Tuesday, 28 October 2008

An Apology

I have been contacted by Messrs Pulham Wright-Downe & Showmee, solicitors of the esteemed British character actor Mr Armitage Shanks, demanding an apology from myself and Mr Russell Bland for our behaviour on Mr Bland's BBC Radio Show this morning. They have brought to my attention that the reason Mr Shanks was not in when we phoned this morning was that he was attending his wife's funeral after her death from lung cancer earlier this week. Upon his return to his Maida Vale home he was horrified, upset and angered by the 37 minutes of messages Mr Bland and myself had left on his answer phone regarding the sex life of his 23 year old grand daughter, Ms. Melindra Shanks. Young Ms Shanks is now receiving counselling for the hurt and distress caused and to help cheer her and Mr Shanks up, I have arranged to send them both signed copies of my new novel "A Load of Wankler" (£17.95 in Waterstones). Therefore I apologise unreservedly for any hurt or upset caused by my appearance on the Russell Bland Show, and I hope that when Mr and Ms Shanks are feeling better they might listen to the broadcast again, and appreciate the genuine comedic thought that went into the calls.
Will this do, or do I have to crawl some more? Edit that last bit out of course.

Russell Bland Show

Bonjour my little petite fours. I have just had the most scintillating day, you cannot imagine the amount of fun I have had. I was asked to appear on BBC Radio 2's flag ship filth and humiliation programme, the Russell Bland Show. It features Russell Bland as the host, a man so crazy he back combs his hair! I kid you not folks! And he then sprays it so it stays there. And, get this, he then talks about his sex life, really openly and explicitly! The man is a bloody genius, so it was surely only a matter of time before I was invited on his show.
I was there to help plug "A Load of Wankler" again, which has sold nearly 100 copies now. I am down to my last few sea worthy cargo container fulls now, but I still think I know what most of my friends are getting for Christmas!
The show itself? Well, what can I say? It was a HOOT! Russell and I are obviously cut from the same cloth when it comes to humour and we had a right old time of it. When we were reviewing the papers and drawing knobs on all the men, we suddenly came across this picture of a real hot Flopsy. She was wearing black and looking quite solemn, but she looked like a goer. It said her name was Melindra and she was grand-daughter of British comic actor Armitage Shanks. Someone from the production team had worked with Armitage and had his home phone number! So Russell and I, on the air, only go and phone him! BUT HE'S NOT IN! It is so screamingly funny! So we leave a load of lurid messages on his crappy old answer phone telling him what we have done to his grand-daughter and what we'd like to do to her next time we get her hands on her. We laughed and laughed, in fact I nearly soiled myself it was so funny! If you missed the show "live" then please go to the BBC Radio i-player and listen to it back. You will howl!
Russell Bland is a comic genius and I can't wait to work with him again. HA!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Sub-Editors - An Apology

It has been brought to my attention that an internal memo from my desk here at The Clarion office has somehow found it's way to the pages of fellow broadsheet paper The Sentinnel. The memo is purported to have been written by me to four of the sub-editors on my weekly restaurant review page in The Clarion colour supplement on Saturdays. The memo in The Sentinnel reads thus:
Look, you dim-witted, fuck brained fuckers. Sub-editors are supposed to do what sub-editors do without pissing off, annoying or butchering the work of the TALENT - i.e. ME! The people who's brilliant writing, like what I always do, sells mucho editionos of the fucking paper and keeps Neanderthal fuckwits like you in fucking jobs!
My final line in my previous review of Los Cobblas Tapas Bar and Taxidermy Collection was: "OK, so £561.58 might be viewed in some quarters as a little steep for two garlic fried tiger prawns and a glass of Rioja, but so exquisitely does the chef at Los Cobblas put this sort of stuff together then a Tapas Bar and Taxidermy Collection is obviously the ideal place for me to come and...wait for it, brillianto jokeo on it's way mi amigos...get stuffed! (Get it?)." And how did the article look when published? Like so: "OK, so £561.58 might be viewed in some quarters as a little steep for two garlic-fried tiger prawns and a glass of Rioja, but so exquisitely does the chef at Los Cobblas put this sort of stuff together then a Tapas Bar and Taxidermy Collection is obviously the ideal place for me to come and get stuffed!" Yeah, a hyphen suddenly appears between "garlic" and "fried" without clearance from me, and then my brilliantly humourous aside at the end gets BUTCHERED by some ill educated FUCKING FUCKETY FUCK FUCK FUCKER! Do YOU get paid to go and review restaurants? NO! Is your Father editor of a national newspaper? NO! Do you have an assortment of random Flopsy's you can take to impressive restaurants every week? I don't actually know. But you probably haven't. I HAVE THOUGH. And this may seem petty and you may call me a bit of a pratt, but when I heard what you had done to MY ARTICLE, well I was awake all night. In a RAGE! A FUCKING RAGE MAN! And I know a man can get verbose when he is angry and sometimes I am guilty of using several hundred words when only one will do, and I.... (continues for another 12 pages in a similar manner) ....until I was spent and just lay on the floor next to the toilet gasping for breath, but it certainly stopped the conversation in the Vicarage I can tell you.
Now get this fucking fuckers! MY DAD is Editor of this fucking paper and if you ever, and I MEAN EVER butcher any of my brilliant articles again I will KILL YOU IN COLD BLOOD WITH MY BARE HANDS! Or get you suspended on full pay. You just see if I don't.
Regards as usual, guys,
Giles London
Restaurant Critic #1
As you can see, The Sentinnel has just used my words out of context and have tried to portray me as a spoilt, psychotic, bully boy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Me and my close team of sub-editors get on like a close family and love each other very much. Don't you think that if they really hated me, they'd find a way to be-little me in these pages as well? Hello, my name is Giles London and I only got the job because of my father. I have a very small penis, no sense of humour and I am a total and utter twat. And by the time the posh tosser has worked out who put this on his copy I will be in my new job on the other side of the World. Stitch that, London, you prick.
On a lighter note, if you can think of somewhere cool to have dinner, then drop me a line at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and let's have some nosh. But I still won't pay as I am such a tight fisted donkey-raping shit-eater.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Six Random Things

A day of presents! After not hearing from Filly for such a long time, she posted me this new re-usable carrier bag (on the right) through the Royal Mail. How kind! Then I get to hear from my biggest fan out there in cyber world - the very brave Moonroot, who is STILL slumming it in Wales despite all my warnings to her. You can read all about her life on the lunatic Celtic fringe here: http://moonroot.blogspot.com/ and she has asked me take part in a Meme, which I always thought was a small Phillipino take-away in Notting Hill.
I shall let Moonroot herself set up the premise! Take it away, lady from the land of Charlotte Church:
Here are the Tag Rules:
Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on the blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six people at the end of your post. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
  1. I am THE most powerful and influential restaurant reviewer in the whole of the UK. (Source: The Clarion Book of Influential Writers. ed. Alan London).
  2. I have never learnt to drive! I have always found that the most interesting places to visit are within walking distance of mon abode, and most of them get more interesting when I get there. Anyway, should I need to drive anywhere I can call on a random Filly or Flopsy to drive me there. Tally-ho!
  3. My brand spanking new novel, "A Load of Wankler" has been nominated for two literary awards already! The first is the prestigious Lumpensplatz Award, the highest literary accolade that Liechtenstein can bestow upon a writer. Apart from the winners cheque for £54.02, you are also awarded your own herd of cows, which might prove a tad difficult to accomodate in Kensington. The second prize I got is The Clarion Young Writer of the Year Award, a brand new award instigated by the literary panel of the Clarion Newspaper with a high ranking panel of judges including Alan London, Hypatia London and Victoria London - all well respected columnists in The Clarion.
  4. I do not understand or recognise the concept of nepotism. And neither does my good friend Giles Coren.
  5. I once had a date with Nicole Kidman. No, really, I did! It was really enjoyable, but my fingers got really sticky when I stuck them in her box. So I gave up on dates and sat eating dry roasted peanuts instead.
  6. I have been asked to front a new TV programme called "Meet The Super Self Publicists" with comedienne Sue Androgynous. We have to dress up in silly period costumes, eat loads of horrible old food and appear on as many interview programmes as we possibly can. It shoud be a HOOT!

So there you have it! I am going to tag:

Alan London, Legionella Lawson, Gordon Sweary, Good King Hal, Jeremy Kyle & The Krankies.

