeleton was discovered under a Leicester car park and BBQ Whisky Beer won Ribstock.

I was at Ribstock on that day – where 10 different types of rib competed for the crown of ‘best rib’.

I tried the BBQ Whisky Beer entry first. After eating it I turned to Toby and said, “Tobes, we might as well go home now, that’s the winner.”

Toby looked disappointed and began walking towards the exit, before I explained that the whole “going home thing” was mere hyperbole and we shouldn’t actually go home.

For a short while we had a confusing conversation about what ‘hyperbole’ means until we realised we had to try nine types of rib within an hour.

Anyway, long story long, BBQ Whisky Beer did indeed win.

Small Jacobs Ladder Beef Rib

Small Jacobs Ladder Beef Rib

Then three years on I was on, soon to be extinct, social networking site ‘Twitter ‘ and saw that BBQ Whisky Beer were now in a pub in Kingston.

I gathered my things and jumped on a bus.

“Driver, take me to the ribs!”
“What?” he replied.
“The ribs! The Ribstock winning beef ribs!”
“What?”
“MOVE THE FUCKING BUS!” Shouted an elderly lady from one of the priority seats.

And with that we were on our way.

Macaroni cheese with parmesan crumb

Macaroni cheese with parmesan crumb

I ordered a large beef rib, Mac and cheese, and some fries.

The Mac and cheese was rich and garlicky, the fries were fryey…and the beef rib was sent to earth by baby Jesus himself.

Who knew cows had ribs? Who knew those ribs had delicious meat on them?

Smothered in a smoky BBQ sauce, and finished so it’s got a delicious, slightly burnt aroma I had to order a second small one.

Jacobs Ladder Beef Rib

Large Jacobs Ladder Beef Rib

I washed this down with an old fashioned – the Grey Horse has an excellent selection of whisky.

Amazing. I haven’t been able to look at a cow the same since.

Five boys out of five.

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Roux at the Landau – Review

The FoodieBoys needed to up their game.

Sure, we know the street food scene like the back of our heavily stamped hands (they sometimes stamp your hand) but it was time for a bit of fine dining.

With us not being wealthy men (yet! If you’d like to give us money, let us know and we’ll set up a crowdfunding initiative) we needed to source a good deal.

We knew all about Michel Roux Junior because of Masterchef and stuff, so when we saw 4 courses for £45 with wine and petit fours on Bookatable‘s star deal we were like, “erm, yes please!”

Arrival

You wouldn't find that in Shoreditch!

A far cry from Shoreditch

Toby: I arrived first. Typically Tony was using the opportunity to shop at some of the swanky high street stores near Regent Street. He bought three items from H&M! Hello Mr. Money!

I claimed the table, having been behind a Scottish family in the queue. I remarked to them they were a long way from home, but apparently they live in London now so that wasn’t strictly true. I wondered aloud if they were SNP, but before they could answer they were shown to their seats.

After depositing my bag in their excellent coat-check facilities, I was shown to my seat.

menu
And what a seat it was!

When Tony did arrive, we stood to shake hands, as rehearsed. It is best to prepare your behaviour at this kind of place, as there are different rules to the rough-and-ready street food scene.

Tony: I arrived and also stowed my bag in a safe place. Unlike Toby however, I was allocated the number 69, which may or may not have been subtle flirtation from the nice lady.

On arrival at the table, I noticed Toby’s first mistake. He’d got mineral instead of tap water. He haplessly explained he had replied “yes” thoughtlessly when the waiter asked if he wanted any water.

As a more experienced fine diner, I would not have fallen foul of this little trick of the trade. I’ve made a note to arrive earlier than Tobes in future. The next step was to have a look at the menu!

Appetisers / Starters

Toby: Amuse-bouches? My mouth couldn’t have been happier if you’d fed it a Michael Mcintyre DVD. These were definitely something involving chicken? Samosa of some sort? Tony – CHECK?

My starter was lamb’s tongue! This tasted much like the rest of  the animal if I’m honest – by which I mean fantastic! It also came with a lovely cheesey croquette, a tiny slither of bread and a green sauce which tasted like lemons. Now you wouldn’t get that from a van by the canal at King’s Cross! (This is not to dismiss the excellent offerings available from Kerb food market.)

Tony: I had the same as Toby.

Mains


Tony: I had originally eyed up the beef on first sight of the menu. However, having had red meat as my starter, I decided for variety’s sake I should go for the Pollack. Plus Toby had gone for the beef and if I’d had the same main as well as the starter it would have got really embarrassing.

