The meal today began with an introductory nibble, a classic gougere that used a Swiss cheese and was gorgeous, the choux pastry delicate and the cheese flavour comforting and rich. A squid ink crisp with salmon roe served with it was also very good (easily 15/20). Asparagus from Luberon was served with slow-cooked egg and confit lemon. The asparagus had lovely flavour, the richness of the egg nicely balanced by the lemon (15/20). Scallop sashimi with radish, herbs and a squid ink jus was of high quality, the scallops having plenty of sweetness (15/20).
Potato gnocchi was served with peas, red pepper, mousseron mushrooms and salted ricotta. The texture of the gnocchi was wekk judged, the peas having good flavour (14/20). Saddleback pork chop was served on a bed of pearl barley, puffed grains and Grelot onions with a jus made from the cooking juices, pork and ramson (wood garlic). The meat had plenty of flavour, the grains were flavoured with a little vinegar to balance the richness and the onions nicely sweet (15/20).
Chocolate tart inspired by that at Ambroisie in Paris came with raspberries and vanilla ice cream. The tart was suitably rich, the fruit providing some welcome balance and the ice cream excellent (15/20). Gariguette strawberries were served with crème Chantilly, lime meringue and strawberry sorbet. The quality of the strawberries, imported from Rungis market in Paris, was dazzling. Anyone accustomed to tasteless English supermarket strawberries will be stunned by the depth of flavour that these specimens possessed (17/20).
Service was friendly and capable. The bill came to £45 per head, with water to drink. This seems to me good value for food of this quality, which uses unusually high quality ingredients. With so much overpriced mediocrity in central London restaurants at present, Bonhams is a breath of fresh air.