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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:


Edinburgh was a week of violent intoxication feebly tempered by cheap coffee. By the end of the festival my taste buds bled for fresh ingredients and the only place I knew in that remote capitol was David Ramsden's immaculate new venture, 'Rogues.' This gregarious and tireless restaurateur's previous joint was a cult masterpiece on the other side of town in Leith. Fitzhenry was a venue he battled with for six years, and I say 'battled' because, despite a priceless reputation for excellence in cuisine and service, the restaurant simply wouldn't take off. Perhaps a disgruntled chef's suicide by deep fat fryer left a moody memory that scuppered David's efforts throughout - it could have been anything and many a restaurant has left their hapless owners on the streets for not recognising the hopelessness of the situation. David saw the problem, rather he saw there was a problem that a genius would strain to explain.
The parts that make up Rogues seem to spew from the mind of a once famous 80's pop star. Some might say they lack taste but as a whole (and one should see a restaurant as a whole to enjoy it fully), this is a purple garters and silk stockings place to eat….apart from that it's just great fun and I believe David wants people to have felt that when they leave 20%.
In Michael's exact words, 'Best crapper ever!' As usual he is already in full flow…

"What a blocked bowel of a week I’ve had. I was forcibly dragged to my idiot nephew’s wedding. Frankly Tristram’s IQ is so low that most of the family are surprised that he can tie his own shoelaces of a morning. So as you can imagine the announcement that he was to marry came as something of a shock. The whole day was dreadful. Her family seemed to have escaped from the ‘Planet of the Apes’, I half expected Charlton Heston to run down the aisle screaming, "Damn dirty apes!" at the top of his voice.

The food was utterly inedible. I’ve never seen chicken treated like that in my life. So anything will be a relief after that. I’ll have the Buccleugh Beef and make it snappy. That means I want it fast by the way. Not literally snapping like that Caribbean Snapper I had last week.

As if the week hadn’t already been totally ruined by witnessing the splicing of Tristram to Clothilda I also learned that ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ has grossed over $100 million. Quite why it’s managed to take that much money is a mystery. It just lends more fuel to my theory that you could happily make a film consisting of nothing more then Hugh Grant sitting on a chair for two hours and still have a massive box office at the end of it. In fact, I’m sure Richard Curtis is working on the screenplay even now.

Good old BBC, eh? Not content with sidelining a hugely expensive Spielberg mini-series and announcing that ‘Casualty’ is to be screened nearly all year round have you heard what their latest wheeze is? They’re going to do a film about Jeffrey Archer. Oh. Whoopie. I mean I’m as glad as the next person that the lying little runt is in prison but do we really need to give his ego any more of a boost? He’ll be rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of being the subject of a film. Still try telling the BBC that. In fact try telling the BBC anything. You’d have more success trying to get Stevie Wonder a pilot’s licence.

Where’s that wine list, waiter? I’m bloody parched over here. Oh sod it, I’ll have a gin and tonic a la Whiner. What do you mean you’ve never heard of one? The mix is legendary all over London. Oh good grief, allow me to explain. You take a tall glass. You fill it almost to the top leaving about an inch of space. No you don’t fill it with tonic yet, you idiot, that’s the gin. The tonic goes in next. Not too much! You’ll drown it! Next add two drops of lemon juice and serve. The acid test is to see if it makes your eyes water after you take your first sip. Gggggggghhhhhhhhhhhghggghgghgghgh. Perfect.

The capacity of film makers to cast entirely the wrong people in bio pics. Who can forget Val Kilmer woodening his way through ‘The Doors’? He might have looked like Jim Morrison but lacked the man’s destructive personality. Or any personality at all for that matter. The latest victim to the curse of casting idiocy is Peter Sellers. Stephen Daldry is working on a bio pic of the comedian and is reputedly desperate to cast Kevin Spacey in the lead role. No, I’ve no idea why either. Still it could be worse. The image of Val Kilmer singing ‘Ying Tong Yiddle Aye Po’ is too hideous to contemplate."

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

archive >>>

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