The Traveling Salesman
It was another early wake up call. Today was the day that I would be making the In Waves album art/music presentation to all the heads of Roadrunner and Warner International. Jonas (the head of RR NYC) was so stoked on the NYC impromptu presentation that I put on in the midst of the NYC-promo trip, that he cleared it with all the department heads of RR/WEA to have me do another presentation in the London offices of RRUK.
We had all the countries present - mostly people I’ve met and become pals with over the years (and a lot of whom I’ve shared some impossibly great eating experiences (like Ben from RR Australia)); so I was totally comfortable on making the presentation.
I gave everyone an improvisational rundown on the art and music (as I did in NYC (I’ve found I do things best unplanned)) and it went great - from the presentation, we went on the do heaps and heaps of press.
Kirsten from RRUK is one of the reasons we’re big in the UK (2 gold albums and a few silver albums big) and she squared away some amazing magazine covers with lots of friends we’ve made over the years (Metal Hammer, Kerrang, Total Guitar, and many more). It was a long day… and RR International setup an amazing dinner for us to meet them up after press… and naturally - with all the press, we were running late. Rockstar timing.
Wally from RR Netherlands squared away a place called Kensington Place - a place that seemed to do high end versions of classical British staples. It was some fancy stuff… the kind of restaurant with a menu that has no prices…. that’s how you know how expensive it is: if you care on the cost, you probably can’t afford it.
Luckily for us… we weren’t buying.
Beautifully minimalistic design, great fonts and typography on the menu, and a great open dining room with large windows occupied the space that was Kensington Place.
We were greeted by a massive table of all the RR International people - they had most of the countries worldwide represented; and we all dispersed in and around the fellow diners.
We drank Trapiche Melodies Pinot Noir ‘08 and Moon Harvest Shiraz '09.
To my right, I had Ben from RRAus, my left I had Mark from RRUK, my front left Joe from Machine Head, Morgan from RRInternational in front of me, and Karine from RRFrance to my front right - all great people, all people into food.
I was happily seated next to Ben, since we would be sharing everything (as usual).
My starter was the Potted Trout - trout in an artistic/rustic little clasp-mason jar; it tasted like smoked salmon only completely muted of the fishy taste of smoked salmon. I’m not entirely sure what the yellow stuff on top was… it had a taste and texture like butter - and was delicious. The house-made Melba Toast on top was crispy and light as air.
Morgan, a fellow halvsie-asian, had a killer hookup with the restaurant and got us something off the menu. Fish and Chips…. but eff-ing gourmet Fish and Chips. These were some of the best damn fish and chips I’ve ever had. There is no proper description of a perfect fish and chips - but it can be found: sometimes in a sea-side cart, sometimes in a greasy spoon, sometimes at Kensington Place thanks to Morgan. Salty, crispy, greasy and airy. Insane.
Mains came up: Saddleback Pork Belly with spring greens, poached apples, and pommery mustard. The different textures included a super crunchy skin, the soft inner-meat, and the gelatinous fat layer below - all a treat. The accompaniments went fantastically. The Braised Shoulder of Lamb with cauliflower, braised celery, and mash was melt-in-your-mouth good. The meat was slow cooked for hours and could be cut with a spoon. The flavors were rich and hearty - slight game in the meat and a delicious viscous sauce below.
Everyone was sufficiently stuffed, but having some room left over for desert. The smokers grabbed their post-dinner cigarettes, we played musical chairs a bit to say hello to the opposite ends of the table, and then ordered desert.
KP’s Lemon Trifle came in a little mason jar; it had a layer of rice pudding that went perfectly with the different balances of lemon pudding-type layers. The sorbet was incredible - I love all the things citrus; that candy stick thing was pretty great. Apple Tart Fine’ was everything about a good apple tart - but with that fancy extra flare. The ice cream included was fantastic.
By this point, we were all drinking left-overs of wine out of the bottle, laughing loudly and chuckling slowly.
I think at this time we went to a bar… but I cannot remember at all? I think we went to a hotel and ran into Blasko from Rob Zombie/ Ozzy, Gus G from Ozzy/ Firewind - I spilled a bunch of Scotch on my crotch… and that was it.