Best of the Blogs

Blogger PalAtTable had a terrific supper at Langan’s Brasserie in London after having dined at sister restaurant Odin’s earlier this year.  Langan’s is a name to conjure with for Londoners of a certain age.  Once upon a time in the 80’s it was an It Place

Langan's Bistro

where you might see David Bailey and Marie Helvin at the next table having dinner with Mick Jagger and a beautiful woman.  Papparazzi were permanently camped outside.  Peter Langan, now sadly and flamboyantly gone, was the genius restaurateur who founded Langan’s with Michael Caine (the actor, not the Michelin-starred chef at Gidleigh Park, as he would have been about three years old) attracting – and usually insulting – all the glitterati and A-list celebs of the era.  He was famous for frequently falling down drunk in his own restaurant so that guests had to step over him, and for once putting out a kitchen fire with vintage champagne.  If you brought a date to Langan’s, you might find, partway through the meal, your host under the table nibbling her ankles.  But the food, service and ambience were brilliant. He also founded Langan’s Bistro and Odin’s, as well as a brasserie in Coggeshall with chef Mark Baumann who renamed it Baumann’s Brasserie and believes that Langan may be haunting table number twelve there. PalATable had the same experience we’ve always had at Langan’s – super food, delightful service, great evening.
Said Simon to the Pieman got himself to Theo Randall in Mayfair.  We’ll let him speak for himself, as it’s short and sweet:

I should mention the food. One sentence really. Best Italian I have ever had.

Oh, and:

I have to mention the coffee. Brilliant coffee, not overly strong, just a full bodied roast that was perfect for the end of the meal.

So not only was the food top class — this from a blogger who makes a point of eating at top-end restaurants frequently — but the coffee got a special mention.  Sign of a great restaurant.  Simon is on a quest to get all 54 chefs involved in the Obsession cookbook to sign their own page and that’s a story in itself.  If it involves dining in 54 brilliant restaurants, we applaud his every move.
Greedy Diva had a terrific evening as well, at the book launch for Pushpesh Pant’s new India Cookbook (1.5 kg, ‘The Only Book On Indian Food You’ll Ever Need’) published by Phaidon and quite a good Christmas gift idea, actually.  Anyway, the host restaurant was Moti Mahal in Covent Garden (there’s one in South Ken too) where chef Anirudh Arora gave a blinding masterclass in Indian favourites.  She found the cooking ‘good quality’ but then toptable diners already knew that.


Love tea?  Tamarind and Thyme had a personal masterclass offered her by David of Jing Tea and shares every step with us in her blog of 11 November.  Matcha tea was the theme of the day, that mysterious and irresistible tea employed in the Japanese tea ceremony.  Thanks to Tamarind and Thyme, it’s a bit less mysterious now.   She also lets us in on the divine Japanese cuisine at Tsuru Bankside.
Pssst.  Got ten minutes to waste?  We just discovered Awkward Family Photos, subtitled ‘Spreading the Awkwardness’ and its partner site Awkward Family Pet Photos, ‘Celebrating the Special Bond Between People & Their Pets’ and we can’t decide which we love more.  The couple dressed for Hallowe’en as couch potatoes with their children as Tater Tots (sorry, American joke)?  The elaborately mulleted bowling team?  The  dogs buried up to their necks in sand?  Nope, pretty sure it’s the classic entitled ‘Wild Hogs’.  Nothing to do with restaurants or food or eating or anything toptable associated.  It’s Friday.  We thought you should know.