More from the novel soon, Moonroot! Before that please email me to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and lets have lunch sometime! Bon appetit!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Second Sample Chapter From My Book

After such a great response from you lot, here is the second sample chapter from my great new novel. Again, feel free to comment on just how witty, urbane, clever, sexy and brilliant it is at the end. We whizz on to Chapter Twenty Six, and Guy's meeting with the glamorous and gorgeous lady you see here. Be amazed!
Chapter Ventisei

Guy woke up and groaned. Where the hell was he? The top London restaurant reviewer (and remember REALLY powerful man) had no idea where he was – he certainly didn’t recognise the place, so it must be outside of London’s west end. Then it came back to him. He had just wowed audiences at the annual “Top Restaurant Reviewers Awards” at the prestigious Hotel du Très Snob, by picking up EIGHT awards. His acceptance speeches had been humble, witty, provocative and mostly under 25 minutes in length. He had gone back to the green room after the final award (“Britain’s Most POWERFUL Reviewer”) and had been approached by World famous celebrity chef Nigella Buxom. She was wearing a figure hugging black satin frock that plumped her udders up alarmingly.
“Oh Guy...” she breathed, clutching a large balloon whisk. “You’re so powerful; sometimes it takes a girls breath away…” He arched his eyebrow sensually and waggled his latest gleaming award in her face.
“Never wanting to fly in the face of popular opinion babe, but most of my contemporaries would concur.” He growled at her.
“Oh Guy, why don’t we grab a few bottles of Bolly and go somewhere and discuss just how powerful and commanding you can be?” If Guy hadn’t known better he would swear she was coming on to him.
Soon they were in a large stretch limo whisking through the streets of London. In fact Nigella was whisking some egg whites in a large glass bowl on the back seat. She looked up at Guy with her big brown eyes and heaved her udders at him again.
“Guy, have you ever considered publishing a book of your reviews?” She licked the balloon whisk provocatively. “I find writing books very cathartic. It can leave you feeling very open to your reader…” She looked coyly at him as she folded in some caster sugar.
“Are you sure there is someone who could handle my output?” He breathed, sipping luxuriously at his champagne flute. “I am very productive and regular…” Nigella shuddered as she undid a pot of double cream and poured it into her bowl with some raisins and a small amount of self raising flour.
“I’ve heard doing it regularly helps…” She dipped her fingers in the mix and licked the sticky concoction from them one by one. “Oh dear, I appear to have spilt some down my cleavage…” Sure enough, some of the mixture was trickling between her udders. “Can you help me, Guy?” He was just the man for the job as he always kept a packet of Handy Andies in his inside pocket, even in a top of the range Charmani Dinner Jacket. He dabbed away like a professional. “Not quite what I had in mind…” breathed Nigella. “But your touch is like an electric current through my body.” She hissed, arching her back to his masculine tissue dabbing.
“I thought they were raisins, not currents…” Smiled Guy, and grabbed her close to him. “Kiss me, you wench, you know you want to…” he growled.
“Oh Guy…” gasped Nigella. “What about Samantha Ferrari, the top model and singer, who’s your girlfriend and everything?” Guy thought for a moment. Dear Samantha, who had stood by him through everything, the court case, the bizarre fishing episode, that business with the enormous Pot Noodle stashed in his luggage and only discovered at Lugarno Airport. She was his life partner and went like the clappers if you gave her enough vodka. Then he glanced down at Nigella’s heaving udders, squashed between him and her and thought: “Samantha Who?” They kissed passionately, with tongues and everything, and remember this is Nigella Buxom, off the TV! Nigella gasped and pulled away from him. “I’ve never done it with such a powerful and thrusting reviewer like you before, Guy. But there is something coming between us I think…” Guy glanced down at her huge heaving udders.
“Not just one, old girl.” He smirked, but she was referring to something else.
“My cake mix!” She cried. “What am I going to do about my cake mix?” Guy took the bowl from her.
“Allow me to use my tongue for what it is best suited…” and he cleaned her balloon whisk in a jiffy. Nigella’s smile suddenly changed.
“Thank you, Mr Wankler. Just what I wanted you to do!” Guy was puzzled.
“Is something wrong old girl?” Guy couldn’t fault the mix, it was light, sweet and jolly sticky. Just what you needed. True the raisins appeared to have been soaked in Spanish Brandy instead of some nice stuff, but then they were racing through the streets of London at two in the morning in the back of a stretch limo and Fortnum and Mason’s was shut.
“Mission accomplished, Master!” Shouted Nigella. At that moment, the glass screen between the occupants and the driver silently slid open revealing… Nigel Crater! The restaurant reviewer from the London Evening Pennant.
“So, we meet again, Herr Wankler!” Cackled Crater, as he drove the limo through the darkened streets. “You must excuse Frau Buxom, she is doink me zer favour to pay off vot she owes me in balloon visks and garlic presses…” Guy could see his duelling scar and monocle quite clearly in the rear view mirror. “She is not naturally evil, like what I am, but can be quite malleable if treated correctly…” Guy gazed at Nigella’s heaving udders again.
“I should say so…” he hissed. “So, a bit disappointed at no awards tonight, eh Crater?” Crater thrashed his hands against the steering wheel.
“Damn you, Wankler!” He shouted. “All zose great reviews I write and people use zem as fucking fire lighters. Zey spend all day reading and discussing your reviews and no one else gets a look in. So you must be erased from zer equation.” He calmed a little, but then continued. “You zee zer cake mix Frau Buxom has been preparink has a little added ingredient to take away some of your legendary powerfulness…” Guy suddenly felt strangely tired and lethargic. “Plus I haff put two whole tablespoons of zer horse tranquilizer ‘Nighty-Night Nag’ in zer champers, zo you vill soon be in zer land of nod!” He laughed maniacally. “Say auf wiedershen to your career, Herr Wankler!” Guy’s head swam and the last thought that went through his head before sinking into blackness was just how big Nigella’s udders were?
So this is where he now found himself, waking up and tied to this bed in what appeared to be some dark and filthy garret. He struggled with his bonds, but they were tied hard and fast. Suddenly the door opened wide and in walked Nigel Crater and Nigella Buxom.
“Good mornink, Mr Sleepy.” Cackled Crater. “So vot vould you like to do today, hein?” He walked up and down in front of Guy, tapping a riding crop into his hands as he spoke. “Write a review of Zer Ivy? Maybe comment on Zer Savoy Grill? Dish up a damning indictment of portion sizes at Aldo Silli’s newest trattoria?” his voice rose to a maddening crescendo.
“Any of those would be fine after I’ve thrashed you to a pulp…” Guy struggled against his bonds, but they held even his manly torso firm.
“Oh no, Herr Wankler. I haff something far more suitable for you to write about in your next review.” He turned to Nigella. “Open zer window, Frau Buxom.” Nigella turned and did as she was told. Light poured in and temporarily dazzled the great man, but soon Guy could see. It was a sea of bland rooftops stretching away as far as his eyes could see. “Velcome to your new home, Herr Wankler.”
“Where have you brought me, you devil!” Shouted Guy, now panicked.
“Velcome to Harlow New Town!” Fear gripped Guy, beads of sweat leapt onto his forehead and a nervous tick played across his rugged handsome features.
“What do you want of me?” He genuinely feared for his life, but little was he to know of the horror to follow.
“See zat buildink zere?” Crater pointed his gloved hand at a larger roof that stood slightly out from the bland conformity of this non-London hell hole. “Zat iss your new restaurant to review. Say Guten tag to zer ‘Happy Hungry Hippo Tavern’. It’s a
Berni Inn!” And that’s when Guy started screaming!


Sexy scary stuff, what? Drop me a line and tell me how exciting and brilliant this chapter was. Come on guys, be brutal with me! gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk I reckon I can handle it! Ciao!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

First Sample Chapter From My Book

To all my fans out there who have been crying out for this, especially Moonroot in South Wales, you groovy Celt you (look you! Borra Da as you funny chaps say), then here it is, in it's entirety - the first chapter of my new novel "A Load of Wankler". Enjoy!
A Load of Wankler
By Giles London


Chapter Uno

A strong smell of freshly ground coffee pervaded up from the street near the Kensington town house of one of London’s most powerful men. Yes, he was powerful alright. His forthright views on London’s restaurant scene had shaken the media world to its very foundations. That is of course if it had any, but it didn’t, it was just a figure of speech and not a great big building somewhere. But it would be funny if it was wouldn’t it? Anyway, this powerful chap was Guy Wankler, top restaurant reviewer and critic from the world renowned London paper called “The Daily London Paper”. He stirred in his sleep and turned over in his really big bed with the black satin sheets and his sleepy eyes opened on a vision of beauty. It was a mirror. After looking at this for about 15 minutes he turned back the other way and there she was Samantha Ferrari, the top model, singer and expert on Japanese shitake mushrooms. And she was completely naked. Totally. Guy pulled back the black satin sheets and had a really good look. Good udders and child bearing hips. Perhaps he’d pop the question one day; he knew she was dying for him to do that. This top catwalk model who only ever travelled in the top floor bit of 747’s and was frequently placed highly in “Nuts” magazine’s “most shaggable looking birds” contests was his and his alone – and she adored him and wanted to have babies with him. But not right now. She was asleep.

