At my most recent meal here, an amuse-bouche of sweet potato tempura had reasonably pleasant batter but the ratio of filling to batter meant that it was hard to detect what was actually inside. This is illustrative of the contrast of tempura served in London with the ultra-light batter to be found in tempura restaurants in Japan, where the coating is so ethereally light that what you taste is mostly the core ingredient, the batter almost like a thin gift-wrapping around the main ingredient (12/20).
A starter of scallops with “Serano ham “ (sic) came with pea puree, piquillo peppers and sherry vinaigrette. The scallops were cooked properly but had little inherent sweetness; the peas again had limited flavour, though the vinaigrette was pleasant (13/20).
I preferred tuna with saffron risotto and edamame beans, bak choi, squid and soya dressing. The tuna was lightly seared and the squid had good texture, with no hint of chewiness. The risotto was a little heavy in texture but the bak choi was lightly cooked, the soya dressing going well with the fish (14/20).
Mango and lychee jelly came topped with lemon foam, vanilla ice cream and shortbread biscuit. The fruit flavour came through well enough, though the foam did not appear to contain much in the way of lemon flavour, but the biscuit was fine (13/20).
Service was pleasant, though serving a dessert without any utensils seemed a fairly basic omission, especially at a far from busy lunch service. The bill came to £49 a head for three courses at lunch with water and a solitary glass of wine apiece. This did not feel like much of a bargain. The usually charming Michael Nadra was not present at service today; presumably he was at his other restaurant in Primrose Hill. Overall I found this meal less successful than my previous one here, though the food was still of a reasonable level of quality.
Further reviews: 02nd Aug 2012