At this meal a tasting menu was offered in addition to the usual carte, so we ventured down this path. Bread is getting even better here, the chef now achieving a better crust while keeping the excellent texture of the sourdough crumb (17/20).
A single large scallop from the Isle of Mull came with parsley root puree, baby endive, pear and Italian white Alba truffle. The scallop was superb, sweet and perfectly cooked, the pear bringing balancing acidity, the endive adding its characteristic bitter flavour note (17/20).
Red mullet from Cornwall came with crushed Ratte potatoes and a bouillabiase sauce thickened with the liver of the mullet. This was another successful dish, the mullet fresh and the sauce pleasingly rich (16/20).
Native lobster tail was tender and came with roasted ceps, raw chestnut and coral dressing, a nice contrast of earthiness with the shellfish (15/20). Buckwheat “ravioli” came with chanterelles, egg yolk, parsley and Jerusalem artichokes. This was quite a rich dish, the mushrooms very good (15/20).
Sika deer loin was served with chestnut and juniper puree, Crapaudine beetroot (a particularly old variety of beetroot), trompette mushrooms and cime di rapa (turnip tops). This was excellent, the venison having lovely flavour, the puree deeply flavoured and the beetroot an earthy foil for the meat (17/20).
Apple dauphinoise was made with Cox apples, which were pretty much at their peak of flavour, with Granny Smith apple puree and cinnamon ice cream. The pastry crisps were delicate, the textures pleasing, the apple flavour excellent (16/20).
Service was as friendly as ever, the bill coming to £86 with mineral waiter and coffee to drink, but no wine today. The tasting menu element was £60, but we opted for the white truffle, which bumped up the price a little. Bonhams continues to impress me, the cooking getting more precise but keeping the emphasis on sourcing high-grade ingredients and not messing about too much with these. This for me was clearly London’s best 2015 restaurant opening.