The meal was very good, although nothing to write home about. To be honest, it’s rare I get to write home at all these days, but sometimes my Nan calls me to tell me what’s going on anyway. I haven’t told her about the fish I had.

Toby: “Tender is the Night” sang Blur. I’ve got an alternative for them: Tender is the Beef! I’m sure Alex James would enjoy that, being a food producer himself.

What I mean to say is, my red wine-glazed beef featherblade was incredibly tender. This, accompanied by buttered spinach and mashed potato and a curious green sauce called “mimiglot,” made for a sumptuous main, which Tony could only glance enviously at.

Desserts:


Tony: There’s nothing better to cleanse the palate than a nice sorbet. This, accompanied with a coconut mousse perfectly rounded off the three courses. I was a little disappointed that there was no chocolate option on the dessert menu, so I was delighted when petit fours turned up and they were the above delicious chocolate eclairs. The caramel sauce is a must-have.

Toby: Cheese! It goes straight to my bowel. My doctor has warned about my continued consumption of dairy products, particularly the mouldy stuff. But Tobes doesn’t play it safe, and so elected for the selection of cheeses.

As you can see, the server supplied a carried offering of cheeses, from hard to soft. My personal favourites were the goats cheese, and the French soft one which had “chateau“ in the name. Delicious stuff.

Overall

WineLoungerToby: I left Roux at the Landau with the taste of the meal still in my mouth. As I remarked to my housemate, I wish I didn’t have to clean my teeth before going to bed. I then cleaned my teeth with the door to the bathroom open, so it was absolutely clear I clean my teeth.

Extraordinarily, the next day my bowel was completely fine. Which just goes to show what truly great chefs are capable of.


Tony: 
Luckily I’m unburdened by such bowel issues. Lucky he did clean his teeth as we were on the red wine!

The meal itself was a laid-back affair (even the wine was lying down!) and the service was excellent.

Toby nearly embarrassed us both by trying to take the bread from the waiter instead of letting him put it on his little plate. The waiting staff were very good about it after I pointed out this obvious failure in etiquette.

Overall, we had a fantastic time and certainly didn’t ROUX booking a table!

Our meal cost us £45 a head, which includes 3 courses, wine and petit fours. More details about the deal are available here.

Snaps & Rye: Toby’s Lunch 12th February

We’ve noticed some bloggers contributing to Transun’s guide to Scandinavian Restaurants in the UK, and I wanted to throw our hat in the ring. After all, Toby’s been to Denmark before, so knows a thing or two about Viking eats.

So it was that Toby managed to persuade a colleague to come for lunch at Snaps & Rye, a Danish cafe a stone’s throw (from a quite strong man, like that Icelandic Magnus Magnusson was) from Portobello Road market.

It means "Welcome."

It means “Welcome.”

The interior of the place was clean and simplistic, with plush white walls which immediately pleased me because it seemed to guarantee good hygiene. Dirty, greasy marks would show up easily.

The waitress arrived, her name was something like Singe, and I immediately recounted the time I’d been to Copenhagen and therefore indicated I was accustomed to Danish cuisine. I also told her of my childhood adulation of goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, which I think put her at ease.

She told me she was from an island which I hadn’t heard of, which rather ended that conversation. Luckily, I could use that silence to order my meal.

The writing's on the wall.

The writing’s on the wall!

I went for the rare beef on rye, with marrow bone, mushrooms, egg and mustard cauliflower. I also shared some sides; potato salad and cheese and rye. With this I tried a Sealand Birk, it’s the water from birch trees, with infusions of ginger & lime. This was completely natural and organic, with a subtle sweet taste. Very refreshing.

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The food was delicious. The beef was very well complimented by the cauliflower and mushrooms in particular (so much so it was blushing!) and the marrow was a quirky addition. The egg speaks for itself.

The food was excellent and the girl serving me was masterful. With her soft voice, I would gladly listen to her reading Hans Christian Andersen fairytales to me, the Little Murmur-aid springs to mind! Sadly, she had a full cafe to attend to and this wasn’t a practical possibility.

I had a great time and I only wish I could have stayed longer, but I had already taken up 1.5 hours of my lunch break so was technically late, although working in digital as I do, this is flexible and totally cool with my management.

Before departing, I ran my eye over some of the excellent homewares and the like they had available for sale. Yes, they did have Lego!!

You don't have to be called Madsen to work here, but it helps.

You don’t have to be called Mads to work here, but it helps.