The style of cooking here is a little like the Wolseley, with an appealing bistro menu. A few weeks after opening in summer 2006 this place was so successful that they had two sittings in the evening. Service was friendly and capable. The main trouble is getting a reservation. Notes from a recent meal follow.
A mixture of starters involved excellent scampi with tartare sauce, reasonable deep-fried squid (barely chewy at all) and an old favourite, iman bayeldi, and is an excellent example of this rather tricky dish. Hummus and pitta bread were fine, as were scotch eggs made with quail eggs, though anchovies were very salty (13/20 average). My duck breast was very good, served with carefully cooked spinach and a well-made potato rosti adding an extra texture dimension (15/20). If they can serve tender, pink duck here it escapes me as to why the Capital Hotel failed to do the same a few nights before. Salmon salad was a mixed bag, with correctly cooked salmon but salad that was drowned in mayonnaise (11/20). Tarte tatin of apple was significantly overcooked (11/20).
Here is a meal from January 2007 by way of comparison.
Tuna Nicoise was a really excellent example of how to do this properly. No nasty little chunks of tinned tuna: here was a generous slab of tuna, light seared, served with hard boiled eggs, a few anchovies, new potatoes and lettuce leaves. All the ingredients were fresh, and the tuna itself tasted great (14/20). Fillet steak and chips was simple but also worked well, the steak itself was good quality, cooked as requested, served with thin chips that were nicely crispy and properly seasoned (comfortably 13/20). A side order of iman bayeldi was also excellent, aubergine stuffed with onions, tomatoes and garlic and them simmered in hot oil, served with two pieces of crisp toast (14/20). This is not an easy dish to do well.
Bread here is just a single choice: slices of crusty country bread, presumably bought in, but very pleasant (15/20). The wine list is on the back of the menu and is somewhat limited, but has a few decent choices from France, Spain and Italy.