The new chef at Apsleys, Heros de Agostinis, was previously the senior sous chef at the three star Michelin restaurant Pergola in Rome. Our meal tonight began with a nibble of sea bass in pastry on a bed of finely diced vegetables; this was lovely, the pastry very delicate indeed (17/20). Tempura of langoustines is a regular dish here, and was stunningly good, the langoustine of high quality, the tempura very light (18/20). Lobster salad featured tender lobster and a subtle dressing (17/20). Gnocchi were remarkable, extremely light in texture; in some ways this was the best dish of all, as it is one thing to make a good dish out of luxury ingredients, but quite another to take such a simple dish and elevate it to a new level (18/20 may be too low a score).
Venison with a parsley sauce, mushrooms and potatoes featured particularly well-flavoured venison, perfectly cooked, the parsley sauce not intrsuive (17/20). A miniature chocolate soufflé was the only (relatively) ordinary dish, the soufflé just a little firmer on the outside than ideal, though still fine (16/20). However red fruit sorbet had lovely texture and balance (17/20). Service was excellent, dishes arriving at a steady pace and topping up happening seamlessly. This meal was just the latest in a series of fine meals at Apsleys, with the new chef Heros de Agostinis easily keeping up the high standards of his talented predecessor. The only thing that detracts from the experience at dinner for me is the seemingly unbounded desire of the front-of-house management to make the room as gloomy as possible, which I simply don’t understand; no such lighting problems occur at lunchtime, of course.