Words & Photography by Greg Klerkx and Luiz Hara
Unlike the whisperingly delicate and almost floral dashi we know of, this was deliciously savoury, and a fine preview for delights to come.
A basket of French bread, including some from Boulangerie de Paris a fantastic supplier I use for my own French Supper Clubs, was similarly full of surprises, most particularly a generous wedge of chewy, almost chocolaty Marmite loaf, which might win many a convert from the ‘hate it’ side of the Marmite argument.
Arguably the highlight of the meal was not on the tasting menu, nor indeed on the à la carte menu. It should be: the Rabbit Bolognese, salsify and almond starter was perfectly judged, the small portion of Bolognese exploding with savoury meatiness. The salsify was cooked and presented to mimic a nest of pasta, yet it was a far lighter companion to the relatively mild rabbit. I’m not sure where the almond came in, but it hardly mattered. This was a fabulous dish that alone was worth the visit.
The final main was, on paper, the scariest: duck a l’orange, so classic and yet so easy to get wrong in the balance of its signature ingredients. No worries here: a very pink (perhaps too pink for some) duck breast with a rich reduction, cauliflower puree and a crispy filo packet filled with succulent confit duck leg. As with so much else on the menu, this was both beautifully presented and very delicious.
A bottle of Camden Gentleman’s Wit – a Belgian-style wheat beer infused with lemon zest and bergamot – went surprisingly well with the lemon meringue pie.
Verdict: Excellent restaurant just off the beating heart of Oxford Street serving elegant food with modern flair. Creative and delicious, very reasonably priced cooking of a very high standard. Very highly recommended.