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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
20
3.9 out of 5 stars
Grillhouse
Format: Hardcover|Change


on 3 March 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been looking for an uncomplicated cook book for a while now; one that offers good food that is slightly different but easy to cook, as apposed to all these michelin quality book you find today. Grillhouse is a book that delivers this. Its very well designed, set out great with excellent photography. Its got the feel of a pub book too, with a ridged cover and spine - very retro but modernised.

Its also set out in an impressive way too; with great use of space on the page, neutral text colours which make for easy reading and which also make it a good book to keep glancing at when trying one of the recipes.

The recipes are simple, sometimes explaining rudimentary tasks but for beginners that would be a great help I imagine.
It features starters, mains and desserts in case you thought this was just a book on meat. There's also a number of fish dishes to compliment this. With regards to meat the chicken and mushroom pie in particular is brilliant, reminding you straight away that pub food can be up there with the best.

Its a simple, perfectly balanced and designed alternative pub style cook book. Definitely worth a buy if you are tired of all these pretentious cook books nowadays.
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on 2 September 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is, as not so subtly suggested by the title, centred around grilling meat. As such, most of the recipes are simple enough - there isn't much in here that is complicated or difficult in terms of process, and the idea is that well cooked meat (or seafood) speaks for itself. Where I found real value was the interesting and varied collection of sauces and dressings to accompany the dishes. There are some great ideas for garnishes in here that might make it worth a look if you're stuck for ideas. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and there is a lovely tone to the writing, reverent of the food but not sanctimonious, that inspires and reassures nervous cooks like myself.

In terms of presentation, this, like many other recipe books, is absolutely beautiful. The pages are clean and sparse, the recipes brief and the pictures are lush.

It's a great book for a carnivore to flick dreamily through, but it doesn't really offering the adventurous gourmet chef too much to excite.
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Quite a masculine feel to this book, with brown-hued pictures of lots of meaty fare, and as many butch-sounding hocks, flanks and devilled bits and pieces as you could wish for. Most of the recipes are typical gastropub grub (steak bearnaise, roast beef and onions, calves liver, pork terrine, and steak and kidney pie). Fish and seafood figure to a lesser extent, though put in a good showing in the starters section (potted prawns, oysters, seafood chowder, and crab cakes). However, the pub theme goes a bit awry in the puds department - my local doesn't do brownies or New York baked cheesecake, thank you very much, and whilst traditionalists might be slightly placated by the inclusion of an apple and cheddar pie, a lot of fab British puddings (apple crumble? treacle tart?) got overlooked in my opinion. A fairly logical layout, with starters first, grills and bakes later, sides and sweets at the end. Matt paper, an unusual ridged cardboard cover and a picture of nearly every recipe. I didn't find this quite as inspiring as the Bill Granger or Skye Gyngell books I recently tested, but nonetheless think this one will appeal a fair bit to the boys.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 March 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is exactly the cookbook I`ve been after for a while now - it`s a combination of the kind of food I like to cook and eat, and without exaggeration I think it`s a lovely looking book; not just the cover, but the photographs throughout are excellent (and there are plenty of them too). All these aspects are worth nothing without a good set of recipes though. Suffice to say there are a lot of things I want to cook here, and even more pleasingly, they are things I have the ability to cook too! Most recipes are simple, like Sirloin Steaks with Bearnaise, to Steak and Kidney Pies, even Crinkle-Cut Chips, as well as lot of starter ideas and fish dishes. The only negatives...well, there aren`t that many recipes in relation to the pages of photos. Nearly everything that you might get from the gastropub of the subtitle is here though. I think "Grillhouse" is a lovely book, and definitely worth buying.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 May 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was really pleased with this cookbook. For once a nicely presented book with all recipes seemingly easy to follow. I liked the layout of this and thought there was a good selection of different types of meat dishes which were all relatively easy to make. There were the occasional ingredients that you may need to specifically buy but other than that the majority of things can be easily purchased from your local supermarket. Overall I think this is a meat lovers dream of a cookbook and would highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The recipes in this book are very meaty, beaty, big and bouncy (apologies to The Who.) and I thought very basic and pretty much bog standard for stuff like steaks, but overwritten and often overexplained.I'm just looking at the recipe for Steak Au Poivre and Ross Dobson takes a whole paragraph explaining how to coat the steak in pepper!So, I would say this is probably very much a book for the single man and novice cook.

