Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||131 Upper Street, London N1 1QP|
|Tel:||020 7359 7501|
|Price: £43.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-12M (Fri -1am) Sat 11am-1am Sun 11am-11pm|
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
This should be a lot better considering all the excitement built up about this restaurant.
Amuse bouche of raw miso was a great start with a lovely sea flavour. The orange mayonaise and crisps that came with didn't work for me.
A huge dish of nice bread was good but oversized. Three different butters was a nice touch, but not hugely different.
Hen of the woods was delicious, rich and had a great earthy flavour. Served on a burnt lettuce it was one of the better dishes of the evening.
Chicken on a brick was pure gimmick, a chicken pate of normal quality on a sugar glazed brick. You couldn't eat the sugar, so what was the point of the brick? Logan berries and sweetcorn kernels provided a much needed contrast to an already flat dish. It was also an irritatingly stingy portion and tough to eat with a spoon.
The Machiavellian egg was bad… Mashed potato and egg with parsley sauce. The smoked watermelon underneath did not make a good combination but was the only refreshing foil to the stodge of this dish.
The scallop burger ‘thing’ just plain didn't work – overpowering kiwi meant all the subtleness of the scallop was lost – we were encouraged to eat this with our hands which was a messy and unpleasant job.
The rainbow trout was actually good, unusual soft gluey texture from being slow cooked which I enjoyed with the fragrance of kafir lime and the sweetness of coconut.
Next was the terrible Vacherin risotto… one of my favourite cheeses, but I couldn't detect it in this tiny sized, well cooked but bland risotto.
The heel of beef was average and was very sticky (verging on unpleasantly so) and had no textural contrast on the plate – although it tasted good I wouldn't be surprised to eat this on a Sunday at a fairly good pub. Ben himself presented this telling us it had “Caramelised shallots ‘n’ that” – yeah thanks for that tidbit Ben.
Puddings were definitely the highlight – the fennel and absinthe one was balanced well and also had lovely textural differences with nuggets of chewy biscuit and sponge – clearly influenced by Simon Rogans Great British Menu winning dish. The chocolate mousse was sweet and chocolately with a black pepper edge which worked to stop it being insipid (in a good way).
But overall a disappointing meal which wasn't cheap – the bill was about £60 a head and with no drinks. I wouldn't head back any time soon. I'd say the main problems were lack of textures in most dishes – a lot of mush and not a lot of crunch anywhere and flavour combinations that didn't work or weren't more than the sum of their parts (which is what a great combination should be).
This said, Ben is young and is learning so there is definitely hope for the future – especially the great puddings. I've also heard good things about the bar food.