Noble Rot was one of the very best London openings of 2015, with chef Paul Weaver bringing his experience from The Sportsman to this casual wine bar in Lamb’s Conduit Street.
The bread here is a mix of the terrific sourdough from Hedone, plus soda bread and focaccia made in the kitchen. The latter in particular was lovely, soft and supple (16/20 for the home-made bread). The slip sole in smoked butter here is a variant on the classic Sportsman dish, and is ever bit as enjoyable. The baby Dover sole had good flavour and was served on the bone, a simple but excellent dish (16/20). Also impressive was Comte tart with pickled walnuts, the pastry good and the Comte flavour powerful but not overwhelming, nice balanced by the dressing of the accompanying salad (15/20).
Gnocchi was very capable, served with trompette mushrooms, chestnut and tender cavalo nero (15/20). Turbot was served with a creamy sauce made from oxidised 1997 Corton Charlemagne wine. The fish itself was precisely cooked and the sauce was enjoyably rich. The fillet was from a decent sized 4.1 kg specimen (the bigger the turbot, the better the flavour as a rule) caught off the Cornish coast (15/20).
Service was very good. I was pressed for time today so skipped dessert on this occasion, the bill with water to drink coming at £18 per person for the two courses. I had no chance to indulge in the superb wine list here, but if you had three courses and shared a modest bottle than a typical cost per head would be around £65, which seems to me fair for the very good food being served here. The cooking here is deceptively simple but uses much better ingredients than some grander London dining rooms, and the kitchen technique on display today was impressive.Book