Canvas is the first London outpost for Swiss chef Michael Riemenschneider, who made his name at the well regarded Abbey in Penzance. The USP here is that diners build their own bespoke tasting menus from a selection of up to 16 dishes available for lunch or dinner. For the most part, flavours are subtle, sophisticated and multi-layered, as in an assemblage of lobster, white chocolate and broccoli, or coley with razor clams, grapes and saffron. The full power of subtlety is really shown in a stand-out dish of succulent, fleshy langoustine perched on top of slow-cooked pearl barley that has been enriched to the point of no longer being a supporting act by liberal quantities of veal stock and a patient 84 hours of cooking. Occasionally, all that clever intricacy misses the mark – witness decadently rich and rare venison smothered by a smear of sweet chocolate. The room is small and service is fittingly personal – we particularly appreciated the knowledgeable sommelier and his thoughtful suggestions of suitable wine flights to match chosen dishes.
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