21 Romilly Street, London, England, W1D 5AF, United Kingdom

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What follows are notes from a meal in May 2009.

Amuse-bouche was a simple dish of warm vegetables (carrot, artichoke, turnip) in a jus de roti (i.e. meat cooking juices with wine). A simple dish, but again this had good quality vegetables, especially by the standards of the UK (comfortably 15/20). A salad of warm Scottish lobster was fairly tender, served with a salad with of tarragon and coral; the leaves were good but for me the dish would have been better with some sort of sauce (14/20). Herb and ricotta ravioli had nice texture and was served with tender, properly podded, broad beans (15/20). 

A pair of scallops was carefully timed, served with celery, brown butter and lime, as well as confit tomato. The celery seemed a little over-salted, and I wonder whether this set of vegetables was the most natural accompaniment to the scallops, but the shellfish were of good quality and the dish was well executed (15/20). The star of the meal was Italian spring truffle risotto, made with excellent chicken stock and laced with Parmesan. This was a really top class risotto, having lovely texture and deep flavour from the superb stock (easily 17/20, pushing 18/20).

For main course I had Scottish beef fillet on a bed of moussseron mushrooms and more of the tender broad beans, with bone marrow-flavoured potato. The beef was of good quality, the vegetables and cooking juices excellent (comfortably 16/20). I preferred this to steamed halibut with parsley crust with white asparagus, pickled ginger and aromatic soy sauce. I am not sure that these ingredients sit well together, while the parsley flavour was a little too dominant for me (14/20).

Pre-dessert of seasonal Alphonso mango was topped with jasmine granite and a tuile; simple but refreshing (15/20). My dessert was new season English strawberries on a sable biscuit with Chantilly cream; the strawberries actually tasted of strawberry, a rarity in the UK these days (16/20). Rum and pineapple soufflé had with nice texture, though I felt the rum flavour came through too strongly (15/20). Coffee was a generous double espresso with good flavour, offered with chocolate truffles and a financier (16/20).

Service was very friendly, though the rather awkward room shape makes it hard for the staff to see every corner, and there were some minor topping-up gaps. Overall I really enjoyed the meal. The restaurant has only just opened, so there are a few kinks to iron out, but it already is operating between 15/20 and 16/20 level, with my risotto showing just how much talent is in the kitchen. If the prices stay at this level (our bill was £66 each all in) then it is a relative bargain given the quality of ingredients and the central location. I will happily return.


Further reviews: 15th Jun 2022 | 04th Sep 2020 | 02nd Dec 2017 | 02nd Aug 2017 | 18th Aug 2012

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