Guy sniffed the air in his room and that smell of the freshly ground coffee reminded him it was time to get up and hit the world, before it hit him. He stood up and stretched and admired his naked body in the full length mirror he had opposite his bed. He was 6 feet tall with a carefully toned body and a brain educated at Westminster School and Cambridge University. He had the sort of rugged suave looks that drove Fillies mad with desire and didn’t require him to have a John Thomas the size of Canary Wharf when it came to getting some (even though funnily enough he was enormously endowed in that department – genitalia that is, not with skyscrapers in Docklands). Just then the phone rang. Guy snatched it up.
“Yellow” he said, mimicking that really funny American chap in the cartoon with the horrible son. He liked people to know he had the pulse on modern youth culture as well as knowing such high brow University Challenge stuff like what Vivaldi’s favourite flavour yoghurt was when he was painting the Sistine Chapel. It was Gordon Ruffty, the famous swearing Scottish TV chef.
“Guy…” he began. Guy cut him short.
“Look you Caledonian Neanderthal, how many times must I tell you – it’s GUY (pronounced GEE) as in Ghee which is a class of clarified butter that originated in the Indian Subcontinent, and is important in Indian and Egyptian cuisines and in Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisines and not Guy as in a gorilla from London Zoo yonks ago…” The savagery of Guy’s riposte to Gordon’s faux pas was like a French sirocco only a bit more savage and less blowy. Gordon whimpered his simpering apology to Guy. “OK, but don’t forget it…” hissed Guy and admired himself in the mirror again. “What do you want then?” he asked.
“Och, hoots mon, my braw bonnie new restaurant is doing good with a Michelin Star and all that but I desperately need a new one and I could only possibly get it with help from you, Guy. You’re so powerful and all the birds want you and whatever you write in your column makes everyone sit up and take notice and makes such a difference to the entire British economy…”
“I know that. Just get to the fucking point” Guy bellowed, doing a couple of squat thrusts while his expensive top of the range telephone was on digital loudspeaker. Ruffty squealed like a big girl.
“Och, hoots mon, please will you no come and review ma braw bonnie wee restaurant – and be kind. I couldnae stand a bad review from you. You’re so powerful and thrusting…” Guy jumped back to his feet from his mini-workout.
“That’s just what Samantha said last night…” he arched his eyebrow seductively, but of course Gordon couldn’t see it as he was on a telephone and wouldn’t have been impressed really as his bread isn’t buttered that way, and neither is Guy’s. Not at all and no matter what old “Stumpy” Massingbird says in the Old Boys Newsletter each Christmas.
“Please!” Whined Gordon. “You’re ma last hope, Jimmy, och aye the noo.” Guy let him sweat a while, and then said:
“See you soon, Gordon. Be on your best behaviour if you want that star…” and he slammed down the phone like a real man. Because he is one. Samantha stirred in the bed.
“What’s going on, darling?” she asked sitting up and letting Guy see both her udders really clearly.
“This condom!” Yelled Guy, and leapt on top of the completely naked top international model and had her. Every which way. You name it, he did it and she loved it and wanted more, and what’s more he used his old chap really cleverly and properly. A bit like Zorro really.
So there you have it fans. Don't forget to email me at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and be frank - tell me just how marvellous it is. Ciao!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A Load of Wankler

I am soon to be immortalised in print, and not just newsprint! I have wanted to write a novel for some time and so this weekend just gone, I sat down and bashed out my first effort. It took me most of Saturday AND Sunday would you believe! When I had finished it, I sent it over to Daddy for his perusal and do you know, I had a publisher phoning me up almost immediately with an offer to print it! How lucky was that? Here you see a mock up of the front cover and dust jacket blurb of how it will look (of course in full colour when it does come out). Please click on the pic for a full look of it in all it's splendour.
It is called "A Load of Wankler" and revolves around a suave and sophisticated restaurant reviewer based in London called Guy Wankler (Guy pronounced "GEE" in the French idiom). It follows his adventures and misadventures as he reviews some of the finest eateries in London. The reviews of this book have all been marvellous so far and I am indebted to some of the finest writers on The Clarion for their honest and forthright views on my writing style. Guy is a renaissance man who loves fine food, classy women and talking about himself, but then who doesn't? It is being published through a subsidiary of Clarion Newspapers called "Alan London & Son Publishers" and retails at a very reasonable £29.99 from all good booksellers. It is thought provoking, humorous, forthright, feisty and very sexy in places, if I may say so. I shall publish a couple of sample chapters on here in the next day or two and would love some of my fans to leave their reviews of this, my magnum opus.
Let me know what you think of my book. Email me at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and be honest and tell me how wonderful I am and how much you loved it. Bon appetit - and happy reading!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Fatwa Towers

After a couple of months sunning myself in Goa, my mobile rang the other morning and the Editor of The Clarion was begging me to come back to work. It turns out the Johnny they’d got in to cover for me during my sabbatical had gone to the extreme of reviewing restaurants OUTSIDE of London! I jest not my little friends! He had finally tested the editor’s patience once too often after going abroad for a restaurant review – Wales no less!

Filly appears to have slipped completely off the radar lately. Her last sighting was at a Tesco Metro Store near Green Park where she was spied buying vast amounts of disposable nappies in the company of a large chap wearing a baseball cap with the name “Dave” on it. One can only assume it was not David Cameron.

My Goan experience had tempted my palate to the flavours and dishes of Asia and the sub-continent. A cousin of mine recommended a new themed restaurant near Regents Park called “Fatwa Towers” run by a tall gentleman by the name of Baz-il Fahwl-ti. I was called to my table by a muezzin and escorted over by a waitress. At least I think it was a waitress as she was dressed head to foot in a jet black burkha so it might have been a chap. There was a very happy atmosphere in the dining area where a large birthday party group were playing pass the parcel – the parcel containing a clock by the sound of the loud ticking! You have never seen pass the parcel played so amazingly quickly. Olympic standard no doubt. The choices on the menu were very exotic and creative. You could start with an Allah Salad or a Prophet Cocktail. Main courses extended from Jihad Chicken (prepared by kidnapping a free range chicken, issue demands that you enjoy the meal thoroughly before beheading the chicken with a sword and serving it with chips and mange tout) through to a delightful Martyr’s Pie, which was more of a bombe really. The birthday party on the table next to me was now in full swing and their celebrations were joined with the staff and chefs who brought out one of the waitresses in her burkha and covered in sparklers. I called out that this would make the evening go with a bang when a few people panicked and made a run for the door. For pudding I was treated to an Abu Hamza Crumble, which you eat with hooks rather than a spoon and can prove a tad tricky to get rid of if you spill it down your shirt. My picture above shows one of the happy sous chefs.

The meal was a delight and everyone seemed very happy, but the evening ended on a sour note when I tried to have a bit of a joke with the waitress and did her a small doodled cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed asking that if he could get a virgin in the afterlife, for chefs would there be “EXTRA” virgins (get it?). When I showed her the picture she screamed and ran into the kitchen. I was soon being chased across Regents Park by two sword wielding kitchen staff threatening to behead me. I don’t think they understood the subtlety of my joke.

So if you can think of a fun place to eat that doesn’t have a medieval armoury and outlook, then drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and let’s go out for a meal together! Bon appetite!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

You Eat What You Are

My entire "raison d'etre" in life, is to discover new and exciting restaurants that put a different slant on the whole eating out experience. Some are better than others. I have even heard rumours of some places outside of London that have ceased churning out prawn cocktail and chicken and chips in a basket, but that I find very hard to swallow - but enough of the basket! (Paronnez moi! Tres silly mood!).
Now every once in a while I come across a restaurant that leaves even a leviathan-like intellect (such as mine) struggling for the right words what I should use. (Note to self - check grammar on previous sentence and remove any wrong bits before sending copy to typist). Hence I was recommended to try out the new eatery near the Groucho Club run by celebrity Channel 4 nutritonist expert Dr Gillian MacLiar. You know the lady I mean - see the picture above as a reminder. She is that odd woman on Channel 4 with a strange propensity for other people's bowel movements, a body like Gollum and a face with all the warmth and charm of Josef Mengele.
I phoned Filly but she texted me back saying she was at something called an Anti Natal Class, though quite what she has against areas of South Africa I have no idea. I toyed with getting hold of Belinda again, but she has been acting somewhat strange since the whole visit to Heston's restaurant. She keeps sending me pink t-shirts through the post and CD's by the Communards, with strange cards attached with notes in saying "thought this would be right up your alley." Therefore, abandoning women, I decided to plunge into Dr MacLiar's lair alone!
The first thing that happens on entering the restaurant is that you have to swear on a Bible that you honestly believe that Doctorates and Degrees from the "University of Possum Swamp Springs, Tennessee" are legal and all above board. We are then all weighed and measured to find our body mass index. Anyone over the Government limit is then subjected to a 25 minute dressing down by a hologram of Dr MacLiar. Next we are each assigned a small tupperware box which we have to crap into. Yes, that is what I said, we have to crap into a tupperwear box. This is then taken to the head chef and nutritionists, who sniff it and poke it about a bit, before coming back to each customer in turn and telling us that our "shit stinks". Now, I am no rocket scientist (just a graduate from Cambridge!), but even I know that whatever else it smells of, crap usually stinks horribly. Finally, Dr MacLiar appears in person for us, goes from table to table haranguing guests, calling them names, handing back their poo, and finally delivering their specially created meal which is apparently exactly their dietary needs at this time. Strangely every single bowl seemed to be the same - full of mung beans, whole grain rice, pearl barley, lettuce and tofu. For this we were charged £347.32 a head. What a hoot! Sadly, the evening ended on a sour note when a chap on a table next to mine, after being shouted at for the 6th time by Dr MacLiar, unfortunately made the mistake of muttering something about Dr MacLiar being a fraud, charlatan and a faeces-obsessed quack. The poor man didn't know what hit him. It was Dr MacLiar's very rich and powerful lawyer husband who whacked a writ on the man before he could snap the lid back on his tupperwear shit box. He was kicked out, but not before they had made him settle his bill.
So, a bizarre place to go, but very much as expected if you have seen the grimacing features of Dr MacLiar on Channel 4. I can only hope the food and toilet facilities at the next eatery I visit will be an improvement!
Any suggestions, please mail me at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and we can maybe have lunch together. But bring your own tupperwear box.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Science Friction

