This made me smile, on the email from my friend, Mark Rose. Mark has an extremely well-developed palate, and is the most intrepid eater I know - seriously dedicated. Here's his description of his dinner last night in London. He certainly has a strong stomach.... he also had a 10-course foie gras dinner on this trip!
"Dined at Arbutus in London tonight and my courses were:
Entrée: Braised pigs head, potato puree, ravioli of caramelized onions
What it really was: Pigs cheeks, lips, ear, nose, potato puree, two pieces of pigs stomach lining with caramelized onions
M/C: Pieds et parquets – lambs tripe parcels and trotters (Marseille style)
What it really was: Lambs stomach, sweet breads, liver, heart, kidney in the parcels, lambs stomach braised with potatoes, kale and carrot and jellied pigs trotter on a piece of crispy baguette
Dessert: The best piece of old smelly cheese I (or Ben) have ever eaten!
Verdict: Managed to eat all of the first course – it was crispy, fatty and smelt very dirty! (a bit like a cow shed after milking). Texture was good, flavor OK, smelt like I shouldn’t have put it in my mouth!
Managed to eat half of the parcels – good texture, OK taste, OK smell (definitely not an aroma!)
Managed to eat half of the pigs trotter – texture awful (like a mouth full of jellied salmon caviar), tasted like it was old and dead, smelt like it was old and dead and should definitely not gone anywhere near my mouth!!
I have only struggled this way through a dinner once before in my life and the main course was mutton bird!
Great dining room, excellent staff, fantastic wine selection (they would let you buy any bottle on the list in a 375ml carafe at just over half the bottle price), food was very well cooked and presented, menu had lots of appealing offerings – just a shame that I didn’t choose one! And the worst part is… the waiter warned me that the two courses together would be very tough on my stomach. Guess what?
Not sure there will be much sleep I my hotel room tonight."