Posted on 05 / 22 / 2012
We both eyed the Fried Onion Broth. I love a good French Onion Soup
and it's so hard to find one that isn't or doesn't taste beefy. But
here we were, two vegetarians at an all-veg restaurant with numerous
options, and we were both getting the same dish? I also had my doubts
about how it'd go with my main, and my waitress concurred the ensemble
might be too salty. That gave me the out I needed; I got the Whipped
Jacket Potato instead.
The Broth was nothing quite like I'd expected -- much thicker than a
soup. It was good, but my little taste of it seemed very salty.
The Potato was sublime. My partner's comment was, "I didn't know a
potato could do that".
For the main, she got the Goats Cheese and Toasted Cauliflower Mille
Feuille. She said it was good overall, and the cauliflower sublime.
I got the Salted and Ash Baked Celeriac and Foraged Garlic Leaf. My
whole plate was brilliant. The ash did something amazing to the
celeriac, and the remaining members of the ensemble held up their end
of the bargain.
After this we had to get dessert. She got the Peanut Butter
Cheesecake and Cracked Cocoa Beans. The "cheesecake" wasn't anything
like we expected in form factor -- they were little sticks. They
unfurled in three distinct flavors: first a setup, the second a solid
peanut butter, but the third a cleanser that left no PB taste in the
mouth. Brilliant engineering, but a bit odd. The toffee sauce and
banana bread were very good.
I had the Iced Malt and Burnt Orange Marshmallow: a soft but spottily
crunchy marshmallow with an orange infusion. My meringues were too
hard: you want them to crunch a bit and then yield, but they persisted
a little longer than one anticipates (though they tasted fine). The
puree tasted a bit like Horlicks or Ovaltine (I can never remember
which one's which), a bit on the malty side, and a lovely complement
to the crunchy sugar marshmallow. A superb ensemble.
My partner chose conservatively and got solid dishes; I picked the
riskier options and in each case it paid off splendidly. I'd gladly
eat the same set again, and I wouldn't trade any of my three dishes
for my partner's.
We expected snooty service, given the price and location and concept
and that we weren't dressed up, but got the opposite: the staff were
friendly, helpful, and seemed to know precisely when and how to glide
in and out.
95 GBP for two people to have three courses and a glass of wine each +
service. Totally worth it.
inventive, tasty, elegance without snobbery