He's the man everyone has been talking about in food circles. But enough about me! No, he is the media darling of the kitchen at this very moment and I felt I should go and see him in action. To whom am I referring? Heston Bloomingtwatt of course! The man who has put the cool back into cookery. From his marvellous TV series on BBC4 we have seen him boiling an egg in a particle accelerator, blow-torching some cheese on toast using a hot-air balloon inflator and even making a ham sandwich using only two cubic metres of helium, a chainsaw, four litres of Russian imported vodka and a sausage dog called Wietschge - genius! The picture above shows him making a Pot Noodle using some liquid nitrogen and a balloon whisk from the TV series. He has now opened his own eatery in Westminster called Bloomingtwatt's, and it has become THE place to be seen when dining out.
Filly has been very hard to pin down of late, but I managed to catch up with her this morning by phone. She said she was feeling very sick this morning and couldn't keep anything down. I made a little joke about her being pregnant, but she remained strangely silent. I ventured would she be interested in joining me for a spot of nose-bag at a place called Bloomingtwatt's, but she reckoned with a name like that, I should go on my own. I was a little hurt by her lack of appetite for something new, but decided I would not be down cast, and instead phoned my old University chum, Belinda Massingberd-Blinovic de la Roche, who takes up a whole page in my phone directory with her name alone. She was delighted to hear from me and readily agreed to come and dine with me. Her driving skills are almost as lamentable as Filly's, and one had to suffer the indignity of being driven around in a Audi, of all things.
Bloomingtwatt's is not easy to miss, with large holograms of the owner's face being played over the front walls, depicting him reading out his favourite recipes in binary code. Once inside you are disinfected with spray from powerful showers, then blasted dry by massive warm air jets.
Heston's menu is minimalist and captures the zeitgeist marvellously. Belinda was enormously excited to be here and kept telling me how hungry she was and ready for a good stuffing. I told her with Heston's portions she'd be lucky which didn't seem to please her. Starter was a choice of either a glass of water warmed to just above room temperature using sonic vibrations from an oscilloscope and a tone generator, or two sprigs of celery, one cloned from the other and therefore identical. Each come in at a snip under £50. Main courses were sausage and chips, in which the chips are cut into numbers and then arranged on your plate in complex mathematical equations, or another glass of water this time chilled down to absolute zero using nitrogen and which immediately shatters into a millions pieces when exposed to ambient room temperature. Both main courses are only £175 each and are works of art. Belinda insisted on drinking a chilled Muscat which didn't really compliment any of the dishes, but was nearly £400 a bottle. I tried to point out to her that technically it was a dessert wine only but she commented that it was reaching the parts most wines don't normally reach, whatever that meant. We finally came to the dessert which was Spotted Dick, in which the currents had been placed by laser guided robotic arms to mimic the night sky on the night Heston was conceived, or yet another glass of water, this time apparently just poured out of a tap. These were merely £25 each and a nice treat, as well as a bargain. Belinda leaned across the table and slurred that she hadn't spotted dick for a long time and wondered if I could help her out. I offered her my bowl, but she shook her head and raised her eyes to the heavens.
I had to drive Belinda back to my flat due to her over imbibing the Muscat. She asked if she could stay over, which I reluctantly agreed to. Although I had put her in the spare room she must have been more drunk than I realised as she came into my room, and even my bed on at least three occasions saying that she couldn't wait to get her hands on the main course. Mad girl! The final time I took her back to her room she seemed to thank me for such a jolly evening. Well she mentioned the word gay anyway.
If you would like to show me a good time at a fabulous restaurant then drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and I'll get the spare room ready for you! Tally ho!


Sunday, 24 February 2008

Planet Soccer, W1

With the bites from the Soldier Ants finally beginning to recede, it seemed appropriate to venture out to some fine eateries again. Someone had mentioned about an Association Footballing themed restaurant called Planet Soccer, and you know me, always one to venture outside my comfort zone and experience new places and lifestyles. Therefore I immediately tried to call Filly and get her to come and pick me up, but there was no reply from Little Dozey-on-the-Wold and her mobile was switched off. So once more I had to rely on public transport, or as I like to call it, my Mother's Austin Maxi. It took her a little while to get to me from Esher (her cataracts are getting a bit opaque) but she was more than happy to drive me the mile or so to Planet Soccer, and didn't complain too much during her wait outside.
Now apparently Association Football, or Soccer as it is colloquially known, is the most popular sport in England today. Now amongst my close friends and acquaintances you'd swear it was Point to Point racing or Rugger, but I am ready to be proved wrong on this. Planet Soccer has a very glitzy entrance foyer with pictures of many famous players from over the years. I stopped in front of one with a man with blonde hair, with a red shirt on, sitting on the shoulders of his sweaty team mates in what looks like the old Wembley Stadium (if one's memories of Live Aid stretch back that far!) holding aloft a small solid gold trophy. The man has the biggest broadest smile you have ever seen. Another diner walked past. I asked him who the man in the picture was. He snorted.
"Who do you think it is? Pongo-fucking-Waring?" and he stalked off. So that's what Pongo Waring looked like. I add the photo above so that you now can also amaze your friends.
The manager of the outlet is a certain Mr MacPherson, a very proud Scotsman, and he has recently updated all the decor of the restaurant, he tells me. Gone are the large signed photos of "Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Shearer and Bobby-sodding-Charlton" apparently, and he has replaced these with a huge mural depicting, according to him, England legends such as "Carlton Palmer, Martin Chivers, Dennis Wise and, the God, Barry Venison." There are also very large photos of Chris Waddle taking a penalty, Stuart Pearce taking a penalty, Gareth Southgate taking a penalty, David Batty taking a penalty and even Darius Vassell taking a penalty. The food seemed to consist mostly of Scottish staples like "neeps and tatties", "haggis" and "deep fried Mars Bars". Mr MacPherson seemed to be in a quite advanced state of inebriation, but was keen for me to know of his plans for the future of the restaurant. This included to addition of such dishes as "Jan Tomasevski Goulash", "Tony Chicken Curry" and "Alan Meat Ball". He has also written, produced, directed and acted in a short video called "The MacTerminator" which he wants to have played on a loop tape each night to the diners in the restaurant. In it, the central character, a Scottish man called Mr MacPherson, builds a time machine and goes back to 1965 and assassinates Geoff Hurst.
The food and ambience were generally good, but Mr MacPherson's attempt to start a fight with anyone in an England shirt did make me wonder if he was perhaps the wrong chap for the job. On my way out I was inrtigued by another new picture added by Mr MacPherson. It showed an England goalkeeper with a long pony tail falling backwards into his own net, with the ball just out of his reach.
"Thatsh Ronaldinho's goal againsht England in 2002. Shtill makes me piss myshelf everytime I think about it..." slurred Mr MacPherson. "40 yards, must have been! To lob David Seamen from that far out..." he downed a glass of Scotch, then fell backwards into his restaurant through the revolving door. Time for home.
Mother dropped me off in her Maxi and then trundled off into the night at 15mph. I finally managed to reach Filly and told her of the evening I had just had. She seemed genuinely interested for the first time in a long time. I told her about all the strange photos. I even told her about seeing Seamen lobbed from 40 yards - she snorted loudly and mentioned something about that being even beyond the skill of Dave. Perhaps she knows David Seamen...?
Should you wish me to visit a sporting/food outlet that you know about, then drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and maybe we can have lunch sometime soon. Your going home in a Fortnum and Mason's Hamper! Bon appetit!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Just Deserts!

