just went to maggie jones last night, spur of the moment. probably a mistake as i'd had a hearty lunch; so i got the shepherd's pie and my colleague the scotch steak.
is shepherd's pie always so salty? maybe i should just give up on this dish - but i'll do so reluctantly, it so many of my favourite things. (the best rendition of this theme has to be a hungarian dish which has minced meat and vegetables between layers of potatoes and sour cream, baked).
i finished up with bread and butter pudding, but was disappointed: too soggy.
the menu fascinated me, and you are right, its exactly where you'd want to go on chilly winter evenings. nice prices, too. ever had the venison there?
I would think it a little unwise to try MJ's after any sort of lunch, it being a stomach burster of a place.
Shepherd's Pie is sometimes over salted. I never quite know why. When made properly, it is a truly wonderous dish with succulent lamb, rich thick gravy and a crispy topping. There is a great recipe in one of Gary Rhodes' books.
Now his places are well worth trying. City Rhodes is a great client place and serves new and imaginative twists on classic dishes like Toad in the Hole ( have you ever tried this? Sensational ) and also superb roast beef with the lightest, fluffiest Yorkshire pudding on earth. He is also a maestro at great British puddings like bread and butter pudding and the scarily named but sumptuous spotted Dick ( I kid you not ) a rich steamed pudding with dried fruit and served with thick creamy custard. Oh My God! I would kill to be eating there this lunchtime.
The prices at MJ's have been rising steadily but are still pretty reasonable and as I said before the House wine is a bit of a steal.
Have you tried Kensington Place at the top of Church st in Notting Hill? It is quite different. Light, Airy, ferouciously noisy and hip, but the food is excellent and they have a splendid wine list. I tend to avoid the evenings there as it is a bit of a place for celeb whores but on Saturday lunchtimes it can be a real pleasure. Worth a try.
re: Simon Majumdar
A blessed Diwali to you too.
If you do go to City Rhodes, pray they have bubble & squeak. This was traditionally the dish made out of the remains of the veggies from sunday lunch ( swedes, cabbage, potatoes etc )and fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sounds Ugh!! but is just so good when it is done well and fried in butter.
He also has a wonderful place in Pimlico called Rhodes in the Square ( in Dolphin Square )
Other places for wonderful old British Grub
1) Sweetings in the city. Great fish and great puddings
2) The Quality chop House - Farringdon St
3) St John - An absolute must. Just on St John St Clerkenwell. Nose to tale eating. Bone Marrow on toast, stuffed pigs trotters etc
4)Rules - in Covent garden - although a tourist place it is still wonderful ( perhaps the best in town ) for game as they have their own grouse moor and venison herd and serve superb puddings and wines from " The former Colonies " well worth a try. Just leave all irony at the door and enjoy the moment. I would have Potted Shrimp, Steak and Kidney pudding and Spotted Dick.
5) Alfred - New Oxford st. More modern but still good and with a great selection of real ales