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|Address:||5-7 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DB|
|Tel:||020 3589 2099|
|Price: £60.00||Wine: £16.80||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.45pm (Sat -2.30pm Sun -3.30pm) Mon-Sat 6-10.45pm|
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Despit being quiet at lunch – at least on the early weekday we went, and I suspect most lunchtimes – standards are high and bright intense flavours are complemented by exciting executions. Open ravioli of confit pork, ragout of white beans, Jerusalem artichoke and horseradish foam is a complex and masterful starter, deliciously textural and packed with flavour. Asparagus, mushroom and tarragon beignets, mushroom vinaigrette, red mustard leaves looked strikingly pretty and was, according to my guest, a riot of taste too. Pan-fried cod with crushed potatoes and baby carrots, with a carrot and star anise pureé and tarragon sauce was again pretty as a picture and another assault on the taste buds, the sweetness of the carrot offsetting the savoury elements of the fresh, fleshy cod and the earthiness of the potatoes.
Strawberry and macadamia nut crumble, strawberry sorbet, basil ice cream struck a comparatively low note (a pass rather than distinction) but my friend’s mascarpone pud saw the kitchen right back on track. Budget prices these are not, but the 2 and 3 course set lunch is a bargain at £18.95 and £22.50 respectively, with the added attraction of wines to match if desired.
The setting is a surprisingly simple brasserie-style room which engenders a relaxed, informal vibe.