First off, many apologies for the lack of a restaurant review this week, but most of you will know why I have been tardy in this matter, won't you! No doubt you have been glued to Channel 809032 on your Sky Box and the latest installments from Sky Reality Celebrity Desperation Channel's "Celebrity Just Deserts!" starring yours truly, dumped in the middle of the Gobi Desert and left to fend for oneself! Of course it isn't just me, Lord no! The camp is packed with well known faces who's names just trip off the tongue. For instance there is dear Polly Limp, famous as Doctor Who's glamorous assistant Isobel Groovy-Chick in the 1968 adventure "Curse of the Mini-Skirt Removing Monsters"; then there is former England footballer, Stuart Psychopath; page 3 stunner Shanice Slappa; Big Brother 4 contestant Nigel Sprocklington; character actor Christopher Campleigh; stand up comedian Jim Bigot; agony aunt Deirdre Awful; ex-Hollyoaks actor Steven Trousers; pop duo The Sleazy Girls; and disgraced former Conservative MP Patrick Backhander. The whole show is hosted by well know light entertainment duo Hank and Frank. We were originally dropped into the camp in the desert by being strapped to old Scud Missiles and launched over approximately 2 miles of sand dunes. I arrived first to be greeted by Hank and Frank who in their cheerful Geordie accents shouted "AH! INCOMING TOSSER!"
The idea of the show is very simple, one must endure living in very tough surroundings in the desert with minimum food and hygiene, and you must also take part in various challenges to earn meals for the rest of the group. Such was my popularity with the British TV viewing public that every time a challenge came along I was picked to take part! I had to wrestle with an enraged desert male goat, drink 400 year old Mongolian wine made with fermented Yak saliva, eat a Yak's testicles (mind you, the Yak didn't half kick me), collect gold stars from a chest full of scorpions, ride an unbroken demented Mongolian horse, and (most difficult of all) justify my work and career infront of Hank and Frank. Every day there is a vote by the great British public and another celebrity is evicted from the camp to spend the rest of the week in luxury at the Ulan Bator Hilton. If you wanted out at any time all you had to say was the magic words to Hank and Frank, which were "I'm Honestly a Celebrity! I Know My Career is Fucked and I Know I Said I'd Do Anything For Publicity, But For the Love of God, Please Get Me Out of Here!" (which, incidentally was the original name for the series but they couldn't fit it on the spine of the accompanying DVD when it came to be released).
Such was my overwhelming popularity with the British people that I made it right through to the very end of the week, when it was down to just me and Jim Bigot. Our final task was to be buried up to our necks in sand at midday and then have soldier ants poured over our heads after they had been liberally applied with jam, honey and the ant equivalent of sex pheremone spray. Jim cracked early and almost immediately started crying that the ants were "eating my eyes!" and gave in! So I won! Giles triumphed! So overjoyed were the crew, contestants and Hank and Frank with my triumph that they began the celebrations without me, and even managed to fly off in the crew helicopter. Someone finally remembered I was still buried up to my neck in sand and covered in ferocious flesh eating ants, and the assistant location manager was flown back and dug me out 5 hours later.
At the Ulan Bator Hilton, after a press conference, I phoned England and got through to Filly. She sounded quite breathless so had obviously run upstairs to answer the phone. I told her of my triumph, of being eaten by ferocious creatures, putting huge strange things in my mouth and coming to a triumphant finale. She said that pretty much summed up her week as well. I don't think she could hear me over the satellite link.
Well, I am flying back to the UK tonight. If you have any nice restaurants for me to review, then please drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and lets have lunch soon! Bon Appetit, and pass the Savlon.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Hovel, Soho Square

John Major, back in the early 1990's, proudly proclaimed his desire to get Britain going "back to basics". I had assumed he was referring to our way of life in general, and not just an irrational desire to get Edwina Currie into bed. If Mr Major had been referring to cuisine he could have looked no further than "The Hovel" a little gem of a restaurant in sunny Soho Square.
I had phoned and left several messages down at Little Dozey-on-the-Wold seeing if Filly was free for the evening to come and pick me up, but no one had got back to me. Some hours later I was just having a moisturising session whilst listening to a bit of Chet Baker when the phone rang. It was a very teary Letitia (Filly's sister). She apologised for Filly not calling back but they had been busy cremating her mother. I made a comment about Filly always being a dreadful cook when she screamed several words of abuse down the line at me, ending with "arrogant prick". I asked her if Filly could come and pick me up when she simply hung up. So it was back to the taxi rank for Giles again this evening. Sometimes Filly can be terribly selfish.
"The Hovel" is halfway across the verdant grasslands of Soho Square and as you can see from the picture, brings a big slice of rustic degradation to the swish streets of West London. The owner and head chef is Zoltan Szquittz, a Hungarian revivalist of Medieval cuisine and a keen practitioner of Zen buddhism and panel beating. As you push the front door open, it falls off it's hinges and you are immediately assailed by the atmosphere of the place with it's heady mixture of smoke, cow dung and BO. Zoltan approaches shaking you firmly by the hand (remember to bring some wipes with you to clean your hands after this disturbing moment). His enthusiasm for Medieval food and it's preparation is only matched by his desire not to wash. After sitting at my table I requested a menu. Zoltan pointed out that as most peasants in Medieval Europe were illiterate there was no point in having a written menu - he would bring out a sample of what was available this evening. That sounded good to me, however one was a little surprised when he returned leading a large Frisian cow by it's nose ring and carrying a sleddgehammer over his shoulder. The cow twigged what was going to happen next and tried to make a run for it, wrecking most of the few tables still in one piece. Zoltan chased, swearing fluently in Hungarian and taking wild swings with the sledgehammer. He eventually connected with a wild swinging upper cut and the cow toppled sideways through the wattle and daub walls. The roof began sagging gently. Zoltan leapt on the cow and began hacking at it with a large sharp knife. My desire for beef waned remarkably quickly and I asked if Zoltan had anything else on his menu. He recommended the liver and sprout soup which was not only very nutritious but apparently good at fixing leaks in radiators. Zoltan appeared with a large cauldron of this greeny brown broth which bubbled a little like the Icelandic landscape, however on touching it I found it was stone cold. I asked Zoltan how it was heated - he said by simply "make the fire" and offered me a flint and some kindling. Zoltan demsontrated as best he could, but nothing was happening for him, so out came my trusty Zippo. On seeing me produce this and begin to strike it, the rest of the diners in "The Hovel" made a run for the door. I wasn't entirely sure why until I brought the flame up to the top of the cauldron. The explosion was huge. Apparently the process of making liver and sprout soup was to mix it all together and then leave it for a few months for the gasses to build up. I apologised to Zolan for blowing up his restaurant but he seemed ecstatic at what had occurred and began planning his next gastronomic blow out with the eight or nine starlings I'd killed when I ignited the soup.
I limped into the offices of The Clarion later that evening. The news desk were very excited. Apparently there had been an Al Qaeda suicide attack in Soho Square that evening. Good job I missed it. I asked if there had been any casualties but luckily there hadn't been any aside from a traffic warden who had been knocked out by a flying cauldron of all things.
If you have any good ideas for restaurants for me to try (preferbly within limping distance of my house) then drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and maybe we can have lunch together. Bon appetit.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Der Schmierige Löffel, Islington

It can safely be said that the Germanic contribution to World Cuisine in most people's eyes hasn't got much beyond the enormous sausage and pickled cabbage stage. However in quaint little Islington, chef Dietmar Erbrechen has been trying to put the record straight. With a combination of lederhosen, oompah music and enormous moustaches he has been attempting to shatter the German stereotypical image. His first German style eatery, The Lebensraum in Hampstead, was forcibly closed down by the authorities after he had marched into the Czech restaurant next door and demanded to take over their kitchen. His second restaurant, The Siegfried Line, went bust when people just couldn't get into it. His new venture, Der Schmierige Löffel in Islington looks like he could be on to a winner. I had heard good things about this place and was enthusiastically encouraged to go and review the said restaurant by Filly. She urged me to go out, take my time and really enjoy myself. She said she was just going to stay at my flat and pamper herself. When I asked her why she wasn't interested in an evening of huge sausages and leather shorts, and she said she was looking forward to it tremendously. I honestly don't understand women sometimes.
The first thing you notice about the restaurant as you approach the front door are the searchlights and the machine gun towers. You are greeted at the door by your host, Herr Erbrechen himself. He barks orders at you and forces you to sit at an already crowded table. The menu is exciting, but relatively brief. Your choices are mainly "Spamstückchen und Mikrospäne" with their crisp outside and succulent interior or "Kaldauneneintopfgericht mit Schläuchen und Klumpen" in a grey viscous gravy with some large suspicious looking dumplings. Every table has at least one massive sausage on it, but be careful as some of them are plastic. Drinks were wonderful, a fine medium white wine called "Blaue Nonne". Halfway through one of my dumplings while stirring my soup with the sausage the door to the kitchen crashed open and Herr Erbrechen and his wife (pictured above) thundered into the restaurant and with the sound system at deafening levels sang a sweet little German folk song called "Unten mit jeder abgesehen von Deutschland und deinem Land-Gestank, für deine Scheiße-Nahrung jetzt zahlen und abhauen". We tried to sing along with the words, but if anyone failed to you were bodily thrown out the front door by the Erbrechen's eldest son called Wolfgang. I lasted a grand total of two and a half minutes.
As I walked towards my flat I saw a large van with "Bermondsey Dave at Your Service" on the side roaring away with wheels spinning. I got inside the flat and found Filly flopped in bed. I showed her the huge plastic sausage I had managed to smuggle out of Der Schmierige Löffel. She shook her head and looked away. "One a night is enough" she mumbled, and promptly fell asleep. Bizarre. So for a wild night out, look no further than Der Schmierige Löffel - but bring a change of clothes.
If you know of a good restaurant you'd like me to look at then please drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and perhaps we can compage sausages. Bon appetit!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

I'm A Tosser!

