It is always thoroughly enjoyable to introduce the ignorant to the grandeur of real food. Of delicious morsels and mouth watering dishes. To see their little, unexpecting faces contract with orgasmic pleasure as they take a first bite. It seemed high time I saved my sister from the masses of peasants by taking her to her first Michelin starred restaurant.
One of the things I found quite pleasant, especially compared to the Ledbury, was the setting of the restaurant. With tables sprinkled onto corridors, the labyrinthine outlook was interesting and more intimate than the grand rooms of other restaurants that just remind me of canteens. There were flowers on all the tables, giving the place a sense of freshness.
The ever-present gratuitous canapees, under the form of shrimp and cheese puffs, offered a good prelude to the dinner overall. We were then presented with a complimentary amuse bouche, a cauliflower mousse, which, luckily, tasted nothing like cauliflower (not the one I would have expected). The creamy consistency was wonderfully preparing my appetite for the rest of the dishes.
For starters, I went with the Duck egg, white bean puree, Morteau sausage and cep cappuccino, a very playful version of an English breakfast in fact (the cappuccino was basically a mushroom mousse of sorts). Ioana, in a rather ladily fashion, went for the Autumn salad – truffle cream cheese, glazed carrots, salt baked vegetables, grain mustard and honey.
The food was scrumptious, the presentation, as mentioned before and as I will mention again, extremely playful and clean, with clear influences of British cuisine.
For the mains, we went with the Hand Speared Plaice, fresh linguine pasta, brown shrimp, crab sauce infused with tomato and sea purslane for my sister, and the Herefordsire beef fore rib, slowly braised, sauteed bacon, watercress, horseradish puree and roasted white onion for me.
As I cannot speak for my fellow foodie, I myself was not as impressed by the main as I was by the other dishes. Whilst the puree and meat were indeed delicious, they didn’t have the neccesary “oomph” I would have expected. Even more worrisome, the onion tasted like nothing. Literally like nothing. Not even like onion.
I like my onions tasting like onions.
The desserts, however, were wonderful. The same creativity was used for the Baked Appled Custard, which had a lovely and incredibly refreshing apple ice cream (for the love of all gods, I have forgotten the actual name of that. Not a real ice cream, because it has no milk, but cold and nice. I am ashamed as a foodie). The chocolate mousse had a lighter, chocolate gelato which went very nicely with it’s richer, creamier brother.
Adendum: the word was sorbet.