River Cafe is maybe London’s most famous Italian, famous for spawning the likes of Jamie Oliver and April Bloomfield (You don’t know who she is do you? Look her up!). On first impression the River Cafe’s look is a little … Continue reading
Unfortunately The Ledbury is in West London’s Notting Hill, a haven stricken with phony rich pricks. We didn’t do the tasting menu as my dining companion and I were both hungover and just weren’t up for it. This is not … Continue reading
Spice Market is in the new W hotel at the corner of Leicester Square, it focuses on Asian cuisine with dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, India and more. I went in a little biased knowing this place had recieved terrible … Continue reading
I’ve been looking to go to Bocca Di Lupo for a long while, I love their Gelato shop Gelupo across the road, it’s a frequent dessert stop when dining in Soho. For starters we shared some of the Fritti and … Continue reading
Thankfully this place is not as stuffy as so many of its Mayfair neighbours, the staff are relaxed, warm and friendly and it’s much more enjoyable for it. The Cauliflower and squid with clear roasted squid juice is served looking … Continue reading
This place looks like your average sea-side pub, the dining room is casual, airy, not a tablecloth in site.
We had the tasting menu, eight courses but with a lot of extras thrown in.
The pork scratchings were soft, warm and chewy, they came with a whole grain mustard dipping sauce, absolutely delicious. These were served with pickle herring, herring isn’t my thing so no comment here.
The chilled courgette soup was creamy, sweet and salty. Served with some amazing pancetta, the sweet ham went fantastically well with the savoury courgette.
The lobster ravioli in a lobster bisque was my only disappointing dish. The bisque was too strong and seemed a bit burnt. The lobster ravioli was nice but was ruined by overly strong bisque, if this came with butter alone it would have been amazing.
The slip sole was so simple, the fish was flaky and came easily away from the bone, the seaweed butter it swam in was also beautiful, so simple but it looked beautiful, just perfect.
Turbot with summer vegetable pistou was a beautiful thick piece of fish. Accompanied by pistou with summer vegetables, beans, broad beans and strong basil.
The last savoury course was the roast lamb, this actually came in two servings, first lamb in a bread crumb batter with a mint dipping sauce, very nice, reminded me of my grandma’s crumbed cutlets. The main lamb dish consisted of three cuts of roast lamb (rack, belly and something else), the lamb was devine, so tender and soft.
For dessert the cherry ice lolly with cake milk for dipping was weird but great, sucking on a ice lolly really suits the casual atmosphere of this place. The milk tasted like a cake milkshake.
The grilled plum with kernel ice cream was also good, the ice cream is made from plum kernels and tastes kind of like almond.
As if two desserts weren’t enough we were then given a tray of four desserts, including a sorbet with popping candy, a chocolate mousse, a little raspberry tart and a nutty cake of some sort. Unexpected and all delicious, simple and fun.
We got far more than we expected, the service was casual, friendly and so knowledgeable. It was understated and warm and the food is amazing, they blew me away.
The spicy tuna and avocado was nice, the tuna itself was exceptionally good but I don’t know why spicy was in the description. The avocado and mango puree were good accompaniments but I guess i’m used to raw tuna coming with ginger or wasabi so this tasted a little meek and mild, I wanted more punch.
The Slow Roasted Black Pig Belly with Cantarata Sauce was a delicious piece of sweet and juicy meat with great crackling. The Cantarata sauce is honey and paprika and reminds me of a Korean red pepper paste but a little sweeter, loved it.
The Hazelnut Bomb was my favourite dish, ice cream with a runny chocolate centre inlcuding hazelnut chips.
This place is very business, it’s quite formal and that never sits well with me. The staff are mostly Italian, incredibly well dressed, lots of black rimmed glasses, very Milan. The food is good but there’s better Italian at half the price.
I’ve had a lot of asparagus this summer, I thought the menu said they were from the Isle of White but when I look online it says Lincolnshire. Wherever they were from they were amazing, a nutty sweet flavour and not stringy.
The veal chop was also outstanding, the meat was rich and tender, it was cooked expertly.
I think the bar below has more of a wow factor than the restaurant which seems a little boring when you compare the two. HIX needs a bit of that raw Spuntino look upstairs.
We started with three snacks the Thai Explosion II, Crab Doughnuts and the Potato Bread and Butter. The Crab Doughnut was stodgy, a thick sponge, and not nice flavour. The Thai Explosion II was far superior, huge flavour and much more delicate. The bread was nice but what made it were the two butters, one whipped with black pudding and other a brown butter, the brown butter was quite sweet, I loved it.
The first dish was the Squid ink with radishes and sea lettuce, it was ok but lacked flavour and just didn’t do it for me.
I enjoyed the asparagus with milk skin, I had better asparagus later that week at HIX Soho but this was good. I’m certainly pro milk skin, a crispy little treat.
The leek heart with cured lobster and leek consomme was great, the lobster was sweet and fleshy and the charred leek heart also fantastic.
I don’t understand people’s fear of egg yolks, the more runny the better. The egg yolk was served with cod and potatoes, the fish was dense and flaky and the egg yolk brought it all together.
The pork secretos with hot potato gel and cereals was disappointing, the pork was tough and dry.
Of the desserts I loved the Frozen maple with shiso and green apple, it was a bit granita, a bit ice cream. I didn’t mind the second dessert of white chocolate with grapefruit and lemon.
Yes we had the Chocolate truffle that tasted of mushrooms, yes it was confusing, but I’m just not really into crap like that, that’s why I don’t watch Heston Blumenthal’s awful TV shows.
The staff are very nice and attentive but some are a little hard to understand (thick accents). This is quite an expensive place so not very laid back which I always find a little off putting.
Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad
I’m partial to a bit of bone marrow, I love it’s taste, texture and smell. Its salty fattiness is nicely broken up by the parsley salad. The sour dough bread was also great.
Snail and Oakleaf Salad
I don’t dislike snails but I do find they lack flavour and are too chewy. St Johns has been my best experience with snails, they were less chewy than previous experiences but still not something that inspires me.
Roast Middle White Pork
Nice moist pork, delicious crackling and a good amount of it. It was a really simple dish but the meat is so tasty you don’t need anything with it. Very tender. According to Wikipedia the Middle White is actually endangered but apparently it’s numbers are growing.
Madeleines and Ginger Loaf with Butterscotch Sauce
Fresh Madeleines amazing! Good Ginger Loaf too.