After my appearance on Gordon Sweary's programme the other night, I have been all over the newspapers! Headlines such as "There's a Prat In My Kitchen!" and "Wot a Tosser!" made me the talking point of all the breakfast TV shows this week! It was shortly after this I was approached by the well known advertising agency, Swarm Locust and Parasite, to front a new campaign to promote Kortright and Aitchison's Salad Dressing. A nice chap from the agency called Tarquin Highgate called me. Apparently his father was at Westminster Boys School at the same time as my father, and this is why he was giving me a call.
"Giles, at the moment you are seen as the premier tosser in this country..." He said. I was flattered. I had no idea that many people knew of my salad preparation skills. Tarquin continued. "Our new slogan for the Kortright and Aitchison account is 'I'm a Tosser - Are you?' It's a real winner. We did have Timmy Mallet lined up for this one, but as soon as he announced he was unavailable for filming due to his committments with Radio Berwick-upon-Tweed's "Wake Up Both of You!" breakfast programme, you were the first person on our list to replace him." An honour indeed. I caught a cab to a small studio just off Covent Garden and was greeted by Tarquin himself.
"Ah, the tosser has landed!" He joked.
The filming was relatively simple. Dressed as a comedy chef, I had to stand in front of a fake kitchen set up, holding a bottle of the Kortright and Aitchison dressing, say "I'm a Tosser - Are you?" at the camera and then pour it liberally over a green leaf salad before tossing it with some salad forks. People who tell you acting is easy are liars! After I had fluffed the first 20 or so takes, one or two words of encouragement began coming from the cameraman, but he said them so quietly and through gritted teeth I could hardly hear them. When I finally nailed it, my words of "I'm a Tosser - Are you?" had barely left my lips and the director had yelled cut, when the cameraman looked me in the eye and said slowly "Never has a truer word been spoken." I was glad to have touched him in such a deep way with my acting skills. Tarquin suddenly appeared and put an arm round my shoulder.
"You really are a tosser, aren't you?" He smiled at me. "Still, don't worry old boy. As long as Daddy is about you won't want for work, will you?" I wasn't really sure what he meant as I have never met his father.
I phoned Filly when I got back to the flat to tell her about my hard day giving my all for the unforgiving lens, and she just laughed stating she had been having some very demanding roles of late.
Anyway, back to the reviewing again this weekend. If you know of a fine restaurant you'd like me to review, drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and maybe we can have lunch together soon. Bon appetit!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Gordon Sweary's F-Off, Soho

Just earlier this week I was phoned by a television producer for Channel 4 who said "Sorry for bothering you, Giles, but your father has been somewhat forthright in his views that you should be on our new food programme by Gordon Sweary. Are you interested?" Gordon and I go back a long way and he really is an old mate of mine, so I was thrilled they had chosen little old me to be involved. I was instructed to get to Gordon's Soho eatery "F-Off" by 5pm for the filming to begin.
The programme was called "If U Can't Stand the Heat - F-Off" and Gordon was cooking for a host of celebrity guests for the evening. I immediately called Little Dozey-on-the-Wold, but after the phone rang for about 20 minutes her Mother answered in her amusing slurred voice. As soon as I knew Filly wasn't there I hung up. I tried her on her mobile which was answered by a gruff male voice who told me I must have the wrong "f-ing" number and hung up. I tried again and this time Filly answered. She sounded a little flustered, but when I told her something big had come up she murmured "you can say that again!" and hung up. I despair of the woman sometimes, I really do.
I got a cab to Soho and arrived at Gordon's restaurant bang on time. I was really looking forward to this culinary evening. A large Channel 4 bouncer on the door put a hand on my chest as I tried to walk in.
"Where do you think you're going?" He growled. I laughed.
"Giles London. Here for the filming..." He looked down and consulted a long list of names on a computer print out.
"Oh yeah" he finally said. "Got you down here, Sir. Not this entrance, round the side." I was ushered down an alley that ran along the side of the restaurant until I came to a dark doorway marked "kitchen". I walked in to be confronted by Gordon Sweary himself.
"WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU COMING IN MY KITCHEN?" He screamed in my face from all of five inches. I told him with my favourite comfortable smile on my face. "WHO?" He yelled even louder and closer. A young girl with a clipboard and headphones on ran up to him and put an arm round his shoulders.
"Giles London, Gordon? Reviewer with powerful Dad? Remember? Suggested cannon fodder for opening scenes?" As she whispered this a smile spread across Gordon's creased up face.
"Ah yes. The rich arrogant tosser." It was gratifying the great man remembered me.
I was soon dressed in kitchen whites with a large hat on my head. Apparently I had been invited on the TV show for my cooking prowess as well as my reviewing skills. Gordon began ordering me round the kitchen stating that all the most important people from the gastronomic world were going to be dining at F-Off tonight. How nice he regarded me so highly. It turned out he was right, as aside from yours truly there was going to be Aldo Silli, Gary Hairgel, Rick Shagger, Anthony Gollom-Thompson, Ainsley Gurning, Lesley Flirty, Brian Northern and many other great TV chefs eating here tonight, plus assorted celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment, such as Frank Limpass of Chelsea FC, Chris Gobshite from Radio 1 and Jodie Thrush the model.
The fiming began in earnest and I was surprised how few kitchen staff Gordon seemed to need. In fact it appeared I was the only one this evening, and soon Gordon was barking orders at me. I took his comic threats and occasionally throwing of sharp objects with good grace and we had a good laugh, particularly when I dropped a whole batch of foie gras on the floor. I burnt the Salmon fishcake roulades and then set fire to the beef wellington. When my terrine de rustique flew off the plate and landed in the sink with the washing up, Gordon took the whole comic timing of the evening to a next level. With the camera crew constantly circling us and filming everything he began to try and stuff me into the industrial plate cleaner. I just managed to flit away from that when the kitchen door flew open and in strode George Cantakerous, the independent Respect Party MP and Brian O'Thug, Irish international rugby player.
"Who prepared that fucking lobster?" Yelled Cantakerous. All eyes turned on me.
"Is there a problem?" I asked, with a nice open smile on my face. I felt I should go along with their joking.
"It was fucking raw you prick!" Yelled O'Thug.
"I am surprised your palates are refined enough to be aware of such subtleties..." I began. But that was when they jumped me (as the picture above shows you). A brief but brutal thrashing later, I was lying down gasping for breath when the producer shouted that there had been a problem with the sound and they would have to film it again. Several more celebs swarmed into the kitchen at this point and offered to help out. So we filmed the scene again. And again. Finally everyone was happy. Gosh, aren't TV people perfectionists?
As I limped back to get my cab I could hear all the other celebs singing and laughing in the restaurant. I was proud to have been part of such a good nights gastronomic TV. Back at my flat I phoned Filly again and told her about the hammering I had taken in the cause of other people's entertainment. She told me she knew exactly how I felt and the best thing to do was just lie back and think of Bermondsey. I told her surely she meant England, but she said she knew what she meant, and then hung up.
So another hard evening for me and Filly it seems. If you know of a great restaurant you'd like me to review then drop me a line to gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and let's have lunch sometime. Just don't sit on my head and punch my cobblers. Bon appetit!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

