The city unfolded beyond the glass; there is always something so attractive about a restaurant or bar that lies tucked nicely between the clouds (fine, I might be slightly exaggerating, it’s only on the 28th floor), especially in a city like London that doesn’t really have many skyscrapers.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” (Virginia Wolf) There is certainly something to be said about going to a fancy, Michelin star restaurant; the mood, the respectful staff, getting the big table next to the windows (unfortunately the views are not accessible for all of the tables in the restaurant, even though most of them do seem to be placed next to some sort of window), it all sets a nice tone to your life. That, and the free champagne.
The bread was crunchy on the outside and luckily not crunchy on the inside too. It was quite good – some restaurants seem to just give me a piece of stale bread. We went for the Lunch Menu (25£ for two courses or 29£ for three), which is the general price a restaurant of this nature would charge. The ox cheek tortellini (I will honestly not write the entire one row long title of each dish) were very well cooked, the pasta was the right consistency and the meat was very well flavoured. You could tell, as with the other dishes that are about to come, that the ingredients were all of very good quality. The beetroot puree and the horseradish froth added a nice touch to the dish. I wasn’t all that excited about the coddled quail egg. Everything was cooked exceptionally well on a technical level, however at times the dish lacked taste. The baby leeks did not taste much of anything. If anyone does read my blog regularly, you know I like my cooked onion to still taste like onion. I have the same expectations with leeks.
The same comments might be made about the mains. Technically, the dishes were spot-on: the pork belly was incredibly soft but not mushy, the fish had a great texture, the lentils were cooked to perfection. Yet the dish lacks any compelling flavours. Any oomph, and at times, the taste was rather plain. Not that simple is bad, but anyone can cook something that tastes plain. I felt the need at times to say “This tastes like canteen food” but then my foodmates would just make a snarky comment like “What canteen do you go to?!?”. I did find it rather amusing searching for the brown shrimp in the veloute, and with murderous glee would express mental success as I munched on them. I can’t help it that I have such high standards. I’m the victim here really.
The desserts were certainly a step up – it’s really where technical skill is much more important. The tastes were also quite good, the pineapple dish very fruity (since it was mostly made of fruit) yet very good combos of flavour. The same goes for the chocolate dish, clean yet playful aspect. To top it all up, the restaurant did two things that just made me swoon: it gave me postcards that I could supposedly fill in and they would send them for me. It was generally of the views, and, on the back, it would say in printed letters “The view from my table”. It is the ultimate way to make your friends jealous. I love it. Then, they gave us a huge jar of marshmallows. I don’t even think I need to say anything more.