The pictures are nice and the recipes are fine, but I can't help feeling the whole thing's a bit unnecassary as most people won't need a book to tell them how to cook a steak or how to roll out frozen shop bought pastry and you will find most of the recipes for the sauces in plenty of other cookbooks. Having said that, the addition of breadcrumbs to his recipe for macaroni cheese looks like it might be nice so I'll give that a go sometime.
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on 19 December 2011
The real success of the gastropub style of food is its simplicity, and that simplicity is laid bare in Grillhouse. It's unrealistic to expect people to cook high-end restaurant food at home - I seldom cook from my copy of The Fat Duck Cookbook, for example, but I deeply admire its ambition and sense of purpose and mission. Grillhouse is at the other end of the scale.
Take a recipe for crispy-skinned trout.
It consists of frying a piece of trout, and then squeezing some lemon juice over it. That's essentially it.
I don't need a recipe and a nice photo to give me that idea, even though you might be a relatively unimaginative cook. It's just easy, but that doesn't stop Dobson explaining in detail how to do it.
Many of the other recipes are far too predictable - there's a burger, a steak and kidney pie, a variety of steaks and chops, a fair showing for pork belly and plenty of beef ribs. Beef Wellington, onion rings and that staple of every gastropub menu, the lamb shank all put in an appearance. There are thick cut chips everywhere, just in case you wondered. All standard gastropub fare.
That said, there aren't many dishes in Grillhouse that I wouldn't order in a pub or restaurant, or even make at home.
Grillhouse isn't an inspirational cookbook, but it does gently remind and nudge you along in a `remember that chicken and mushroom pot pie you used to make? Why not give it another go?' kind of way.
It's a comfortable book, full of comfortable food and comfortable photos of said comfortable food, and this isn't a bad thing - far from it - it's quite a pleasant experience, a solid and handsome book with some great photography and a range of recipes that, yes, verge on the over easy sometimes, but which sit together well as a collection.
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VINE VOICEon 19 February 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ross Dobson is new to me - I have clearly missed his appearances thus far on UK cooking shows. His writing shows a down-to-earth approach to food - something with which I heartily agree. Too many food writers dress things up in fancy language when what really matters is how the food tastes.

This book is a celebration of the traditional, hearty food that is the staple of many a gastropub up and down the land (and probably throughout much of the English-speaking world). Probably not a title that many vegetarians will want to add to their collection - as there is a distinct lack of options for them in here (though the cheese croquettes look tasty.) There are some good-looking side dishes (the rum and maple sweet potato sounds worth trying) but most veggies would be narked to only have a meal of sides no matter how good!

The content is laid out as you would expect - Starters, Grilled and Baked mains, Sides and then Desserts. There is a good balance between meat and fish options and nothing is made any more complicated than it really needs to be. There is nothing here to scare off the occasional cook. Everything is clearly laid out and explained.

In terms of presentation, the book is well designed. The ribbed cover is most unusual and adds to the quality feel of the production. The pages are a nice, thick, matt paper and the photography throughout is very enticing. One of the fonts used is a little quirky - but you can still read everything perfectly easily. It is, it should be noted, an Australian book - and so a couple of the ingredients might sound unusual - but googling can resolve any doubts you may have as to what to use.

I don't think this is the most adventurous of recipe collections - but then gastropubs are about good food with that retro, comforting feel. Fine dining this isn't - and none the worse for that. It is a well-produced, well-written book with some tempting recipes
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Grill house
Ross Dobson

Excellent versions of classic pub food at home.

This is a very well presented book which offers a very diverse range of recipes for classic Gastropub dishes which are relatively simple to make and serve at home. Here, one must not expect a whole new set of dishes, I believe that Ross's objective was to capture and present how to create classic dishes; however the take of some of these dishes is original and the versions of the food presented is delicious.

For example, every Gastropub will serve a variant of the classic burger. The version we see here are Stout Beef Burgers, so we have this great twist which truly makes a wonderful version of the beef burger. I tried this recipe as a part of my run-up to reviewing this book, and I can promise that these burgers are first class and possibly the best beef burgers I have ever made; and among the best I have ever tasted.

The book is broken into the following sections; starters, grilled, baked, sides and sweets; which is a fairly self-explanatory list from which one can guess the type of food one will find within. Most of the classic Gastropub favourites are there and one can easily use grab recipes from different sections of the book to make a hearty meal. In fact I do wish the book had several bookmarks (rather than none) so that I can keep several places marked for when I am cooking.

Each recipe is presented in an easy to follow manner and there are no exceptionally difficult recipes to follow; remember this is classic pub faire. There are a selection of photographs depicting the food so the text to image ratio is reasonable and at least not cluttered with pictures of the writers family in variety of poses, something I hate in a cookery book.

This is very much a blokes cook book, which is not a bad thing. Here even the most kitchen shy chap can get out the oven gloves and make a brilliant dinner to impress his lady.

A first class book and highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Is it me or does the author aim this book specifically at men, I found the book very "butch" and a bit too "arty farty" for my liking, don't get me wrong, it has some nice recipes, but unless you are learning to cook from scratch, you may find that the recipes are very much over explained, and make you feel that the author thinks that those who buy this book have no cooking experience whatsoever.

It has some lovely recipes, but is it me or do the photos not quite give the recipes the justice that they deserve, they seem very dark, bland, and in some shots look very under exposed.

This book could have been a 5 star affair, but sadly it didn't quite sit up there with the best for me, I applaud the authors efforts, but I feel that the over all presentation of the book and the fact that everything is written as if you were reading a dummies guide to cooking, takes the winning edge off the title for me.

Lovely steak recipes in here, though, hence why there are four stars, with my husband being a prolific carnivore, they won him over!
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