Turntable, Holborn, London (not yet visited)

This is my first post about somewhere I’ve not visited, it is an experiment to see if it’s worth writing “preview posts”. I do occasionally get sent press releases about various places opening up around the country, and this one looked a bit interesting so I thought I’d bash out a few words about it.

Turntable is apparently “a new restaurant concept” situated in the “trendy district of Holborn” (must have changed a bit since I worked in the area). It opened a couple of weeks ago, serving Asian street food to up to 150 people in a two-storey venue. The menu looks interesting, with things like Malay chicken curry, beef rendang (a favourite of mine) and crab fried rice on offer. There are also some good looking cocktails such as “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Jungle Boogie”. They are created by the “infamous mixologist Antoine Paichard”.

turntable IMG_5727-mediumres

(image copyright Turntable)

What I think the “new restaurant concept” is really about is that they have a bar with an in-house DJ playing Soul, Motown, Funk, Old School Hip Hop and R&B music, exclusively on vinyl. Essentially, this is an old concept, but it’s making a comeback, just like vinyl itself (my massive collection of 12″ singles is making a comeback in my lounge now I have a new turntable to play them on)… In my day, all music was on lovely analogue vinyl, with the world of digital really taking over in the 1990s. The warm sound of analogue soul alongside a nice warm beef rendang sound like a pretty good combination to me. All that seems to be missing is a decent IPA to accompany that rendang…

Weekday food service hours are 18.30-23.30 Tuesday-Friday, with last orders at 22.30. Bar opening hours are from 17.00 Monday-Friday.

Find out more at http://turntable.london/

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PR fluff

Most of the articles here are stuff written by me, about places that I’ve been to, things that I’ve cooked, and things that I’ve eaten or imbibed.

I do get sent some PR from various things, and it is sometimes amusing to pick your way through these and do a bit of dissecting.

Crocker’s Folly Brings Epicurean Edge to Traditional Pub Fare with House Aged Meats
London’s premier fine dining restaurant is reimagining the conventions of traditional pub fare with a premium range of house aged meat served up in historic surrounds. Located in a beautifully restored Victorian gin house in St John’s Wood, Crocker’s Folly offers diners five star cuisine in a brilliantly restored landmark that echoes the elegance of a bygone era.

So, a pub is using a “premium range of meat”. Sounds like an excuse for some high prices to me.

The Grade II listed building was built in 1898 as a gin palace, and thanks to the efforts of the Maroush Group it’s just as stunning today as it was in its heyday. Boasting a myriad of different marbles, towering Romanesque columns, cut glass chandeliers and carved mahogany furnishings, the interior is utterly theatrical. Crocker’s Folly gives Londoners the chance to reacquaint themselves with one of the city’s most resplendently restored architectural gems while enjoying fare from an exceptionally talented kitchen team. Blending Britain’s intrinsic love for premium quality meat with five star recipes and techniques, Crocker’s Folly has created a fine dining experience that successfully retains a sense of tavern style charm.

So, it’s an old building, with “rustic charm”, chandeliers and mahogany. Wetherspoon this is not.

Marouf Abouzaki, Company Chairman of the establishment, says “Brits are still infatuated with the idea of the traditional pub, however they also want an experience that’s on par with contemporary dining expectations. Crocker’s Folly blends the two concepts to create a unique establishment that’s luxurious and high end, yet still nods to the cultural appeal of the traditional pub.”

Erm, no. We are infatuated with the traditional pub, and we want the traditional pub, serving decent ales and some decent food. I’m not going down the pub to look for house aged meat.

While some restaurants import aged meat Crocker’s Folly has taken a back to basics approach. Inspired by its location in one of London’s most historic edifices, the restaurant has introduced a range of house aged meats prepared on-premises. All cuts are matured in the purpose built ageing unit under a specially designed chamber featuring controlled humidity and temperature.

Just sounds like an expensive fridge to me. My uncle was a master butcher. I think he had a “specially designed chamber featuring controlled humidity and temperature”. It was called a cold room.

Chef Damian Wawrzyniak helped develop the menu and was determined to source cuts from the best local suppliers. Breeds include Angus, British Isles and Hertford, three of the UK’s most sought after classes. Diners can choose from a range of cuts cooked to perfection by the Crocker’s Folly kitchen. Beef Tenderloin, Chateaubriand, aged Sirloin, Rib Eye and Rack of Lamb are all in-house favourites. As well as the main bill of fare diners also enjoy a dynamic Meat Board that changes on a daily basis. This showcases cuts such as T-bone, Porterhouse and other specialty cuts.

What is a “dynamic meat board”?

As well as its ever changing range of house aged meat Crocker’s Folly also serves up gourmet burgers using a secret recipe.

Sounds nice. I like a nice burger. But given that it costs 6 quid for some pea soup, 12 quid for fish & chips and the cheapest glass of wine is 6 quid, I don’t think I’ll be off there any time soon. At least a cup of tea is only 2 quid.

A link on their web site goes to a menu called the “A La Carter Menu” – either this has something to do with 1990s indie kids Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, or they have skimped on the proof readers in order to pay for their magic meat aging machine.

Food for Maroush at Crockers Folly

(C) Crockers Folly