Its hard not to heap yet more praise on this place and who really wants to hear more fawning blog opinions? Yes I know no one but tough here it is.
Inventive and unique, there are good reasons why Brett Graham’s food has won such plaudits there is very little like this in London both in terms of quality and originality.
Its easily in my top 5 London restaurants.
The bread yes I know Giles Coren says you shouldn’t eat the bread at restaurants, yada yada, well to that opinion I say “bacon and onion pain au raisin thingy”.
Never mind not eating it I had 2 !! Frankly delicious the snappily dressed blond was immediately ruing her decision to opt for the brown bread.
Onion Bacon “Pain Au Raisin” roll deliciousness
Some signature dishes to kick things off .
Ceviche of Scallops with Kohlrabi, Seaweed and Herb Oil Frozen Horseradish
Simple yet delicious. Raw scallop a crunch from the Kohlrabi and then the snow. If I had a pacojet I’d be whipping up this snow all the time or at least attempting to. Cold fresh with a nice punch from the horseradish. its not a gimmick it tastes great. The sort of thing you’d die to eat on a hot day. Then lurking in the background that clean ozone taste of the nori powder.
Flame Grilled Mackerel with Avocado, Celtic Mustard and Shiso
This has to be amongst the best mackerel dishes we’ve tasted. Perfectly cooked rich delicious and what must have been a sparklingly fresh piece of mackerel. The accompanying pickled cucumber was a hit. So much going on here you can see why people swoon over this dish.
Roast Breast and Confit Leg of Mallard with Red Vegetables and Leaves, Foie Gras, rhubarb.
A main of duck is precise and delicious, the duck was perfectly cooked and the dish has great balance. The rhubarb a great counterpoint to the rich melting foie. This dish is visually a triumph and utterly delicious, I love the play on red colours here but its not just visual the flavours work so well together. Why is the confit leg on the side? – well I guess for no other reason than it had no natural home on this beautiful plate. Its addition was however very welcome, a rich counterpoint to the rest – really how are we supposed to resist such a morsel?
Blade of Ruby Red Beef with Smoked Onion, Bone marrow Pickled Walnuts and Grated English Wasabi
Again serious cooking Beef with a whiff of background smoke from the onion. The marrow turns up the the dial on the deep beef flavours and there is some good textural counterpoint crunch from the breadcrumb marrow crumble. This is accomplished stuff.
Passion Fruit Soufflé with Sauternes Ice Cream
I once had a peerless Passion fruit soufflé in Rockpool cooked by one of Grahams compatriots, Neil Perry – but this trumped even that. Perfectly executed and what seemed to be the tiniest pearls of passion fruit jelly throughout. I suppose to give an additional punch of flavour clever stuff. The sauternes ice cream lacked the punch of Sauternes I’d expected but that really is a very very minor gripe. Order it you won’t be disappointed.
Millefeuille of Rhubarb
Again this was excellent but if I’m honest our attention had been swayed by a battle for the last spoonful of soufflé
As you might expect Australia is well served on this list but we were drawn to a 2002 Pinot Gris from Rolly Gassmann. It weighed in at £45 but it was worth the extra cost. Textbook, rich, thick, a serious wine with plenty going on. Just slightly off dry but with serious fruit and the balance here is outstanding, it doesn’t get better than this. Alsace is perhaps wrongly overlooked. This is what its Italian cousin Pinot Grigio could be perhaps if it was too busy slutting itself around in wine bars. All grown up and serious if only all Pinot Gris was like this.
Finally some excellent petit fours and teas finished things off nicely. A relaxed smart dining room with charming staff who are a credit to the place and make you welcome throughout I’ll be back.