The new head chef at Noize is George Farrugia, a protégé of Eric Chavot at Brasserie Chavot for four years, and later at Bob Bob Ricard. George cooked at Fenchurch Sky Garden before moving here, and has an unusual background for a chef, with a law degree to his name. For notes on the excellent and fairly priced wine list here please see my previous review.
Tonight, we began with some of the excellent snacks that appear on the menu, which is presented on a blackboard. Gougeres used both Gruyere and Cheddar, the choux pastry having very good texture and there being plenty of cheese flavour (15/20). Mackerel rillettes on toast topped with chopped chives had excellent depth of flavour (15/20) and pigs head croquettes had a crisp exterior and plenty of porky goodness in the filling (15/20).
My starter was veal sweetbread with a pesto sauce with good pine nuts, the sweetbreads carefully cooked and having lovely rich flavour (15/20). Also good was ajo blanco, the classic summer chilled soup from Granada of toasted almonds, garlic, croutons and dill oil. This is a simple enough dish but was very nicely made here (14/20). For the main course I had crusted stone bass on a bed of saffron risotto, accompanied by artichokes, gremolata (lemon zest, garlic and parsley) and Pecorino cheese. The fish was carefully cooked, the artichokes had good flavour and the gremolata added freshness (15/20).
Dessert was tartlet of raspberry with passion fruit curd, which had excellent pastry and a good filling where the acidity of the raspberry balanced the passion fruit curd really well (15/20). Service, led by the owner Mathieu Germond, was charming, and the bill came to £164 a head. This included a bottle of the lovely Etienne Sauzet Les Combettes 2004 at £186, which was actually below its retail price of £200. Noize is a lovely restaurant with an appealing and well executed menu, exceptional wine list and a friendly welcome.