The Savoy, London

It seems that my previous two reviews have been of a somewhat downmarket nature, and someone of such a refined palate and sensitive outlook is deserving of a more select quality of cuisine. Therefore when I was talking to Filly on the blower the other night, I mentioned this lack of quality dining. She mentioned she had been getting good regular portions recently, so bully for her! But I had been missing out and requested she suggest somewhere I could go. She burst out laughing and said that several destinations had just suddenly presented themselves to her. I asked her for the details or directions. There was more screaming laughter from Little Dozey-on-the-Wold. After calming down she mentioned a little hostelry that had just opened and which was doing great food and a roaring business. I asked her where this was - turns out it is in HAMPSHIRE for God's sake! HAMPSHIRE!? Now you know I will go anywhere for a good meal (provided it is within about half a mile of the Groucho Club), but HAMPSHIRE? Talk about the back of beyond! I mentioned something about the difficulty of getting somewhere as remote and primitive as Hampshire, when Filly cut across me and said something about "Christ! You and your precious bloody London - go and review the sodding works at the Savoy then you arrogant tosser!" - and she hung up. Honestly, since I took her to Deptford her language has been appalling. Who would have guessed her mouth was capable of such rudery! But her suggestion had given me an idea. I hadn't reviewed the Savoy since at least four weeks before Christmas, so off to the Strand it was for me!
Luncheon at the Savoy is always a treat and I knew I would be in for a special meal, but I was amazed what they had done with the decor as I first approached. The exterior was like a Banksy work, lots of wooden fencing had been put around the windows and plastic sheeting had replaced the Art Deco doors. As I pulled one of these to one side and entered, it was a brave new world that I encountered. This was like an installation at the Tate Modern. The boring old chandeliers, Charles Rennie-MacKintosh windows and art deco plasterwork had been removed and replaced with dust, bare light bulbs on wires and many cement mixers. It was so exciting! I wandered around the vast open space where the champagne bar had once stood and drank in the atmosphere. The waiters have all been replaced by performance artists it seems. As I stood gazing at a pile of bricks a man in a day glo vest and hard hat shouted "Put a fucking helmet on you ponce..." and stalked off. Breathtaking. If this is how exciting they had made the interior decor and service, heaven only knows what they had done with their menus!
After 25 minutes and no sign of a waiter, it suddenly dawned on me that they must have gone for a whole new philosophy of delivering the food to customers. Another performance artist walked past and I asked him about lunch. "Sandwich boxes you tosser" he yelled. And sure enough there they were, scattered around the performance area. Of all different colours and hues, some with hot drinks containers with them. I opened the first I came to - this was bringing out the hunter gatherer in the diner and no mistaking. Inside were some sandwiches sadly not made on a fresh ciabatta or baguette, but some sort of square cut white bread. The filling was a fish terrine of some sort that had been spread thinly - it had a highly piscine twang to it and it's sodium levels were no doubt ludicrously high. I spat the contents back into the box and moved to the next item on this mini menu. It was a small sachet of morceaux savoureux entitled "Monster Munch". Their refreshing sharp taste reminded one of nothing quite so much as pickled onions, would you believe! My palate needed refreshing and I was treated with a light fizzy drink called a Panda Pop which was bright blue and made me burp alarmingly. Intrigued by the gastric delights on offer I opened several other of these "boxes of delights" to discover the sweet meats inside. There were some truly remarkable finds. I was particularly struck by Cheese Strings and Waggon Wheels. But the performance was just starting. A few moments later a hooter sounded and suddenly I was surrounded by the performance artists in their hard hats and yellow vests. There was a moments silence and then they began their show.
"This blokes eaten my fucking lunch!" Shouted one.
"Your lucky" said another "he's spat most of my fish paste sarnies back in the box! Dirty bastard!"
"Where's my Waggon Wheel?" Yelled a third. The original actor then pointed at me.
"That well dressed posh talking dosser must have had the lot! GET HIM!" I was grabbed by several of them, some of whom pretended to beat me up. This was the weakest part of their performance as at least twelve of their "pulled" punches actually connected. More rehearsal needed there lads! I now offered to pay for the wonderful meal and performance, and pulled my wallet out. Apparently they only accept cash now, which was a surprise, but they were more than happy to accompany me to the nearest cash point, before one final pulled kick (again, another poor show lads, but at least you missed both my legs) and they left me to catch a cab home. A really exciting dining experience for me!
Filly had arrived at my flat during my visit and seemed surprised to see me. She kept trying to encourage me to go to the Groucho, but I was tired and a little bruised from the performance at the Savoy. Suddenly I heard the toilet flush. Who had done that? Suddenly, who appears but Bermondsey Dave from my Deptford kebab experience! Filly quickly explained that my toilet had broken and she had remembered Dave was a plumber and had called him. I mumbled something about him being a debt collector as I remembered, but she and he very quickly insisted he was definitely a plumber. I asked him if he had brought his plunger with him, but Filly assured me he had and after witnessing it in action she could confirm that he "sure knew how to use it" - which was a great relief.
So, another good day in the Giles London household! The Savoy certainly surprised me with their new look. If you have somewhere you'd like me to review then email me at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and maybe we can have lunch together. Bon appetit!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

McDonalds, Kensington

I received an email from a correspondent and fan, from "A Hillside in Wales", by the name of Moonroot. On studying her blog it would appear that she hails from the Celtic fringes of society and probably has little or no idea where London is, or what it is for that matter. Despite her vaguely Neanderthal-like existence on some blasted Gaelic slopes, she did come forth with a recommendation for a restaurant to review. And as befitting someone who sides with the Celtic (lunatic) fringe, her restaurant to review apparently came from the Pictish camp of the Britons.
McDonald's Restaurants are, according to Moonroot, everywhere. I hadn't noticed, but Filly reckoned the sort of person who hadn't noticed any of the McDonald's restaurants springing up was exactly the sort of vain, narcissistic, self-centred, blinkered, arrogant upper-class idiot with guacamole for brains and "very small genitalia" that she was getting sick of, apparently. She also said she wasn't going to drive all the way from Little Dozey-on-the-Wold for a pathetic little quarter pounder, when there was plenty of "100% beefcake in Bermondsey". I wasn't really clear what she was on about, so decided to make this evening's soiree a solo event!
As I was going to be dining at what would appear to be a Scottish themed restaurant, I decided to dress accordingly, and went for a three quarter length Royal Stuart tartan kilt, sporran, tweed jacket, bow tie, Glengarry and dirk stuck down my sock. On consulting with my Yellow Pages, it appeared there was a McDonald's in Kensington not more than 600 yards from my front door. Alas with no Filly to drive me this evening I had to get a cab. On arriving at the august portals of this eatery I was struck by the bright lights and masses of tourists. The management here were obviously doing something right to keep the punters happy. My full Highland regalia caused quite a stir as I entered the hostelry and I had to pose for a photo with two frightfully excited young Japanese ladies. I stood and waited to be seated, but nothing happened and so I ventured up towards the kitchens where a sallow faced youth in an ill fitting uniform stood with a vacant expression.
"How can I help?" He murmured in a quiet monotone.
"Table pour moi, not too close to the hoi poloi, chop-chop." Politneness costs nothing, I always think. He looked at me blankly.
"Is it on the menu?" he asked.
"Is what on the menu?" I was a bit puzzled by now.
"Your hoi poloi chop chop? Is it a new Chinese promotional burger I don't know about? No one tells me nothing..." Tears had started to well in his haunted blank eyes. I had to be calm and considerate at this sensitive moment.
"GET ME THE MANAGER!" I yelled at the top of my voice. "I NEED TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY! NOT THIS IDIOTIC TROGLODYTE!" A harrassed looking Nigerian called Egbunike approached me.
"What is it you want, Sir?" I looked him up and down.
"You're not Scottish!" I said. A weary smile spread across his face.
"Well spotted. And to save you further time, Sir I am also neither Liberace, Norwegian or the Archbishop of Canterbury. What I am is the shift manager of an extremely busy McDonald's outlet and I have many customers to attend to. What is your problem, Sir?" I mentioned my problem vis-a-vis no seating being offered. He gestured towards some tables and chairs. "Help yourself." I went and sat down. After 20 minutes it became clear that the waiting staff were either non-existant or ignoring me. I stormed back up to the counter where the troglodyte still stood. He cowered away as I approached and Egbunike came to greet me. "Can I take your order, Sir?" He asked.
"I just want a meal. A pleasant meal, in pleasant surroundings." I pleaded to the man. A thought seemed to strike him.
"You would like a Happy Meal?" He said, beaming from ear to ear.
"Pleasant, happy, anything really..."
Later, at home I reviewed the evening. I had been to a restaurant called McDonald's, dressed like John Brown, had failed to spy a single waiter, had been given a cardboard box with a small hamburger inside with some salty chips and a cardboard cup full of thick pink liquid which was too viscous to suck up the straw, and been fobbed off with a small stuffed toy in the shape of a Honey Bee. And this restaurant is popular and has many other outlets? It is a sad day for a respected restaurant reviewer when it comes to this. I tried to phone Filly to fill her in, but she answered breathlessly and said she was already being filled in, and hung up. So, Moonroot - not a spectacularly good evening. Only 3/10 from Giles. Oh, and to whoever stuck the label on the back of my Glengarry that read "will drop Kilt for food" - no one found it funny.
If you know a good eatery you'd like me to try out then drop me a line at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and I'll check it out. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Capital Kebab House, Deptford

