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|Address:||152 Tooley Street, London SE1 2TU|
|Tel:||020 3544 0839|
|Price: £47.00||Wine: £20.00||Champagne: £52.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6.30-10pm|
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What an excellent operation in the middle of the desolation that exists between London and Tower Bridges. OK, the mayor's headlamp building is here, as is EY's London offices at More London, but it is hardly an up market address for such an up market operation.
Let me get the niggles out the way first, as they are few and I don't want them to detract from the rest: they had run out of roast goose. How can you do this? It is in season (and the season is short) and you'd have thought that, goose being so popular, they'd have enough. This was lunchtime too, so woe betide anyone coming that evening who wanted any. I can just about forgive this, but running out of choclates (more of which, below) is unforgiveable: they are always in season, you must know how popular they are and should have enough for a convention of chocoholics. Not even to have enough for a table of six is so, so wrong.
OK, I have got that off my chest, and now to the good part: this is a sensational restaurant. Not grand, not trendy, not some big named chef with a fancily designed dining room, just a couple of rooms, with some plain tables and a menu that had me wishing I could stay here for a week. The style is British provenance, with French inspired dishes: so the duck may have come from Aylsebury, but the idea of “confit” is totally French.
I could happily have had all of the starters, and all of the mains (if they hadn't run out of the goose). Instead, I opted for snails and bone marrow to start: big, plump, garlicy snails, their chewiness offset by the melting bone marow, all atop some crunchy sour dough toast. Perfect for a winter's lucnh. Others round the table cooed over the smoled eel with remoulade, the smoked anchovy and the generous helping of proscuittio. All stunning, all washed down with a lovely Chablis.
Next up mains, and no respite from the exquisite assault on the tastebuds: confit duck was beautifully rich, coming with a crunchy potato tart that accompanied the Chateau Musar perfectly. In fact, the lamb, the black pig and all of the mains went down exceptionally well.
Service is fine, if a little stingy on the bread, and I cannot comment on the wine list, as I was being taken, so didn't get a chance to look: the aforementioned Chablis and Musar were, however, perfectly excellent.
We finished with coffee and the utterly sensational caramel chocolates: crunchy chocolate encasing a liquid salt caramel. Salty chocolate balls at their very best: according to one of our number, these were simply the dog's danglers.