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Twenty Eight Fifty

140 Fetter Lane, London, England, EC4A 1BT, United Kingdom

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Almost all wines in the world are grown between the latitudes of 28 and 50 degrees, and this is the explanation for the rather cryptic name of this establishment.  It is a sister to Texture, with the head chef here Paul Walsh, who worked for five years as sous chef to Clare Smyth at Gordon Ramsay. The room is in a basement, but is quite an airy space considering this, with a somewhat rustic feel – wooden floor and no tablecloths. The menu is British, with starters from £5.75 to £7.50, main courses from £14.50 to £16.50 with vegetables extra at £2.95, and desserts £6. Uninspired bread was priced at £1.50.

There was a short but well chosen wine list, with a separate “Collector’s selection”. Tyrell Heathcote Shiraz 2008 was £33 compared to a shop price of around £10, while we drank St Cosme Cote Rotie 2001 at £65 for a wine that retails at around £33. The mark-up levels drop steeply as you get to the high end of the list, with Ridge Monte Bello 1997 at £165 compared to a shop price of around £134, and Penfolds Grange 2000 at £245 for a wine you can find for about £173.

A plate of charcuterie was decent but, despite home made pickles, not exciting either (12/20). However my main course of pheasant was nicely cooked, served with a celeriac fondant that had smooth texture and plenty of celeriac flavour, with mushrooms and bacon lardons combining well (easily 14/20). Also enjoyable was pig belly and cheeks with swede and quince, the pork nicely cooked and seasoning accurate (14/20). Chips appeared to be triple cooked and were crisp and accurately cooked through (15/20).

Rhubarb compote with walnut crumble and yoghurt sorbet was a pleasant dessert, the rhubarb flavour surprisingly restrained, while the crumble had nice texture (13/20). My companion’s vanilla rice pudding with praline ice cream and maple syrup seemed to go down well too. Our bill came to £75 each with a nice bottle of wine. This is not unreasonable for a bill at dinner, but as a lunch venue there are no concessions (I assume that business is brisker here at lunch than dinner) so given the bargains that can be had at even London’s best restaurants at lunch it is not particularly price competitive. However, the food was pleasant (between 13/20 and 14/20 overall for me) and the mark-ups on the wine were fair, and together with the friendly service this adds up to an enjoyable venue.

 

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