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|Address:||63-64 Frith Street, London W1D 3JW|
|Tel:||020 3551 9855|
|Price: £46.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3pm) Mon-Sat 5-10.45pm (Fri-Sat -11.15pm) Sun 5.30-10.30pm|
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Having visited on Arbutus's widely treasured amazingly priced set lunch menu back in the snow clad streets of London over a year ago, our next visit was well past due. As i starved myself through a gruelling 10 hours at work, nibbling on bland workplace basics in preparation for the rich delicious treats to come I was TRES hungry by the time i arrived on Wednesday evening and practically salvating as i was handed the menu whilst my coat and bag whisked from my hand and seated.
Gleefully greeted by another waiter within seconds, the bread basket whipped in front of my nose, i tucked into some of the softest soughdough, with pleasingly crunchy crust. The butter unsalted and a mill no where in sight; as a stickler for salt, my kidneys are most pleased, i could not fault this minor detail. I took in my surroundings whilst waiting for my fellow diner, clean lines, sparking granite; modern with a tapas restaurant style twist – a bar area for informal dining and a seated restaurant around the back. We were seated on high stools and a grantite table, the very one in the picture above. Private yet bustling.
On the menu – starters with a loud shout to summer; crab, tomato, avocado, lemon, seasonable and fresh i pumped for the tempura courgette flowers with goats cheese and tomato confit; it came within minutes; amazing. When i was over the shock at a) how beautiful the dish looked; summer garden on a plate and b) how small it was i started eating two mouthfuls it was gone, three pieces of bread later my fellow diner was still eating her scallops with potato gazpacho; a mound of creamy, rich, peppery gazpacho, scallops delicately bedded within, four, five, six, never ending! To say i was slightly disappointed would be a lie as the delight of the zingy lemony confit cutting through the creamy soft and even woody goats cheese prevailed and i looked forward to my main.
30 degrees outside, fish was the only choice for me; a pleasing lump of meaty roast cod, half an onion and a lemon confit. Two spinach leaves. Where was the rest, i can't quite believe that i was still hungry!! My friend was greeted by one, two, three parts to her Lamb tripe; trotters on toast, caseroled tripe wth breaded crumb and triangles of stuffed tripe. A delicacy to some, not to others but delicious. No greens, no carbs it is a veritable meat feast. I just wished there had been more of mine. Dessert was a definite for me, and less pleasing to my wallet.
Raspberry Pavlova it had to be; disappointly ‘deconstructed’ it looked like an Eton Mess that had forgotten most of the ingrediants. Not impressed and i am embarrassed to say still hungry. some may say an error for choosing the summer options on the menu rather than the hearty rabbit or steak, but surely summer portions should still warrant more than a speck or this and a dab of that.
Service impeccable, the waiters all well versed in the wine list made ordering easy, recommending a Pinot Noir to accompany our combo of meat and fish main. A small wink, the odd flirt saw our glasses topped up. Simply the best dessert wine i've ever tasted – i even snuck a picture of the label as he left the bottle on the table (tempted to top up again but we're too honest!) Clos Thou – Jurancon 2010.
In all fantastic food and enjoyable evening, made so by the attentive waiters and cool environment, i just wish i had left full and content rather than wondering if i had ordered better i would be contentedly full and smugly tiddled.