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Meal of the Year, 2013 - what's yours?

Harters Dec 2, 2013 05:30 AM

For me, 2013 has been a good, if not mega, year for meals.

My vote would go, without question, to dinner at The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Great food and spot-on service.

What's your UK best meal?

  1. a
    AWaiting Dec 11, 2013 05:45 AM

    Hedone without doubt was the best meal of the year. No other restaurant like it in the UK

    Other 4 stand out meals in no particular order
    Alyn Williams
    Castle Terrace
    The Kitchin

    1. PhilD Dec 2, 2013 02:32 PM

      Only one really serious meal in the UK this year, but one that is probably number two on my list of the year that covers eleven countries. "Hedone" was truly a revelation and I thought it would be a clear winner as it was so so good, but Azurmendi (near Bilbao) beats it into first place. Heading to their new one Aziamendi in Phuket at Christmas so the top three may change.

      Top five - so far:
      1. Azurmendi (Bilbao)
      2. Hedone (London)
      3. Youpi et Voila (Paris)
      4. Guy Savoy (Paris)
      5. Chachawan (Hong Kong)

      9 Replies
      1. re: PhilD
        helen b Dec 2, 2013 11:39 PM

        L'Enclume in February
        L'Enclume in November
        Er...my breakfast at L'Enclume?!

        Fraiche has been great, but not stellar, and I worry is now over rated eg Sunday Times number 6 in the country. Tyddyn Llan was lovely, and Crab and Lobster in Sidlesham gorgeous, but neither are quite Proustian, if you know what I mean.

        At a different level, I could happily eat the unagi don at Etsu in Liverpool now, for breakfast, as with the dim sum and steamed fish and roast duck at Tai Pan.

        And...call me odd...but munching my baked potato with prawns at Spud-u-like in Chester in the perfectly preserved Roman hypocaust in the basement was an unexpected treat!

        1. re: helen b
          Harters Dec 3, 2013 09:29 AM

          Any idea if the Liverpool Tai Pan has an association with the Manchester Tai Pan?

          Ours had some serious run-in with the health authoriities a few years back but appears to have got itself sorted out and is serving good dim sum, amongst other general Cantonese offerings. I've never been - it's in an odd part of town, above a Chinese supermarket, and I've never been too keen on parking the car.

          1. re: Harters
            helen b Dec 4, 2013 05:28 AM

            No idea, but the Liverpool one is above a supermarket too, so maybe? No frills, vast banqueting place, but great dim sum, and family dining ie big roast meats/steamed fish for the table.

            1. re: Harters
              Theresa Dec 5, 2013 01:07 AM

              It's been there for about 15 years I think, if that helps. How long has the Manchester one been in business? As they are both above a supermarket, it sounds like they may be related.

              1. re: Theresa
                helen b Dec 5, 2013 01:30 AM

                Weirdly, also saw there's a Tai Pan on Hanover Street. It seems partly to be a hideous lobby eaterie in the Holiday Inn, but also there was a more promising looking sign in Chinese pointing up some stairs...so maybe this is their city centre branch?

                1. re: helen b
                  PhilD Dec 5, 2013 01:40 AM

                  It's a pretty common name - after all it was a popular novel and was a common Cantonese term. It's a bit like asking if all the White Hart Pubs or Last Days of the Raj curry houses are related

                  1. re: PhilD
                    helen b Dec 5, 2013 02:41 AM

                    Looks like it is the same:


                    1. re: helen b
                      Harters Dec 5, 2013 03:01 AM

                      Yep. Same website style as the Manc one.

          2. re: PhilD
            ManInTransit Dec 3, 2013 01:48 AM

            I'm really keen to try Azurmendi. I'd have thought a weekend in Bilbao with trips there and to Extebarri would be perfect.

            I have a date with Hedone this month so I might have spoken too soon.

          3. m
            ManInTransit Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

            Some great suggestions here, I loved Sushi Tetsu and the Kitchin but they were both just in 2012.

            It's not been a very big year for UK eating (although I shortly have an appointment with Hedone) but I would say in rough order
            1. The Clove Club
            2. The Waterside Inn
            3. Trishna
            4. Texture
            5. Koffmans

            Although all of them were blown out of the water by Chez L'Ami Jean in Paris.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ManInTransit
              restaurantsandrants Dec 2, 2013 10:21 AM

              It pains me to say it but I don't think any of my 5 (well maybe one) would make it into my top 5 meals anywhere.

              Although I have been to quite a lot of nice locations this year...

              1. re: restaurantsandrants
                ManInTransit Dec 2, 2013 10:46 AM

                Same here, it's not really been a year of great set piece meals for me, more discovering small neighbourhood spots. Yours is a pretty spectacular London list although our Waterside Inn experience was significantly below yours based on your review.

                None of those even bother my top 10 in the UK which goes something like
                The Fat Duck
                The Sportsman
                The Square
                Martin Wishart
                Kitchen Table
                Paul Ainsworth
                The Kitchin
                Pollen Street Social

            2. Paprikaboy Dec 2, 2013 08:40 AM

              It's been relatively quiet this year but my favourite meals this year:

              Yipin China-London
              The Alma-London
              Ossies Fish Bar-Sandwich
              Kailash Parbat-London
              Green man and French Horn-London

              1. restaurantsandrants Dec 2, 2013 06:36 AM

                Since i am really indecisive here is a top five (in no particular order):

                HKK, London
                The Waterside Inn, Bray
                Sushi Tetsu, London
                The Ledbury, London
                Gymkhana, London

                3 Replies
                1. re: restaurantsandrants
                  Harters Dec 2, 2013 07:42 AM

                  Ahh. If we're having the best of five (and I'm more than happy to change the rules), then let me add:

                  Fraiche, Oxton
                  Mallory Court, Leamington Spa
                  Seahorse, Dartmouth
                  The French, Manchester

                  1. re: Harters
                    marcusj Dec 3, 2013 09:17 AM

                    Eleven Madison Park
                    Hand & Flowers

                    And then it's a fifth place tie between Le Gavroche, Trishna and the Princess Victoria (Uxbridge Rd), the latter being a seriously under-rated gastropub with amazing sourcing and execution.

                    1. re: marcusj
                      AWaiting Dec 11, 2013 05:40 AM

                      11MP? Very jealous. I have the cook book but haven't been . It looks stunning

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