Since setting up this cyberspace blog, one has received many emails. Several largely anonymous ones have come from someone signing themselves as "Furious Filly of Rural Hampshire" and if you remove all the swearing and threats only run to about two sentences. I have also received one or two more interesting pointers, vis-a-vis top eateries. One in particular caught my eye for it's splendid and frequent use of colourful Anglo-Saxon colloquialisms. It said "Oi Giles you big fucking poof. You is all well and good going round them poncy west end gaffes, when r you gonna come down Deptford and try some real food you fucking tosser. Signed Nobber and Bermondsey Dave." Luckily they had left a mobile number on the initial message and so, tempted by this wonderfully earthy spirit of theirs I took the plunge and called them. What they lacked in charm and sophistication, they more than made up for in swearing and laughter. I was warmly invited to come down for a "DONNA" and a "rumble" should I so wish. This sounded like possibly an Italian evening and so I called up the Filly who was once again bawling her eyes out as her Mother had had yet another stroke in Little Dozey-on-the-Wold (surely having more than one is just attention seeking), and offered her the chance to join me in what appeared to be an evening in a trattoria.
The Filly arrived with a somewhat wild look in her eyes, and seemed thrilled at the prospect of the evening ahead. She said that dining with me after looking after her frail mother put her whole life "in a new perspective". She simply adores me, and who can blame her. We jumped in her Mercedes and trolled on down to South London where Deptford was supposed to be. Now I had imagined some Putney-esque riverside development after what Nobber had told me on the phone, but this was much more gritty and urban. To get the full flavour of our experience I urged The Filly to put on "Straight Outta Compton" by NWA on the CD, but she only had Katie Melua, and it really didn't suit the ambience. We stopped at the correct address, according to The Filly's sat nav, and there it was. The Capital Kebab House. So not a trattoria at all - more like a pocket sized Greek Taverna. As I stepped from the car, there was Nobber.
"Fuck me!" He yelled. "That posh twats only gone and turned up!" He slapped me on the back with all the ferocity of Gordon Sweary tenderising a steak and offered to let me wear his Burberry Hoodie, I declined. Bermondsey Dave was a very big chap as well and seemed to take a shine to The Filly and insisted on putting a protective arm around her. He led me into the eatery - it has a sort of quaint English working class seaside feel to it, with formica everywhere and a fruit machine in the corner. A man that Nobber insisted on calling Stavros, even though he later told me his name was Ahmed, showed me his menu which was for once not handwrittedn in finest copperplate and sealed in a leather binding, but in pictures placed on a light box above our heads. Everything looked the same, so I turned to Nobber for a little help. He highly recommended the "Extra Large Doner, all in and chilli sauce" - I thanked him for his astute help. Bermondsey Dave and Filly were busy chatting by the fruit machine and so Nobber and I ate alone at the counter - standing up would you believe! My meal was gargantuan - no nouvelle cuisine here my valued reader. More meat than you can shake a stick at, fresh salad and a chilli sauce that Nobber described as "nuclear" and with pickled jalapeno's that he called "kinansom", though I am at a loss to know what that actually means. After four mouthfulls I had lost the feeling in my palate and was sweating profusely, but Nobber told me this was normal. He recommended putting the fire out with some imported Danish pilsner lager called "Spesh" - it arrived in golden chilled cans. So hot and thirsty was I by now, that I immediately downed six of them and felt most refreshed.
I woke up in my bathroom in Kensington. I had been to the toilet at least eight times during the night, but appear to have been only mildly accurate twice. I looked in the mirror to see that I had a pickled jalapeno stuck to my forehead alongside the words "POSH TWAT" written in permanent water proof ink. I stumbled into my bedroom to find Filly sitting up in bed with a big smile on her face.
"Feeling better, darling?" She asked, giggling quietly. I slowly peeled the pepper from my forehead which for some reason caused her to explode into uncontrollable manic laughter. After five minutes she eventually subsided.
"That was some hot stuff last night..." I mumbled. Her smile returned even brighter.
"You can say that again..." She sighed. I was at a loss to put together the final parts of the evening. How on Earth had we got home?
"I feel pretty rough..." I lay down next to her on the bed.
"And it was pretty rough last night..." She sighed. Just then her mobile rang and she snatched it up, probably her Mother or sister wanting to know why she wasn't back at the maternal bedside. She trotted out of the room to the landing and I could hear her giggling and going on about Bermondsey a lot. She was obviously filling in her family with her escapades last night. What a girl.
So have you got a local trattoria, taverna or other ethnic fusion food outlet you'd like me to experience? Then drop me a line at gileslondongetsstuffed@yahoo.co.uk and maybe we can have lunch together! Filly has requested a few more eateries in the Bermondsey area - she'd obviously got the taste of some rough stuff now! Tally-ho!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Les Riches Crédules, Kensington

My good lady friend - sometimes known as my "filly", at others as Marina Featherington-Cope, had been hearing good things about a little eatery in Hunter Street, Kensington. Apart from the occasional Crab Roulade at Boris Getjakitov's "Ra-Ra-Rasputin" cafe in Gurning Street, Kensington has been a bit of a taste bud no-go area of late. So a chance for a bit of nose bag at an eatery not far from where one resides seemed too good an opportunity to miss. I called "The Filly" on the blower and asked if she minded joining me for dinner in Kensington tonight. She was down at her sick mother's bedside in Little Dozey-on-the-Wold, but sounded thrilled at the prospect of driving up to London to pick me up and go out to dinner. Before she hung up she muttered something about dinner with me that evening would "make the decade seem worthwhile." What a lucky chap I am.
When the Filly finally arrived (making various excuses about the M25 and rush hours) we jumped in her jalopy and drove the 500 yards to this new super eatery. "Les Riches Crédules" is decorated in a sort of Les Miserables style, the main restaurant sign depicting a garishly over made up aristo having his old top knot knocked off with a big guillotine thingy. On entering you wander past large pictures of Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates all doctored to look like they are facing a firing squad. The owner and head chef turned out to be my old sparring partner, Phillipé Trémblé, who had once chased me down the King's Road in Chelsea with a meat cleaver after my joke about his langoustiné terrine went a bit pear-shaped.
"Les Riches Crédules" is famous for it's aggressive waiting staff, expensive water list and a menu entitled "Peasant Fodder". Filly and I were eager to sample the delights and were not disappointed. For a starter I had a "Nouille de pot" in a sort of light curry sauce which was served with a small sachet of mango chutney. Filly had "Chips de crème aigre" which came in a long green cardboard tube with the French word Les Pringles on the side. These were both most agreeable and were washed down with a light Italian sparkling wine entitled "Lambrini Light". For a main course I plumped for the "Bâton de poisson" with "Haricots cuits au four" and Smash. Filly had a "Pudding de bifteck et de rein" which Phillipé tells me was prepared by his Argentinian sous chef called Ray Bentos. The main course was served with a delightful Californian wine called "Thunderbird" which turned my teeth pink and made me want to sing Bob Dylan songs very loudly to the waiter. We finished the meal with two lovely frilly concoctions of Phillipé's called "Fouet instantané" with a "écrimage rêveur" jus. Delightful. And at just £783.34 (excluding tip) this was one of the cheapest nights out I have had in Kensington for a long time.
Filly made some tired joke about me dragging her halfway across southern England to eat crisps, but I was tired by then and after she had dropped me home I told her she should head off back to her maters now as she didn't want to get caught up in the morning's traffic. I shouted at her to drive carefully and she responded by telling me I should too. Well she didn't say it, she just gestured with two fingers. A lot. What a girl!
If you can think of somewhere within 500 yards of where I live that I haven't reviewed yet, then drop me a line and I'll see if I can get the Filly up from Hampshire again to drive me to it! Good eating, friends!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Come Dine With Me!

Hi! Or as we say in West London, arriverderci! My name is Giles London and you probably know me from such TV programmes as "Gordon Sweary's Fucking Kitchen" and "Really Crap Early Morning ITV Movie Review Show". I also write for The Clarion Newspaper here in the UK as a restaurant critic. I have been doing this job for some seven years now and have had a tough fight up the slippery pole of the British media to get here, and now that I have attained the apex of my writing career I am anxious to prove the skills what I have got make me worthy of my place. Or something.
How did I become a restaurant critic? Well I could have spent my formative years washing dishes in Michelin starred Paris eateries, or studying the works of some of Europe's finest chefs. But instead as I was being chauffeur driven down from Cambridge after graduating, I phoned Daddy at work for some advice and he was brilliant. My father worked in the printing industry (Old Inky we called him!), so he had a few contacts in Fleet Street. so I felt sure his advice would be wise, worthy and above all, sensible. I was not wrong.
"Oh fuck all that queuing up for a job in the media, Giles. I'll sack the tosser who is our restaurant reviewer, he is nearly due to retire anyway. Should save us some money on a carriage clock and a piss up. Once you start you can write any old cobblers and get a free meal while your at it. Should keep you on the straight and narrow for a few months. Now I must dash as some of the sub-Editors are hassling me for a decision. Think I might sack the bastards..." and the phone went down. I have never forgotten those sage words.
And now with the dawning of the internet age it seems appropriate that I should launch my ever popular reviews into cyber space - and here they are in all their glory.
Ah, but what name to call these reviews, I hear you ask. Good question. Well, the naming of it was a stroke of luck. I decided to phone my pal, celebrity chef Aldo Silli while he was on honeymoon in the Bahamas recently. When he answered the phone I said:
"Hi Aldo, it's Giles here!"
"Who?" He said. Aldo is such a joker.
"Giles London. I am launching my own restaurant critic blog in cyber space and I was wondering if you had a good idea for a title for it...?" I could hear his lovely wife Thingy (for fuck's sake find out her real name before publishing GL) in the background moaning about Aldo hurrying as things were going "off the boil" - how nice he finds time to cook even on honeymoon! Aldo came back quick as a flash with the perfect title.
"Get stuffed!" he yelled, and hung up. So that's what we called it. Actually I think he said "Get stuffed you pompous little prick", but that wouldn't fit on the title page!
So tuck in guests and enjoy the sumptuous reviews!