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The Dysart

135 Petersham Road, London, TW10 7AA, United Kingdom

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A tasting menu today was priced at £60 and began with two nibbles: a chive and piment d’espelette palmier, which was a touch dry (14/20) and a piece of hand-dived scallop with tomato jam presented on squid ink bread, the scallop sweet and the jam working well with it (16.20). In addition to the trademark Irish soda bread (16/20) there was caper, feta and violet potato bread, made from scratch in the kicthen (15/20). A further nibble was a pair of Indian twelve-spiced mussels, the spice balance quite subtle (easily 14/20).

Charred mackerel with kombu braised daikon, ginger and champagne was as enjoyable as ever, the mackerel fresh and carefully cooked, the flavour combinations harmonious (17/20); my dining companion felt that the sauce could dial down the acidity a touch, but this is a quibble rather than a criticism.

A star dish was foie gras terrine with eel, pain d’epices and applestroop (Dutch apple syrup). The foie gras was silky smooth and had deep flavour, the apple providing some balance of acidity, the eel adding an extra dimension to the dish; this was seriously good food (17/20).

Wild turbot with a Viennese crust and vin jaune sauce had excellent fish that was precisely cooked, though the sauce seemed just a touch sweet to me (14/20, more for the fish alone).

Between three of us we were able to try a trio of different main courses. Longhorn beef aged for 60 days came with miso mustard sauce and confit of heritage carrots, two different cuts of tender beef (15/20). Roast mallard came with an excellent celeriac croustillant and bigarade sauce (15/20) and woodcock was served with Perigueux sauce (a sauce flavoured with truffles and madeira) and a gratin of Cevenne onion and 32 month aged Comte cheese. This was the most impressive of the main courses, the cooking accurate, the sauce rich and the gratin full of flavour (16/20). 

Cheeses were supplied from the main Paris market and in excellent condition. A pre-dessert of verjus granite with rosehip from the garden was light and refreshing, the rosehip flavour nicely controlled (15/20). I preferred this to the Valrhona Jivara chocolate and praline bar with miso salted caramel ice cream and cocoa nibs. The ice cream was excellent but the texture of the bar seemed a little softer than I recall it at a previous visit (14/20).

 Petit fours comprised a Passe Crassane pear financier, sea salt caramel, passion fruit jelly and raspberry taffy tuile (14/20). The bill with accompanying wines and coffee came to £93 a head before tip. Service was excellent as ever. I continue to be very impressed by the cooking at Dysart. There are little tweaks that could improve things in places, but the best dishes are very impressive indeed, and here is clearly a genuinely talented chef. 

Further reviews: 03rd Jan 2014

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